Spotlight On Parliament
BU raised concern in an earlier blog about the lack of participation in debates by former Prime Minister Owen Arthur in parliament post-2008. Arising from the robust debate which ensued BU sought to secure the attendance records of members of parliament, we failed. What we found out though is that several members of parliament enter the Chamber and after a few minutes will take to the exit. The attendance record therefore shows the member present. Arthur we have been told is the biggest offender post-2008. The reality is that the job of a member of parliament is inextricably bound up in representing constituents and law-making activity. One cannot be separated from the other.
Unfortunately the Lower House has been labelled ‘poorakey’ by leader of the opposition Owen Arthur, many Barbadians agree. Today BU was pleased to listen to Arthur contribute to the debate on a resolution to note and approve Protocol VI of the Social Partnership. His vast and intimate knowledge of the economy derived from being minister of finance for fourteen years was apparent. Minister Sinckler and his colleagues on the government members would disagree of course. Politicos have been salivating for a long time at the opportunity to witness Arthur, the master tactician absorbing the challenge of debate from Sinckler, who was voted in a recent CADRES poll as the most popular of the DLP members of parliament among the populace.
BU continues to monitor the standard of debate and behaviour by our members of parliament. We pay them to do a job and nothing less will be accepted.
The picture of a seemingly disinterested Cynthia Forde, member of parliament for St. Thomas sitting in the Lower House today piqued our interest. When the picture was taken the leader of the opposition Owen Arthur was on his feet. Was she sleeping? BU caution those in the gallery to avoid the wrath of the Speaker’s chair.