Well-known attorney Ruggles Ferguson is urging “maturity’’ in the approach by Grenadians to voting on constitutional change in the 27 October referendum.
He’s made a special appeal for the dropping of “political badges” by party leaders, calling on them to support the efforts at bringing the Grenada constitution “in line with modern reality.”
“Constitution reform is about making the constitution better; making it more effective to serve our people,” Ferguson, president of the OECS Bar Association, said on the TV programme, Constitution Countdown. “It’s part of a public education campaign leading up to the holding of the referendum.”
Ferguson, a member of the Constitution Reform Advisory Committee (CRAC), is advocating a ‘yes’ vote on the 7 proposed constitutional changes that will be on the ballot for the referendum.
“The constitution is our thing. It’s not CRAC’s thing, it’s not the government’s thing, it’s not a political party’s thing. It’s the people’s thing,” said Ferguson.
“So you call on the people to vote no; they vote no on the 27th and what happens on the 28th? We remain with the same old constitution, and these same politicians will be jumping up there and saying we need to change this 42–year–old constitution because it’s not in keeping with the times.”
His appeal, Ferguson said, “is for all of these people — the leaders, especially — that on this issue we need to drop our political badges, in the interest of country and nation. This is not an opportunity that comes regularly; this is an historical moment for all of us and we must approach it objectively and with maturity.”
Ferguson suggested that leaders should “assist people and prepare them; so that referendum day, they can exercise a vote, being empowered, understanding these seven bills and saying yes or no — based on the substance of the bills — and not on the dictate of a political party.”