Thursday, October 25, 2012

Letter: Why hasn't the opposition taken responsibility for its part in Section 34 fiasco?

Dear Editor,

The AG has been unfairly and unjustifiably treated and calls for his resignation are totally unwarranted. I have not seen an iota of evidence that the AG was uniquely responsible for the section 34 fiasco. 

What I have seen is a torrent of baseless accusations and allegations thrown out by the Opposition with the only possible aim of furthering their political objectives. I am truly concerned about the state of democracy in this country. 

What took place with the section 34 fiasco was disturbing but what is continuing to take place is appalling and utterly reprehensible.

When a critical situation such as section 34 occurs, it is our fundamental responsibility as citizens in a democratic state to understand what our expectations are of our government and of the Opposition and to demand that key principles such as transparency and accountability are adhered to.

What I have seen is that the government has taken responsibility on a number of occasions for their oversight. The Prime Minister has come out publicly and apologized on behalf of members of the Cabinet and provided an explanation of the circumstances surrounding the passage and proclamation of section 34. The Prime Minister has taken the potent and visible step of firing the Minister of Justice which is a significant move.

What I have not seen is an equal and proportionate response by the Opposition. Where is the statement of the Leader of the Opposition apologizing to the citizenry for the blunder made by every member of the Opposition who voted in favour of the offensive piece of legislation? 

Where is the removal or resignation of any member of the Opposition? The general attitude seems to be to point fingers instead of accepting responsibility. The Opposition continues to level baseless accusation after accusation against the AG, riling up the citizens to fight for a cause that many of those same citizens, do not truly understand.

First it was alleged that the AG was responsible for pushing the early proclamation of the Act. It came out that the AG was out of the country when section 34 was proclaimed. 

When that angle didn’t work, the next accusation was that the AG secretly conspired to get section 34 included in the draft bill and passed by Parliament in exchange for a $2m cheque by Ish and Steve. While this reeks of intrigue and suspense, the stuff of a thrilling Hollywood movie, the reality is a lot more somber.

In order for the AG to have gotten section 34 passed unanimously in Parliament, he would have had to been in bed with every member of Parliament, including members of the Opposition and Independent Senators. And where is this $2m cheque that Rowley has supposedly seen but cannot produce?

Most recently is the allegation that the AG tipped off Ish and Steve about the early proclamation of section 34. 

The facts have now come to light that the Legal Notice proclaiming section 34 was published on the 30th August 2012, a full 10 days before Ish and Steve made their application before the courts. Ish, Steve and anyone else for that matter could have easily gained knowledge of the existence of the Notice from that date onward.

The Leader of the Opposition has now brought of Motion of Censure against the AG. For what purpose other than as a political ruse? All of this to detract from real issues that citizens should be focused on.

To my mind, what section 34 issue has brought to light is the apparent ineffectiveness of the Opposition in Parliament to provide an additional safeguard to protect the interests of the citizens. 

It is only after the media highlighted the implications of section 34, that the Opposition, clearly caught sleeping, attempted belatedly to address the issue and to extricate itself from all wrong-doing by launching a full scale and unmerited attack against the AG.

So we will go through the motion of a Motion.

The Opposition would have us wear blinders and focus all our attention on one individual rather than all the persons who were responsible for section 34 being passed in Parliament. 

We should not even ask why the local court matters against Ish and Steve have not proceeded despite the public statement by the AG that he would not be appealing the decision of Justice Boodoosingh delivered on November 2011 which in essence freed the DPP and the judiciary to proceed with the local cases. Would the Opposition have us believe that the AG conspired with the DPP and judiciary to delay prosecution of those individuals as well?

As the saying goes, you can fool some of the people some of the time but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time. I for one am not fooled by this smokescreen in the guise of a Motion of Censure.

Hoping you publish this.
Liz Awai, (Cellphone: 731 3355) | 
Bagatelle, Diego Martin, Trinidad.

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai