When one watches the committee stage of our Parliament one is seriously tempted to forget the 'jammette' and 'skettel' behavior that always precedes it. So different is it to the sober decorum and calm negotiation as the Members goes about the people's business trading this clause for that phrase as they construct law out of proposal, it is a far cry from the hullabaloo that is the presentation stage where the Speaker functions more like a school yard prefect than anything else, struggling to keep order and discipline among a very unruly lot.
The Leader of the Opposition raised this issue today with the media at a press conference and claimed that the Speaker is misusing his power to keep the members from debating as they would like, and while I want to support Dr. Rowley here as I believe people could never have too much freedom, good sense is telling me that there has to be more to our politics than show and glam, that there has to be more to our debates than slander and bad talk, and there really should be more to our politics than this oversized show that get us nowhere and just wastes a lot of time playing to the crowd.
In reality nothing really gets done during that stage if the Members use their time to 'dig' at each other, and while it is fun to watch for the first seven to ten minutes it quickly gets old as speaker after speaker steps up to the mike for their part in this tragic comedy we have come to expect and accept as the pinnacle of our governance.
Maybe if Dr. Rowley had demonstrated bias on the part of the Speaker it would be easier to agree with him (Rowley), but this is not where he went. The purpose of his press conference was to offer a warning of sorts to the media, the public and the government by obvious extension, that if he and his people don't get to 'lackaray' in the House then they would do it outside, and when he went down that road he left me behind.
Like most people I have come to know and admire Dr, Rowley for his fearless attacking style, but like most I had also hoped that there would have been more depth to his game when he ascended to higher Office. SImilar to Panday's trademark snarl that made him appear adversarial and in opposition regardless of his post, Dr. Rowley really ought to be guided to improve his game to include leadership befitting his current post. Even if one of the functions of the Opposition is to oppose shouldn't we oppose in the language of a potential government and an Administration in waiting?
It is my view that it is time we saw just what else he has in his leadership arsenal if we are ever to consider him as more than an opposition politician and a second in command. He needs to lead his forces into an era of new politics, flavored by the legacy he wants to leave behind and driven by the need to deliver on that which he has promised for so long. We have had gutter politics on both sides of the divide for far too long; now may well be the time for men and women of character to step up and bring real change.