Monthly Archives: August 2014

CONSTITUTIONAL AMEN: THE FIRST RITES OF CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM…

So whilst the Procurement Bill- which will ensure public oversight over how politicians spend public money- languishes in Limbo in Parliament, a pick-up side Constitutional Amendment Bill speeds through and is passed faster than you can say ‘34’…

It is terrifying that a movement as profound and globally significant as Trinidad and Tobago’s Constitutional Reform movement could be sabotaged so casually, quickly, and consciously as what we have just witnessed in the last dark days of August… For let’s get it straight- the world is in the throes of several upheavals because of the failure of Western forms of governance sculpted in the last 300 years. I am not overstating the case to say that some of the ideas by T&T’s most visionary constitutional reform champions are ideas the entire world needs now like oxygen.

In the last 30 years T&T’s Reform movement has borrowed ideas from the world for adoption- like Campaign Finance Reform and Local Government Reform, but a handful of suggested Reforms are brilliant original ideas which are globally applicable. In the last week however we have witnessed every single one of those innovations completely and utterly ignored in favour of a series of ‘now-come’ measures meant to increase the power of political elites and reinforce the psychosis of a paralysed two-party system… Late champions of real Constitutional Reform- Dennis Pantin, Sheila Solomon, and Lloyd Best- not to mention senior Constitutional architects and monitors like Hugh Wooding and Karl Hudson Phillips must be spinning in their graves!
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