Nine days ago, a poll in the run-up to this week’s referendum on independence for Scotland sent shockwaves through the political establishment in Britain.
LET’S be honest, former Gaming Board chairman Dr Andre Rollins is evolving into a political rock star and upstaged every speaker contributing to the debate on the new Gaming Bill—grabbing all the newspaper headlines and setting tongues wagging—whilst also overshadowing the Official Opposition’s entire parliamentary caucus.
“The Rev Nev and family flew out on Friday to the UK having been recalled by the Methodist Missionary Society at the request of the Synod here. It was all a most unsavoury controversy triggered by Sean McWeeny’s slightly-racial remarks at the QC speech day, and I found it impossible to give my whole sympathy to either the Rev Nev or his critics. My abiding impression is that after seeing some of the comments which were hurled back and forth I’m more than ever convinced that you don’t have to be a Christian to be a church member. About 12 of the QC staff have given in their notices to leave at the end of the school year. They went on strike for a day in protest at the Rev. Nev’s ousting.” - Jim Graves, Tribune editor.
Urban Renewal is transforming lives in the Bahamas, free of political intervention, and is more than just a crime prevention tool. In a wide-ranging interview with The Tribune the organisation’s prime movers dismiss criticism of its operation, outline future goals and initiatives and pay tribute to their supporters and partners.
UP to the point of writing this column yesterday, neither the new Gaming Bill and accompanying regulations, the Financial Transactions Reporting Bill and Regulations, Gaming House Operator Regulations, nor the Proceeds of Crime Bill were uploaded to the government’s website, thereby leaving many Bahamians—who would wish to read the Bill themselves— in the dark and unable to do so and debating merely on the communique delivered in Parliament by Minister of Tourism (and Gaming) Obie Wilchcombe.
WITH all the shock-horror at our skyrocketing crime rate, you would never believe that the causes and consequences of the country’s social slide have been copiously documented over the past 20-odd years by a slew of commissions and reports.
THIS week, I discovered that police officers—particularly the police prosecutions department—are occupying a condemnable, rundown former Magistrate‘s Court building that is a slum-like structure on the fringes of the government’s complex on Nassau Street.
DISAGREEMENT in politics is par for the course. It is nothing unusual. Political parties incorporate individuals with different views on various issues, but who join a broad coalition to pursue common interests.
IN a 2009 tribute to Sir Clement Maynard, then Governor-general Sir Arthur Foulkes wrote that “politics, that most noble of professions, can sometimes, descend into something approaching savagery. And it seems that there is no greater fury in the political arena as when colleagues turn on each other”.
OVER the last week or so, two to three PLP backbenchers have out-FNM’d the Official Opposition and been more of a vibrant opposition force on VAT and in questioning the proposed Constitutional Bills than the FNM itself has done.
BAHAMIANS in and out of parliament seem to be having a hard time decoding the legal terminology that must inevitably guide the process of amending our constitution.
THE best rationale why sex should be added to Article 26 of the Constitution as a prohibited category of discrimination by any law, as the fourth bill provides, is offered by Justice Brennan of the United States Supreme Court in the case Frontiero v Richardson, 411 US 677 (1973):
JUST as forecast, support for the upcoming constitutional referendum has crumbled under the weight of political opportunism. What was initially pitched as a benign and straightforward bid to remove discrimination against women, has lit the stage for exploitation and fear mongering. Now contentious, the bills have been fated to a caustic half-life that has once again exposed the political cannibalism and unbridled personal ambition that have long characterised the country’s democratic system.
OVER the years, we have seen significant violation of our sovereign waters by Dominican, Cuban and American fishermen who exploit the hamstrung, diminished capacity of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) and the rigidity of international maritime law which clearly sets out the rules of engagement.
Constitutional Referendum: Correcting an Historical Error, Part 2