|Letter: February 10, 2015 - Grenada's D-Day|
|Published on August 14, 2014||
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June 6, 1944, the day allied forces landed on Normandy, was referred to as D-Day. It was the largest seaborne invasion, which began with the invasion of German occupied Western Europe and led to the restoration of the French Republic and the subsequent victory of the allied forces over the German military.
The allied military action against the German army was code named Operation Neptune. Thousands of soldiers on both sides of the conflict lost their lives in the conflict. Despite the loss of so many lives the cause was more than worth it, as democracy triumphed over tyranny and dictatorship.
February 10, 2015, is D-Day when Grenadians may vote in a referendum to reform the island's constitution. World War Two restored the French Republic by military action. Keith Mitchell and his NNP administration are attempting to make Grenada a republic through popular vote. Sixty-seven percent of all the total votes cast is required to change the island's constitution.
The slogan of the French Republic was Liberte, Egalite and Fraternite'; the English translation being Liberty, Equality and Brotherhood. What will be the slogan if Grenada becomes a republic after the February 10 referendum?
It has been proposed that Grenada will become a republic with a president and prime minister. The NNP administration is hoping that the president will be of the executive nature with wide ranging powers instead of a ceremonial one in the mold of a governor general. Many questions remained unanswered. First and foremost is there a need to have a prime minister and executive president in a small developing state with a population of approximately 100,000 people?
Secondly, what additional social, political and economic benefits would this bring to the country?
Thirdly, how would this executive president be elected? Would the president be chosen by the parliamentarians or through a popular ballot similar to what was done in Turkey where for the first time the president was elected by the people?
Fourthly, would the president be elected for life or will there be term limits? Who would the president be accountable to?
These questions have not be been answered by the powers that be and the electorate remains at a loss as to what the details are.
Constitution reform is the new buzz word in the Caribbean. Currently the parliament in the republic of Trinidad and Tobago is debating a number of constitutional reform issues proposed by the Kamla-led administration. One of the principal issues is that of term limits for the prime minister. The president of Trinidad and Tobago is of a ceremonial nature who serves for life and it seems under this process the status quo will remain.
Constitutional reform should be done in the context of improving the standard of living of the people, strengthening the democratic institutions, promoting democracy and the rule of law, strengthening the independence of the judiciary. Given the alleged breaches of the Grenadian constitution by the NNP administration, can anyone trust this administration to spearhead constitutional reforms?
Prime Minister Mitchell violated the Grenadian constitution for many years, serving in the nation’s parliament as a citizen of a foreign power. To date he has not returned a single cent of the wages he earned during that period to the national treasury. This anomaly needs to be corrected before Grenadians can vote in any referendum for constitutional change.
It just doesn’t make any sense whatsoever to give additional powers to any politician who has violated the nation’s constitution. This will amount to a mockery of the entire reform process.
No one, including the chairman of the constitutional reform committee Dr Francis Alexis, has explained to the people the rationale behind Grenada becoming a republic. The only reason I have heard is that Grenada is an independent sovereign state and as such all vestiges of its colonial past should be eradicated. That to me isn't a strong argument for making such a constitutional change.
Even as some pundits talk about eliminating the vestiges of our colonial past, Grenada remains a signatory to the ECCB, where the national currency is the EC dollar which has a picture of Queen Elizabeth printed on the dollar bills and coins.
The nation has yet to hear a national address by this prime minister as to why he believes that Grenada should abandon the Privy Council, become a republic, change the state’s name, establish an electoral commission and the reasons for the eight other items approved by his cabinet. Isn't this rather strange? Such a critical and serious issue and the leader of the country continues to remain dumb. It’s all a political game of cat and dog.
The prime minister doesn’t want to expose his hands until he has the opposition NDC and its leader Nazim Burke cornered. Keith Mitchell won't engage in an exercise of constitutional reform if in his own estimation he is likely to lose politically. He is closely monitoring the process, gauging the mode of the country before he exposes his hand. He recently mentioned that the days for playing games are over; however, he is skillfully playing 'poker' with the constitutional reform process.
Chester Humphrey allegedly once referred to Mitchell as a 'political animal'; however, that description is too mild for a man who sees everything through his political microscope. Keith Mitchell is a ' political beast' that won't settle for anything except total political power by any means necessary.
If you want to be permanently enslaved in a cycle of mental slavery, vote YES for his cabinet approved constitutional reforms items; however, if you want to be a free and independent minded individual, vote NO. The ball is in your court.
This is also the same argument put forward for Grenada to join the CCJ as the final court of appeal instead of the Privy Council.
Former Vincentian prime minster Sir James Mitchell has warned the government and people of Grenada against this.
It seems that some politicians are power hungry. Even with the wide ranging power that these politicians have at their disposal they haven't been able to tackle the many political, social and economic challenges confronting the people. In fact they have exacerbated the problems. Giving these leaders more power will only lead to the creation of dictatorships instead of democracies.
No foreign affairs policy item is done for constitutional change. Are we satisfied with Grenada's foreign affairs policy and the benefits derived therein. A robust foreign service is critical in this globalised environment. A few months ago the prime minister announced at a summit in Cuba that Grenada will apply for membership in ALBA.
Since then nothing has been heard about the status of this application. The last time that mention was made of anything to do with ALBA was at the coronation of Peter David as a card holding member of the NNP when it was announced that he was instrumental in obtaining a loan from the ALBA bank. Has the ALBA application stalled?
Should there be an item in the reform process that dictates which countries Grenada should have diplomatic relations with and the process involved in doing so. This should be given some consideration given the many blunders made by Nicholas Steele with the citizens by investment program.
Kamla is on the right track with the proposed term limits for prime ministers, the right to recall parliamentarians and also the 50% vote needed to become a MP. The 50% vote may be a bitter pill for many politicians to swallow. Majority vote may be more acceptable especially to third parties. The fact that she has brought these issues before the parliament of Trinidad and Tobago is extremely courageous.
Grenada is just not ready for the type of constitutional reform that the NNP administration wants to push down the throats of the people.
The majority of people are not sufficiently educated on the issues to make sensible decisions of issues that would change their lives permanently. The lack of understanding and knowledge of the existing constitution is widespread with the majority of people not having the faintest idea of what it contains.
It’s extremely unfortunate that he level of public education has been virtually nil. When questioned about information, the chairman of the constitutional reform committee points to information in the website.
The question is how many ordinary citizens have access to the internet much less having the knowledge to get on a website.
The constitutional reform process seems to be a plot by some politicians to grab more political power, protect their legacy having failed the people so many times and to satisfy some personal egos at the expense of the people.
The people shouldn't allow themselves to be taken for yet another ride on the constitutional reform bandwagon. Will an executive president solve the chronic unemployment situation facing the country and in particular the young people? Would there be better health care, education, housing, etc.? Would the issue of the national debt be address with a much improve fiscal situation? None of these issues will be solved by the constitutional reform process and so the process is secondary compared to the many problems facing the country.
Where is the voice of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) and its political leader Nazim Burke? What balancing role is the NDC playing in this process? Where is the public debate and education? The NDC’s support for constitutional reforms should be conditional.
The party should demand the normalisation of the electoral process, repeal of laws perceived as anti-democratic, no political interference in the operation of the RGPF and the public service. It will be politically foolhardy and suicidal for the NDC to support the constitutional reform process unconditionally given the number of travesties committed by the NNP since the elections of 2013. The party shouldn't be daunted by the absence of an elected opposition. In fact, the party has a licence and golden opportunity to set the agenda as it seeks to recapture the hearts and soul of the people.
What are the role and responsibilities of the NGOs, churches, media and private sector? Are they working in partnership with the NNP administration or are they antagonistic but too intimidated to speak out. With only a few more months before the referendum there is too much of a deafening quiet by the major stakeholders.
The process was extremely lively in St Vincent and the Grenadines, with the main opposition NDP stopping the ULP in its tracks. It is lively in Trinidad and Tobago with the major political parties outlining their positions and preparing for a debate of the items down for reform.
February 10, 2015, should be D-Day of 'RAGE' when the people finally take power into their hands and decide their own destiny. It should be D-Day for the beginning of the end of the political careers of those politicians who have failed the people time and time again.
It should be D-Day for the rise of meaningful 'democracy' and the fall of 'autocratic leadership and dictatorship’. It should be D-Day of Grenada's second popular people's revolution.
All power to the people of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.
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Grenadian Class, whoever you are come out of the shadows and join me in the fight to take back Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique.
Hermie Penny Kamin
Founder of Grenadian Progressive Party (the GPP)
Truth is Keith Claudius Mitchell has been a failure since he has failed to deliver on his campaign promises. his lies have caught up with him. Every bad and dishonest thing he has tried to implement has failed, his electronic crime bill, a total and absolute failure. Who the hell this jerk think he is? Keith Mitchell rule is characterized by Human Rights Abuse, Political Repression, Nepotism. Corruption, and Gross Economic Mismanagement.
The whole World recognizes what a sham and a complete failure this lying man is. The United States States Department has called this Mitchell Regime "CORRUPT", which means they are monitoring situations here in Grenada, because they are serious cause for concern if Mitchell and Peter David get their way.Grenadians are no fools and they will rise up against any Dictatorship,anyway, it does not matter what Mitchell does or try to do, his government and Political Party will fall before 2018. Keith C. Mitchell should not "STIR THE WATERS".
Ms Grenada your partisan political views are known to have swung in support for then in opposition to the current government. Therefore, you have challenged your own credulity.
Lets, stay honest always even when we use rhetoric to support our views: The United States State Department NEVER labeled the government of Grenada as corrupt. You should not repeat what you heard. You should research your facts accurately and then report. You then conclude that the US State Department is concerned if Dr Mitchell and the former NDC General Secretary "get their way". What a leap of logic laden with untruth. Every man and woman have a right to raise their voice what they cannot do is make up their own set of facts. The NDC is on record as supporting the CCJ. That is undeniable. The Law Lords in the UK have told the Caribbean to please handle their own legal business yet we are cap in hand begging for their appellate judgment when the CCJ is recognized as a model court that every country would be proud to have. We should embrace this court. How many of us have read this court's judgments? How many of us have ever glanced at the biographies of the members of the court -past and present? From my vantage the issues presented by the Reform Commission have muddied the waters of the Feb 15 2015 referendum.
Two issues dominate: Joining the full appellate jurisdiction of the Caribbean Court of Justice and giving the people the power of recall.
But keep expressing your views please and at the same time, please Ms. Grenade for the sake of uninhibited public discussion, try always to be less partisan and strive for honesty.
You too Grenadian Class - make it clear that the NDC government and party has supported the CCJ as Grenada's final court of appeal and acknowledge that like so many opposition parties in the region, the issue of non-support for constitutional reform is driven by political interests: the opposition does not want to give credit to the party who succeeds in changing our colonial era constitutions. On the other issues you raise, your loathing of the current government casts a long shadow over your viewpoint rendering them fully suspect.
The only interest Mitchell is pursuing is his own selfish interest. I was made aware of a letter that was addressed to the Grenada's Foreign Affair Minister, Nicolas Steele, regarding the Derek James issue, the letter was written by the United States, States Department in which they observed that a pervasive pattern of insidious corruption persists within the government of Keith C. Mitchell, because of the lack of accountability, if this is not calling the Mitchell government corrupt, I don't know what is.
This very serious Information was not made known to the Public, s been kept a secret.
You are free to direct your query to the Foreign Minister regarding the letter he received , or you can contact the US State Department, for more truthful information
Grenadians who are only just now realizing that Keith Mitchell is a criminal sociopath cannot say they were not warned.
And so you can always believe everything this con tells you, his credibility is right up there with all his neo-cons, lying is their trademark.
Let me guess, you sit in the middle, undecided and without a clue! There is no virtue in being clueless. Keith Mitchell and Eric Gairy, both Totalarian Monsters will someday share the same Melted Brimstone hole and excruciating torments for the evil they unleashed on our people.
JE whosoever you are let me make this abundantly clear to you. As citizens of Grenada Helen and Grenadian class has the constitutional right to express ourselves freely. Secondly , Helen and Grenadian Class also have the constitutional rights to freedom of association. You are missing a basic fundamental point. In any Caribbean country where a 67% vote is needed to change the constitution of that island without the input and support of the opposition it is doom to fail. At the peak of power in St Vincent and the Grenadines , Ralph Gonsalves failed miserably. Talking about credit for a party for changing our colonial era constitution is crap , petty and dotish thinking. This constitutional reform issue is way beyond a party or a egotistic individual looking for credit. If that is the best you can offer best you fine a bathroom and flush yourself and ideas. The way some political leaders govern this country is even worst than what transpired in the colonial era. If Grenada has to come out of the colonial era then just reforming the constitution won't do that. The government will have to SUSPEND the constitution and write a new one. Get real bro you not talking to a dumb. I am not the typical NNP.
The view is Grenadian Class isn't the view of NDC. You only concentrating on the CCJ , what about the other eleven items that the NNP cabinet approve. Do you have an idea what the other eleven items are? Can you please share them with the people. What is suspect is not by views. My views are expressed for all and sundry to read including you. What is suspect is the hush hush and hide hide tactic of this NNP administration as it relates to letting the people know what these issues are.
The constitutional advisory committee presented 25 items coming from the consultation , the cabinet selected 12 conveniently , what happened to the other thirteen? Are they not relevant ?
Some one is trying to wear a CROWN for life but that only happens in the middle East and in recent times the people protested against this.
I also believe that you are dreaming. I have never heard of the right to recall been an item in Grenada's process. Kamla has just introduced that in the process in Trinidad. If there should be a right to recall in Grenada there would be absolutely no current MP in parliament.
This bunch of MP's are the worst that ever sit in the nations parliament. A set of failures. Have you listen to the parliament debate on the issue of casino gambling in Grenada to hear the level of crap these MPs spoke?
You conveniently leave out the issue of making Grenada a Republic because you know that is the ' TRAP' in the entire reform process.
Some one want to be KING SAUD in Grenada. Keith Mitchell, Chester Humphrey and Peter David is trying to create a dynasty for themselves in Grenada but NO WAY my bro. Sensible people wont allow it.
You mentioned that like so many opposition parties the issue of non support for constitutional reform is driven by political interest, LMAO . The same cam be said about the political parties in office. Which prime minister in the Caribbean with their power hungry mentality will engage in constitutional reforms that would go against the political interest of him or her self and their political party. What you are saying is cheap rhetoric. It is not in the nature of political parties in office to share any inch of power with the opposition.
Do you remember the favorite quote Mitchell made after hurricane Ivan. Less you forget let me remind you. quote ' TWO MAN RAT CAN'T LEAVE IN THE SAME HOLE' !!!!!
Done try to diss Helen you will get burn. Helen is a woman of integrity who is independent hard working and strong,. You can say what you want about her she is like the rock of Gibralter.
On and by the way the government has changed the date of D-DAY from February 10th to MARCH ?????? 20 ??? without giving the people a reason. Don't you find that suspect ?
By the way have some respect with yourself. You can't tell big people what to do. Know your place please.