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Pink wave in the Caribbean as women politicians near parity

Janice Daniel-Hodge: one of two women MPs in Nevis’s five-member legislature

Congratulations to Janice Daniel-Hodge, leader of the Nevis Reformation Party (NRP), for winning her seat as a first-time candidate in the Nevis island election on December 12. Joining her was deputy leader Cleone Stapleton Simmonds, who retained her seat.

Nevis has a population of approximately 12,000. With a total of five seats at stake, whichever party wins three or more seats would form the island government. In this instance, the Premier, Mark Brantley, the leader of the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM), retained his seat and two more members of his party, Spencer Brand and Eric Evelyn, also won their seats.

So with the seat allocation now 3:2 in favour of the CCM, they remain as the present government.

In the island of Dominica there was a General Election on December 6. The incumbent Dominica Labour Party won a total of 19 seats, while two independent candidates won their seats. The main opposition parties boycotted the snap election. In total, ten of the 21 seats are held by women, two more than the record eight won by women in 2019.

There is clearly a “pink wave” of more women parliamentarians moving throughout the region, and deservedly so.

No excuses

"I gave 'em a sword. And they stuck it in, and they twisted it with relish. And I guess if I had been in their position, I'd have done the same thing." — Richard Nixon

There is no excuse for tardiness or being late, least of all when you are doing the work of the people. On that point there is no argument.

On Friday, December 2, the One Bermuda Alliance, via Opposition Whip Jarion Richardson, saw a narrow window of opportunity to call for a quorum. By having two of their members, namely Craig Cannonier and Michael Dunkley, stay out of the chamber, it worked to perfection for them. We, the Government, were caught flat-footed. We gave them the sword and they twisted it with relish.

Again, there was no excuse. There is also no excuse for journalists not knowing the facts about how government whips gain their positions.

Since December 2, Shaun Connolly has been writing that the Government Whip, Neville Tyrrell, was “appointed” by the Premier, David Burt. This is totally incorrect. Then on December 13, Mr David Sullivan wrote the following as a letter to the editor. “...the dog ate my homework explanation from the soon-to-be-replaced Whip”.

It is obvious that both these gentlemen do no know the the facts about how someone becomes a whip within the PLP. So let me help them out.

Persons wishing to be whip are nominated from the floor by caucus members, inclusive of ministers, MPs, senators and central committee reps. If more than one person is nominated, there is a vote taken. Whomever gains the most votes is then the Whip.

So, to address Mr Connolly, no one is “appointed” as whip. They have to be elected by the caucus.

To the other incorrect point by David Sullivan. The position of whip is up for vote every two years. As Neville Tyrrell became whip in November, he will be there for quite some time. Again, these gentlemen should do some research before attempting to write about the PLP.

To my fellow MPs on both sides. The people's time is sacred. No excuse for tardiness.

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Published December 16, 2022 at 8:01 am (Updated December 16, 2022 at 8:01 am)

Pink wave in the Caribbean as women politicians near parity

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