Saturday, April 26, 2008

Stage One - Power Sharing in Parliament

Since Parliament is the Seat of Power in democratically elected 'governments', it is only reasonable to expect that all parties represented in Parliament should share this power equitably on a proportional basis. This seems the only logical way to ensure that the people represented by the parties have equal opportunity for full participation in governing their country.

In the case of Dominica, in year 2000, of the 21 elected House of Parliament, there were 11(Dominica Labour Party), 2(Dominica Freedom Party) and 8(United Workers Party) members. Power could have been shared in the following proportion: 10% (DFP), 40% (UWP) and 50% (DLP). Assuming there were 10 ministries, then we should expect 1(DFP) minister, 4(UWP) ministers and 5(DLP) ministers.

There would be a Cabinet comprising all parties with the majority party (DLP) having the Prime Minister and the second party (UWP) having the Deputy Prime Minister.

Now wouldn't this create a Government of national unity where party politics stops at the polls?

This top-down approach can be easily implemented without any disruption of the democratic process. It would be considered the first stage of implementing a non-party state through unity in parliament by the peoples representatives. The immediate result is the removal of an ineffective official opposition.

Since Statehood we have been denied the opportunity to fully utilise our potential by being tied slavishly to a system that encourages retrogression rather than progression. The stagnant state of our economy is no accident.

It is difficult to accept that serious politicians are not aware of the debilitating effect of their party politics on the development of our country. Accordingly, it is not too much for them to understand that unity can be achieved, eventually if not immediately, by recognizing and working from the constitutional fact that true political power lies in Parliament and not in Party.

The eventual consequence will be that the Party becomes irrelevant in the governance of the country since all representatives will be engaged cooperatively in the nation's business.


© Raglan E. Riviere, B.Sc.(Soc), M.H.A.


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