The people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines are about to vote on whether or not to adopt a new constitution. After years of consultation, discussion and debate, a draft constitution is now before the people.
As I understand it, Parliament will debate and vote on the draft in early September. Once two thirds of the elected members vote in favour of the bill, it then goes to the people in a referendum. This is scheduled for November. Sixty-seven percent of the persons voting in this referendum must vote “yes” in order for this proposed constitution to be finally adopted.
In the meantime, the entire process is mired in controversy and partisan bickering. Supporters of the ruling party have all vowed to vote “yes”. On the other hand, the Opposition is waging a campaign among their supporters to have them vote “no”.
In essence therefore, it has come down to straight fight between the ULP and the NDP. As some observers have noted, the referendum will be a mock election.
Amidst the noise, one hears very little about the merits and demerits of the bill. That is totally besides the point. It’s now all about Ralph and Arnhim. That is so unfortunate!