Grenada Constitutional Reform

by Brian J M Joseph

Constitutional reform is not a bad process, for everyone knows there are advantages and disadvantages throughout the reform process, because it all depends on who is presenting or pursuing that caused to the people. And the big question here is, what are the motives behind it and why the rush?

Especially when it is presented by this present government,what is their main goal and objectives for moving forward with this new venture and are we ready as a nation to become a republic? And are our people educated enough on constitutional reform? For me I don’t think so because there are still lots of people who don’t even know what it is.

I think the government needs to send trained individuals in the workplaces and educate our people more. because most hard-working individuals, who don’t have the time to attend town hall meetings,need to be part of the different consultations,that are taking place in the various communities.. Where is the caravan on constitutional reform? Like the mock caravan of hope that was held back in 2008, where has it gone? Grenadians need to be careful and really think long and hard on what they are getting into, because this could have serious implications.

Not because the NNP government says “run” or “jump” we must do so. I have great respect for Dr Francis Alexis. They couldn’t have chosen a better man for the job, knowing how hard he had worked a few years ago for Dr Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St. Vincent, working on constitutional reform. I’m very much pleased with his work and accomplishment — but knowing Dr Mitchell and the “whistle-blower” that he is, I am very sceptical on what his intentions are.

There are still a lot of unanswered questions, and we are still waiting on the answers. I firmly believe there is more that should have been on that list of the 12 that were outlined — will there still be a Governor-General  under the revised constitution? What will be the role of the President if there is one, and will he/her have any political influence in all of this ongoing saga towards becoming a republic? Is this a show of party politics from the Prime Minister? Because we cannot allow party politics to be influential in all of this reforming process. Too many times we have allowed political influence to intervene, instead of making sound judgement that will be beneficial to this nation and its people.

The way I see this, the rush towards the referendum in February of 2015 never materialized, and it was pushed to a later date to be yet announced. Things might be looking up well for Dr Mitchell knowing his political influence. I believe the process has already been infringed upon — that is my take on it, those are my opinions. Knowing the merry-go-round that’s been going on between the two political parties on what should and shouldn’t be added on the list, I’m very fearful of biasness in the process towards referendum.

We want a process that is free of political influence, but can that ever happen? I have my doubts, and longe for the day when that will ever materialize, executing fair judgement with much regard for the people of this nation. Knowing how things are governed in this country, I would really like to see a free Grenada, but I am keeping hopes up and alive, that one day it will happen — if only we can set our differences aside and work for one common good for the building of this nation, life will be much better for all.

I pray that good sense will prevail over all of this process, but I firmly believe that more education is needed in order to achieve its full objectives. I think referendum should be held when the people are fully ready to face this full-on, especially when all areas are covered, then we can push forward.

We all need to question ourselves, and ask the vital questions — How much do I know about constitutional reform? Or am I educated enough on the process leading up to referendum, and how can I as an individual, educate others in the process?

I have read every piece of document written, old and new, on constitutional reform. I went through it thoroughly and I have examined every minute detail. I have never seen anything in the new constitution holding individuals accountable, especially holders of political offices, for crimes against the State, or misuse of government funds, bribery or corruptions. I want to know what went wrong there. If reform is imminent, then all areas must be covered.

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