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The Premier 'is going to need the Opposition'– Hon Fraser

- rejects Premier Wheatley's explanation that public servants need more time to get answers to questions
Ahead of the Opposition walking out of the House of Assembly, yesterday, October 31, 2023, Senior Legislator Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3) blasted Government ministers for not being able to answer questions, and needing to relegate the Question and Answer segment in the House. Photo: HoA
Opposition Members of the Virgin Islands House of Assembly (HoA), on October 31, 2023, walked out of the House after the HoA voted to move a lengthy question and answer segment to the end of the order paper. Photo: HoA/Youtube
Opposition Members of the Virgin Islands House of Assembly (HoA), on October 31, 2023, walked out of the House after the HoA voted to move a lengthy question and answer segment to the end of the order paper. Photo: HoA/Youtube
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Ahead of the Opposition's walkout of the House of Assembly (HoA) yesterday, October 31, 2023, senior legislator Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3) blasted Government ministers for not being able to answer questions, and needing to relegate the Question and Answer segment in the House.

“Madam Speaker, I been through this in the last administration, it had become the modus operandi in the last administration to re-order the Order Paper. We tolerated it. We had little choice but to tolerate it," Hon Fraser said during the sitting.

“Then we came to this new administration and the first sitting that we had, it happened. I told the Premier that we're not going to tolerate it this time and he agreed that it wasn't something that he believed in, and he wasn't going to do it. Here we are reordering the Order Paper, relegating the Questions and Answer period to the end of the sitting.”

Statements should come last - Hon Fraser  suggests

Hon Fraser pointed out that in the Isle of Man, statements are placed at the end of the sitting so questions and answers can take precedence.

“Somehow or the other, our statements proceeded the questions, and to tell us that your officers don't have the time to answer the questions, it begs the question. Usually, you're supposed to know the answer to these questions, you don't have to go looking for the answer. As a matter of fact, when I was a minister, I answered my own questions.” 

Hon Fraser said Opposition Members who have been ministers in the past have also answered their own questions. “So, I don't see how anyone could expect us to sit here today and tolerate this, and how anyone could say that if we don't participate in the process that we were wrong. This is totally disrespectful.”

The Premier in his justification for the re-ordering of items on the Order Paper said it was out of no disrespect to the members of the Oppositio. "It’s a great deal of respect for our public officers who have expressed their concerns formally that the amount of questions posed by the Opposition Members has made it onerous for them to complete the task in a short period of time,” he said. 

Over 100 questions to be asked 

Hon Wheatley said the questions amounted to over one hundred and officers needed time to gather information in such a short period.

Hon Fraser, ahead of the walkout, said the public needs to know the position of the Opposition and that they will state their position today.

“ I think that the Premier should know that in this business that he's in, he's going to need the Opposition. So if you want to throw us aside, remember you've got four years, we'll be on this side, you'll be over there. So, I think the best thing for us to do is to work together and stop this thing that we're doing,” Hon Fraser warned.

Meanwhile, the Opposition was absent when it was time for the Question and Answer segment; however, Speaker Corine N. George-Massicote said the Opposition will have to re-submit its questions for the next sitting.

19 Responses to “The Premier 'is going to need the Opposition'– Hon Fraser”

  • Faithful (01/11/2023, 14:58) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Good for you Hon. Speaker. Let this be a message for their childish behaviour.
  • Loosemouth (01/11/2023, 15:12) Like (14) Dislike (5) Reply
    The Opposition should understand that they are not there only "to oppose" or "stall" the Government but to work with, and ensure that the Government delivers on behalf of the people. Fighting amongst themselves is a waste of time
  • Of course, he will need them (01/11/2023, 15:19) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
  • EXPERIENCE MATTERS (01/11/2023, 15:22) Like (7) Dislike (8) Reply
    The VIP is loaded with incompetents that's why they can't answer the questions
  • Fraser 2026 (01/11/2023, 15:26) Like (3) Dislike (7) Reply
    Break Ralph's record----------run again
  • l (01/11/2023, 15:37) Like (20) Dislike (1) Reply
    I voted for persons on the Opposition and persons in the Government. The aim was to bring the best persons possible together to work for the best of the territory. Did I make a mistake? Would the Opposition have done a better job than the current Government? These are the questions I constantly ask myself. It would appear that fighting each other is more important than fighting together in the best interest of the people.
  • I like Ronnie. (01/11/2023, 15:53) Like (10) Dislike (2) Reply
    At this time Marlon and Myron seem to have more fight in them more knowledge of the process, they deliver their message better than Ronnie. Ronnie running away from his responsibility, he is avoiding the press. He never once call into Tola radio, or answer when he is called.. Opposition needs a leadership change, Either Marlon, or Myron..
  • Change of heart (01/11/2023, 16:02) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    what for. You said you did not need them when you was part of the Govt on your high horse.. How quickly do you forget.
  • Asking For Myself (01/11/2023, 16:52) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    Who needs that confusion?
  • Opposition just silly (01/11/2023, 17:23) Like (10) Dislike (3) Reply
    The Opposition was just foolish for walking out. Why let the Government off the hook. Childish. Frazer I thought you at least would have some sense. Guess not.
  • Bush Professor (01/11/2023, 18:41) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Undoubtedly, what goes around comes around. Nevertheless, elections has both opportunities and consequences for opportunities missed or squandered. The Opposition had a golden opportunity of a life time to unseat an incumbent government and form a government, which could have been a transformational government. Nonetheless, in the hours after the April 24, 2023, General Election, the Opposition members through personal ambition, greed, assisshness, etc, let the golden opportunity slipped away from its grasp. The opportunity bird, frustrated, disgusted and annoyed flew far away. The Opposition suffered a Herculean opportunity cost. They are probably still venting, pointing fingers, lashing out and trying to come to terms with squandering a golden opportunity provided by voters.

    The Westminister political system employed by both the UK and the Virgin Islands [British], one of its Overseas Territories ( OT) is a flawed process. The Westminister system comprises a) government, and b) opposition. As such, after a general election and a government is formed with a majority of elected members, it generally has the ability and numbers to pass any bill coming to floor with just a plurality of the vote. Furthermore, collective responsibility is an integral part of the Westminister system, ie, members are expected to typically vote for legislation on the floor.

    Walking out of the HoA can be effective in setting a tone, an attitude, an MO, etc, but it has to be done strategically and tactically on critical issues that the public has high interest in and will buy into. An HoA agenda that has been set should only be change for critical , urgent and important events. Moreover, the Opposition should not flood the zone with an unreasonable number of questions to annoy government but instead with a reasonable number of questions with legislature purpose and value, not just for political mileage. IMO, legislators should not have to forward questions before hand to the HoA. The opposition should be able to question ministers in real time.,Ministers should be up to speed on issues under his/her portfolio. If they don’t have complete answers, he/she can be followed later with the questioner whether before the session ends or after the session. Furthermore, every Opposition member has the phone number of every minister and can call him/her with questions and get answers.
    • @Bush Professor (01/11/2023, 21:00) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      @Professor you keep you it real and information, putting things context.
    • Disinterested (02/11/2023, 09:40) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
      To Professor, no disrespect my brother but stay off of whatever you are smoking. Lol. The Opposition if it were seated as government being wait for it, wait for it……a transformational government. Really! How can that be when the internal infighting kept it from compromising on Who would be the Premier. That infighting and divisiveness would have been carried into government. The young guns in the Opposition think the Boomers are not too bright and should more over for the young cowboys and Peter principles. While the Boomers think they got the age, wisdom, experience, etc. on their side. Some saw this opportunity as their last fleeting opportunity to become Premier, taking his place in the pantheon of BVI leaders; thus unwilling to compromise/yield a micrometer, preferring to burn the House down. While they were fighting, an opportunist made a gut punch, dagger in the heart devastating move which literally burn the opportunity house down.

      On the other hand, the incumbent government seeing their winning 6 of the 13 seats give it a mandate to rule. Thus it was willing to compromise/yield somethings to get the opportunity to form the government. Politics is an art, the art of compromise, especially in a divided process.

      Professor, other than that transformational government miscue, good read.
  • 2023 (01/11/2023, 18:55) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Big Man had the good option to form a government but what did Mr Man do but now chit chatting and pointing fingers

    Fraser wanted to be premier
    Marlon wanted to be Premier
    Ronnie wanted to be Premier

    End up on the Other-Side
  • bvibuzz (01/11/2023, 19:25) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    Just another opposition excuse for ineffectiveness in a long line of excuses.
  • RedStorm (01/11/2023, 19:28) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Big boys standing their grounds. News flash it should not have to be in this event, that such behavior is displayed. Working together requires all to show self control, what I see is pure madness of selfishness, you all stall the people work for what reason? Get with the project or stay home.
  • THE GAMES HAS BEGUN (01/11/2023, 19:31) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    A lot of people isn't supprised , if we look back at the Last election and how it played out , it showed that there is no ( togetherness ) amongst themselves / check out the IMPLOSIONS in the ( NDP ) then
    the fiasco between ANDY & FRA-SAH / those were tell tale signs of the kinds of mind games these wannabe aristocracts , i are playing on eachother , BOTH SIDES Don't seem to have any INTEGRITY so they are untrustworthy / soon they is going to blame the UK again •¿• and when you get right down to it , it's the same old RAT RACE ( no offence
  • unvaxx 4ever (02/11/2023, 10:06) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Only one bottom teeth Fraser have or its just a bad picture.
  • jack@$$ (02/11/2023, 10:23) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Egos out of control it's all about them and disrespect to them while they disrespect the people.

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