This move feels like a slap in the face

  • The Throne Speech 2018: John Rankin, the Governor of Bermuda, is shown after reading the 2018 Throne Speech in the Senate chamber at the Convening of Parliament (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

    The Throne Speech 2018: John Rankin, the Governor of Bermuda, is shown after reading the 2018 Throne Speech in the Senate chamber at the Convening of Parliament (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)


Dear Sir,

It has been as sad as it has been predictable to see some voters try to defend the Progressive Labour Party’s decision to cancel the Throne Speech.

Some have claimed that this is meant to be a pro-independence decision.

If it is, then failing to clearly state that this decision has been specifically made to foster a discussion of independence renders it to little more than the most hollow pro-independence gesture.

Real leadership requires genuine action — not dictatorial half-measures.

Other defenders and apologists have claimed that the decision is to avoid the expense of the Throne Speech ceremony.

How ironic it is then, that we have the Minister without Portfolio step forward to explain that the Government’s agenda will be spelt out at the PLP’s party conference.

If I was a betting man, I would similarly bet that the Government’s consultant to the Attorney-General would be defending this move over the airwaves.

Rather than get caught up in the independence and lowering-cost red herrings, voters should look at this move in totality.

The decision announced was not merely to cancel the Throne Speech, but to also cut the number of parliamentary/Senate seatings in half.

You don’t have to be a genius to figure out what this all amounts to.

If the true objective was to break with colonial tradition, then the Premier would have consulted the Opposition leader about having someone such as the Speaker, or the Premier himself, give the Speech in the House of Assembly.

That way, the Opposition and the common voter, would be given the due respect and opportunity to hear the Government’s agenda, directly.

More to the point, the Opposition would still be given the opportunity to provide a reply.

By failing to do this, as well as reducing the number of sittings in the House, it is blatantly obvious that the objective is to:

•• Perpetuate the myth that everything is great and going according to plan

•• Reduce our opportunity to scrutinise the PLP’s plans and thereby hold them accountable

•• Diminish both the Opposition and the media’s opportunities to provide an alternative point of view

To put it simply, these are not the actions of a progressive leader who is achieving great things, but rather a slap in the face of every thinking voter.

Such unilateral decisions are an affront to democracy, and voters would be wiser to ask themselves why did the PLP think that they could get away with doing such a thing in the first place.

BRYANT TREW

Sandys

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Published Oct 25, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Oct 25, 2019 at 8:04 am)

This move feels like a slap in the face

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