Whether or not the article “A Glaring Waste of Power” published on Friday, October 3, 2008 had anything to do with the decorative lights being switched off that same day is insignificant.” The fact that this extra waste has been stopped is great and I hereby thank those who responded so promptly to rectify the situation. Now, I must indeed congratulate those responsible granting the 4 days extension period for the reconfirmation process.” Pushing back the date to October 4 was wise and I”ll await the figures for those reconfirmed in those last 4 days with some interest.” I think it was a meaningful gesture and many are thankful that the process is finally over. The People’s Action Movement (PAM) was very aggressive on the issue of constitutional reform prior, during and after the last federal election.” This was a burning issue for them and I”m sure for other political parties within the federation as well. PAM pushed the issue that seem terribly flawed, divisive and had no sense of justifiable or reasonable direction.” To be kind, it seemed to challenge voters and other individuals with malicious intent to be most corrupt. It got to the point when our Prime Minister and leader of the Labour Party, Dr. Denzil Douglas echoed those chilling words, “Dey say dey want electoral reform, tell dem Douglas gonna bring electoral reform an buss dey tail wid it”.” Whether our PM was provoked into getting in a tirade is beyond my knowledge.” What I do know is that it seems a threat that is yet to be made good.” Is this also the way the often talked about constitution reform will be treated? During the early electoral reform process it was particularly strange not to see PAM using every available opportunity to state their matters of concerns on the all-important issue.” Being absent from meetings and discussions could not have helped the situation in any way, regardless how they felt the matter was being handled. It might even be fair to say that PAM erred in that aspect, whether or not they accept it. The process really got interesting and exciting when Leader of the Opposition, Honorable Mark A.G Brantley, Hon. Shawn Richards of PAM, Hon. Vance Amory of CCM, Hon. Patrice Nisbett of NRP and Hon. A. Michael Perkins of CCM really made the proposed bill look very weak and questionable.” The honorable gentlemen tried their utmost to impress significant changes to what was tabled, but to very little avail.” The most passionate and humble pleas came from the emotional A. Michael Perkins who felt the brunt of alleged corruption.” Yet, his words fell on half-deaf ears because it’s obvious from the sniggering from within the Federal Parliament, that some present must have heard. However, Labour had the votes to pass the bill without significant changes or amendments, and certainly without adequate support from the opposition members.” Increasing penalties for convicted felons, lengthy time in jail and more money to be paid was simply a mean to appease and pacify, but time alone will tell if anyone will be brought before the courts on related charges.”” Of course, we hope the illegal activities that take place around election time will stop and such measures would not have to be challenged. In all this, the December 27, 2007 to October 4, 2008 was adequate time for the process to be completed but there seemed some lackluster and possible self-motivated efforts to retard the process by some in authority. I”ll take this opportunity to reveal my experience at the electoral office on Chapel Street.” My wife and I popped in to a friendly and pleasant atmosphere that was quite evident.” Within 20 minutes we were out of there, absolutely no problem.””” Picking up our voter’s registration cards was also a delight and I”m sure hundreds of others experienced similar process and professionalism. However, meaningful attention needed to have focused on the hundreds who for one reason or another, legitimate or illegitimate, did not find the going as friendly and pleasant as some of us did.” That was the overwhelming cry here on Nevis.” Here is where I cannot neglect to mention, Pastor Leroy Benjamin.”” Pastor, former pastor, excellent student, successful person or not, Pastor Benjamin should hang his head in utter disgrace, not necessarily for other issues, but for his constant and arrogant manner in dealing with the problems faced by hundreds of individuals who went to reconfirm and register at the electoral office here on Nevis.” A self-claimed notion that he was called by God to do the job leaves very serious questions in some of our minds. Long before this voters reconfirmation exercise started, the electoral office at Chapel Street was spoken about as the place where the Nevis election 2006, would be won and lost.” It turned out to be an election that stunned many here on our little island and beyond.” I believe many questions were answered when our premier, the Honorable Joseph Parry made specific comments on the electoral reform process while at the Marriott in St. Kitts.”” His words certainly indicated that the said election of 2006 was far from being fair. Be that as it may, Nevisians have experienced several horrible experiences during the process.” Some elderly were put through unnecessary peril and strain in order to be facilitated in the process.” While that was a glaring and regular occurrence, certain other individuals were assisted in compromise and arguably, illegal methods. Passports and other documents were seen being passed over to the main person at that office by some reasonable characters and also some very shady characters at the same time.” Yet still, the supervisor of elections had the audacity to say that things are going well at the electoral office at Chapel Street. Is this the way we want our school children to aspire?” Seeing blatant wrong being committed and the lofty gentleman who claims the he’s a God sent, arrogantly brushes it aside by saying that things in the Nevis office are being done fairly.” The issues were overbearing and with other issues closer at hand, the gentleman should have been asked kindly to step aside if he did not have the capability of doing so on his own because of possible extra pressure. Well, if that was not enough let me state that the last few days of the process brought forth added unethical practices by the elected.” I do not think it’s ideal to use the word alleged because that word leads one to think statements might not be true.” It is not wise either to call for proof or evidence because even if there are video clips and sound bites to substantiate a point, and half cooked lawyer can use the same material to highlight something totally contrary.” The fact that moneys had been dished out to some who reconfirmed is sickening, but not really surprising.” Taking a look at the elected, one has seen by words, actions and deeds that we are truly heading down the wrong path. However, wickedness and wrongdoing might prosper for a while, but the truth will prevail forever.
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