Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj SC on Constitution Amendment Bill 2014 Pt 1


One Comment to “Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj SC on Constitution Amendment Bill 2014 Pt 1”

  1. The ‘run off’ loses its element as a ‘secret ballot’ in that the 41 constituency electorate would have already known the results of the first ballot.
    Second round voting therefore not only relates to obtaining the popular MP BUT directly effects a change in the trend of the first ballot across all constituencies – this has the effect of undoing what other constituencies did in the first ballot and this is a diabolical travesty upon the rights of choice of the other constituencies. E.g. Party A leads by three popular (determined) seats in the first ballot with a run off to be determined in four constituencies. These four constituencies can now go and willfully undo Party A’s lead as there is now knowledge which marginal districts (streets) need influencing, cajoling and persuading. In this sense therefore their ballot is not a secret ballot and tantamount to an elector in the first round having the benefit of a camera inside the ballot curtain.
    The marginal districts (streets) in the run off constituencies would benefit unfairly over other first round determined constituencies by the influx of capital works therein during the 15 day period a la the millions spent by the Government in St Joseph bye election. Here then the Government will have the advantage by unleashing the treasury into these districts and this is what it means the Government wants to steal the election. It is undemocratic for there to be any change in the calculation of the original votes.
    Finally, the run off effectively erases the powerful influence the third parties have in splitting the vote to determine their own outcome. What the run off means is you the electorate have split the votes but we the government says we dont like what you do so go back and vote and even if you do not go the second time you will have still influenced the maths for the popular vote. This amended law is a violation of the right of choice of the electorate who wish to split their votes in determining their own Parliament.
    This amended law in effect TELLS the Third Party Electorate you should not really go out and vote and if you do your effort will become spoiled and of no effect by another voting opportunity which excludes your preferred vote. This is undemocratic interference with our unique historical electoral process which has worked well for the electors to change governments at will.
    The Court should strike down the amended bill on the ground the Reform Consultative Process was compromised in that it was not seen to be independent. The Government chaired the proceedings and this was wrong. Many people stayed away from the consultation because it appeared to be a government and not a people thing.
    The people were not consulted on the run off and the way people determine a government and an opposition should not be tampered with. The run off in effect tells me i had no right to elect a majority opposition which the Westminster System gives me sacredly.

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