Sunday, December 17, 2017

A victory for the ‘vanquished’

 I followed much of the debates in the Parliament on the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2014 and have concluded that the outcome, from the standpoint of the  People’s Partnership, can be described only  as  “pyrrhic’’ , i.e. “a victory costing more to the victor than to the vanquished”.  

The bill and the outcome of the debates were witnessed by some  unnecessary  “blood-letting” and “naked politicking” on  a matter so serious as to be dictating the manner of governance of this country. Reputation  of members was none the better. 

My reasons for describing the “victory” for the Government as “pyrrhic” are based on the following:

1. The sessions in both the House of Representatives and the Senate were protracted and were spread over periods extending late into the night,  thus emphasising the political import of the bill.

 2. However, one is led to suggest that, the habit of all members, being allowed to contribute to a debate, ought to be better managed by “house leaderships” for maximum impact.

3.  Unlike some Members of Parliament, senators, in particular the Independent senators, seem to have expended time and effort in researching material for their contributions.

4. Notwithstanding the PM’s removal of the “whip” in the House of Representatives in order to permit a “conscience vote”,  it is clear that the UNC faction of the” Partnership “,  unlike the COP’s, voted “solid as a rock”.

5. It is significant that six of the nine Independent senators  (2/3) did not support, in toto,  the provisions of the bill, even as amended at the behest of the other three.

6. Of importance, notwithstanding the “built-in”majority in the form of the 15 available to it, the Government’s 18-12 “victory’ in the Senate was achieved only by its agreeing reluctantly to accept amendments proposed by the three Independent senators who,  in the finality, voted positively for the bill—amendments  which have altered substantially, the Government’s  original intents in presenting the bill. 

Errol OC Cupid