Saturday, December 16, 2017

Real power to the people

 The most important issues raised in the railroading of the current proposal for Constitution amendment seem to be “democracy for the people” and “power for the people”—as though they do not already have the latter well in hand, albeit for the wrong reasons.

For both of the above to harmoniously co-exist, there should be majority input from the people on all matters of importance to the country as a whole.

It is therefore the definition of what that majority is or should be that is of major concern to all. A simple majority (and there must be good reason for that adjective in certain cases) just does not cut it, especially when it comes to the election of our so-called leaders. 

In such a situation as we now have, halfway down our throats, nothing short of 70 per cent of the country’s eligible 

voters (rounding off just above the two-thirds mark) should be the norm of the day for true democracy to exist.

The only run-off that should occur is when, after that first election—whether municipal, federal, whatever it may be—has taken place, voter turnout has been deemed to be less than 70 per cent.

Thus, the electorate will be given a second and last opportunity to get off their butts and do their civic duty to elect the leaders they truly want and deserve. 

It would also give the individual parties an opportunity, within that small window between the two elections, to replace their low-ranking candidates with a better choice—should they wish to do so—thereby improving the quality of our potential leaders.

At the end of that run-off, the devil takes the hindmost and the people would have been given the power to exercise their democratic rights by being able to get the government they wanted and deserved, and there should be no bacchanal later among the majority of the people. 

The trick, of course, is to find a proper means whereby the electorate can be encouraged to willingly want to go out and vote in the first place. The only way to do that is by presenting them with the best candidates in the first place, and perhaps that one and only run-off will kill more than two birds with one stone.

At the present time, the only run-off that may be necessary is of those 

politicians who have come up with their last-minute numbers game/racket, no doubt, having erroneously taken to heart the late Eric Williams’ spurious type of arithmetic when at the failed Federation of the West Indies, he quipped: “One from ten leaves nought.”

I understand one modern-day erudite recently said: “One from ten is 11!”. Perhaps he/she meant “leaven” as in “manna from heaven”, which some current elected officials may think is just what the above Constitution amendment may eventually mean for them in the future.

Wilbur Walrond