Beautiful Virgin Islands

Friday, Jan 27, 2023

Disappointing turnout @ first Constitutional Review consultation meeting- Hon Malone

Disappointing turnout @ first Constitutional Review consultation meeting- Hon Malone

Opposition Member and At Large Representative Hon Carvin Malone has expressed disappointment at the turnout for the first consultation meeting of the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) held at West End Community Centre on Wednesday, November 9, 2022.

“I just came from West End where they had the first consultation of the Constitutional Review Commission. I wish to thank those persons who came out, but I would like to express my somewhat of a disappointment in terms of the number of persons coming out,” Hon Malone stated as a caller to the Hot Seat radio show on ZBVI 780 AM on Wednesday evening.

Approximately 30 persons showed up for the meeting that was also not live-streamed.

‘We have to take responsibility for mistakes’- Hon Malone

The Opposition Member said the new constitution would take the Virgin Islands forward for the next 30 to 40 years and it was crucial that Virgin Islanders take the consultations very seriously and have a strong say in what will ultimately affect their lives and generations to come.

He also said people should not look at the negatives, especially coming out of the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) and make that a reason to not participate in the constitutional review consultations. Additionally, he said the Virgin Islands has had many successes and that is what people should be focusing on.

“We did a lot of good things…We can’t just express only the negative part of it. We have to correct them, yes…we have to take responsibility for them..but we have to work in terms of preparing our Virgin Islands for all of those persons who have toiled from the 1940s, 50s, 60s, straight up to [now] and for those still yet to come.”

‘Stockholm Syndrome’

Hon Malone said the people also have a responsibility to make it enshrined in the constitution that leaders must be held accountable.

He said this should be the way forward, rather than opting to go back into colonialism.

“We don’t want to hold the Stockholm Syndrome [mentality], whatever the British do to us we have done it to ourselves, no. We have done a lot of good things. What about that? So we have to express those good things we have done and we have to lay a path that says we have to put provisions in the constitution and make leaders in the present and the future more responsible…and put it in the constitution.

Stockholm syndrome is a theorised condition in which hostages develop a psychological bond with their captors during captivity.

“But we cannot go back to 1949, we cannot go back to 1967 and so forth. We have come too far and we have done too much,” Hon Malone said, while cautioning that Virgin Islanders must be mindful of the messages they send out.

‘This thing is serious’

Urging the people of the Virgin Islands to make it their duty to participate in the consultations, Hon Malone said the people must play a part in creating a Virgin Islands Constitution that everyone can be proud of.

“No matter how poor the turnout is in the beginning. We have a duty to go out there. You have to use your platform to encourage people to participate in it, because once the book is closed and the consultation is done and the review comes in that only two people showed up here, three people showed up there, four people showed up over here, the people of the Virgin Islands are not interested in anything concerning the constitution, so we in the UK could put whatever we want in it and when that is done then the same voices come back and tell you did not tell me this thing was so serious.

“Well, I am telling you now, this thing is serious.”

He added that most of what is on record for the CRC to consider has originated from the Commission of Inquiry, "but that is what they want, but what about what people want? They must get their voices heard, they must get represented and we must be able to do this together?” Hon Malone pleaded.

Call a big meeting @ Multi-Purpose Sports Complex- Julian Gordon

Meanwhile, the Host of the show, Mr Julian Gordon, said one of the first things that should have been done was to have a big town hall meeting at Multi-Purpose Sports Complex, which he said is a most central area.

“Bring the Ministers, bring the other Representatives, and bring other persons that you want to speak and address the Constitution matter and come and invite the public en masse to come and sit there. You could fit 1500 people in there and when those 1500 come from all over the Virgin Islands and when they go back and talk about it with members in their constituency and other persons they are associated with the message will go forth.

He also said the Commission needs to do better to organise and promote the meetings so there is more participation.

Meanwhile, the CRC has planned an official launch of its consultation meetings at 3:00 pm today, November 11, 2022. The launch is expected to be live-streamed on the Government of the Virgin IslandsFacebook page.

The Constitution Review Commission (CRC) has planned an official launch of its consultation meetings at 3:00 pm today, November 11, 2022.

Urging the people of the Virgin Islands to make it their duty to participate in the constitutional review consultations, Opposition Member Hon Carvin Malone said the people must play a part in creating a Virgin Islands Constitution that everyone can be proud of.


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