Hoping good sense prevails

first_imgDear Editor,In a section of the media on May 1, 2005, Mr Raphael Trotman was quoted as saying “I would like to be part of a movement for change and I reject the current form of politics being practiced in Guyana.” In that same article, Mr Trotman reaffirmed his commitment to an independent Parliament. Let us reflect on this commitment to an independent Parliament.  Has the Speaker Dr Barton Scotland not acknowledged that the motion had been affirmed and ruled upon to allow for the official notification of the decision to be dispatched to the mover of the motion – the Opposition Leader?   Has the Opposition Leader received the notification?  Yes!   So proper Parliamentary procedures were followed, and the process should have been deemed as complete.But not so in the books of these people who are on a far-fetched journey to blatantly sabotage the Constitution. Has the Speaker lost all his constitutional powers because the APNU/AFC – PNC-led de facto regime says so?  Isn’t the house regulated from the Speaker’s chair?  Has the Speaker not ruled?  They should seek proper guidance, and there is no better source than the book called the ‘Treatise on the Law, Privileges, Proceedings, and Usage of Parliament’ written by the father of Parliamentary procedures in the British Commonwealth, Mr Erskine May.Much of the Parliamentary procedures in practice today were developed over centuries across the British Commonwealth. Guyana’s Constitution was derived from such a system and there is a precedent that supports the position that the Speaker acted correctly on December 21, 2018.  In Mr May’s most informed authoritative book on Parliamentary procedures it clearly states that “when the measure or policy of Ministers is condemned by Parliament, a change of administration restores agreement…”  Mr May further stated that “Ministers are responsible to the Parliament and so long as they are able to retain confidence from the Parliament, the harmonious actions of the several estates of the realm are secured.”  Then Mr May went on to state that the “necessity of refusing to assent is removed by the strict observance of the constitutional principle that the (head of state) has no will but that of its Ministers who only continue to serve in that capacity so long as they retain the confidence of Parliament”.This de facto Granger regime, that has lost the confidence of the majority of the House (Article 106 of the Constitution), ought to have resigned by now and submit themselves to this 90 day period as a caretaker Government.  But instead they have taken the decision to migrate from the realm of legitimacy to illegitimacy and from their now bastardised seats, are choosing to engage in mathematical fantasy.The glorious art of mathematics guides us on this matter. By way of a paper authored by the William D Hacker Professor of Economics and Political Science, Professor Charles R Plott, he clearly put to rest what is a majority.Professor Plott asked an important question – What is the constraint to achieving a majority?  In Guyana’s case, the constitution said “all the elected members” can vote.  That number is 65 and it is an odd number, these are the constraints.  On that fateful night, all 65 elected members were present and voted, so one of the constraints was fulfilled. On the second one, Professor Plott instructs that in the case of an odd number, the majority must be derived from the formula as follows:MAJORITY = (m+1)/2where m is the number of eligible voters (in Guyana’s case 65).MAJORITY = (65+1)/2 = 66/2 = 33.Following Professor Plott’s guidelines, a majority in the Guyanese Parliament is 33.But I did not need the wisdom of the esteemed and celebrated Professor from Caltech, a world-renowned educational institution that is ranked No 5 in the world to tell me this.  I learned this elementary stuff in high school in Guyana from a Sri Lankan who taught me three types of Mathematics during my Bishops High and Queens College days – Pure Maths, Additional Maths, Further Maths.  So why are the PNC and AFC political parties behaving in this manner and trying to sell me and the rest of the Guyanese nation an untruth?I am hoping Mr Trotman remembers his words and reject this sort of politics as he alluded to 13 years ago.  He might be the last hope as it appears that elementary common sense has now departed the minds of all the other lawyers with allegiance to the PNC and AFC.  I am hoping that good sense prevails.Sincerely,Sasenarine Singh,MSc – Finance, ACCAlast_img

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