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Hon Fraser challenges CPA to look @ 'bad parliamentary practice'

- said in face of no regulator there is no incentive for countries to comply with good parliamentary practice
Leader of the Opposition Honourable Julian Fraser RA (R3) believes that Parliaments in the region have been oftentimes stuck behind politics and that the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association needs to be more vocal on this. Photo: VINO
Premier Dr the Hon D. Orlando Smith and acting Secretary General of the CPA Joe Omorodion. Photo: VINO
Premier Dr the Hon D. Orlando Smith and acting Secretary General of the CPA Joe Omorodion. Photo: VINO
Hon Fraser among the group of distinguished delegates of the CPA conference. Photo: VINO
Hon Fraser among the group of distinguished delegates of the CPA conference. Photo: VINO
PARAQUITA BAY, Tortola, VI – Leader of the Opposition Honourable Julian Fraser RA (R3) believes that Parliaments in the region have been oftentimes stuck behind politics and that the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association needs to be more vocal on this.

He also challenged the body to pay close attention to matters in the region. He was speaking at the opening of the 40th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Conference of the Caribbean, the Americas and the Atlantic Region held yesterday July 27, 2015 at the Eileene L. Parsons Auditorium on the campus of the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College in Paraquita Bay.

Hon Fraser noted that this 40th Conference having as its Theme: “Promoting Democracy and Good Governance: A Unified Approach;” is so timely, considering the recent scrutiny governments within the region “including our own” have been subjected to for their stewardship in these very areas.

“The hallmark of the CPA - in my view - must be without question the protection and promotion of democracy regionally and internationally within the Commonwealth. Indeed of course, if I am following the organisation closely I must be right, and ecstatically so, for as recently as at its 38th Conference of this Region held in Antigua in July/August 2013, it was the Secretary General himself who revealed that the CPA had adapted a Charter of the Commonwealth, which among other things: Emphasised the principles of democracy; human rights; international peace and security; tolerance, respect and understanding; freedom of expression; and the rule of law,” said Honourable Fraser.

He said that this region can no longer claim infancy as a cause for any lack of political sophistication, since its first experimental walk “unleashed” was in 1962, just over half a century ago, when Jamaica gained its independence from Britain.

“And fortunately, this was also blessed with the available guidance and support of this Organisation from inception,” he said.

Democracy’s challenges not as discernible as before

Honourable Fraser believes democracy is a struggle. “It must be fought like any other battle, and it must be won, for none of the other options are acceptable,” he said.

He noted that democracy’s challenges of today are not as discernible as they once were. “It’s not just simply having a Government of the people, by the people, and for the people that defines democracy anymore,” he said.

According to Fraser, challenges to democracy now includes lack of freedom of speech and of expression.

“We must promote those aspects of democracy if we want to be effective,” said Honourable Fraser. “I welcomed with open arms your observers who participated in our recently held elections. I just hope that the exercise turns out to be a meaningful one and not simply a formality,” he said

Parliamentarians must not be prohibited

In continuing his talk on the importance of good governance and democracy, Honourable Fraser said Parliamentarians must be given full opportunity to debate any matter and not be prohibited through the use of technicalities that are clearly irrelevant in the particular circumstance.

“Adequate time must be allotted for Questions, which must then be allowed on the Order of the Day and answered truthfully. Committees of Parliament should be functional and remain active if the Parliament itself expects to uphold its constitutional mandate vis-à-vis good governance,” he said.

CPA should discuss unorthodox parliamentary practice regionally

“If the CPA wants to help in this regard, I see nothing wrong in the CPA compiling a comprehensive list of considerably unorthodox occurrences from among the various Parliaments throughout the region annually, and have them up for discussion at these Conferences. Good governance should not be just words on paper; it should be practiced, but if there is no real regulator, there will be no real incentive to comply. I’m afraid; our system falls short in this regard,” Honourable Fraser said.

One of the challenges the Opposition faced in the House of Assembly over the past four years is to get the ruling government to respond to certain questions on various controversial undertakings, including the expansion of the cruise pier and landside development and the borrowing of a loan from Social Security Board just before elections.

Opposition questions have also been frequently left off the Order Paper of Parliament.

These actions forced the Opposition to label the National Democratic Party (NDP) government as one of the most corrupt in the history of the Virgin Islands.

8 Responses to “Hon Fraser challenges CPA to look @ 'bad parliamentary practice'”

  • bvibuzz (28/07/2015, 08:30) Like (15) Dislike (8) Reply
    An opp leader we can be proud of
  • wize up (28/07/2015, 08:47) Like (29) Dislike (7) Reply
    Hon Fraser can speak honestly on this subject because very often during our own house of assembly sittings, the member is not allowed to speak....the "liberator" understands "bad parliamentary practice" who feels it knows it...( don't shoot the messenger )
  • bvi first (28/07/2015, 09:05) Like (15) Dislike (1) Reply
    Start with the BVI first. It is appalling to hear the level of bias and the unprofessional manner in which some persons are spoken to. Often so embarrassing to watch.
  • Short Memory (28/07/2015, 09:43) Like (9) Dislike (14) Reply
    It started when Dr Smith & Dr Pickering was on the opposition. The ruling party refused to answer any of their questions
    • wize up (28/07/2015, 10:50) Like (4) Dislike (3) Reply
      @ short memory: great point and it is actually a fact, therefore I stand in support of your motion...
  • cant touch this (28/07/2015, 09:44) Like (7) Dislike (14) Reply
    Julian obama fraser
  • one eye (28/07/2015, 12:25) Like (11) Dislike (9) Reply
    Say one say two fraser is the man!
  • Hmmm (28/07/2015, 14:35) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Set of wicked people


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