Last update: 10-Dec-2013 1:42 am
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Parliament caught napping
“What advantage is there in having issues debated at two and three o’clock in the morning? How does this compare with the disadvantage of a severely reduced complement of representatives, coupled with the obvious exhaustion of those who have managed or who have been obliged to stay the course? Does this really augur well for the quality of parliamentary contributions?
Should major decisions in this, the highest lawmaking body in the land, be made when decision-makers are often barely awake? Would it not be preferable to start parliamentary sessions earlier?” President Anthony Carmona, House of Representatives, August 2. It seems that, just as had been predicted, the Parliament got caught napping again when the Municipal Corporations Amendment Bill 2013 was being debated in the Senate last Wednesday morning.
The PNM senators, who were all supposed to be opposed to the bill, did not register a vote; the Independents caught between sleep and wake, neglected to call for a division so that each vote would be recorded; and the bill was passed without amendment, although it marks a major departure in the conduct of local government elections.
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