Friday, January 19, 2018

No meaningful reform

 Letters to the editor and social media are abuzz with enlightening information about the proposed amendments to the Constitution—in particular, run-off votes to ensure majority representation.

But the question remains—to what end? Would run-off voting provide better representation?

Would it reduce corruption? Lend to better public services? The simple answer to that is no.

The major problem facing the electorate is poor administration, abuse of public office and reports of blatant corruption and nepotism by this and previous administrations. Constitutional reform is needed, but these proposed amendments do not prioritise the major concerns of the electorate—ie, legislation to weed out corruption and misconduct in public office.  

Constitutional reform requires a holistic approach. Piecemeal changes are viewed with scepticism, given a general mistrust of politicians. Who is to say the Government has not sized up the current political climate, and sees run-off voting as a means to favour the coalition in the upcoming general election?

It is disheartening we would again go to the polls with no meaningful constitutional reform that would remove absolute power from the Prime Minister, and legislations to streamline Government spending processes for greater transparency and public involvement and, ultimately, reduction in corrupt activities.

RP Joseph

San Fernando