Transparency will demonstrate inclusion
Politics, politics, politics. Too much politics and too little rationale. Wayne Furbert presented a motion to create a Joint Select Committee to deal with the issue of the economy.
Rather than reason with the merit of having a bipartisan committee, which by extension creates an even more inclusive environment for the general public, we hear instead: “His motion flies in the face and is a contradiction to the Opposition leader Marc Bean's statement of non-cooperation”.
Also, the more snide comment: “Oh, the PLP see the economy turning in the OBA hands and want to cash in on the success story.”
Can we for once get past political suspicion and deal with the proposition with some degree of intelligent input that is based squarely on whether a JSC would be useful or not? Or do we have to go through the trial of fire and public protest as we recently saw over the immigration issue? Let's not allow partisan rabies to cloud our judgment. Now to the point: the ministry whose responsibility it is to handle the growth of business and opportunity, is the Ministry of Economic Development, headed by Grant Gibbons.
The issue may not be as simple as determining Dr Gibbons's credentials for the post, but rather the power of the post itself and how it functions or is dysfunctional.
I recall the bad lip that SDOs got and the near suspension of its use. There was the thought that ministerial discretion could be motivated for personal or political reasons or even as favours. In any event, the public had no access to the rationale for those decisions. The same thing can also happen in reverse, where a minister is so adverse to an idea and can thwart it for the same reasons given earlier. The bottom line is that the public have no access to the rationale for refusals or at times even the merit of proposals presented to the Minister of Economic Development. We are left to trust the wisdom and the good nature and philosophical preconditions of the minister, whoever they may be. Having an open, participatory and transparent process is better than relying on trust and party fidelity. The JSC idea is actually complimentary to the Ministry of Economic Development in our present dilemma.
It has the potential of being extremely useful to the broader public, who want to make input. Rather than the sole discretion of the minister or ministry, it gets a broader set of eyes, a bigger forum, coupled with the mechanism to engage input from statutory bodies, Parliament and public debate on what may be beneficial to the country.
The One Bermuda Alliance promised transparency and there is no greater area to demonstrate it than our economy, its direction and how it affects and benefits everyone. The OBA would stand to gain by opening the door for greater inclusion by creating a Joint Select Committee to help to restore our economy. Forget the politics, especially the partisan garble.