Wednesday, October 31, 2012

When will we begin to take action?

Poor Prime Minister Tillman Thomas.

He called a press conference on Tuesday morning to report on his visit to the United Arab Emirates for an environmental conference – but all the reporters wanted to know – reflecting the mood of the nation, is when is he going to recall parliament.

And he duly stuck to his inarticulate talking points with a straight face – and at one point, even a mischievous giggle.

He said there is nothing illegal about the suspension (as if any sane person had questioned that), and that people in Grenada still have rights (as if that, too, was questioned).

When the Prime Minister has the time to sit down with William Joseph and Glen Noel and others to craft a half decent answer, here is the question that still needs to be answered: Exactly what is the reason for the delay in re-opening parliament?

That is the crux of the matter.

And while what is being done is apparently based on the letter of the law, is it in the spirit of any self-respecting democratic society?

The provision to be able to suspend parliamentary sitting for up to six months, one will suspect, is to take care of extenuating circumstances – like a national disaster, a country at war, et cet.

Tillman Thomas' own political survival is not an extenuating circumstance – especially so when a country is facing its worst economic crisis in its history, and one of its biggest political meltdowns, save 1983.

Thomas continued touting of his democratic credential gets more hallowed each time you hear it.

President Bashar al-Assad of Syria is still the recognized leader of that country – and I guess technically and legally – he is authorized to send troops to various cities and bomb people he deems as “counters’’ and “terrorists’’.

But there comes a time in politics when, irrespective of what “legal authority’’ leaders clothe themselves in to govern, that there is something bigger that matters –“moral authority’’.

With more MPs opposed to the regime, than supporting it; with the ruling party divided down the middle; with the economy in free fall; with salaries late again – Prime Minister Thomas has lost the moral authority to govern.

He needs to reconvene the parliament or call general elections.

And if he doesn't anytime soon, we – the ordinary people of Grenada – must begin to do something about it.

We must come together and peacefully, through all democratic channels, send a message to this regime -- that our very democracy is worth defending.

Grenada's biggest crisis right now is the failure of leadership – and it’s not only in government.

The NGO and Trade Union leadership has let us down; and the church leadership has retreated into a post-revolution cowardice.

As for the likes of opposition MPs Keith Mitchell and Peter David – I have heard your protestations; I have heard your complaints. They are all welcomed.

But move the ball one step further! Start mobilizing people and bring them together – for real action; or also lose your relevance, as Prime Minister Thomas, already has.

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