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Government could fall without Separation of Powers


Permalink 11:13:39 pm, by Skillachi
Categories: Politics, Commentary

Government could fall without Separation of Powers

Every now and again somebody publishes an article in some publication that just makes me happy to know that there are still people in Jamaica with the ability to think outside the political box, to think radically, and all in all just make me read and say... Brilliant. These people are those which give me faith that maybe there is somebody out there who has the capacity for intelligent thought. The article that managed to inspire me is one published in yesterdays (30/3/10) Observer by Attorny Frank Phipps QC, with regards to the way the government handled the recent extradition issue you have probable heard so much about.

Now to a cut a long story (that has been repeated one too many times) short, the US government has requested that the Jamaican government send one of its most notorious gangmen to the US to face multiple charges. The Jamaican government refused to send said gangleader on some questionable grounds, and apparently the Jamaican government is so serious about the fact that they will not be sending this person abroad that even our Prime Minister has had to step forward and make a public statement regarding the fact. In the article Phipp's spoke about the separation of powers and the lack thereof in Jamaica, where he states that the government needs to be held more accountable for their actions. He starts by saying that:

If the minister is wrong, politically wrong, in refusing to send the case to the courts, the consequences may very well be that the government could fall ... That's a political reality.


But under our system of governance where the executive and the legislature are so intertwined, that the mistake of the executive can cause the demise of the elected representatives of the people, which is not right. You need a separation of powers wherein if the minister had made a mistake, then the government may fall, but it cannot affect where the people have elected their representatives ... it should not

That seems pretty straight forward and it is a serious issue with Jamaican politics, where in essence the executive (the prime minister), is pretty much allowed to do whatever he pleases and nobody does everything except bawl and complain about what he is doing. The legislature (parliament) cannot even attempt to question what the executive does because the executive also has constitutionally, the power to shift and shuffle the legislature as he sees fit (so he can use more forceful pursuasive methods). We have seen this issue begin to show itself where numerous ministers have recently been linked to some unscrupulous dealings or bad contracts etcetera, and it basically leaves the government in some sort of limbo as to what the next step is.

In order to ensure that separation of powers is upheld one can either have a referendum to affect change to the constitution and the close to unlimited powers that it gives to the executive, OR as suggested in the article:

It can be done by increasing the number of ministers in the Senate and saying that no elected member of parliament should be a minister of government. The advantage of that is if all the ministers are in the Senate, you can't have these big Cabinet membership, you can only have 13. You know how much you would save if you had a serious, competent man running a ministry with a proper civil service? A lot of these statutory bodies and quasi-government organisations could be eliminated, with only 13 ministries... If you were to save all that money you could afford to pay the MP the same salary that you pay the minister, so the MP has nothing to lose financially and his responsibility would be to his people whom he represents.

Wow... wasn't that a remarkably simple solution. You see honestly there is no big challenge in separating the powers of government. Many states do it without much issues, even our biggest neighbours the USA does it and no you dont need to have a multi billion GDP to be able to implement such a thing either. You would achieve an MP who's sole focus is on his constituents and a man who because of his INTELLIGENCE and QUALIFICATIONS would be in charge of running the ministry, unlike current situations where we currently have men who are incapable of rational thought in charge of important ministries, such as the Finance Ministry, or Health, or Housing.

The article also attacks Mr. Golding stating that he had always been one of the people who was at the forefront of the move for separation of powers. From his days where he left the JLP and formed the NDM he even proposed ways in which the separation can be done, and stated that "We have to ensure that no minister can be allowed to run with it", but to me it seems like Bruce only showed signs of intelligence in those years when he formed the NDM and since then has become, much less than he had the potential to do.

The problems with our current political system is quite obvious, nobody is accountable and nobody is in government who is speaking for the people and their rights and telling the executive and the legislature that hey wait a minute, what you are doing here is wrong... But alas, we are stuck where we are for the time being.

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The Small Sandal Shop

A married couple was on holiday in Jamaica. They were touring around the marketplace looking at the goods when they passed this small sandal shop.

From inside they heard the shopkeeper with a Jamaican accent say, "You!

Foreigners! Come in, come into my humble shop."

So the married couple walked in.

The Jamaican said to them, "I have some special sandals I think you would be interested in. They make you wild at sex."

Well, the wife was really interested in buying the sandals after what the man claimed, but her husband felt he really didn't need them, being the sex god he was.

The husband asked the man, "How could sandals make you into a sex freak?"

The Jamaican replied, "Just try them on."

Well, the husband, after some badgering from his wife, finally gave in, and tried them on. As soon as he slipped them onto his feet, he got this wild look in his eyes, something his wife hadn't seen in many years!

In the blink of an eye, the husband grabbed the Jamaican, bent him

violently over a table, yanked down his pants, ripped down his own pants,and grabbed a firm hold of the Jamaican's hips.

The Jamaican then began screaming; "YOU GOT THEM ON THE WRONG FEET!!!"


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