I wish to remark on what I saw as a charade taking place on August 11 at the sitting of the House debating the Constitution (Amendment) Bill.
Act I was the Prime Minister’s giving the members of her Government the freedom to vote as their conscience allowed.
Act II was Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan, an obvious predetermined dissenter, who, in addition to saying “no”, revealed the true intention of the bill, after all the fancy wrappings were removed, by putting a serious plug for proportional representation which, hopefully, could enter through the “back door”.
Act III was Education Minister Tim Gopeesingh, although saying “yes” to the run-off idea, confirming the real intention as expounded by Seepersad-Bachan, by also putting in a plug for proportional representation.
Act IV was Lincoln Douglas, after a lengthy spiel which seemed to indicate his disagreeing with the bill, still not having the courage to say “no”.
Act V was Rodger Samuel, even worse than Douglas, not having any courage at all, sitting on the wall like Humpty Dumpty.
It is plain to see both systems—run-off and proportional representation—will result in the stratification of our peoples in racial and ethnic groupings.
The East Indians who arrived here 170 years ago met Africans who, at that time, were here over 400 years and were able to forge a harmonious relationship through all these years.
After all, we eat each other’s food, we celebrate each other’s religious and cultural activities and we respect, on the whole, except for a few fanatics on both sides, our differences.
Let not the greed for power spoil this.
The devolution of power will come naturally based on the performance or non-performance of the government of the day.
Crest Camp, Fyzabad