Democracy Is Not A Game

STOPLAYINGGAMESHow unfortunate and regrettable it is for the Opposition that its leader has decided not to challenge the government of The Bahamas on its breaking of House Rules & Procedure to remove him – a democratically elected Member – from the Parliament. 

Democracy is protected and upheld by actions, not words, and when you simply sit and allow any government to violate democratic rules and taint the records of your Parliament, you are only helping those who weaken democracy, to do so.

Bahamians put MPs in Parliament, therefore when you make a personal decision as an MP, it is supposed to be about your constituents first and foremost. That being said, constituents put MPs in Parliament to be present and accounted for, not to stay out and stay home. The only procedural thing that should impact that is if Rules and Procedure to have an MP removed have been followed and carried out by the Parliament.

The MP for Killarney made a personal decision to stay out and had his colleagues do so too, even though he had no obligation under House rules to stay out since he has not been suspended by the Parliament as required by House rules. The Opposition has absented itself from the Parliament, leaving the side for their constituents completely empty – simply laying down and complying with the wrong the government has done.

The government broke rules and violated the democratic rights of an elected official and thus violated his constituents as well. For that official to simply comply with that wrongdoing and not fight it is a shame. You cannot ask the country to stand up to the government in support of you, but when it’s your turn to stand up to that same government, you refuse.

Democracy is not a game. Constituents Before Personal Politics – that has got to be the mindset of politicians who are really called to make a difference in this nation. Leaders must lead by actions, not words, and true democracy was not fought for in this matter, which the records will reflect from this day forward.

What will also be on the record from this day forward is a wrong ruling by the Parliament, purported to be a right ruling. Mature democracies would never accept that as a light matter. We have a lot of growing up to do.

As I mentioned in my most recent column meantime, I am honored to have been able to let the Bahamian people know what has happened in their Parliament, regardless of whether those who have been violated therein choose to regrettably lie down and accept it.

SOCIAL ACTION – On a separate issue, I have seen photos online today (Monday) of what purports to be a Bahamian man in a PLP shirt protesting at the six-legged roundabout in Nassau this morning against the representation of Mt. Moriah MP Arnold Forbes, with a sign stating that Forbes needs to be recalled.

I do not know the details or back story behind what appears to have taken place this morning, but if it is in fact a Bahamian choosing to make his voice heard, then I can’t be mad at that at all.

It does not matter whether this protester voted for Mr. Forbes or not – if he is a Bahamian, he has the right to put you in and the right to either demand you step down or demand you provide better representation.

That is the important thing to keep forefront whenever any kind of show of protest happens, no matter how small. Don’t get distracted by whether persons are PLP, FNM or DNA – if they are Bahamian, the power is theirs, NOT that of their MP.