Of the recent shocker
Peter Bunting

Dear Editor,

The recent shocker from the People's National Party's (PNP) unelected senators blocking the extension of the state of emergency has now brought into sharp focus our whole system of governance.

It cannot be that three unelected senators, two of whom were rejected by the people of Jamaica as Members of Parliament (MPs), can quintessentially veto the majority of elected MPs on an important matter of saving the lives of Jamaicans. It doesn't make any sense.

The clause in our constitution that allows this farce was promulgated on the basis of having reasonable and mature people who would put Jamaica first.

However, at this time, we are not seeing reasonable people in the Opposition party, so we cannot expect such reasonable behaviour. We need in this country to understand one fact — the PNP is never going to vote to curtail crime because it's the only thing they have to campaign on for the elections.

When you have unreasonable people who are willing to sacrifice thousands of Jamaicans just to get back into power you cannot possibly expect anything else from them.

Note that only three senators of the Opposition side bothered to stay until the end of the sitting. The majority stayed in the safety of their homes. That shows the scant regard they have for the lives of Jamaicans. While being safe and sound, they voted to put every Jamaican life in jeopardy.

In that vein I support Senate President Tom Tavares-Finson's call for a review of the constitution. While that will not happen, because politicians, journalists, and civil society are only concerned with two constitutional matters — buggery and fixed term limits — tweaks can be made to prevent this type of farce from happening again.

What ought to happen is that a set of conditions should be put in place that will allow the president of the Senate to vote on matters such as the extension of states of emergency.

We cannot continue to be held hostage by one senator in times of crises. It doesn't make any sense.

We must understand that we are not dealing with logical people. We are dealing with members of a party run by Peter Bunting, who seems to be putting his agenda over the lives of Jamaicans.

We can't have an unelected, failed Member of Parliament putting his agenda over the lives of Jamaicans. That's not democracy. Nobody can tell me putting lives at risk is good for democracy.

Fabian Lewis


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