Letters to the Editor

High schools should craft rules for Parliament

Thursday, July 12, 2012    

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Dear Editor,

People who make it a habit of living outside the boundaries of applicable rules of where they are often calculate the possible consequences they'll face and often determine that it is worth their while to break the rules. Under such circumstances deterring them will often come down to increasing the consequences, in lieu of convincing them to change. It may make good sense, however, to take both approaches.

It seems grossly insufficient that all our politicians have to do is stage an apology that could have very well be done by Shebada and a few other actors. Under those circumstances it would be something to laugh about. But what is happening in our Parliament is no joke. We need rules with teeth to keep these people under control. And if they violate these rules there must be consequences, not excluding paying fines, and facing suspension without pay, if not permanent expulsion from Parliament.

But here's an even bigger joke - these are the people who make the rules that govern themselves. If it works in other places, it most certainly is not working here.

For several strategic reasons, one being that it shouldn't cost us major consultancy fees, I believe we would get great value for our money if we were to ask our high schools across the nation to craft a set of new rules for the Jamaican Parliament, complete with attendant consequences for specified categories of offences.

I suspect that there are some rules that now exist, but when such offensive outbursts as occurred are punished with a mere call to fake an apology, then something is seriously wrong here. And for those who believe that this must be the work of duly trained professionals I will say this: these "professionals" are highly overrated. At the end of the day these are people with bills to pay and goals in life they hope to achieve - goals which are more personal than national. For obvious reasons I believe that there's a greater reservoir of integrity to be mined from our young people than from "these professionals". Those who have less to lose seem better able to afford the price of integrity and honesty.

Then just imagine the effect of having this generation of young people (future leaders) becoming engaged in national life on such an important level. I believe we would be seeing the beginnings of a reformed and refined Jamaica in this regard. And do we need it!

Charles Evans






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