When government MPs voted NO today to investigating matters surrounding the gas spill contamination in Marathon, that actually was their second NO to the health and lives of Bahamians in Nassau. When Cabinet Ministers made the decision to withhold health and safety information from the public on this matter, that was their first NO. Today, they decided to echo their NO decided on behind closed doors (Cabinet), in the Parliament. NO to our health. NO to our lives. NO to our right to know.
Could they care less about whether we get sick or die so long as they can continue to get richer, bolder and colder? – NO, NO and NO.
Mr. House Speaker Kendal Major, for the benefit of the public and with due respect to your Office, I re-iterate here what I have personally communicated to you, which is my call for the Speaker and the Parliament of The Bahamas to do its job in our democracy. For the sake of the nation, do not oversee a compromise of the Parliament and what it is sworn to uphold and protect via influence that is not rooted in Parliament’s Rules & Procedures or the Constitutional edicts that give Parliament its authority as the Governor of its own Rules & Procedures, but is instead influence that is without jurisdiction in the Parliament. To the extent that any Speaker of the House does not do his or her duty sworn before God and the State, is the extent to which that Speaker becomes a grand perpetrator of and enabler in the weakening of Parliament and of the public’s loss of trust in and regard for the Parliament. This is not a personal accusation Mr. Speaker, but is moreso an exhortation as a Bahamian to you in your service as Presiding Officer of the people’s Parliament. Continue reading
In recently watching past commentaries by one of the brilliant and progressive political and philosophical minds of this region (now deceased), I began to think about Bahamian society. Where are the thinkers in our society? And by that I mean, where and how have we placed or counted them in our society? Why is it that our society shuns, hates on and tries its hardest to destroy our thinkers? The men and women of all ages who have within them right now the ideas and initiative that can turn this country around are often not a part of the pseudo-progressive cliques of our society. The loudest voices within our systems today are often the most destructive because they are either compromised, ministers of mis-education, or both. We do not esteem critical thinking in our country. It, as a dynamic discipline, is virtually absent from our national education curriculum. We look to our politicians for direction and answers when in reality, those answers would very likely come from the thinkers of our society outside of the political inner circle who are not jockeying for or beholden to political power, and whose contributions – if active politicians have sense and vision – would be embraced instead of politicians feeling perpetually threatened by or jealous of them. And also, please understand me when I say thinkers. Thinkers, for the purpose of this discussion, are not the same as opinionators, posers, or mere legends in one’s own mind. Continue reading
Regarding a willful refusal by witnesses to appear before the House or a House Committee upon summons, the House Rules and Procedure of The Bahamas states the following:
(1) Witnesses shall be ordered to attend to give evidence or produce a document before the House or committee of the House by summons signed by the Clerk.
(2) A summons shall state the time and place for the attendance for a witness before the House or committee and shall identify any document the witness is required to produce.
(3) If a witness willfully refuses, without reasonable cause, to attend the House or a committee of the House in terms of a summons, he may be in contempt of the House or committee and subject to penalty prescribed under the Powers and Privileges (Senate and House of Assembly) Act. (Ch. 8). Continue reading