COMMENTARY: Getting It Right & Preserving Our Democracy Is Important

11
Audley Phillip

Getting It Right & Preserving Our Democracy Is Important

By Audley Phillip

It would be remiss of me if I didn’t comment on key aspects of the Commonwealth Observer Interim report which they completed and handed over to the Government at the end of the last General Elections.

Election observation is a valuable tool for improving the quality of elections.  Observers help to build public confidence in the honesty of the electoral process.

It is not just a one day task and the quality of the electoral process has to be continuously reassessed  and improved.

I think that it is counter productive to continue to invite observers if we continue to ignore their salient  recommendations for upgrading and improving the process.

I hope that everyone would take the time to read their thought provoking recommendations as they can only help strengthen our electoral process and by virtue our democracy.

Here are their recommendations word for word:

RECOMMENDATIONS

However, certain key elements of internationally recommended standards must be looked into and I will only focus on three in this preliminary statement:

  1. Strong Institutions:

For democracy to thrive and be fully functional, there needs to be a clear separation of powers. With the evolution of democracy in Antigua and Barbuda, emphasis now needs to be put on good governance based on the framework of independence, transparency, oversight and accountability.

  1. The Media

There is a need to de-politicize the media landscape. It must be free, fair and inclusive. There is an urgent requirement to strengthen the regulatory framework. It is not proper to give unrestricted access to the government, while limiting the access to other parties.

  1. Transparency; The Representation of The People (Amendment) Act

Appropriate steps must be taken to ensure accuracy and transparency as it pertains to:

– Timely publication and updating of the voter’s list;

– Balancing the protection of voters’ data with the right of the public and all parties to access and challenge the voter’s list;

– The efficiency of the tallying process by counting ballots at the polling stations;

Now you judge for yourself where we are. We still have a long road to travel in order to get it right.

 

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11 COMMENTS

  1. Totally agree with you on the media coverage here in Antigua (point 2).

    The media coverage in Antigua is very similar to that of the UK’S, whereas equity of political coverage is nowhere to be seen, due to the fact that the UK’S media is virtually controlled by vested interested businesses and the right-wing leaning moguls. Fact!

    Here’s an example from our own Antiguan msm:

    ABS where conducting interviews with Ministerial members who were taking part in Election process. However, whereas 99.9% of ABLP were given a platform to air their party political views, the DNA and the UPP were not given the same tolerance or countenance.

    Well highlighted Mr Audley Phillips sir 👍

    • @Brixtonian … Come on! I’m sure you heard ABS announce that they extended an invitation to all the political parties to have their candidates come in for an interview but UPP did not respond. ALP and DNA accepted and sent their candidates. The election is over. You may not have gotten the result you hoped for but stop the politicking!

      • Other readers and bloggers would be quick to tell you that the nation’s lone television station is the biggest culprit in this censor. Case in point, there was a major piece of news item during the election cycle which had to do with the commercial bank and the St. Peter’s MP. ABS television wantonly restricted social media pundits from commenting on the issue. That was censor of the highest degree and was in poor taste.

      • @bertaboi- You know he (brix..) hears only what he wants to. His statements remind me of Pringle’s quote “we won the election but not the government”. These guys have created their own reality. The fact is Lovell and crew were busy running from any media house that would ask them hard questions. His actions remind me of how Brian Lara used to run from Glen mcgrath. No wonder ABLP has retired him in the public interest

        • GOOD strategy..
          De Big Machinery is Bigotry.
          Give Gaston MVP.
          Prime Example of FIGHT with Might
          Not Right Unapologeticly.
          Strange Belief Amidst Poverty Stricken
          Community.
          Capitalism in Minimilism.
          Make Believers Parrots 🦜
          Being to Articulate ” hidge podge Lodge”
          Let’s GO Suggy ” Dem na Ready
          Bring de Readiness
          Down with DiwnGrade PARADE.
          Real G. Democracy must not FAIL
          Keep on Doung WhT u DOING GB.
          Let’s See WHO get RUIN

  2. All recommendations made by the observers must be given the consideration they deserve and more importantly an independent assessment should be done as to the status of implementation. It is important that we get this democracy issue right so that we leave this beautiful country better than where we found it for our children and children’s children. We will all benefit from working towards that change.

    • Well said @ Sharon Lycorish, totally agree, especially about leaving the country in a better political place for our children and children’s children so that they believe that democracy can work … 👏

  3. He paid people for his win yet his plan back fired because his hand picked Peter Redz didn’t really put a nail in the ABLP coffin. All that money spent and he still ended up losing the war. I believe the most expensive seat in Parliament is the St. Peters seat. I hope it pays off for him. Very Sad.

  4. Why are we still talking about the C-lections
    Did Melford not say that the entire Cabinet made a pact last year that they were prepared to lose because of the measures put in place during covid and the lack of financial stimulus and the disregard for individual rights
    Did I mention the teargas incident and the PM sneaking to take the vaccine?

    • @As if

      It was BEGGY BEGGY CASHAPP GAY TRUTH who took the vaccine behind the backs of his stupid followers 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣

  5. What Democracy. The majority leader in the last Senate has put out an impassioned call, to scrap our Democracy and set up a Communist government in Antigua & Barbuda.

    Am I the only person alarmed at this deplorable social media attack on our democracy?

    Tin Man are you ok with this kind of behavior by my party’s big wig?

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