But the Denzil Douglas was anything but confident. He knew that he’d be defeated. He knew that Sam Condor and Timothy
Harris would support the Motion. And he has been running scared for the last two months–a totally unheard of delay in any
self-respecting, modern society and democracy.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: No Confidence Motions are as important as elections. The only difference between the
two is that elections come about once every five years and are determined directly by the votes of the people, while No
Confidence Motions can come at any time, and are determined by the votes of the people’s elected representatives in
Parliament. And just as it is utterly sacrilegious to deny the people their right to a free and fair vote at elections, it’s equally
sacrilegious to deny them their right to kick out a Government through a No Confidence Vote.
The No Confidence Vote is the people’s ultimate and only constitutional and parliamentary tool to keep a Government in
check between elections.And instead of acting in accordance with set parliamentary protocols, and with respect, decency
and accountability in Government, and instead of standing up like a man to face the parliamentary music, the Prime Minister
is exposing his cowardice and ugliness.
He’s cheating the people of their rights under their Constitution. He said on the radio that he and his colleagues aren’t in
favour of the Motion. And that’s okay. But we don’t want to hear him say so in a press conference. We want to hear him say
so in Parliament as he faces the Motion. He also says that people are making a song and dance about the Motion. And so
they should! The Motion is a fundamental element of our constitution and democracy. It’s a big, big deal. It cannot and must
not be downplayed.
The reality of the situation is that Denzil Douglas is heading up a minority Government. We recall that following the 4:4 tie
between PAM and Labour in the 1993 elections, he took to the airwaves to protest the action of then Governor-General,
Sir Clement Arrindell, for swearing in Dr. Kennedy Simmonds and his 5-member minority Government. He said that the Labour
Party had received more votes than had PAM and NRP combined in that election. And that the PAM-NRP Government had no
legitimacy. But what do we have today? Douglas leads up a 5-person Government, while 6 elected Parliamentarians
representing 54% of the popular vote in the general elections of January 25, 2010, will vote in favour of the Motion to kick
him out.Simple arithmetic!! The same arithmetic that Douglas likes to talk about has now come to bite him in the backside!
And he cannot handle it!
Is there a difference between 1993 and 2013? No. The fact that Douglas had won (and I use the word “won” loosely, even
recklessly) a majority of seats in the 2010 elections gives him no more legitimacy than if he had formed a 5-member
Government at the time. I also heard one caller to a radio show today claim that as long as Sam Condor and Timothy Harris
remain on the Government’s backbenches in Parliament, Denzil Douglas has a majority Government. Utter rubbish.
Democracy is not a static phenomenon. It is dynamic, and the Constitution feeds into that need for it to be dynamic,
providing remedies, recipes and guidance for situations as they arise from time to time. The overarching consideration for all
to face is that Condor and Harris would, and will, vote in favour of the Motion. So their being on the Government
backbenches is absolutely no excuse for Douglas or his surrogates to claim a majority Government, and to continue hiding
from the voice of the people.
Indeed, if they really believed what they ‘re saying, they wouldn’t be so afraid to face the Motion in Parliament. Denzil
Douglas is on trial here. He cannot be allowed to decide if and when his trial will take place. That’s not how justice works.
And he must not be allowed to get away with it. He now heads up a minority Government.He’s in the same situation as
Kennedy Simmonds was in 1993, only worse, because the people of this country have a bigger book to throw at him today
than they had to throw at Kennedy Simmonds 20 years ago.