THE EDITOR: When the Senate debate on the Miscellaneous Provisions (Defence and Police Complaints) Bill was halted two weeks ago, many jumped at the Government’s throat, rejoicing that it had been “defeated.” I beg to differ. Surely when a Bill is laid in Parliament it is open to criticism by both the Opposition and the Independent benches; this is how we operate in a democracy.
However, I am not much concerned over the Opposition’s contributions as it had indicated from the start that it was not going to support the Bill. The fact that it contributed at all, to me, was a waste of Parliament’s time as the Opposition had no intention of really nitpicking this Bill for faults or making viable recommendations to the Government for its passage and successful implementation.
I believe that the reason for the contributions by Opposition members of Parliament was really to oppose for opposing sake and use the Parliament as a political platform to unnecessarily slam the Government for doing its job. There was no real concern for the scourge of crime in this country because they did not make time to bring to the Parliament a feasible alternative. They sat, they condemned and they left.
This Bill has not been defeated as claimed.
I think the move by the Government to adjourn the sitting in order to consult with the Independents on the issues raised and even take the Opposition’s remarks into consideration was a very mature, strong and democratic approach to true governance. It was even more mature of the Independents (who were present) to make themselves available for talks with the Government and relevant stakeholders. This clearly shows me who really has the nation’s best interest.
Most of us have realised that in order for this nation to move forward we must all join hands to work together and put this country on the pedestal that we want to see it shine from. That I applaud.
I am hopeful that this meeting has been fruitful, but if not it would not be a defeat for the Government; it would be a defeat for the citizens and most importantly the victims of crime who are pleading for additional measures to secure their safety. A right which we are all entitled to should not be infringed upon for selfish political gains or sabotage.
Maracas, St Joseph