“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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PNM afraid of majority rule
Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal says Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley has underestimated the political maturity of the country and that the People’s National Movement (PNM) is afraid of majority rule.
He made the comment during his contribution to the debate yesterday on the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2014 in Parliament.
Insisting that the bill would be passed, Moonilal said the Government did not intend to fool anyone.
“This is no sham. We did not come here to fool anybody. We came to implement a promise of reform,” he added.
He insisted that the Government would pass the bill and said the current dissenting voices to the bill were coming from people who were afraid of change.
“What do you think will happen, the sky will fall?” he questioned.
Moonilal likened the debate to a runoff between two sides, those who support majority rule and those who support minority rule.
“To support the rule of a minority is wrong,” Moonilal said.
He said the PNM was against the measure because it did not believe it could win with majority rule.
“There are MPs who are here because the majority of people that went to the polls decided I don’t want you but they find themselves in Parliament, so that the will of the people who came out to vote, that will is defeated.
“There are Members of Parliament who are in the House who defeat the will of the majority and they sit in the House for five years,” he added.
He said the bill would mean the end of minority rule.
“A fundamental aspect of democracy is to respect the will of the majority,” he added.
Moonilal said he was shocked that members of the Social Movement Network had started a campaign to stop the debate.
He said the Opposition had fallen into the belief that somehow majority rule was a green-eyed monster, noting this was because it had benefitted from minority rule.
Moonilal argued that contrary to some views, third parties would actually benefit from the proposed legislation, adding that third party politics had been dead for 40 years.
“It is today that the third parties can breathe life because in the first election everybody can go. At the second poll, you will have two and give people a second choice to vote.”
He called on the Opposition members to bring amendments that Government could consider instead of being “merchants of fear and doom and gloom.”
He quipped that Rowley was afraid he might be recalled as an MP as Government had done a lot of work in his Diego Martin West constituency.