Author Topic: Constitution Amendment Bill 2014 represents erosion of democracy in T&T  (Read 8147 times)

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socafighter

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Re: Constitution Amendment Bill 2014 represents erosion of democracy in T&T
« Reply #30 on: August 30, 2014, 04:35:15 PM »


An Officer of the Court is asking to give it a chance ...

It proves my point ...if it doesn't work...we can change it .

Why judge this legislation based on party affiliation and emotion... :rotfl:
That officer of the court does not represent the views of the General T&T population.

The point is the electoral reform decreases democracy rather than increases it which is why it is now being challenged in court by one of the 3 parties. Do you think if they agreed that it would not negatively affect them and would increase democracy that a 3rd party would challenge the change?

The point is if this change is accepted and signed into law by the T&T president that T&T will become a two party dictatorship and there is no question about that.

Only people who support T&T being run by a two party dictatorship will logically support this change in the electoral system.

Socaro

I have seen some polls that support the legislation... are they wrong...

Now who leads this 3rd Party ...its all I need to say ..
Who would want this Character as PM...???

Not a good point in this debate ... :rotfl:

« Last Edit: August 30, 2014, 04:37:03 PM by socafighter »

Offline Socapro

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Re: Constitution Amendment Bill 2014 represents erosion of democracy in T&T
« Reply #31 on: August 30, 2014, 04:36:06 PM »


An Officer of the Court is asking to give it a chance ...

It proves my point ...if it doesn't work...we can change it .

Why judge this legislation based on party affiliation and emotion... :rotfl:
That officer of the court does not represent the views of the General T&T population.

The point is the electoral reform decreases democracy rather than increases it which is why it is now being challenged in court by one of the 3 parties. Do you think if they agreed that it would not negatively affect them and would increase democracy that a 3rd party would challenge the change?

The point is if this change is accepted and signed into law by the T&T president that T&T will become a two party dictatorship and there is no question about that.

Only people who support T&T being run by a two party dictatorship will logically support this change in the electoral system.
You do realize that there are other 3rd parties outside of the ILP that will also be negatively affected by this change in the electoral system?

This is no doubt that the change decreases rather than increases democracy as the PP government has been touting while taking the T&T public for fools.
De higher a monkey climbs is de less his ass is on de line, if he works for FIFA that is! ;-)

socafighter

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Re: Constitution Amendment Bill 2014 represents erosion of democracy in T&T
« Reply #32 on: August 30, 2014, 04:39:38 PM »


Socapro ..

You and I know they these 3rd parties have no chance ...

It will be a UNC vs PNM fight in the end ....the rest will be watching from the outside...

In the last election only one seat would have met the mandate of a recall vote ...
see its not a problem...


Offline Socapro

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Re: Constitution Amendment Bill 2014 represents erosion of democracy in T&T
« Reply #33 on: August 30, 2014, 04:39:52 PM »


An Officer of the Court is asking to give it a chance ...

It proves my point ...if it doesn't work...we can change it .

Why judge this legislation based on party affiliation and emotion... :rotfl:
That officer of the court does not represent the views of the General T&T population.

The point is the electoral reform decreases democracy rather than increases it which is why it is now being challenged in court by one of the 3 parties. Do you think if they agreed that it would not negatively affect them and would increase democracy that a 3rd party would challenge the change?

The point is if this change is accepted and signed into law by the T&T president that T&T will become a two party dictatorship and there is no question about that.

Only people who support T&T being run by a two party dictatorship will logically support this change in the electoral system.

Socaro

Now who leads this 3rd Party ...its all I need to say ..
Who would want this Character as PM...???

Not a good point in this debate ... :rotfl:

You are missing the point entirely as there are other 3rd parties who are also negatively affected.

The point is that ALL "3rd parties" outside of the two major parties will be negatively affected by this undemocratic change to the voting system.

It is not healthy for the future of the country for T&T to be turned into a two party dictatorship.
De higher a monkey climbs is de less his ass is on de line, if he works for FIFA that is! ;-)

Offline Socapro

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Re: Constitution Amendment Bill 2014 represents erosion of democracy in T&T
« Reply #34 on: August 30, 2014, 04:42:00 PM »


Socapro ..

You and I know they these 3rd parties have no chance ...

It will be a UNC vs PNM fight in the end ....the rest will be watching from the outside...

In the last election only one seat would have met the mandate of a recall vote ...
see its not a problem...

You are proving my point that this change in the electoral system is undemocratic and to the disadvantage of the rise of any "3rd party" as a major challenger to win the elections.
It also facilitates corruption and the buying of votes by any of the two major parties in the marginal seats which again is not healthy for democracy.

I rest my case.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2014, 04:49:01 PM by Socapro »
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Offline Sando prince

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Re: Constitution Amendment Bill 2014 represents erosion of democracy in T&T
« Reply #35 on: August 30, 2014, 04:49:38 PM »


Socapro ..

You and I know they these 3rd parties have no chance ...

It will be a UNC vs PNM fight in the end ....the rest will be watching from the outside...

In the last election only one seat would have met the mandate of a recall vote ...
see its not a problem...


Ha! Spoken like a true UNC supporter who fear the PNM winning the next election after seeing the yellow party losing local elections, bye election in St Joseph and THA elections in Tobago. licks and more licks is just too much for the yellow jersey supporters

However there is a flaw in your argument. COP is the reason why the UNC is in government and they are a third party who won a few seats last general elections that are really traditional PNM seats. Therefore COP as a third party has caused damage in a general election setting.

Truth be told if this run off poll existed in 2007 elections PNM would still have won the same number of seats and possibly two more seats due to the non existence of the split vote second time around. But like another poster has said this is not about winning a seat the second time around, where the system will force voters to choose between two candidates that may not either be one of their original choices . This is not about about your affiliation to PNM or UNC but instead it's about a piece of legislation where the incumbent gaining an advantage.


Quote
“As I stand here tonight we of the PNM say, and I am saying this without fear of contradiction, they could change the rules, they could call elections, they could do what they want, the People’s National Movement will win the next general election,” Robinson-Regis said.

“And Mr Vice-President let me put it on the record that upon winning the next general election if this piece of legislation is passed the People’s National Movement will repeal it right away because Mr Vice-President it is said that this piece of legislation may be an advantage to the incumbent Government, to any incumbent government,” she said.


http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/Robinson-Regis-Change--of-rules-to-gain-advantage-273118231.html

« Last Edit: August 30, 2014, 05:09:00 PM by Sando prince »

Offline Socapro

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More time for runoff
« Reply #36 on: August 30, 2014, 05:12:56 PM »
More time for runoff
By Andre Bagoo Saturday, August 30 2014 (T&T Newsday)

THE ELECTIONS and Boundaries Commission (EBC) will be given a potentially wider window to conduct any runoff polls during a general election process under amendments passed in the Senate on Thursday night.


The Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2014 stipulated that if no candidate receives a majority of the votes cast, a runoff poll was due, “on the fifteenth day following the date of the first poll.” However, sources said the EBC had confidentially responded to a request for comments on procedural matters issued to it by the Office of the Chief Parliamentary Counsel.

One concern expressed by the EBC related to the 15-day provision, stating that a fixed 15-day window was potentially too narrow, given the possibility of a recount being taken.

As such, on Thursday night, the Government tabled an amendment which stated that the 15 days will run not from the date of the first poll, but rather the declaration of the results. This means that, potentially, there will be a longer time-frame between the first and second poll, if a recount is called for in a seat.

“The EBC expressed concern about their ability to be ready for a runoff between the first and second poll, if there is a recount,” Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissesar said yesterday. “We therefore made a provision which says it will be 15 days, following the declaration of results by the EBC. You still have the 15 days, but time will run from the declaration.”

On the question of the 15-day provision, chairman of the EBC, Dr Norbert Masson, yesterday confirmed the matter had been raised. He said, “the 15-day period is going to place a tremendous burden on the EBC, as this is the first time you will be having this procedure.” He added, “however, all hands will be on deck.”

Under the Election Rules, any candidate may, the day after a poll, request a recount, a process which itself has no specified time-line in the Rules.

The Constitutional (Amendment) Bill 2014 was passed at 11.07 pm on Thursday with amendments after three days of debate.

Due to there being amendments, the bill will now return to the House of Representatives – where it had been approved more than two weeks ago – for approval of Senate changes, a matter which can be brought as a motion on the Order Paper.

However, Government sources yesterday confirmed the last stage of the bill will not be taken before the Budget, which is due on September 8. Thereafter, the Budget debate is due to begin on September 12 under the new Standing Orders with the response of the Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley. The debate will run for, at most four days. There is then a possibly five-day Finance Committee meeting. This means that there will be more time, possibly several weeks, before the House is called upon to approve the Senate amendments.

The Government has the option of passing a simple motion to approve the amendments at the very end of the Budget debate, whenever that may be. The matter is to be determined by the Parliament caucus.

Among the amendments on Thursday were: a provision tabled by Independent Senator Dr Dhanayshar Mahabir stating that a third party that comes within five points of second place can participate in a runoff; a higher threshold (20 percent) to trigger recall petitions; making recall possible after two years and six months; giving the EBC custody of all recall petitions; ensuring the runoff law text is in harmony with Section 73 of the Constitution and consequential amendments to Representation of the People Act, relating to regulations guiding the custodians of election records.

In relation to the amendment to give the EBC custody of the recall petitions, Persad-Bissessar said, “The EBC will have total custody and control of all the signatures and venues to safeguard the integrity of the process.”

On the Government’s decision to accept Independent Senator Dr Dhanayshar Mahabir’s “triangulaire” amendment to the runoff – which will see third parties that finish close to the second place candidate contest a supplemental poll – the Prime Minister said this was accepted in light of concerns aired.

“There were concerns with respect to the effect upon third parties,” she said. “The amendment gives an opportunity to third parties who come fairly close to get another chance. In effect, if you come that close you get a chance again. In this way you will more precisely give effect to the will of voters.” She said the two-candidate runoff remains in cases where the third party does not fall within five points, and none of the top performers get a majority.

Sources yesterday said the EBC has also expressed concern over any additional costs that may have to be met by a runoff, or series of runoffs, given that general elections normally can cost between $23 million to $40 million. As such, it is understood that the EBC has proposed “a large contingency fund” to provide support to any election, a matter which is now under consideration by the Cabinet, and which is likely to be addressed in the Budget 2015 provisions, or a supplemental appropriation. No figure, however, has been disclosed for a fund. Masson declined comment on this issue.

After Senate amendments on a bill are approved by the House, that bill will then have to be assented to by President Anthony Carmona. But in the case of the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2014, should it become law it will still not take effect until the President proclaims it, upon the advice of the Cabinet.

On Thursday night, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan stated in the bill’s committee stage that is when the law comes into effect, is a matter for the Cabinet. Ramlogan said, “The date for proclamation is a matter of Cabinet, and when a decision is taken, that is a matter that will be Gazetted and published.”
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Offline Michael-j

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Re: Constitution Amendment Bill 2014 represents erosion of democracy in T&T
« Reply #37 on: August 30, 2014, 05:42:05 PM »


Socapro ..



Ha! Spoken like a true UNC supporter who fear the PNM winning the next election after seeing the yellow party losing local elections, bye election in St Joseph and THA elections in Tobago. licks and more licks is just too much for the yellow jersey supporters

However there is a flaw in your argument. COP is the reason why the UNC is in government and they are a third party who won a few seats last general elections that are really traditional PNM seats. Therefore COP as a third party has caused damage in a general election setting.

Truth be told if this run off poll existed in 2007 elections PNM would still have won the same number of seats and possibly two more seats due to the non existence of the split vote second time around. But like another poster has said this is not about winning a seat the second time around, where the system will force voters to choose between two candidates that may not either be one of their original choices . This is not about about your affiliation to PNM or UNC but instead it's about a piece of legislation where the incumbent gaining an advantage.





In  2010 the COP wasn't exactly a third party.....the coalition was formed prior to the election and, as such, no members of the coalition  contested the same seats. This was done to create a one vs one battle with the PNM in every constituency so there was effectively no third party; voting for the COP and voting for the UNC were essentially the same thing ( where there was no COP candidate there was a UNC candidate and vice versa so a vote for either was a vote for the coalition).

Offline Socapro

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ILP sues over Runoff Bill
« Reply #38 on: August 30, 2014, 05:48:14 PM »
ILP sues over Runoff Bill
By SEAN DOUGLAS Saturday, August 30 2014 (T&T Newsday)

Mere hours after a split Senate passed an amended Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2014 — which now reverts to the Lower House to mull the changes — the Independent Liberal Party (ILP) yesterday filed a constitutional motion in the High Court against the measure.


This was disclosed yesterday by Independent Liberal Party ((ILP) deputy political leader, Rekha Ramjit, during a news briefing at the party’s headquarters at Edward Street, Port-of-Spain, attended by party officials including ILP political leader, Lyndira Oudit, and chairman, Jack Warner.

The legal action, according to Ramjit, argues that the bill breaches constitutional rights, as detailed in the affidavits also filed yesterday by two citizens, Sherwin Mitchell and Dane Francois, both ILP members. Mitchell has complained the Bill breaches his constitutional right as an elector, while Francois has alleged the Bill violates his rights as a potential general election candidate.

Although the Bill has not yet reached the stage of presidential assent and so is not yet law, Ramjit said it is the ILP’s position that an aggrieved individual can file a constitutional motion under Section 14(1) of the Constitution which recognises not only instances where rights are violated, but also cases where there is a threat that rights may be abrogated.

“It will soon be served on the Attorney General,” Ramjit said. “It has been docketed to Justice Frank Seepersad, a fearless judge.”

She said Section 4 of the Constitution states rights including freedom of political expression, while Section 5 says no law must infringe those rights, even as section 13 says any infringement can only be done with a three-fifths special majority. Even as section 73 of the Constitution says you elect a Lower House by a first-past-the-post system, Ramjit said the bill amends this to also add a runoff.

She warned however that this new system could create an inequality of treatment in violation of constitutional norms. A third party who wins over 25 percent of votes-cast and/or is within five percent of the second placed rival, may proceed to the second runoff, but not so for a candidate winning under 25 percent at the first ballot. Ramjit contends that all this creates an “inequality of treatment” in breach of the Constitution.

Ramjit said rights can be abrogated but only if you have reasonable justification and the support of a three-fifths parliamentary majority, “not any simple majority as espoused by the Government.”

Oudit said if the People’s National Movement and, or, former attorney general Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj also seek to bring such a motion, the judge would have to decide if to hear all motions together.

Oudit, when asked if they might ask President Anthony Carmona to refuse to assent and proclaim the bill, responded the party would consider writing to ask the President to familiarise himself with the issues around the bill.

Warner said letters are currently being drafted to take the issue to Caricom and the Commonwealth, even as Oudit, having done an interview with the Miami Herald, noted that the issue had gone international.

Oudit said all the public had asked the Government for was some more time to mull the Bill. She said the Government was to be blamed for failing to adequately inform the general population about the bill. Responding to whether the bill represented a United National Congress grab for ILP votes as once suggested by Warner, Oudit said the Bill was designed for the small parties and marginal seats. “What makes a difference in the marginal constituencies is the presence or absence of minority parties,” she said.

Warner quipped, “This is the first election you have to go to listen to the results with a calculator. You can’t have fete or champagne.”

Warner alleged that in last year’s St Joseph bye-election, he had been approached by two Government officials who asked him to withdraw the candidacy of the ILP’s Om Lalla, in exchange for which Lalla would be made Justice Minister and a Senator. “I declined,” related Warner, saying that attempt to accrue the ILP vote-share was the genesis of the current bill to amend the electoral process.
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socafighter

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Re: Constitution Amendment Bill 2014 represents erosion of democracy in T&T
« Reply #39 on: August 30, 2014, 05:53:43 PM »


Socapro ..



Ha! Spoken like a true UNC supporter who fear the PNM winning the next election after seeing the yellow party losing local elections, bye election in St Joseph and THA elections in Tobago. licks and more licks is just too much for the yellow jersey supporters

However there is a flaw in your argument. COP is the reason why the UNC is in government and they are a third party who won a few seats last general elections that are really traditional PNM seats. Therefore COP as a third party has caused damage in a general election setting.

Truth be told if this run off poll existed in 2007 elections PNM would still have won the same number of seats and possibly two more seats due to the non existence of the split vote second time around. But like another poster has said this is not about winning a seat the second time around, where the system will force voters to choose between two candidates that may not either be one of their original choices . This is not about about your affiliation to PNM or UNC but instead it's about a piece of legislation where the incumbent gaining an advantage.





In  2010 the COP wasn't exactly a third party.....the coalition was formed prior to the election and, as such, no members of the coalition  contested the same seats. This was done to create a one vs one battle with the PNM in every constituency so there was effectively no third party; voting for the COP and voting for the UNC were essentially the same thing ( where there was no COP candidate there was a UNC candidate and vice versa so a vote for either was a vote for the coalition).


You are correct ...

It will now end this debate ...

Offline Sando prince

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Re: Constitution Amendment Bill 2014 represents erosion of democracy in T&T
« Reply #40 on: August 30, 2014, 06:02:38 PM »



   
Quote
Ha! Spoken like a true UNC supporter who fear the PNM winning the next election after seeing the yellow party losing local elections, bye election in St Joseph and THA elections in Tobago. licks and more licks is just too much for the yellow jersey supporters

However there is a flaw in your argument. COP is the reason why the UNC is in government and they are a third party who won a few seats last general elections that are really traditional PNM seats. Therefore COP as a third party has caused damage in a general election setting.

Truth be told if this run off poll existed in 2007 elections PNM would still have won the same number of seats and possibly two more seats due to the non existence of the split vote second time around. But like another poster has said this is not about winning a seat the second time around, where the system will force voters
to choose a candidate that was not their first option

 
Quote
In  2010 the COP wasn't exactly a third party.....the coalition was formed prior to the election and, as such, no members of the coalition  contested the same seats. This was done to create a one vs one battle with the PNM in every constituency so there was effectively no third party; voting for the COP and voting for the UNC were essentially the same thing ( where there was no COP candidate there was a UNC candidate and vice versa so a vote for either was a vote for the coalition).




You are right. I was making an attempt to exlain they were still a third party in terms of electorate voting results. In terms of seats it's wrong for me to say they won it as a third party because they combined with the UNC to form a coalition to win seats but they are still a 'third party' backa 'third party' who helped from a coalition but they were still a third party who cause damage in votes. When you look at the final voting tally the numbers speak for themselves. It's easy to see they could have won a seat in a run off situation back then. However today their party is not not even as half strong as it was back then when PNM popularity was low due tontine unpopularity of its political leader.

But I will regress and retract that part of my previous post because it was worded wrong.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2014, 06:21:39 PM by Sando prince »

socafighter

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Re: Constitution Amendment Bill 2014 represents erosion of democracy in T&T
« Reply #41 on: August 30, 2014, 06:07:19 PM »


Now if the present government loses the election....

Here is what your party will do...

Quote
“As I stand here tonight we of the PNM say, and I am saying this without fear of contradiction, they could change the rules, they could call elections, they could do what they want, the People’s National Movement will win the next general election,” Robinson-Regis said.

“And Mr Vice-President let me put it on the record that upon winning the next general election if this piece of legislation is passed the People’s National Movement will repeal it right away because Mr Vice-President it is said that this piece of legislation may be an advantage to the incumbent Government, to any incumbent government,” she said.


Now what is the problem ....Rowley is so sure of winning why is the party complaining ...

Dem go win in the East ..dem go win the west , Dem go win the North , deem go win the South ..

You should be happy ... :rotfl: :rotfl:

Offline Socapro

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Re: Constitution Amendment Bill 2014 represents erosion of democracy in T&T
« Reply #42 on: August 30, 2014, 06:10:20 PM »
Added pressure for EBC
By Port of Spain Kim Boodram
Story Created: Aug 29, 2014 at 10:34 PM ECT (T&T Express)

Mere hours after a split Senate passed an amended Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2014 — which now reverts to the Lower House to mull the changes — the Independent Liberal Party (ILP) yesterday filed a constitutional motion in the High Court against the measure.


THE possibility of “tremendous” added costs is now facing the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) with the passing in the Senate, on Thursday night, of the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2014, commission chairman Norbert Masson said yesterday.

Masson, speaking to the Express via telephone, said the commission cannot at this time comment in detail until the bill is viewed by the EBC committee, but there is concern about the implementation of the necessary procedures.

The bill was passed in the Upper House with amendments and must therefore now return to the Lower House for debate. The bill will not become law until passed again in the Lower House, where the Government had the majority in the first round.

Three provisions of the proposed legislation have caused uproar and led to the Government being accused of acting in secret and bringing into the House material that was not vetted by the public through proper consultation.

The electoral changes proposed are a two-term limit for prime minis­ters, the right of recall of MPs and a run-off provision for general and by-elections, which detractors of the bill have said will negate the chances of small political parties at the polls.

The next general election is due in 2015.

Other perceived problems are forecast from the provision in the event of a run-off, including the management of special voters, who are usually accommodated prior to the actual polling day.

Masson said the commission is concerned about what will be required under the election rules in order to put into effect the provisions of the bill and the amendments to the Representation of the People’s Act.

“All the procedures that we have to implement, we have to implement within a certain time-frame,” Masson said.

However, he added the bill is yet to be studied and the commission would not want to be premature or be guided simply by what appears in the media.

He said, though, there is going to be “significant increase in the cost and considerable administrative pressure on the department of the commission”.

The added pressure from implementing the act and its subsidiary legislation, which is new to the electoral landscape, will fall on the Chief Elections Officer and all election officers, he said, including the Returning Officer and all polling-day staff.

“There has to be a big contingency cost allowance,” Masson said. “But we can’t comment in detail until we see the legislation.”

Masson said it must also be borne in mind the commission is and remains an “apolitical body”.

And the Opposition People’s National Movement (PNM) will not stand for the implementation of the bill, with PNM public relations officer Faris Al-Rawi saying yesterday the party will fight it from every avenue.

“The PNM intends to challenge the passage of the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2014 and it intends to do so in every forum available—from the public platform to the courts,” Al-Rawi said in a telephone interview.

“All options are being explored.”

Al-Rawi said the PNM maintains the bill is unconstitutional” and displays a “sinister lack of logic and naked contradiction of policy” on the part of the People’s Partnership Government.

“The original statement of poli­cy from the Government is that a run-off is designed to cure the mischief of a candidate being elected an MP with less than 50 per cent of the votes,” Al-Rawi said.

“The amendment now allows the run-off to produce a victor with less than 50 per cent of the votes.”

Al-Rawi said neither Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, who piloted the bill in the Senate on Tuesday, nor the Independent senators, who voted for the document, were able to explain the conflict. “The extreme foolishness of seeking to cure the lack of consultation on the run-off proposal by introducing amendments to it is something that will not be stomached by the population.”

Al-Rawi said the amendments infringe on established law and procedure, as the first-past-the-post system involves only one past the post, not two.

He said the changes require at least a three-fifths majority and the vote in the Senate was “one vote short” of that.

“The amending act can be struck down on this ground, as well as on the grounds of a lack of reasonableness and proportionality within the meaning of Section 13 of the Constitution,” Al-Rawi said, adding the PNM will do all in its power to defend the democracy of the nation.
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Offline Michael-j

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Re: Constitution Amendment Bill 2014 represents erosion of democracy in T&T
« Reply #43 on: August 30, 2014, 06:14:54 PM »
ILP sues over Runoff Bill
By SEAN DOUGLAS Saturday, August 30 2014 (T&T Newsday)

Mere hours after a split Senate passed an amended Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2014 — which now reverts to the Lower House to mull the changes — the Independent Liberal Party (ILP) yesterday filed a constitutional motion in the High Court against the measure.


This was disclosed yesterday by Independent Liberal Party ((ILP) deputy political leader, Rekha Ramjit, during a news briefing at the party’s headquarters at Edward Street, Port-of-Spain, attended by party officials including ILP political leader, Lyndira Oudit, and chairman, Jack Warner.

The legal action, according to Ramjit, argues that the bill breaches constitutional rights, as detailed in the affidavits also filed yesterday by two citizens, Sherwin Mitchell and Dane Francois, both ILP members. Mitchell has complained the Bill breaches his constitutional right as an elector, while Francois has alleged the Bill violates his rights as a potential general election candidate.

Although the Bill has not yet reached the stage of presidential assent and so is not yet law, Ramjit said it is the ILP’s position that an aggrieved individual can file a constitutional motion under Section 14(1) of the Constitution which recognises not only instances where rights are violated, but also cases where there is a threat that rights may be abrogated.

“It will soon be served on the Attorney General,” Ramjit said. “It has been docketed to Justice Frank Seepersad, a fearless judge.”

She said Section 4 of the Constitution states rights including freedom of political expression, while Section 5 says no law must infringe those rights, even as section 13 says any infringement can only be done with a three-fifths special majority. Even as section 73 of the Constitution says you elect a Lower House by a first-past-the-post system, Ramjit said the bill amends this to also add a runoff.

She warned however that this new system could create an inequality of treatment in violation of constitutional norms. A third party who wins over 25 percent of votes-cast and/or is within five percent of the second placed rival, may proceed to the second runoff, but not so for a candidate winning under 25 percent at the first ballot. Ramjit contends that all this creates an “inequality of treatment” in breach of the Constitution.

Ramjit said rights can be abrogated but only if you have reasonable justification and the support of a three-fifths parliamentary majority, “not any simple majority as espoused by the Government.”

Oudit said if the People’s National Movement and, or, former attorney general Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj also seek to bring such a motion, the judge would have to decide if to hear all motions together.

Oudit, when asked if they might ask President Anthony Carmona to refuse to assent and proclaim the bill, responded the party would consider writing to ask the President to familiarise himself with the issues around the bill.

Warner said letters are currently being drafted to take the issue to Caricom and the Commonwealth, even as Oudit, having done an interview with the Miami Herald, noted that the issue had gone international.

Oudit said all the public had asked the Government for was some more time to mull the Bill. She said the Government was to be blamed for failing to adequately inform the general population about the bill. Responding to whether the bill represented a United National Congress grab for ILP votes as once suggested by Warner, Oudit said the Bill was designed for the small parties and marginal seats. “What makes a difference in the marginal constituencies is the presence or absence of minority parties,” she said.

Warner quipped, “This is the first election you have to go to listen to the results with a calculator. You can’t have fete or champagne.”

Warner alleged that in last year’s St Joseph bye-election, he had been approached by two Government officials who asked him to withdraw the candidacy of the ILP’s Om Lalla, in exchange for which Lalla would be made Justice Minister and a Senator. “I declined,” related Warner, saying that attempt to accrue the ILP vote-share was the genesis of the current bill to amend the electoral process.

You are right. I was making an attempt to exlain they were still a third party in terms of electorate voting results. In terms of seats it's wrong for me to say they won it as a third party because they combined with the UNC to form a coalition to win seats but they are still a 'third party' backa 'third party' who helped from a coalition but they were still a third party who cause damage in votes. When you look at the final voting tally the numbers speak for themselves. It's easy to see they could have won a seat in a run off situation back then. However today their party is not not even as half strong as it was back then when PNM popularity was low due tontine unpopularity of its political leader.

But I will regress and retract that part of my previous post because it was worded wrong.


Agreed...
At the moment, there exists no viable third party that can realistically challenge the UNC or PNM for power. The passage of this bill is not going to change that. A third party that can succeed in appealing to the masses should be able to fend for itself in a general election.
I'm not sure about the feasibility of this but I think what is needed to promote the growth of third parties is proportional representation at the general election level...a third party might not be able to win outright but if they can manage to secure a substantial number of votes they deserve to be represented in government...this would give them something to build on and it would prevent those who voted for them from feeling disenfranchised....
« Last Edit: August 30, 2014, 06:16:55 PM by Michael-j »

Offline Socapro

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Re: Constitution Amendment Bill 2014 represents erosion of democracy in T&T
« Reply #44 on: August 30, 2014, 06:19:23 PM »


Now if the present government loses the election....

Here is what your party will do...

Quote
“As I stand here tonight we of the PNM say, and I am saying this without fear of contradiction, they could change the rules, they could call elections, they could do what they want, the People’s National Movement will win the next general election,” Robinson-Regis said.

“And Mr Vice-President let me put it on the record that upon winning the next general election if this piece of legislation is passed the People’s National Movement will repeal it right away because Mr Vice-President it is said that this piece of legislation may be an advantage to the incumbent Government, to any incumbent government,” she said.


Now what is the problem ....Rowley is so sure of winning why is the party complaining ...

Dem go win in the East ..dem go win the west , Dem go win the North , deem go win the South ..

You should be happy ... :rotfl: :rotfl:

They are complaining because even though the change could be to the advantage of either major party in the future it is a change that erodes rather than increases democracy for the electorate.

What is good for the healthy survival of democracy in the country is more important than what is beneficial to either of the major political parties and the PNM recognises this unlike the PP government led by the UNC.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2014, 06:23:19 PM by Socapro »
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Re: Constitution Amendment Bill 2014 represents erosion of democracy in T&T
« Reply #45 on: August 30, 2014, 06:25:29 PM »


Now if the present government loses the election....

Here is what your party will do...

Quote
“As I stand here tonight we of the PNM say, and I am saying this without fear of contradiction, they could change the rules, they could call elections, they could do what they want, the People’s National Movement will win the next general election,” Robinson-Regis said.

“And Mr Vice-President let me put it on the record that upon winning the next general election if this piece of legislation is passed the People’s National Movement will repeal it right away because Mr Vice-President it is said that this piece of legislation may be an advantage to the incumbent Government, to any incumbent government,” she said.


Now what is the problem ....Rowley is so sure of winning why is the party complaining ...

Dem go win in the East ..dem go win the west , Dem go win the North , deem go win the South ..

You should be happy ... :rotfl: :rotfl:

Wait you think this is just the PNM? There are several groups around the country who reject the bill and requested public consultation on the run off proposal. From the Law Association to MSJ to Futa to canefied workers to groups at UWI. Do you want me to spoon feed you with the internet links my UNC friend? :)
« Last Edit: August 30, 2014, 06:34:28 PM by Sando prince »

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Re: Constitution Amendment Bill 2014 represents erosion of democracy in T&T
« Reply #46 on: August 30, 2014, 07:02:43 PM »
 As an outsider ,  these are some if my observations.
 Trinidad has a racial divide that cannot be bridged.
 If the PNM were in power and had  introduced this same legislation it would have been hailed  by their supporters  and the UNC would have protested.   
 The PNM has  been in power for most  of Trinidad independent existence but the lot  of black people  had not improved greatly .
 Trinidad  and most other countries  for that matter only cares that  one  of their kind is in power  and  it  matters not  whether they suffer . 
 Same  for religious divide as in Northern Ireland

socafighter

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Re: Constitution Amendment Bill 2014 represents erosion of democracy in T&T
« Reply #47 on: August 30, 2014, 07:28:45 PM »


Now if the present government loses the election....

Here is what your party will do...

Quote
“As I stand here tonight we of the PNM say, and I am saying this without fear of contradiction, they could change the rules, they could call elections, they could do what they want, the People’s National Movement will win the next general election,” Robinson-Regis said.

“And Mr Vice-President let me put it on the record that upon winning the next general election if this piece of legislation is passed the People’s National Movement will repeal it right away because Mr Vice-President it is said that this piece of legislation may be an advantage to the incumbent Government, to any incumbent government,” she said.


Now what is the problem ....Rowley is so sure of winning why is the party complaining ...

Dem go win in the East ..dem go win the west , Dem go win the North , deem go win the South ..

You should be happy ... :rotfl: :rotfl:

Wait you think this is just the PNM? There are several groups around the country who reject the bill and requested public consultation on the run off proposal. From the Law Association to MSJ to Futa to canefied workers to groups at UWI. Do you want me to spoon feed you with the internet links my UNC friend? :)


hahahaha..

I am not UNC nor PNM or any party in T&T ..

Just an expatriate , looking in from outside  ..

Watching with interest... :rotfl:

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Re: Constitution Amendment Bill 2014 represents erosion of democracy in T&T
« Reply #48 on: August 30, 2014, 07:42:31 PM »
‘Bill will benefit one and all’
By port of spain \\\\\ Michelle Loubon
Story Created: Aug 29, 2014 at 10:42 PM ECT
Express


Religious leaders yesterday shared their views on the controversial Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2014, which was passed on Thursday night in the Senate.

Among them were:

Bishop Claude Berkley

He said: “I have been out of the island for most of the year. What the bill has done was raise the level of political consciousness, which is good for the country.
“I would think some aspects require time and more discussion among the interest groups before we finally sign off on it—especially the run-off. I think more analysis is required. We are a unique place and that evolution must be guided by the people’s consideration. It requires a lot more time to deliberate on it .

President of the Inter-Religious Organisation (IRO) Harrypersad Maharaj

He said: “I think people are reluctant to embrace change, irrespective of what kind of change. People live in fear and doubt. We have become a bit more mature in what we do. I think this bill is for positive change and development as an independent nation. Fifty-two years ago, it was a different situation. And a lot has changed from then to now. And I think it is important to bring about these changes for the benefit of everyone.”
He added: “I want to compli­ment the PM (Kamla Per­sad-Bissessar) for the courage and stance she has taken to bring forth this long-awaited amendment that we need to the Constitution. She had even put her own political future at stake. That is the circumstance of the change. It has been a truly selfless and courageous act.”
Maharaj said: “I think it is definitely for the benefit of one and all. I see it as an Independence gift in the right direction. Let us all embrace change and look at new initiatives for which we can go forward as an independent nation. It is a laudable thing.”

Catholic Archbishop Fr Joseph Harris

People voted on the bill. It was passed. Let us work with it. If we have something that was voted on when it becomes law. It is not law yet. If after working with it and the population finds it is not worthwhile, then we will change it. I am not a politician. I am not getting into that.
“My task is to get people to live moral and ethical lives. If it is bringing problems, it will be changed.”

« Last Edit: August 30, 2014, 07:45:38 PM by socafighter »

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Re: Constitution Amendment Bill 2014 represents erosion of democracy in T&T
« Reply #49 on: August 30, 2014, 07:57:55 PM »
As an outsider ,  these are some if my observations.
 Trinidad has a racial divide that cannot be bridged.
 If the PNM were in power and had  introduced this same legislation it would have been hailed  by their supporters  and the UNC would have protested.   
 The PNM has  been in power for most  of Trinidad independent existence but the lot  of black people  had not improved greatly .
 Trinidad  and most other countries  for that matter only cares that  one  of their kind is in power  and  it  matters not  whether they suffer . 
 Same  for religious divide as in Northern Ireland

You say Trinidad has a racial divide that cannot be bridged but I put it to you that Trinidad has more racial harmony that most other places despite the current PP government doing their best to turn T&T into a smaller version of Guyana.

You say if the PNM were in power and had  introduced this same legislation it would have been hailed  by their supporters and the UNC would have protested.   
And I say in reality the PNM seems to have a lot more respect for our constitution than the UNC has hence why they plan to reverse the change if it goes thru and they win the next elections despite the UNC shameless plans to steal the next elections.
Quote
“And Mr Vice-President let me put it on the record that upon winning the next general election if this piece of legislation is passed the People’s National Movement will repeal it right away because Mr Vice-President it is said that this piece of legislation may be an advantage to the incumbent Government, to any incumbent government,” she said.

You say that the PNM has  been in power for most  of Trinidad independent existence but the lot  of black people had not improved greatly.
I would say that is correct because the PNM is a party that in practice looks after most of the races equally but many Afro Trinis haven't taken full advantage of the opportunities they have had for advancement under the PNM.

You say Trinidad and most other countries for that matter only cares that one of their kind is in power and it matters not  whether they suffer and I say to that you are wrong in T&T's case otherwise so many Afro Trini PNM supporters would not have shifted and voted for Kamla and her PP government in the 2010 elections including members of my family who fell for the false promises of better governance, reduction in crime in 120 days, etc.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2014, 08:08:24 PM by Socapro »
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Offline Socapro

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Re: Constitution Amendment Bill 2014 represents erosion of democracy in T&T
« Reply #50 on: August 30, 2014, 08:16:11 PM »
‘Bill will benefit one and all’
By port of spain \\\\\ Michelle Loubon
Story Created: Aug 29, 2014 at 10:42 PM ECT
Express


Religious leaders yesterday shared their views on the controversial Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2014, which was passed on Thursday night in the Senate.

Among them were:

Bishop Claude Berkley

He said: “I have been out of the island for most of the year. What the bill has done was raise the level of political consciousness, which is good for the country.
“I would think some aspects require time and more discussion among the interest groups before we finally sign off on it—especially the run-off. I think more analysis is required. We are a unique place and that evolution must be guided by the people’s consideration. It requires a lot more time to deliberate on it .

President of the Inter-Religious Organisation (IRO) Harrypersad Maharaj

He said: “I think people are reluctant to embrace change, irrespective of what kind of change. People live in fear and doubt. We have become a bit more mature in what we do. I think this bill is for positive change and development as an independent nation. Fifty-two years ago, it was a different situation. And a lot has changed from then to now. And I think it is important to bring about these changes for the benefit of everyone.”
He added: “I want to compli­ment the PM (Kamla Per­sad-Bissessar) for the courage and stance she has taken to bring forth this long-awaited amendment that we need to the Constitution. She had even put her own political future at stake. That is the circumstance of the change. It has been a truly selfless and courageous act.”
Maharaj said: “I think it is definitely for the benefit of one and all. I see it as an Independence gift in the right direction. Let us all embrace change and look at new initiatives for which we can go forward as an independent nation. It is a laudable thing.”

Catholic Archbishop Fr Joseph Harris

People voted on the bill. It was passed. Let us work with it. If we have something that was voted on when it becomes law. It is not law yet. If after working with it and the population finds it is not worthwhile, then we will change it. I am not a politician. I am not getting into that.
“My task is to get people to live moral and ethical lives. If it is bringing problems, it will be changed.”

Only naive uneducated people will fall for all that hogwash.

Change for the sake of change when the change in effect amounts to a reduction of democracy in the country is not the kind of change that sensible people who care for T&T remaining a healthy democracy will condone.
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Offline Sando prince

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Re: Constitution Amendment Bill 2014 represents erosion of democracy in T&T
« Reply #51 on: August 30, 2014, 08:23:40 PM »
Wait this shouldn't be a surprise. Everybody saying the SAME thing this man is saying

And to add to this, if you have a second round vote with three candidates you could possibly STILL GET A MINORITY candidate winning the race. Simply because he/she has acquired less than 50% but also less than the combine vote of the other two candidates in the run off poll. So the whole idea of this bill ensuring a majority winning candidate is flawed

Quote

The legislation is silent on this scenario. If the run-off is allowed to take place with only the second-placed person that received less than 25 per cent of the votes cast, then it makes a mockery of the amendment, which speaks to the 25 per cent threshold to show that the third-placed candidate has the potential to win, according to the pseudo logic. In this scenario, a second-placed candidate with 23 per cent is allowed in a run-off while a third-placed candidate in another constituency obtaining, say, 24 per cent, can possibly be denied, having not achieved the 25 per cent threshold.

The new process is no longer a run-off, but more of a re-run of the election, under different rules.
First, the threshold of more than 50 per cent to win in the second round is no longer valid. In addition the 25 per cent threshold for the third-placed contender may also be invalid if both the second-placed candidate falls below 25 per cent and the winner below 50 per cent.


 http://www.trinidadexpress.com/letters/Run-off-amendment-sets-stage-for-confusion-273260241.html


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Run-off amendment sets stage for confusion
« Reply #52 on: August 30, 2014, 08:51:12 PM »
Run-off amendment sets stage for confusion
Story Created: Aug 29, 2014 at 8:29 PM ECT (T&T Express)


The controversial re-run/run-off amendment is mathematically misleading and problematic.

Dr Mahabir proposed that a third-placed candidate in an election who gains 25 per cent of the votes and who is within a margin of not less than five percentage points of the second-placed candidate, also be allowed to contest the run-off election.

There is the possibility that the second- and third-placed candidates in an election may both fail to get 25 per cent. Let’s say there are five candidates in an election and the person polling the highest gets 49 per cent of the votes, the second 23 per cent, the third 21 per cent, the fourth three per cent, and the fifth two per cent, totalling ten per cent of the persons who voted. Both the second-placed candidate and the third-placed candidate have not received the prerequisite 25 per cent and the winner has not crossed the 50 per cent threshold. So can there still be a run-off?

The legislation is silent on this scenario. If the run-off is allowed to take place with only the second-placed person that received less than 25 per cent of the votes cast, then it makes a mockery of the amendment, which speaks to the 25 per cent threshold to show that the third-placed candidate has the potential to win, according to the pseudo logic. In this scenario, a second-placed candidate with 23 per cent is allowed in a run-off while a third-placed candidate in another constituency obtaining, say, 24 per cent, can possibly be denied, having not achieved the 25 per cent threshold.

The new process is no longer a run-off, but more of a re-run of the election, under different rules. First, the threshold of more than 50 per cent to win in the second round is no longer valid. In addition the 25 per cent threshold for the third-placed contender may also be invalid if both the second-placed candidate falls below 25 per cent and the winner below 50 per cent.

From both a mathematical and process perspective the run-off as amended poses more difficulty and confusion than the initial proposal.

I am therefore recommending that this amendment be revisited during the next sitting of Parliament.

Adrian Clarke

Woodbrook
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Offline Michael-j

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Re: Constitution Amendment Bill 2014 represents erosion of democracy in T&T
« Reply #53 on: August 31, 2014, 04:46:15 AM »
Wait this shouldn't be a surprise. Everybody saying the SAME thing this man is saying

And to add to this, if you have a second round vote with three candidates you could possibly STILL GET A MINORITY candidate winning the race. Simply because he/she has acquired less than 50% but also less than the combine vote of the other two candidates in the run off poll. So the whole idea of this bill ensuring a majority winning candidate is flawed


This is correct! Allowing a minority candidate to be elected in the second rounds defeats the proposed purpose of the bill itself- to elect a majority candidate! If you're allowing election of a minority candidate in the second round of a three-way run-off why dismiss the result of the first round where the result was most likely the same?  Al Rawi posed this question to Mahabir but he , with his condescending self, refused to answer.

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Re: Constitution Amendment Bill 2014 represents erosion of democracy in T&T
« Reply #54 on: August 31, 2014, 05:50:09 AM »
Wait this shouldn't be a surprise. Everybody saying the SAME thing this man is saying

And to add to this, if you have a second round vote with three candidates you could possibly STILL GET A MINORITY candidate winning the race. Simply because he/she has acquired less than 50% but also less than the combine vote of the other two candidates in the run off poll. So the whole idea of this bill ensuring a majority winning candidate is flawed


This is correct! Allowing a minority candidate to be elected in the second rounds defeats the proposed purpose of the bill itself- to elect a majority candidate! If you're allowing election of a minority candidate in the second round of a three-way run-off why dismiss the result of the first round where the result was most likely the same?  Al Rawi posed this question to Mahabir but he , with his condescending self, refused to answer.


Folks we are getting into hypothetical situation here that may or may not occur ...

I found this posted as the best example ...

Lets use the 2007 election for St. Augustine between the PNM, UNC and COP ...

Winston Dookeran lost to Vassant Barath by 600 votes...

In a run-off 15 days later ...

3000 PNM votes up for grabs in the run-off between Vassantt and Dooks ...

who do you think would have won ?


Would it be so horrible that the COP got 1 seat in parliament for the 20% of the national vote they received ?

Well if you are a PNM till you dead it would be HORRIBLE ..

because Chaguanas West which was won by the PNM in a 3 way split between the UNC , COP and PNM ....

would have been easily won by the UNC in the run-off ....

 Is this why the PNM is against the run-off system ???...

Interesting isn't it ...

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Re: Constitution Amendment Bill 2014 represents erosion of democracy in T&T
« Reply #55 on: August 31, 2014, 08:36:19 AM »
Wait this shouldn't be a surprise. Everybody saying the SAME thing this man is saying

And to add to this, if you have a second round vote with three candidates you could possibly STILL GET A MINORITY candidate winning the race. Simply because he/she has acquired less than 50% but also less than the combine vote of the other two candidates in the run off poll. So the whole idea of this bill ensuring a majority winning candidate is flawed


This is correct! Allowing a minority candidate to be elected in the second rounds defeats the proposed purpose of the bill itself- to elect a majority candidate! If you're allowing election of a minority candidate in the second round of a three-way run-off why dismiss the result of the first round where the result was most likely the same?  Al Rawi posed this question to Mahabir but he , with his condescending self, refused to answer.

The more you think about possible scenarios this bill may cause is the more you realise that the government has passed this bill without thinking all possible scenarios it may cause thru properly or has another agenda which is to give themselves more time in power and the opportunity to buy voters in marginals.
They are not really interested in increasing democracy as they are touting but simply in trying to stay in power by any means necessary.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2014, 08:49:17 AM by Socapro »
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Re: Constitution Amendment Bill 2014 represents erosion of democracy in T&T
« Reply #56 on: August 31, 2014, 02:14:58 PM »


ILP files constitutional motion: ‘Citizens’ rights breached’
By Kejan Haynes Multimedia Reporter (T&T Express)
Story Created:    Aug 29, 2014 at 10:33 PM ECT


The Independent Liberal Party (ILP) is now the first group to take the Government to court over the controversial Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2014. The bill was passed in the Senate on Thursday night after three days of debate.


Response to ILP Motion

http://www.tv6tnt.com/sevenpm-news/Response-to-ILP-Motion-273340701.html

Offline Bourbon

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Re: Constitution Amendment Bill 2014 represents erosion of democracy in T&T
« Reply #57 on: August 31, 2014, 04:48:04 PM »
Question though.

If First Past the Post is so bad....and depriving people of a voice in Parliament....then why employ the First Past the Post for the run off?
Shouldnt the run off have a run off...especially if it results in three candidates in the first run off?


As I said before....there are about 9 seats which are considered marginal which could go either which way. The UNC basically have their 12 or so that they sure to retain. With this run-off...and then the added time for recount etc.....a government could potentially be in office more than a month after the election if any aspect of the system decides to be truculent.


The slipshod drafting of this will cause comess. Wait and see.
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Re: Constitution Amendment Bill 2014 represents erosion of democracy in T&T
« Reply #58 on: August 31, 2014, 06:52:17 PM »
Question though.

If First Past the Post is so bad....and depriving people of a voice in Parliament....then why employ the First Past the Post for the run off?
Shouldnt the run off have a run off...especially if it results in three candidates in the first run off?


As I said before....there are about 9 seats which are considered marginal which could go either which way. The UNC basically have their 12 or so that they sure to retain. With this run-off...and then the added time for recount etc.....a government could potentially be in office more than a month after the election if any aspect of the system decides to be truculent.


The slipshod drafting of this will cause comess. Wait and see.

daiz what does happen when narrow agenda of power retention trumps good sense 
I pity the fool....

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Re: Constitution Amendment Bill 2014 represents erosion of democracy in T&T
« Reply #59 on: September 01, 2014, 12:04:28 AM »
Some might say it a tad overdue...but....According to BM


HE SPEAKS!!!!!


Quote
President Anthony Carmona has weighed in on the controversial Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2014, saying yesterday that “forays” into reform were to be expected from a young nation, but there was no room for “bull-headed partisanship”.

Carmona said the constitutional reform exercise must be done transparently as he stressed his own role in the process.

He reminded the population that he was not a “former politician” but a former judge who seeks counsel.

The President broke with tradition this year, choosing to address the nation in a toast yesterday, Independence Day, rather than issue a statement on the eve of the occasion.

With Independence Day falling just three days after the passage in the Senate of the contentious Bill, Carmona stated: “As a relatively young independent nation, we will experience growing pains.

“There will be lessons to learn. Our recent forays into constitutional reform are to be expected.

“These attempts to refresh the foundation of our nationhood must, however, be conducted in an atmosphere that is transparent, well-informed, inclusive, tolerant and driven by critical analysis. In this exercise there is no room for blasé statements and bull-headed partisanship,” he added.

“Change is the only constant and to turn one’s back and pretend that it is not coming is an exercise in futility. “Actively engaging in the discourse and discussion is the right of every citizen and the responsibility of every elected and appointed representative.”

Carmona also sent a message about the role of the President in the reform process.

“It is not lost on the Office of The President the role that the Head of State must play in constitutional reform concomitant with constitutional restraints and neutrality.”

He added: “The national community would do well to remember that the current Head of State is not a former politician but a former judge who seeks counsel.”

Government’s Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2014--which was piloted by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar in the Senate last Tuesday, the first time a PM has done so in the Upper House--has received criticism from several quarters.

Three provisions of the Bill have drew debate and criticism--a two-term limit for prime ministers; right of recall of MPs; and an election run-off clause that anti-Bill activists contend was foisted on the population without consultation.

Consultations on reform had been carried out by the Constitutional Reform Commission (CRC), headed by Legal Affairs Minister Prakash Ramadhar, but former CRC member, Dr Merle Hodge, claimed that the run-off clause was not discussed.

The Bill was passed with amendments in the Senate on Thursday night with a vote of 18 for and 12 against.

Independent Senators Dr Rolph Balgobin, Dr Dhanayshar Mahabir and David Small supported the Bill.

It required the support of one Independent.



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