Why are we still answering to Britain?


Dear Sir,

Can you or some intelligent person with the knowledge to explain to me what are the ideals of a true democracy and how it is supposed to work? Since Bermuda is a colony to another country, how then can we claim to be a democracy if we the people of Bermuda donít have the right to elect members of the House of Commons in London?

In any nation that practises the system of democracy, parliament is supposed to be supreme and there is supposed to be no other institution above parliament, which would have been given the right by the people of that nation to create laws.

It appears to me that the House of Assembly to where we elect our representatives is secondary and nothing more than a foot stool to the House of Commons in London, which has the power and authority to pass laws and impose them upon us against our will whether we like it or not.

The year we are now witnessing is 2019 and here we are at this late stage of our political life pandering to political ideals that come straight out of the 16th century.

When are we going to catch up and get with it?

I hate to think that the casting of my vote at the ballot box is nothing more than a hollow exercise while at the same time knowing that the member for whom I am casting my vote for would be sitting in a House of Assembly that can be dictated to or even dissolved by another parliament some 3,000 miles across the ocean of which I am not allowed to elect a member to.

It seems to me, Mr Editor, that too many of us are happy most when our bellies are full for the moment and are able to lie off and watch soaps on the TV every night.

I ask the question, is being a colony a dictatorship because I am beginning to see the true practice of democracy in Bermuda as being nothing more than pure folly? The UK Parliament has warned us on many occasions that they intend to pass legislation in the House of Commons in London that they will impose upon us if we donít step up to the podium and pass legislation here in Bermuda that they want to see put into place on our law books.

Mr Editor, we have boasted to the world that we are a first-world country, that we are an advanced and educated people, yet here we are out in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean practising and pandering to 16th-century politics.

Mr Editor, I have discovered that being trained is one thing, but to be educated is another matter. I have gone about taking my own personal polls among my people and have found something most surprising. I found that a large number of people did not know that Bermuda had a constitution.

Some of those who knew that Bermuda had a constitution could not quote any part of it. A large number of us had little idea what their civic responsibilities to Bermuda should be.

For a country that prides itself as being the envy of the world, why then are we so far behind the most progressively-democratic countries of the world? I keep on hearing people in high places continually saying that we are not ready for one thing or another, which seems to have become a steadfast notion in the minds of many Bermudians. The question I ask is when will we ever be ready for anything; we have been a colony for more than 400 years and have we always been in a state of unreadiness?

I am now 70 years of age and I have been hearing that we are not ready for most of my life, will the many generations born after me be hearing the same thing?

The time has long ago passed for us to have improved our political position in this world and stop being passively dictated to from a parliament that is situated more 3,000 miles away in which we donít have an elected member sitting in.

E. McNEIL STOVELL

Pembroke

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Published May 8, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated May 8, 2019 at 8:01 am)

Why are we still answering to Britain?

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