Got TIPS or BREAKING NEWS? Please call 1-284-442-8000 direct/can also WhatsApp same number or Email ALL news to:newsvino@outlook.com;                               ads call 1-284-440-6666

Public input needed to advance Constitutional Review process- Dr Pickering

Former Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour, Dr Kedrick D. Pickering has said that for the latest constitutional review process in the Virgin Islands to truly advance, public input is a must. Photo: VINO/File
 Dr Pickering was at the time speaking on constitutional review process during the Monday, October 12, 2020, edition of the Umoja show alongside host Cromwell Smith aka ‘Edju En ka’. Photo: Facebook
Dr Pickering was at the time speaking on constitutional review process during the Monday, October 12, 2020, edition of the Umoja show alongside host Cromwell Smith aka ‘Edju En ka’. Photo: Facebook
Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) during a sitting of the House of Assembly on June 11, 2020, explained that it is important that the public prepares to take part in the review while encouraging the populace to read and review the current VI Constitution Order 2007. Photo: VINO/File
Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) during a sitting of the House of Assembly on June 11, 2020, explained that it is important that the public prepares to take part in the review while encouraging the populace to read and review the current VI Constitution Order 2007. Photo: VINO/File
BAUGHERS BAY, Tortola, VI – Former Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour, Dr Kedrick D. Pickering has said that for the latest Constitutional Review process in the Virgin Islands to truly advance, public input and public participation are necessary.

The former legislator also reminded that enshrined in the Virgin Islands Constitution, is several rights and privileges of Virgin Islanders, including the right to freedom of expression and assembly for the cause.

Dr Pickering was at the time speaking on the Constitutional Review process during the Monday, October 12, 2020, edition of the Umoja show, alongside host Cromwell Smith aka ‘Edju En ka’.

Advancing Constitutional Review 

He said for the process to advance, locals must assemble to make an input and this he said, would send a message to the UK about the desires of the territory.

“Chapter two of the Constitution speaks clearly to the rights and privileges of the individual and that's where it's enshrined.”

“In fact, it’s one longest chapter in the Constitution, it speaks to the environment, it speaks to freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, freedom from discrimination based on sex and sexual orientation and religious beliefs...” Dr Pickering said.

However, according to Mr Smith, Virgin Islanders seem to be exhibiting some amount of fear when it comes to assembling for input on the process.

Exercising fundamental rights 

Dr Pickering said Section 2 of the Constitution speaks loudly on the rights of Virgin Islanders, “so you have a right to freedom of expression, that is your fundamental right,” he said regarding the need to assembl on the constitutional review.

However; he said, it is the laws that guide how persons may exercise their rights and privileges.

Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) during a sitting of the House of Assembly on June 11, 2020, explained that it is important that the public prepares to take part in the review while encouraging the populace to read and review the current VI Constitution Order 2007.

“This means refamiliarising ourselves with what currently exists in the Constitution so that we are able as a people to conduct a comprehensive review to determine whether it is a strategic fit to facilitate the achievement of the aspirations of Virgin Islanders and Belongers,” he said.

15 Responses to “Public input needed to advance Constitutional Review process- Dr Pickering”

  • Hmmmm (15/10/2020, 10:22) Like (10) Dislike (5) Reply
    This Government, this Premierr...Never....Like a friend was saying yesterday, whenever this Premier makes up his mind to do something, the country could cry blood, he wont change....Keep talking Dr. He respects you he may listen to you.....
  • we the people (15/10/2020, 10:26) Like (7) Dislike (2) Reply
    Thank you Dr. Pickering. The People’s Input is very important. Understand that certain Information is not Privy to the People but we the People should have Input when it comes to things that is being done behind our backs.
  • Beacon of hope (15/10/2020, 10:42) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    I agree with Dr. Kedrick Pickering statement, because for too long a handful, so go speak have dictated the direction our Country has taking, but every past election the citizens of this Country have urged to vote for new political leaders. Why should they not be given their rightful input on all future constitutional review?
  • He had 20 years nothing to show (15/10/2020, 10:50) Like (45) Dislike (4) Reply
    Every dog and cat still seeking their 2 mins
  • Not true (15/10/2020, 12:18) Like (5) Dislike (37) Reply
    There is no reason for Dr. Pickering to be looking for any two minutes. He has already established himself.
  • E. Leonard (15/10/2020, 12:52) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    The key stakeholders, the PEOPLE, must be actively engaged in the constitutional review process. A constitutional review cannot and should not occur without input from the people. Before winging off to London, the desire of a majority of people on self-determination should be settled. A referendum should be held on the various self-determination options, eg, independence, free association, merger with larger locale, federation, status quo......etc. A series of briefings, presentations, work shops.......etc need to be conducted throughout the length and breath of the territory. As a minimum, the VI needs to pursue more local autonomy. Currently, it is only internally self-governing on paper. The head of state still has undue power and influence over internal affairs.
    • Rubber Duck (15/10/2020, 15:25) Like (1) Dislike (3) Reply
      Referenda are dangerous things. Ask David Cameron. The public is not always well enough informed to decide such matters. That’s why representatives are elected who should inform themselves. Not that they do on the whole.
      • @Rubber Duck (15/10/2020, 18:34) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
        @ Rubber Duck, “ Referenda are dangerous things.” How so? “ The public is not always well enough informed to decide such matters.” This is insulting and elitist. David Cameron mistake with the Brexit referendum is that the bar was set too low. Britons voted by a simple majority , ie, approximately 52%, to exit the EU. The VI does not have a representative democracy because voters don’t have the physical and mentality capacity to review and decide on issues but rather for governing practicality. It is more practical for 13 persons elected to govern on behalf of the people rather than 34,000 people trying to meet to decide. The populace don’t give up its right to decide on issue because it sent 13 people to the HOA to work on their behalf. The elected reps are still accountable to the people. Decide on self-determination is a major and critical issue that each citizen has the right to provide input on, including voting on a referendum.
        • Someone please explain the difference? (16/10/2020, 11:04) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
          @ Rubber Duck: "The public is not always well enough informed to decide such matters."
          @@ Rubber Duck: "...voters don’t have the physical and mentality capacity to review and decide on issues..."

          You are both essentially saying the same thing here. Mainly, that the wider population is not informed/ educated enough/ capable (i.e., possessing the capacity) to decide on matters/ issues.

          That being the case, rather than arguing as to whether 'referenda are dangerous things' (which is akin to saying that 'elections are dangerous things' because the voting population elects a despot, for example), perhaps the better thing to consider would be:
          1. Public education on the matters/ issues to be considered - radio, television and media campaigns
          2. Public engagement in public forums such as community centres and radio shows where everyone can call in and contribute to the discussion.

          We are quite keen as a community to wear purple/blue/red for a month or hold competitions for public engagement or have media features for certain worthy causes and to raise awareness of issues in the community. A matter as important as this (the future direction of the country and the legislation which will govern that direction) is no less deserving of our time and attention and CANNOT be left merely to those in HOA. Let the public education and engagement activities be for a month at the minimum and see how things change when a community is actually given a real opportunity to decide their future as opposed to box-ticking lip-service and 'done deals'.
          • @rubber duck (16/10/2020, 13:40) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
            @Someone please explain the difference, Rubber Duck and I are not saying the same.

            Here is what Rubber Duck said, “The public is not always well enough informed to decide such matters."

            Here is what I said, “The VI does not have a representative democracy because voters don’t have the physical and mentality capacity to review and decide on issues but rather for governing practicality.”

            Are these two things saying the same thing? No. The VI has a representative democracy as other countries because of practicality.
  • @becon of hope (15/10/2020, 13:26) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    I dont think we should let any interty break down or tear down wat the people vote in either ....let stop trying to destroy ourselves..that all we good for in this country call politics in the name of good will..when we got so much doing the same to us ...in the name of surport
  • from buckingham palace (15/10/2020, 14:59) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    Dear Dr.Pickering,the Constitution never say in chapter 2 that the fundamental rights and freedoms mentioned are for ["Virgin Islanders"] That statement is misleading.
    Persons who belong to the BVI and Island people and expatriates, have the same fundamental rights and freedoms. ok. The only clause,is that a person born here cannot get deported.
    Chapter 2 states-"Whereas EVERY PERSON in the Virgin Islands are ENTITLED to the Fundamental Rights and Freedoms of the INDIVIDUAL". Not Virgin Islanders only.ALL individuals in the BVI
    Thats why Island people and expatriates are discriminated against, because you people thinking that they dont have rights because they not from here.you wrong.
    because discrimination is a contravention of one of the many fundamental rights in the Constitution.
    The Constitution is good just how it is: is just that people in authority continue to contravene the fundamental rights and freedoms of Island people and expatriates in the BVI.That is the only problem,because,if they take action,you will deport them before the case call.Racist.
  • Beacon of hope (15/10/2020, 16:39) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Yes, the people that have been the employer's of the present political leaders, have have the legal rights to be included in all present and future constitutional reviews input, to the exclusion of all ignorant indivicials.


Create a comment


Create a comment

Disclaimer: Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) welcomes your thoughts, feedback, views, bloggs and opinions. However, by posting a blogg you are agreeing to post comments or bloggs that are relevant to the topic, and that are not defamatory, liable, obscene, racist, abusive, sexist, anti-Semitic, threatening, hateful or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be excluded permanently from making contributions. Please view our declaimer above this article. We thank you in advance for complying with VINO's policy.

Weather


Follow Us On

Disclaimer: All comments posted on Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) are the sole views and opinions of the commentators and or bloggers and do not in anyway represent the views and opinions of the Board of Directors, Management and Staff of Virgin Islands News Online and its parent company.