WRONG_WOEID WRONG_WOEID

Inside Politics – The Politics of Righteous Indignation

Righteous IndignationI was not able to follow the full debate in parliament on the new law setting up the guidelines within which the Constituency Boundaries Commission would operate.

I did hear the exchange between Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer and the opposition members on the question of providing specifics to the Commission with regard to what data it should use in establishing the boundaries for the constituencies.

Several opposition members recommended that in determining the population size of a constituency the most appropriate data that ought to be used is the data coming from the Statistics Department and the results of the National Census conducted last year.



Spencer’s argument was that there was no need for specifics in the guidelines to the Boundaries Commission. In fact, the PM expressed what I can only term as Righteous Indignation when he accused the opposition of “imputing improper motives” relating to the actions of his administration.

“Based on what has gone on before in the past under the ALP Administrations especially since 1984, the members of the Antigua Labour Party have no moral authority to be critical of this government,” Spencer declared.

Really? Mr Prime Minister, Really?

The United Progressive Party made it a fundamental pillar of its 2004 campaign when it was first swept into office, that whatever was done under the Antigua Labour Party that was deemed wrong by the citizens of this country this a UPP government would not do. “What is right will remain right, and what is wrong will be made right”.

The point I am making is that whether or not past ALP administrations gerrymandered constituency boundaries is immaterial to the current debate. (As a student of politics I can’t recall any previous ALP Administrations attempting to make the wholesale changes to the constituency boundaries comparable to what is being contemplated by the UPP government).

This is because if we accept that gerrymandering as an activity is wrong, then this is an act that a UPP government ought not to engage in as it goes against the tenets upon which the people of Antigua & Barbuda entrusted to them the stewardship of the nation. Simply put, it is a violation of the contract between the UPP Government and the people.

It is incredible that the current government is seeking to change constituency boundaries ostensibly to bring about equity in the number of electors per constituency, but it is not prepared to use the latest figures from the Census Office, to be released in December, 2012. What other guide but the results of the national census, conducted last year, is better able to provide accurate, unbiased information on population growth, population shifts, new communities etc.?

That the Prime Minister is refusing to commit to use the census report can only lead to one interpretation: that his intentions, and those of the Boundaries Commission, are less than noble. One might even say ... sinister.

I also find it offensive that the Prime Minister could seek to use righteous indignation to mask his true intentions now laid bare. It’s as if the Prime Minister is of the view that the people of Antigua & Barbuda are imbeciles and fools. Further, the Prime Minister’s record vis-a-vis electoral matters is as soiled as a baby’s diaper.

Five major court losses regarding his handling of electoral matters are more than ample evidence that the Prime Minister does not intend to play fair with regard to electoral issues. The Prime Minister seems to be reading from the playbook of the likes of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, who even resorted to changing that country’s constitution to prolong his grip on power.

Spencer, like Chavez and Vladimir Putin in Russia, seems intoxicated with power and he appears unable to consider life without it. Power does have its attractions we understand, Mr Spencer...



It is that power and its intoxicating effect that caused the Prime Minister to shout across the aisle at another member of the House:”You get on my nerves!’’  It is also unbelievable that the Prime Minister is allowed to get away with it, as the Speaker never asked him to recant. Had that been a member from the opposition side, it would have meant instant suspension. Again, the Prime Minister is made to believe that he is larger-than-life.

The ruling party has made clear its intention with respect to the electoral boundaries. The question now is, will that be enough? The recent failure of Social Security to meet its expenses, the fact that twelve thousand fewer people are working today than six years ago, the fact that the economy is on the way to a record four years if negative growth are issues that ought to be of concern to any government.

Rising cost of living
Rising utility bills
Stagnant economy
Unemployment
Government’s incompetence

These are the matters people discuss daily. These are the issues that will affect their vote. Not gerrymandering! A word to the wise is sufficient!

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20 Comments In This Article   

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The Seas Never Give Up Their Secrets!PT2

#20 John French II » 2012-10-08 21:32

Notes From A Native Son Of The Rock. Friends, CountryWomen/Men, Ouadadlians, Rastas, "Pickey Head People" the tales of Devil's Bridge & Darkwood steeped in Antiguan Mythology of Obeah & Devil Men coming in from the deep blue to sign deathly pacts with those foolish enough to seek their fortune through joining the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse riding the white horse must never be forgotten. Teach our youth.
All of this was seen as Lake writes by Quote:
Boogy Peak standing majestically distanced to so many who had tried to harness her. Between the mule & the cart, we would never forget the world of exploitation & mockery or our deserving place, given our original mission.
Friends, these are dire & perilous times. Many have thrown the Sustainable Island Resources Management Zoning Plan 2011 in file thirteen for filthy lucre.
Many will be swallowed up by the Deep Blue of Devil's Bridge & Darkwood. The numbers are rising. Pay Attention! to the Devil's Bridge Where two or three are gathered & drown yearning to return to the Motherland or Darkwood where the grim reaper rises from the deep to claim its black heart.
Oh Gad! Pray wid mi! Heaven Help Us All!
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John French II

The Seas Never Give Up Their Secrets!

#19 John French II » 2012-10-08 21:02

Notes From A Native Son Of The Rock! In the Devil's Bridge by Edgar O. Lake, He writes of a band of scheming masquearders Quote:
born of the Bridge as no different. I awoke filled with a cruel plan to assemble a band of Spades who would head the other way - to Rob the hamlet dwellers' fortunes in the countryside: a selection of Clubs with dazzling masquerading skills and truly heartless masks needed to complete this task and cruel mission.
Tenman & Dig It if you are old enough Pay Attention to the highlited words. Many a tale has been told of many of the Ancestors hurling themselves into the deep at Devil's Bridge as they looked eastward to the motherland. This will be a recurring event as he dark clouds gather.
Many have been the tales of the Pacts signed at Darkwood. Here is Lakey again. Dig It this bring either a smile or tear: Quote:
the mule ... lashed its tail, as a drunken man who had beat a negotiator for a voiceless cadre of blind and trusting workers. We felt betrayed in the wide expanse of this verdant valley,a space full of mocking purpose.
Darkwood never gave up the secrets of those who made their pacts.
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John French II

@ HC

#18 skyewill » 2012-10-08 19:43

It is wonderful that in a democracy you can say those things and I have no problem with it. It is funny that only those who agree with you have inteligence.or is that just for today. 2004 the people of A & B kicked the ALP out by a landslide and it was for a reason. Nothing wrong with ALP coming back if that is the peoples choice. But for my choice I would not choose some of the same people. I would also like to see some new faces on UPP. God bless you.
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skyewill

@ tenman

#17 skyewill » 2012-10-08 19:31

So to be clear the government should keep their hands of ABEC and I believe that the census should be used and any conspriracy to tamper with elections should meet swift jail time.
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skyewill

@ tenman

#16 skyewill » 2012-10-08 19:26

Sorry for the delay it's Carnival in MIA. All I am saying ALP will need to prove itself better than before and should be held accountable for the mess that brought UPP into position. I would like to see new people all the way round. I did not buy into the PM's position, i just think he has an arguable point cause I would say the same thing. it's just that coming from the PM seem more offensive than coming from me. A conclusion of Righteous Indignation by the PM may be a correct **ment but I believe even if the PM came with something that was valid he would still get creamed I have no confidence in either party.
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skyewill

skyewill - a record of incomplete/incompete nce

#15 tenman » 2012-10-08 16:03

skyewill though I will admit there is some blame to go to the managers, can they be blamed for lacking tools? You yourself have admitted that in Antigua the problem is not lack of resources but a wastage of resources. Will you blame the managers for things like the fencing and Wadadli power plant scandal? The very report into the "fencing scandal" stated the minister managed the day to running of said program. There is an article in today's Observer (see http://www.antiguaobserver.com/eu-fund-dries-up-college-resource-centre-unfinished) about the Antigua state college where even after getting a 6 million grant for 8 million project, the project, started 8 years ago, has now sat there only 30% complete for the last 2 years. How can I not blame the government ministers for such when I know 54 million was spent on building fences and unneeded and illegal stadiums? Skyewill when you invest in a company and such happens isn't it the board you elected that you demand to be removed?

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tenman

Skywell

#14 HC » 2012-10-08 15:08

Please get your ignorant xxx xxxe off Carib arena,and go take your meds,you are obviously in a hallucinating state.
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HC

part 2

#13 Antiguan Woman » 2012-10-08 15:06

The UPP Govt after 2004

Personal inome tax introduced at a whooping 25%, VAT,introduced at 15%, Revenue recovery charge introduced. Increase in Airport departure tax,increase in hotel taxes ,the list goes on.
Fuel variation charge(fvc) increased by 100%.
Not one single meaningful sustainable job created between(2004-2008) before the world crisis,meaning not one single investor found their way off Sandy island.
Millions spent on roads and fences and bathrooms that cannot be found,and never presented to the parliament for proper scrutiny/approval.
No accountability and no answers as to the use of all the taxes/screws/nails collected. $ Millons secretly spent on an old rusty oil guzzling power plant making the cost of electricity unreachable to many.
Now Mr SPENCER,PLEASE TELL ME IN LIGHT OF ALL THE BROKEN PROMISES,THE 360 DEGREE TURNS AND WHAT WE NOW KNOW TO BE ALL LIES ,DO YOU IN ALL HONESTY THINK YOU STILL HAVE THE MORAL AUTHORITY TO GOVERN?????
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RE: Inside Politics – The Politics of Righteous Indignation

#12 Antiguan Woman » 2012-10-08 14:46

“Based on what has gone on before in the past under the ALP Administrations especially since 1984, the members of the Antigua Labour Party have no moral authority to be critical of this goverment.

Some Promises made before the 2004 polls by the UPP.
1) No new taxes will be introduced.
2)Removal of the FVC to make electricity more affordable.
3)Investors waiting just off Sandy Island,just waiting to see the back of the ALP.
4) Accountability/Trans parency in all aspects of Govt.
5) One strike,you,re out,no room for corruption.
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Antiguan Woman

@ DadliMan

#11 skyewill » 2012-10-08 14:41

LMAO, you are correct, Still LMAO but they can do it do they have the talent? Have not seen any yet. the island full of talent, they get looked over but the problem is not the ministers in a lot of ways it the underlings screw things up. Hell do you see the way the ENGINEERS design gutters and those deep canyons cross the roads you wonder where they got their degrees or maybe they never traveled anywhere. If you are driving a small car, bicycle or scooter or motorcycle you just might tear a piece off your vehicle crossing the street. I busted my Horse crossing a cutter in grays Farm while riding my bike, mashup my knee, and the Politicians who been places allow them to build this crap without any guidance. No matter the government you will still have those same engineers or managers who really don’t do nothing or worse. They stock in 1817.
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skyewill

On The Boundary Line

#10 BURIED CANNONS » 2012-10-08 13:34

Jerry Mander can jump high, jump low ... The election cricket match is on the way and ALP is at the wicket and has hit a UPP ball into splinters. The remains are scatter on the boundary ... WE ARE DESPERATING WAITING FOR THE THIRD UMPIRE!!!
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BURIED CANNONS

A slogan worth the dust-bin!

#9 Dig It » 2012-10-08 13:23

Everton, so far the PM's "slogan" has turned out to be an "empty-placard." The sad part is that they are many of his supporters and well-wisher, who truly believe he has brought the "change" to good-governance! Instead, what many have seen for the last eight years is a "Prince" that called his own people "criminals-and-merce naries," mismanaged the economy with "wasteful" spending, broken his own laws with "loans" from the Chinese without Parliament approval, has allowed the Great Negotiator to "negotiate" on contracts he has "no skilled" in, among others. The fact of the matter is a "cunning fox" will say anything to get its "prey!" We have seen the great lengths by the Chief Servant to undermine the ABEC and those whom he have brought him the "emba**ment" of having he seat "null and void." Now, with "gerrymandering" he doesn't believe it is the "moral authority" of the Opposition or anyone to question the new guidlines of the Boundary Commission! By the way, Everton, in case, you missed it, the great doctor Quinn-Leandro said she will put in her "resignation" if her government do any gerrymandering. The problem with that is that it is not a "consensus" of the entire Cabinet!
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Dig It

@ skyewill

#8 DadliMan » 2012-10-08 13:09

skyewill ,
You indicated that several things need to fall into place for the UPP to be returned to office. Pretty much everything you noted seems to be in the opposite direction to which the UPP is headed. Do you think that is merely coincidence?

From some of your previous posts, I gather that you reside in the USA. There, when you are tired of the Democrats, you vote in the Republicans and vice versa. Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have changed, yet the electorate regularly switch between both parties. I supported a change in 2004. Even though UPP has turned out to be a disaster, I still think it was a good thing. It was necessary for the ALP to get the message that they were not invincible. If they regain power, it will be with the knowledge that they can be voted out again just like in 2004.
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DadliMan

RE: Inside Politics – The Politics of Righteous Indignation

#7 tenman » 2012-10-08 11:47

Skyewill you seem guilty of buying into the PM's poison. The writer demands good government and you instead make this leap of the UPP is the better of two bad alternatives. The suggestion seems to be that since the ex husband may have beat up on the wife, its ok for her to accept such or even worse from the new husband. I find it strange that the PM would publicly laud VC Bird's snr accomplishment and yet accuse the man of gerrymandering (the boundary change the PM referenced, in 1984, occurred when VC snr was PM). Even dead, the attacks continue in a fork tongued manner. The boundary charge occurred in 1984 but in 1980, the ALP won All Saints by 9 votes (ALP 896, PLM 887) and the PLM won St. Luke by 290 votes (432 ALP, 722 PLM). If the constituencies had stayed the same in 1984, the ALP would have most likely still won based on total votes (1667-ALP giving them 339 more votes than they had in 1980) for All saints west and all saints east & St. Luke. Strange thing is the PLM did not even exist in 1984 and the independent and UPM received a total of 1128. There was a swing towards the ALP, PLM was dead.
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tenman

There is always need for specifics

#6 skyewill » 2012-10-08 09:42

YES, really Everton. If I can recall Antigua couldn't wait to get rid of ALP in 2004 or maybe I was dreaming. So tell me why they voted out ALP again? It is my opinion if ALP had won the 2004 election Antigua would be in worse shape than it is today. seriously! I hold the PM responsible for harboring too many individuals who look nice and speak nice but dunce like dirt. Now this OPINION peice is loaded and is leaning far right of center and while it is well written and you are capable this one is not journalism. What new ideas have the ALP produced to convince the electorate they are not the same party the people drove out of government? Where is the fresh, bold new? I don't have a crystal ball You let that new Airport take off, and customs start working well, the use power power plant start working and those who stole fence money get jail and the Manufacturing sector get a boost and insentive for supermarkets to reduce food prices and agriculture sell more local goods and ALP GOT THE SAME OLD PEOPLE with fat pockets and nothing new. BAM a 3rd UPP term
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skyewill

the author of confusion

#5 tenman » 2012-10-08 09:37

Everton well said. I share your sentiment in regards to the law being specific regarding what document can be used. The PM has also laid the door open for legal challenges. Sadly because the PM won't be paying the bills, it does not affect his judgement. One could not watch the parliament and notice the divide between the PM and the AG. The AG seemed whenever in conversation with the PM to be controlling his breathing and counting to ten.

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tenman

@ Words to the Wise

#4 UncommonSense » 2012-10-08 09:31

It is premature to cry unfair boundary adjustments until the criteria for change are articulated. I agree with Barnes that since the PM does not want to declare openly what factors would decide the boundary changes that this behavior is up for suspicion.
1) When the mood of the people is for radical change that punishes the Government no amount of electoral adjustments will undermine their determination
2) To think that historical bountaries lines when adjusted will favor the government is a fool's recipe for a surprised disaster. Political loyalities always shift overtime and when the economy is that bad, the government appears to be callous and disregarding of the people's needs, trust me what appears to be UPP support will vote to put the UPP in opposition.
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UncommonSense

Pure Wisdom

#3 Watchful » 2012-10-08 08:16

This piece by Mr Everton Barnes is journalistic excellence! He has gotten to the very core of the sinister motives of the UPP mal-administration's intentions to change the boundaries, in order to gain an unfair advantage in the next elections.It is instructive to note that all corrupt dictators NEVER want to relinquish power ! They try their best to change the rules so that they and their boot-lickers can stay in charge! Time to take our country back from economic misery! UPP MUST GO!!!!!!!!
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Watchful

RE: Inside Politics – The Politics of Righteous Indignation

#2 Shenai » 2012-10-08 06:45

Good article Everton. It is clear for the world to see that this U.P.P. government "is trying to put itself in the best position" to get a result that the majority of people in Antigua do not want. THE U.P.P. must go. He have failed. I hope they get locked up.
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Shenai

RE: Inside Politics – The Politics of Righteous Indignation

#1 DadliMan » 2012-10-08 06:21

The drowning men are grabbing any straw they can. The UPP doesn't seem to realise that most people just want to see them out of there. They will go down in history as the dumbest administration ever
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DadliMan

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Everton Barnes


 

 

 

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