Since I raised some Governance awareness and concerns in my Article: Cry our Beloved Country in June 2011 no significant changes have taken place. Life has gone on and there have been notable achievements by Government, and some failed aspirations of the people. That is, not until now when we are faced with a troubling discussion about a possible third Term in office for the current President. (Photo: Winston Forde, author)
Democracy is an amazing concept that is mainly difficult to perceive or understand and most definitely complicated to practice. Indeed, the two major seats of Democracy as we know it, the United States of America and the United Kingdom do their own thing in many respects. What is common between them is that the day after vox populi vote them in, their politicians assume almost untouchable control, and each Leader does their own thing. So we have seen a Prime Minister get rid of Cabinet rule in favour of sole action with a powerful Journalist by his side, much as has been introduced in our own Democracy, whilst a President goes to War and kills thousands of people in their own country with impunity. Actions we would condemn in a so called Dictatorship are sanctioned in a Democracy so Israel often boasts that they are the only Democratically elected Government in the Region as they carry out what would be considered atrocious if done by others. Even the election process can be manipulated so what happens in the State of Florida or Birmingham UK would be considered heinous vote rigging in say African and other countries, and certain locally democratic voting by others result in unacceptable winners.
In all this, a country’s Constitution is the guide and bedrock of its Democracy. Yes, there have been amendments to Constitutions such as the everlasting Fifth Amendment of the American Constitution but a Democracy would not make such changes lightly. As I see it, there is no justifiable reason to change our current Constitution which was put in place after some considerable thought following a period of brutal civil unrest. The model of a two term President is wise and must be preserved at all costs or we shall reap the repercussions that are bound to follow. It may well be that there is no intention by Government to amend this fundamental provision, but the country is uneasy about such a possibility based on actions already taken. We cannot forget so easily the anguish and suffering our people have endured when rule and order broke down, and cannot afford to create another similar situation so soon afterwards. I fear that if we did, the United Nations and others could not rush back to save us as they did before.
I am amazed, and disappointed that the AIG who came to our shores as the guru of good Governance is saying nothing; their silence so far is deafening. If their secret agencies are embedded in Government, and as long as their Leader continues to hold talks with our President behind closed doors they must know what is going on, and are obliged to speak out publicly. They cannot simply say that it is a matter for Government that has nothing to do with them because, they chose to be very much part of this Government. It’s no good for him to speak out after the event or to some foreign newspaper when he is so involved with our destiny. Tony Blair, I say to you, you cannot remain silent on this explosive Constitutional matter of Governance…’yu get foh tohk bambai!’ Lontah.
By Rtd. Sqn Ldr Winston Forde