Beautiful Virgin Islands

Thursday, Dec 07, 2023

BVI has outlived the Westminster system — Skelton Cline

BVI has outlived the Westminster system — Skelton Cline

Political commentator and clergyman Claude Skelton Cline has argued that the BVI’s current system of government may have taken the territory as far as it can.
“This is why we have to change the system in which we now live – because I do believe we have outlived the Westminster system, [it] has carried us as far as it can take us – if we intend to continue to be a progressive, democratic society,” Skelton Cline said on the Honestly Speaking radio show.

Skelton Cline made that argument in the wake of a recently defeated motion in the House of Assembly (HOA), where Opposition legislator Carvin Malone unsuccessfully sought to amend the terms of reference for the Constitutional Review Committee (CRC).

Malone suggested seven additional items to include in the CRC’s terms of reference, but these were all voted down by fellow legislators in the HOA.

“Why would our public officers, our elected public officers, not be willing to give consideration and empower the commission to give consideration, to engage the country in this kind of a discourse in this 21st century?” Skelton Cline asked.

One of the proposals put forward in Malone’s motion was for the CRC to consider whether the territory’s Premier and Deputy Premier should now be determined only from the pool of Territorial At-Large candidates, instead of how it is done currently, which includes a pool of persons who are also district candidates.

“Certainly, the leadership of this country, going forward, should not simply be left up to a party system where it has that smaller filter,” Skelton Cline said.

The commentator called it a ‘worthy endeavour’ to have the territory’s leader chosen from a larger pool of persons in whatever system is adopted going forward.

“The people need to be able to vote for their own Premier,” he added.

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