Correct me if I am wrong

I have been trying to make sense of this walking out mess. How can grown men and women behave in this fashion? Chapter III seems to be easy to understand, but correct me if I am wrong. Actually, Claudius will correct me whether I am right or wrong, so there is no great risk there! Chapter III Parliament 36.- Deputy Speaker (1) When the House first meets after any general election of members and before it proceeds to the despatch of any other business except the election of the Speaker, the House shall elect a member of the House , who is not a member of the Cabinet or a Parliamentary Secretary, to be Deputy Speaker of the House and if the office of Deputy Speaker falls vacant at any time before the next dissolution of Parliament, the House shall, as soon as convenient, elect another member of the House to that office. Excuse me if I am wrong, but this seems to say that, if the office of Deputy Speaker falls vacant, the House shall elect another member of the House to be Deputy Speaker “as soon as convenient” without actually saying what “convenient” means. Apparently, the Speaker asked for nominations from both the UWP and the SLP benches for the post of Deputy Speaker. As her request was met with silence, she assumed the matter was not “convenient” at this time. The same thought appears just a few lines further down; the functions of the Deputy Speaker should be performed by a member of the House elected by the House for that purpose. (4) At nay time when by virtue of section 34(3) of this Constitution, the Deputy Speaker is unable to perform the functions of his office those function shall, until he vacates his seat in the House or resumes the performance of the function of his office, be performed by such member of the House (not being a member of the Cabinet or a Parliamentary Secretary) as the House may elect for the purpose. Correct me if I am wrong, but this would seem to indicate that if UWP members were unwilling to serve as Deputy Speaker, and SLP members were equally unwilling to serve as Deputy Speaker, then the whole House was acting like a bunch of immature children who deliberately sabotaged the process of government by childish posturing. But could they have conducted any business? I think they could, but correct me if I am wrong. The following seems to me to clearly state that if the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker were absent, for whatever reason, any member of the House, not being a member of Cabinet or a Parliamentary Secretary could be elected for that purpose, i.e. to preside at the sitting, without actually being elected Deputy Speaker on any permanent basis. 44.- Presiding There shall preside at any sitting of the Senate or the House- a) the President or Speaker; b) in the absence of the President or Speaker, the Deputy President or Deputy Speaker; or c) in the absence of the President or Speaker and the Deputy President or Deputy Speaker, such member thereof (not being a member of the Cabinet or a Parliamentary Secretary) as the Senate or the House, as the case may be, may elect for that purpose. In other words, any member could, being temporarily elected, acted as Deputy Speaker for the sake of the day’s proceedings. But, and this seems to me to be a salient point—and correct me if I am wrong—there does not seem to have been a need for a Deputy Speaker because the Speaker was actually present and presiding over the House. Now I am sure that cleverer minds than mine will find paragraphs that contradict the ones quoted above—what else can be expected? I may not be a constitutional expert, but I can read. It would seem to me, and correct me if I am wrong, that both parties behaved abominably, but the SLP were “worser” for walking out, as their Kindergarten playmates would put it.

Share your feedback with us.

Comments are closed.

← Go Back | Commentary Back to Top ↑
THE STAR Newspaper screen-shot-2016-12-02-at-7-33-25-pm
Magazines available in THE STAR Newspaper
2Nite Magazine for Saturday October 1st, 2016 ~ Issue no. 204
2nite Magazine
Sports & Health Magazine for October 1st, 2016 ~ Issue no. 112
Sports & Health Inc