Blunder-Stricken Commission-Beauties Battle

Beauties BattleThere was no doubt that ever since its establishment, the ABE Commission has been hit by administrative snags and rocked by controversies.

Among its membership are “...a Public Auctioneer; ...an Accountant; ...former educators and a former Company PRO/Consultant and host of a fledgling Television programme called “...The Paula Lee Show.” While members appeared to have possessed varying degree of intellect, some members appeared to have been “...Mind-bogglingly Ignorant” of the provisions contained in the Representation of the People Act” [1975/2002]. The weak-willed members were said to have been “...manipulated” by those endowed with the “...power of influence and strong persuasive skills.” Hence, many pundits saw some members being reduced to “...Numerical Value.” This may have been reflected in the persistent BLUNDERS, where “...unilateral decisions were reportedly placed in the “...Collective Responsibility” of commissioners for “...majority ratification” [Nathaniel ‘Paddy’ James: Deputy Chairman: September 16 &29, 2013].


The Chairmanship has been forced to absorb blame for implementing policies seen by “...ABE Commissioners, special interest groups” and by extension, the citizenry as “...illogical, irrational and egregious to electors, electoral and democratic processes.” In the estimation of the electorate, from all indications, the Chairmanship of the apparent “...impulsive nature of Juno Samuel” was seen as being far more chaotic, full of controversies and confusion,” than that obtained under previous Chairmanship.  For instance, while Mc Clin Mathias, Sir Gerald Watt KCN QC and Ambassador Bruce Goodwin may have had their experiences of “...criticisms, trials and tribulations,” for embattled Chairman Juno Samuel, without fear of contradiction, it could easily be said that the “...Voters Re-Registration Exercises” appeared to have been more “...problematic,” overwhelming the ABE Commission’s Chairmanship and professional competencies of members. These were compounded by spurious claims of SABOTAGE” [Observer: October 27, 2013]..


Ever since the “...Re-Registration and Registration” of new electors commenced on September 30, 2013, the “...Antigua and Barbuda Commission (ABEC),” appeared to have been bedeviled by “...Myriad Problems.” Several of the members have shown that they were “...significantly influenced by “...allegiance, organizational affiliation and/or interest.” Firstly, special interest groups argued that it was necessary to purge the ...2004/2009 list of electors that may still reflect “...dead, ineligible and/or unqualified voters.” Other interest asserted that the intent was to “...De-Register Electors” seen as adverse to the success of the incumbent. Hence, the targeted groups as touted by other interest were identified as those from the “...Commonwealth,” specifically nationals from the “...Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Organization of the Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).”


Evidence suggesting a “...Blunder-Stricken” Commission, may have been discernible from the personal experiences and expressions of registrant, Senator Dr. Edmond Mansoor. Thus when Telecommunications Science and Technology Minister, speaks to his experiences, “...something must have gone wrong.” Speaking to his personal experiences on(i) “...the De-Registration of previously listed electors; (ii) ...possibility of Re-Registration and (iii) ...Registration of new Voters,” Senator Mansoor had confirmed the widely expressed complaints of “...inordinate delays at Registration Centers; ...inconvenience and scant regard shown to registrants, thereby, influencing many to leave designated registration centers. Senator Mansoor was of the view that the difficulties experienced by registrants had the “...potential for disenfranchising many eligible voters” [Observer Media: October 9, 2013].


Clearly perturbed, expressing contrary views of “...disenfranchisement,” Prime Minister Honourable Dr. Baldwin Spencer, seeking to allay registrants’ and citizen’s fears, retorted “...I don’t see what disenfranchising they are talking about” [Observer Media: October 13, 2013]. Looking at the psyche and mind as the “...center of thought and belief; ...corresponding pattern of behavior; ...actions and reactions,” for all intents and purposes, logic dictates that when babies cried, most needed formula or attention. Conversely, when people made excuses, “...the unusual may have occurred; ...when some complained, “...something may have gone radically wrong.” When a significant number complained of nagging issues, the Mighty Sparrow sings “...Sixty million Frenchmen cannot be wrong.”


The dominance of men in “...leadership and other positions” may have inspired professional women in attempting to remove “...gender-based barriers” that may have “...hindered opportunities for advancement; ...impeded progress; ...restricted economic growth; ...impacted negatively on equality and social justice. These were recently observed through the World Economic Forum (WEF) [2005]. Recognizing the indispensability and “...Worth of Women” to civil society, the Geneva-based international organization posited “...As consumers; ...workers; ...entrepreneurs and caregivers, women are central to solving today’s most pressing challenges.” Acknowledging that there was an observable shift in trend, it said that there was “...more economic empowerment and political equality for women.” The ‘WEF’ also suggested that globally, more women were “...aspiring to Ministerial positions.” [BBC: October 25, 2013].


Within the nation of Antigua and Barbuda five women will be carefully strategizing in their respective bids to oust five opposing male candidates in an election that could make Mount Obama rumble and shrink back to its historic size of a “...Peak.”  Consequently, the atmosphere is being created, with lines drawn for what may very well be the “...Battle of All Female Battles.” Thus, when the contentious “...Registration of voters; ...De-Registration of previously registered voters and ...Re-Registration of voters whose “...Eligibility or Ineligibility,” rest in the hands of puritan Registration officers, will have ended on October 31, 2013, the five female candidates, representing different groupings, will be vigorously canvassing the electorate in support of their candidacy.


Interestingly, had ZDK’s roving reporter Percival ‘Percy’ Simon possessed “...Divine-endowed powers of creativity,” this commentary may have referred to a “...Sixth female candidate.” Though his thoughts appeared provocatively facetious, he may have addressed, “...influences affecting confused human behaviors, specifically, traits in the sexes, such as that which had reportedly brought about the demise of decedent “...Curtis Browne” [Caribarena: October, 26, 2013]. For instance, females seen displaying “...traits of Masculinity,” will have been transformed with appropriate physical male attributes. Conversely, males seen exhibiting unusually strong “...effeminate tendencies,” will have been physically configured with genitals consistent with such gender. In the latter case, he may have been able to remove from Roman Catholic Bishop, His Grace Kenneth Richards, any immoral reasons for advocating “ ...Decriminalization” of the abominable crime of “ ...Buggery,” contrary to conventional wisdom and biblical teachings [Brenton Henry story: Belizean/LGBT: March 3, 2012]. 


The cliché “...Bevy of Beauties,” might reasonably suggest imagery of “...bikini-clad females in a beauty contest.” Contrastingly, in an Electoral contest, there were no such contestants, depicting beauty, splendor or spectacle to energize the mind or excite the senses. In such contest, it was about an environment, usually “...pregnant with hostilities; ...rife with expressions that could leave egos bruised, with teary-eyed and timid candidates pondering whether they should “...continue or drop out.” Conscious of such environment, five females have shown a resolve in reducing the dominance of male in the House of Representatives. The women include: (i) ...a resurgent contender Charlene Samuel [2004]; (ii) ...a tenacious Dr. Jacqui Quinn-Leandro [2004/2009]; (iii) ...a persevering Senator Joanne Maureen Massiah [2004/2009]; (IV) ...a resilient Senator Samantha Nicole Marshall [2009]; and (v)  ...avivacious Senator Shawn Marisa Nicholas. The composition reflects “...two Attorneys- at-law; ...two degreed Mass Communicators and an Educator/Mathematics specialist.” With their Intellectuality and Age of Reason, they could help in enhancing the Lower House with some measure of respectability, pride and meaning to the parliamentary debates.


Dr. Jacqui Quinn-Leandro has proved her “...Electability,” through previously won elections -decisively trouncing two male rivals in 2004, but narrowly and judiciallyescaped defeat in 2009. Two had previously suffered crushing defeats [2004]; ...One was narrowly defeated [2009], with “...a Dark Horse” in the race, attempting to clip the wings of a “...Red Robin.” Politically used, the “...Dark Horse cliché” was first applied to a Democrat James K. Polk. Running for the United States Presidency in 1844, he was described as “...a relatively unknown.” However, among better known candidates, he had achieved two extraordinary aspirational feats. He won the “...Presidential nomination and Presidency, in becoming the eleventh US President” [Wikipedia: November 2, 1795]. Irrespective of colour of horses, “...Dark; ...Blue or...Red,” even if it entails socializing with“...White Horse Blended Scotch Whiskey, hereon to 2014, each candidate will seek to canvas their individual candidacy in the hope that the electorate mayultimately “...confirm their electability.”


Thus, if there was a male contender to attest to Dr. Jacqui Quinn-Leandro’s “...Strength in Elections,” then it shall be the “...threat-less rival,” Cardinal ‘Nal’ King QPM. The former Senior Law enforcement officer and Lay preacher, with his “...spirituality and professional prowess,” Nal was unable to come up with strategies, capable of weakening her “...shrewdness and practical knowledge; or ...matched her wit, influence, intellect and/or her expertise in “...Mass Communication.” Ignoring unsolicited advice,” he may have been reckless not to have known the difference between “...Policing and Politics.” Thus, that which he may have used appeared to have been ineffective in a changing a hostile political environment to a “...virtual novice.” Seemingly, becoming overly ambitious, the Cardinal’s elections results had virtually made him a “...Nullity.” He had barely squeezed out a negligible “...38 votes of Casting Votes of 3,488.” Consequently, the embarrassing results effectively brought a humiliating end to the “...Cardinal’s” political ambitions and aspirations for membership in the House of Representatives.


Unlike the March 23, 2004 general elections, in the March 13, 2009 elections, Dr. Jacqui Quinn-Leandro had edged out constituency challenger Dean Jonas.” The elections were reportedly “...mired in controversies.” Most of the controversies were reported to have involved “...allegations of corrupt practice, including bribery.” Then there were contentions affecting “...inordinate delays and disenfranchisement, resulting in concerns over “...freeness and fairness of the elections and objections to the declared results. Statistically, the record reflected that in the March 23, 2004 elections, of the “...Listed Electors of 3, 668; ...Cast votes numbering 3, 384; ...Jacqui Quinn-Leandro amassed popular votes of ...2,124 to main contender Dean Jonas’ ...1, 212 votes. There were 10 Spoilt ballots. Independent candidate, Cardinal King obtained a negligible “...38 votes.” Reflecting upon his overwhelming defeat, a smiling ‘Nal’ jestfully recounted, “...I got 37 of the popular votes, plus mine” [Friday October 11, 2013]. Compounding the contentions and/or controversies, were serious questions surrounding the conduct of Electoral Commissioners.


Consequent upon allegations of “...corrupt practice,” Election Petitions were filed in the Courts to ventilate the issues raised by Petitioners. Then there were spurious claims by Respondents of “...Dereliction of duty.” These were followed by the establishment of a notorious Tribunal and Suspensions of three members of the Antigua and Barbuda Electoral Commission (BEC). It was expeditiously established by Her Excellency Governor General Dame Louise Lake-Tack, for the expressed purposes of “...removing Chairman Sir Gerald A. Watt KCN QC; ...Deputy Nathaniel ‘Paddy’ James and Commissioner Lionel ‘Max’ Hurst.” In the Tribunal proceedings, “...Public Perceptions,” eventually saw the removal of Commissioner Lionel ‘Max’ Hurst.


The proceedings had resulted, in “...an adverse High Court ruling” in which Justice Louise Esther Blenman had “...declared the 2009 results a nullity.” Consequent upon High Court and Appellate Court proceedings in the March 13, 2009 elections,” Petitioners and Respondents saw rulings, described as “...mindboggling.” Firstly, Her Ladyship, Justice Louise Blenman’s ruling of “...Nullity” were seen by two of three Judges that she had “...Misdirected herself as to have affected her reasoning and judicial judgment.” Petitioners saw it differently. [HCVAP: 2010/018: March 31, 2010].  The Appellate Court, therefore, returned favourable rulings for Dr. Jacqui Quinn-Leandro. As fate would have it, suspected “...acrimonious retroactive legislation,” supported by Dr. Jacqui Quinn-Leandro, effectively shortened the tenure of the “...indomitable Sir Gerald” [December 22, 2011]. A subsequent judicial ruling by Her Ladyship Justice Jennifer Remy had determined that Her Excellency Governor General Dame Louise Lake-Tack, “ ...acted unlawfully” in the removal of Sir Gerald from office- January 25, 2012” [Gazette No.16: January 31, 2012].


While policy-makers had touted noble intentions and had calculatedly enacted legislation, in preparation for new Electors Lists, opponents and critics have argued that the enactments appeared to have the effect of removing previously lawfully registered voters from the published lists of Electors for the 2004 and 2009 general elections.  Thus, pundits saw the legislative initiatives as having a “...suspected desired effect of Disenfranchising voters.” Hence, while power-wielders seek to divide and rule, irrespective of finality and listing of electors, there shall be adequate numbers to enable at least five highly qualified female Candidates in contesting the March 2014 general elections.


Despite the Commission’s composition of very intelligent people, “...the technologies; ...stipulated processes, procedures and requirements for Voters Registration,” appeared to have dogged, both the Commission and eligible voters. These have provoked suggestions that the exercises were intended for “...Disenfranchising previously registered and officially listed voters.” Thus, when strong public criticisms from both “...incumbent and opposition members were mounted,” the Honourable Prime Minister Dr. Baldwin Spencer was quick in “...scoffing at such suggestions.” He had, therefore, attributed the initial difficulties “...similar to the delicate gum of an infant through which a tooth was gradually and painfully protruding.” Further attempting to allay public fears, he had described the difficulties as “...teething” and “...hiccough” [Observer Media].


Initially, it appeared that much thought may not have been given to (i) “...Provisions in the Law regarding Constituency residency for registration; and (ii) ...Distances to be travelled by eligible voters.” Dr. Jacqui Quinn-Leandro had anticipated “...inconvenience and operational disaster.” Moreover she had foreseen “...technological glitches” that may have retarded the efficient operations of the new technology and progress of the registration exercises. Seemingly for some obscure reason/s, ‘ABE’ Commissioners had proposed an outrageous” ...Centralized Center” for commencement of the intended electoral reform “...Miles Away” from most of the seventeen constituencies. Hence, few people may have provoked her to anger, as had been the ABE Commission (ABEC). Like opponents, Honourable Molwyn Joseph and Robin Yearwood, Dr. Jacqui Quinn-Leandro was adamant that it was impracticable for the national exercise of Voter R-Registration to be “ ...successfully conducted at a single location.”


Firstly, while the Commission sought, unconvincingly to hide its apparent shortsightedness, incumbent Candidate Honourable Dr. Jacqui Quinn-Leandro had been looking beyond the horizon. Seemingly, within her particular grouping, she appeared to have been “...the only incumbent who may have foreseen grave difficulties with the establishment of a “...Super Voter Registration Center and rebuffed the idea.” Without insulting the intelligence of ‘ABEC’s PRO’ Anne Harewood-George and the Commissioners, she had “...foreseen avoidable problems.” She had seen that which “...seven times the combined brain matter” of serving Commissioners and a PRO, appeared not to have ‘VISUALIZED’ or anticipated. While this year’s Independence celebratory theme speaks to “...Pride, VISION and Integrity,” it was unclear what the ABE Commissioners will celebrate in reflection of their “...blunder-stricken tenure.” Many operational problems had manifested themselves in very first week into the “...Re-Registration.” Then in the latter part of the exercises, there had been as many “...technological glitches and/or logistic problems”- some “...FORESEEABLE; ...some AVOIDABLE and some INESCAPABLE.”


Antigua and Barbuda is a “...Constitutional Monarchy,” with a Parliamentary System of government, derived from its former colonizers Britain. On November 1st, 1981, when the British considered expedient in severing the “...umbilical cord of colonialism,” rightly or wrongly, it had provided the framework for a “...three-tier system of government. This system comprises (i) “...a Legislature; (ii) ...an Executive; and (iii) ...a Judiciary.”Membership to the Legislature” and possibly to the Executive, shall be obtained through a periodic process called “...General Elections.” Thus, candidates successfully contested the elections will have been elected to the House of Representatives. Invariably, these systems were made to be at variance with each other.


The nation has a population of approximately 80,000 people. With an electorate of approximately 54, 000 eligible voters, former Chairman of the Antigua and Barbuda Electoral Commission (ABEC), Sir Gerald Anderson Watt QC, has posited that “...Based Support” for the two major parties represents approximately 32, 000 of the popular votes (16x 2); ...Independent possibly commanding 2,000.” Some pundits have posited that an estimated 20,000 voters might be “...UNDECIDED” and may only vote if they were “...totally dissatisfied with incumbent’s performance and/or deliveries.” The pundits have also argued that an estimated 3, 000 electors may not vote.


Thus, with “...Swing Votes,” estimated to be 17, 000,” “...if the price is right,” “...with practices bordering ...Bribery - cash, gifts and other tangibles,” a small percentage of the “...Undecided voters” might be so influenced as to exercise a franchise in helping to “...Swing Votes” in favor of incumbents and/or opposition candidates, that may ultimately oust one of the contending parties. Such practices could easily be equated with that which conservationists described as “...Japanese Corruption of the International Whaling Commission (IWC)” in which ‘OECS’ representatives had reportedly “...SOLD WHALE VOTES” for Japanese-funded fishing complexes,” said not to be serving their intended purposes. For instance, the Commonwealth of Dominica Fishing Complex was said to have become a “...Storage facility for Chickens” [Bob Barker: YouTube: February 26, 2013].


Though the nation has made significant democratic strides in providing “...ENFRANCHISEMENT” for eligible voters to elect a government of their choice, “...Intellectual Bigots” have been accused of tinkering with the “...Electoral System,” thereby created unnecessary difficulties for eligible voters, for reasons of “...nationality. Consequently, “...many eligible voters may not now see their names added on to an Electors List.” Similarly, many stand to have their “...names removed from such lists.” Thus, while they “...hypocritically speak of democracy,” policy-makers seek to change the course of history and the meaning of “...Universal Adult Suffrage,” the United Nations in its Declaration of Human Rights, had long recognized the ‘RIGHT’ in every democracy and encourages every nation within its membership, to allow for the concept to be enjoyed as a ‘RIGHT’ by every eligible adults” [UNDHR: 1948].


Then Labour Minister, Dr. Jacqui Quinn-Leandro, may have committed two “...Cardinal Sins;” (i) ...insulting senior citizens and (ii) ...tinkering disastrously with “...Voluntary Separation.” She may, however, still seek to endear herself to the seniors and electorate, with “...expressions of remorse and an attitude of gratitude” for their contributions to her “...political career, success and novelty and privileges enjoyed in public office.” Seen as a tower of strength, she epitomizes “...Defiance over Death and Defeat over Adversaries and adversities.” Even as public school students seemed to have been returning “...miserable examination results” in specific subject areas of “...Mathematics and English,” she may continue to impress upon technicians, the need for “...different approaches and methodologies” in (i) “...Creating enabling learning environments; (ii) ...Developing and building capacity; ...and (iii) ...Eliminating scholastic failures.”


Irrefutably true, but may be viewed as “...Parliamentary Oddity.” When the Bill to amend the “...Public Servants Act No 21 of 2007” was tabled in Parliament “...in accommodating Law enforcement officers for Voluntary Separation,” for some odd reasons, the Speaker of the House was Chanlah Codrington MP. Then when it was passed in the Senate, the President was Senator Mc Kenzie Frank [PSAA: No.21 of 2007]. Seemingly, “...towing the line or through lack of planning and/or administrative foresight,” they too may have known not what they were doing to the “...Civil Service and Educational institutions.” The resultant effects of the initiative, saw some of the most experienced, competent and efficient Civil Servants- qualified Educators, Police officers and Nurses, “ ...opting for early retirement and benefits.”


Though history and posterity may judge Dr. Jacqui Quinn-Leandro for the “...Drain on the nation’s Human and Financial Resources,” standing with her, was Prime Minister Honourable Dr. Baldwin Spencer. He subsequently acknowledged “...We have stumbled; ...We lost a range of professionals” [Observer Media]. To the esteemed female candidates, particularly those supposedly touting “...religious convictions and noble intentions,” they shall not succumb to the perceived “...systemic influences of deception and corruption.” They shall know “...How horrible it will be for those who string people along’ with lies and empty promises” [Isaiah 5: 18]. If successful, the elected shall rise above the political and partisan fray, removing all thoughts, feelings and/or actions, suggestive of animosity and acrimony, and do right to all citizens.


It was the experience that Members in the Senate shall abide by the expectations of those who “...recommend. For instance, when “ ...Miscreant Senators Joanne Massiah and Malaka Parker” took certain positions in the Senate, both came to the realization that the Honourable Prime Minister Dr. Baldwin Spencer had no desire in entertaining errancy among those whose “ ...Tenure was at his Pleasure.” When other Parliamentarians seemed to have encountered insurmountable Executive obstacle, contrastingly, within the House of Representatives, Dr. Jacqui Quinn-Leandro has demonstrated her mettle. Had the Senators been elected members of the House, as in the case of Dr. Jacqui Quinn-Leandro, whose “...Security of Tenure” resides in the ‘...Pleasure of her Constituents,” the situation may have been different. Unlike their male counterparts “...Senators Collin Derrick and Anthony Stewart,” the female Senators, immediately buckled and apologized for that which may have been considered “...Suicidal Indiscretions.”


Contrastingly, a particular feature of Dr. Jacqui Quinn-Leandro’s “...Mental Toughness,” fortitude and Strength of Character, may have been observed during debate on a “...Bill to amend the Vehicles and Road Traffic Act.”  Dr. Quinn-Leandro was the lone female member who appeared to have been the advocate for the “...chicken-hearted Members of Parliament.” She had made it clear to all a sundry that (i) “...Removal of Tint was not a crime fighting strategy; and that (ii) ...Tint offered some measure of interior protection and privacy.” Thus, since Tint was not a crime, and in fact, did not commit crime, her position as to its personal use shall be respected.


During the debate, Dr. Jacqui Quinn-Leandro had made several noteworthy points, (i) “...Tinted windows and/or windscreens” never left a vehicle to commit crime.” Thus, having regard to the rampancy of crime, it was incumbent upon Law enforcement in using their energies, imaginations and creativity (ii) ...Devising effective crime strategies; (iii) ...Being proactive and visible; (iv) ...Using their investigative skills in arresting the situation,” thereby bringing respite to the citizenry. Today, “...with or without tinted vehicles,” likened to the notorious brothers “...Frank and Jesse James” [1847&1843], gunmen were in broad daylight, robbing citizens, left, right and center with impunity. Today, when the burgundy-colored official vehicle was on the roadway, that which was visible were inscriptions “...MP 109.” Traffic-friendly personnel, seemingly recognizing and/or acknowledging her approaches to “...Crime Fighting” had extended the normal “...Ministerial Courtesies” of unimpeded vehicular traffic, enjoyed by public officials in similar capacity.


Some Parliamentarians, both genders were known to have buckled under partisan pressure. Hence, many had contributed negligibly to parliamentary debates on national issues of import. This may have resulted in many making the “...most un-conscionable, outrageous and egregious decisions.” Successful electees, therefore, subscribing to the “...Oath of office,” shall demonstrate a “...capability in making conscientious; ...rational and informed decisions” for the common good. Hence, not only will their presence, physicality, femininity, endearing and inspiring beauty, grace the House,” but also their “...independence; ...reason; ...conscience and a mental toughness, capable of upsetting even the Devil.” Therefore, women elected as “...Representatives of the People,” shall distinguished themselves, evidenced by “... honesty and integrity in public life. These shall be complimented by “...professionalism in discharging their responsibilities “...without fear or favour; ...malice or ill-will; and to do ‘RIGHT’ to all manner of people, guided by “...Reason; ...Conscience and the Oath of Office” [Constitution Order 1981].

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RE: Blunder-Stricken Commission-Beauties Battle

#1 fire on UPP » 2013-10-30 09:03

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