Categorized | National News

Minnis Calls For Parliamentary Reform

Hubert Minnis fnm leaderLeader of the Oppostion Dr. Hubert Minnis called for reform in Parliament in regards to campaign funding; a cap on expenses for MP’s travelling expenses, and boundary manipulation along with proportional representation.

 His comments came at the 41st regional Conference of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association of the Caribbean, The Americas and the Atlantic region.

 “The degree to which payback to campaign funds can lead to default legislation that counters the best interest of the people,” Dr. Minnis said.

 “It is imperative to put a cap on extra policy MP expenses. Especially as it relates to random travel that deals nothing with the people. The ability of a government to reengineer boundaries within each election still skews representation and misrepresents the build of certain segments in the population. As an oxford professor has noted MPs occupying safe seats are guilty of the greatest abuse.

 “Proportional representation is surely the most urgent reform needed, to protect what Parliament is supposed to represent. “

 Dr. Minnis also noted that tribal politics loads Parliament with deadweight and causes the most critical legislation to rest on partisan voting.

 During Prime Minister Perry Christie’s contribution, he openly responded to Dr. Minnis’ comments.

 “Essentially over the years, we have respected tradition but we have always understood the need to reform, the need to change. We may not have done it as quickly and as we out to have, but it has from time to time been done. We always are open as a government to interventions to improve,” he said.

 The prime minister added that the Opposition in particular has received a number of benefits from Parliament.

 “With respect to boundaries, with respect to potential implications on government contracts, with respect to matters to do with parliamentary accountability and our governance, Parliament has established and provided machinery to ensure that leaders of the opposition will have a majority and be able to take advantage of the fact that they have the majority on the committee that has the power to investigate and examine the awarding of government contracts.

 “Therefore, it may not be working as much as some people may like it but the elements and ordinance of our democracy is there.”







Written by Jones Bahamas

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