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Five year terms & national elections for Premier & Deputy- Shaina M. Smith

- said the people should decide at the polls who they wish to be Premier & Deputy Premier
Shaina M. Smith, businesswoman and former candidate with the National Democratic Party (NDP), has called for term limits for leaders of Government in the Virgin Islands. She is also proposing that the positions of Premier and Deputy Premier be voted on at the general elections. Photo: Facebook/File
Ms Shaina M. Smith was a guest of Mr Claude O. Skelton- Cline on his weekly radio show, Honestly Speaking, aired yesterday February 27, 2018 on ZBVI 780 AM at 5:00 P.M. Photo: Facebook
Ms Shaina M. Smith was a guest of Mr Claude O. Skelton- Cline on his weekly radio show, Honestly Speaking, aired yesterday February 27, 2018 on ZBVI 780 AM at 5:00 P.M. Photo: Facebook
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Constitutional review is a topic that is top in the minds of many residents, considering how unhappy most of them are with the way the Territory is being governed. Former political candidate and commentator, Shaina M. Smith, was very vocal with her ideas on what aspects of the constitution should be changed, especially on governance of the Territory.

Ms Smith was the guest of Mr Claude O. Skelton- Cline on his weekly radio show, Honestly Speaking, aired yesterday February 27, 2018 on ZBVI 780 AM at 5:00 P.M.

Premier & Deputy Premier chosen by national Election

“We should be able to have basically national election for the top two seats, that would be the Premier and Deputy Premier, versus what we see happen election morning, who has majority and then they figure it out,” Ms Smith believes.

She is of the opinion that every citizen should have a say as to who leads the country and not only who leads their district. In the present system elections are done to determine District Representatives and those candidates running At Large and subsequently the cabinet is chosen based on who won seats. Citizens has limited input in the decision as to who will lead the Territory for the next four years.

The social and political commentator even suggested changing the electoral term to five years instead of four, claiming “I would do five, because you can’t get nothing do meaningful in four years.” Ms Smith added that she is in favour of limited terms, with two consecutive terms being the maximum.

Ministerial leaders should be At Large Territorial Candidates

Under this present system there are four At Large members in the Cabinet, which means that only four persons were selected by the territory as a whole. Ms Smith stated that, “With ministers I would want to see them to be at large territorial candidates, for the cabinet.”

She went on to explain that, “It changes up the whole dynamic too in terms of how persons are able to become entrenched in a district and hold a seat in the House of Assembly, making national decisions when at the end of the day their only allegiance is to their district if they want to come back.

Run the government like a business

Transparency and accountability had always been a sore issue with the present administration. This Ms Smith, who contested the 2015 snap elections with the National Democratic Party (NDP) Government but lost to incumbent First District Representative and Opposition Leader Hon Andrew A. Fahie, thinks is an ineffective way of running the country. She says, “We need to think about government like how we would run a cooperation. People don’t put CEO’s and entrench then for 25 years into the corporation, because the corporation has to continue to grow, has to continue to respond to the needs of its clients, which in our case is our public and making sure that whatever you are doing is in the best interest of the shareholders, which again is the public.”

Ms Smith advocates that the public has to hold the government accountable and demand transparency. “We have to hold people who we are paying a salary very month responsible for what we are paying them to do and if they are not doing it we need to find people who will do it.”

Changes to the Speech from the Throne

On March 1, 2018 at the first sitting of the House of Assembly for the year, the Speech from the Throne will be read. Ms Smith agrees that The Speech from the Throne too should be changed. According to her, the “whole ritual of it has to change.”

“You can have a Speech from the Throne but let it be the UK telling us what they are going to do for us for the next how many years and we benefit from the relationship we have from them, not them kind of borrowing from the local government.”

30 Responses to “Five year terms & national elections for Premier & Deputy- Shaina M. Smith”

  • wize up (28/02/2018, 16:29) Like (12) Dislike (5) Reply
    what I will like to see:-
    1. A definite date for elections
    2. Voting for the premier

    we are in 2018 and I find it funny that only a select few actually knows when we will have an election.....

    I think the premiership is a very serious position and the people should have a better say in who runs our country(not handpicked by his party affiliates)
    • @ wize up (28/02/2018, 16:38) Like (16) Dislike (4) Reply
      you people are sick so you want a change of system. No where in the Westminster system do they vote for Prime Minister or even have an at large system.

      Do research before you bloging piss
      • wize up (28/02/2018, 18:26) Like (9) Dislike (6) Reply
        @ @ Wize Up: the blog clearly said what “I” will like to see, them I simply went to reveal what “I” will like to see.....(just for “the record” I don’t need “any documentation” to be here) therefore I will simply continue to blog my personal opinion: I have no worries being called sick because I personally know that talk is cheap; however all of us in this democratic system(BVI) have the rights to speak freely: so you keep the faith because your fight is not with “Wize-Up”...nothing but love my idren
  • Hmmm (28/02/2018, 16:45) Like (30) Dislike (4) Reply
    It is important that women be in politics but not this one.
  • Clearly (28/02/2018, 16:46) Like (21) Dislike (3) Reply
    Although she raised a few good points this girl is a waste of time. All talk.
  • First district (28/02/2018, 16:48) Like (17) Dislike (4) Reply
    I want to educate this young lady that no one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.
  • My Take (28/02/2018, 16:50) Like (27) Dislike (2) Reply
    The further the BVI keeps this girl from politics the better.
  • Not stable (28/02/2018, 16:52) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    As far as I see is some people want to put systems in place to get into politics without having to deal with the people too much.
  • Hear it here 1st (28/02/2018, 16:53) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The NDP is running her in the first district again.
  • No questions (28/02/2018, 16:56) Like (33) Dislike (1) Reply
    I am from the 1st district & I supported this young lady last elections but since the hurricanes it is clear to me that the current rep is a true leader that truly cares about people so he will get my support this time. Real leaders prove themselves during disasters and difficult times. Fahie has proven that he's a real leader.
  • No Respect (28/02/2018, 16:58) Like (12) Dislike (2) Reply
    She sees and knows that her NDP is a failure and is saying so but yet she is still working to get them re-elected. Pure foolishness.
  • @Shaina (28/02/2018, 16:58) Like (2) Dislike (9) Reply
    Strupes, Strupes, Strupes come with Positive solutions to our problems, not giving corrupt politians more time in office to continue to thief from the public coffers.
  • Most of it (28/02/2018, 17:13) Like (10) Dislike (9) Reply
    I agree with most of what she said except the 5 yes..4 yrs is just fine.. Term limit is important. However. I think 3 consecutive terms for an elected member is enough. 12 yrs. In parliament is enough. Get out. Get fresh blood. New energy. Fresh ideas.
    • To most of it (28/02/2018, 19:21) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
      That's up to the people not legislation to decide how long they will have an representative.
  • ndp for self (28/02/2018, 17:29) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    is she in our out with the NDO gang? may be she is part of the Troy, Turnbull, Clines, and Ms. P wing
  • PASSENGER (28/02/2018, 17:42) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I was on a plane back here from Barbados in 2015 which also carried people from England to observe the
    elections. The plane twice had engine problems and Liat refused to discuss. A lot of funny things happenned
    on that flight. I'm sure Orlando is greatful he wasn't on it.
  • i from here (28/02/2018, 17:43) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
  • Pato (28/02/2018, 17:54) Like (18) Dislike (0) Reply
    Look pon licks, more licks again for poor you girls Shaina, you tolerating corrupt behavior of your party leaders. Shame on you.
  • dude (28/02/2018, 19:22) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    I agree with voting directly for premier but not 5 yr terms and not term limits. We're not a nation like the USA we don't have a population that can sustain that change over. Also 4 yrs is enuff is you care and work with the people 4 becomes 8 which is more than enuff and in this case too damn much for who we have in there now. I also prefer that government be run like a government and not a business.
  • wisdom (28/02/2018, 19:32) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply

    Keep talker out of politics because they don't love people. They only know them when them want to be elected.

  • Diplomat (28/02/2018, 20:09) Like (6) Dislike (2) Reply
    Agree with some of Ms Smith proposals and need clarification on other issues

    1. Throne Speech: Agree that the purpose and format of the Throne speech should be changed. The Governor should not be reading a speech constructed by the local government. Instead, as Ms. Smith suggested, the Throne speech should be about the UK plan of action for the coming budget year and future years.

    2. Running Government as a Business: Government cannot run fully as a business. Businesses can choose what customers they want to serve; government cannot select customers it wants to serve; it has to serve the whole territory both resident and visitors. Yes, it can adopt/adapt some business best management practice (BMP).

    3. At Large Rep as Ministers: Ministerial slots can be effectively manage by either District Reps or At Large Reps. It comes down to strong and effective leadership by the Premier. Premier cannot let ministeries be run like a government within a government. Premier must be in control. What if the winning party has no At large Reps?

    4. Electing Premier and Deputy Premier Nationally: The BVI currently operates under the West Minister form of government. To change the way how the Premier and Deputy Premier are now selected would require a change of government system and a constitutional change. What happens if a candidate for Premier amass the most votes but his/her party does not have enough candidates to form a government? What if a candidate for Premier wins the most votes but his/her Deputy Premier looses what happens? Will the Premier and Deputy Premier candidates with the most votes will be be Premier and Deputy Premier and have to work with other represensatives perhaps with a different ideology? Is this a workable team?

  • Wendy (28/02/2018, 21:07) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    She's just trying to stay relevant. Keeeep talking.
  • yea (28/02/2018, 23:41) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    Sweet heart I know you can do good but you need to find your self a good man and then anything is possible with you I love you
  • Yawwnnn (28/02/2018, 23:51) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
  • Hmm (01/03/2018, 06:18) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    If the party were to actually focus on one thing and do it well and completely then four years would be enough.

    Instead they start a million projects with big budgets to give the illusion of progress. If you know anything about prestidigitation you’d know it’s all about the art of misdirection and distraction. Politics is like too but this isn’t a birthday party for four year olds so we know better. The leaders of this country have failed us in our time of need and they’re still spinning things like it’s a planet.

    Give them ten years and we’d still be here with the same crap and Shauna would be asking for eleven or twelve years.
  • BVI Abroad (01/03/2018, 11:03) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    We life in a democracy where everyone has a voice to speak. It’s not about agreeing with Ms. Smith, it’s about her having the freedom to say whatever she wishes to say. That’s what a democratic society is all about. If she runs as a candidate and you don’t agreee with what she says, then don’t vote for her.
  • Funding (01/03/2018, 15:27) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Here is what I would like to see, all major projects say for example one that is a certain % of the GDP etc must be voted on by the general public. These project must be brought to the public for full discussion and disclosure and must meet certain criteria.
  • Bob (01/03/2018, 16:27) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    These people dont treat their fellow men with respect and always in politics.
  • Bohannon (02/03/2018, 09:34) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Everything is a political football in the Land of the Turtle Dove.

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