No secret ballot



The Legislature does not know how to conduct a Secret Ballot as demonstrated on Friday’s Nomination of the Speaker of the House.

In the first place it is clear that the one seat majority ALP had not anticipated a nomination from the Opposition, and moreover from the sole Independent Member.

The ‘more than two‘ nominations which require a Secret Ballot was a total surprise, most of all to the Minister of Legal Affairs who embarrassed himself by challenging the Barbuda Representative, which he followed up by an assertion of his legal correctness.

However, it has been a very long time since the House has been forced to accommodate a ‘secret ballot’ and clearly  the Clerk Ag. was dumbfounded.
A coup de grasse by the Clerk passed out blank ballot papers to the Elected Representatives for their chosen names be written, then dropped into the glass bowl.

The 9/8 vote gave the honour of the entombed mace to Sir Gerald Watt.
However can a hand written ballot be considered secret?

Is not handwriting identifiable, and would the Representatives of the ALP,  had anyone wished to vote for any other than their Party’s nominee – not be clearly be identifiable by signature?

It is no wonder that the ALP who may have voted against Watt was smart enough to have a change of mind. Or just forgot.

It is now an imperative that for Secret Ballot procedure, the Legislature have pre-printed names or issues where a tick is enough for a truly Secret Ballot.

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  1. So true. It was an utter embarrassment. Madam Clarke should have known this and be prepared just in case. The whole swearing in just became one big clown show. From the antics of the Prime Minister and Mr. Pringle swearing in with The Holy Bible turned upside down(as Trump did here in the US) etc.

  2. So true. It was an utter embarrassment. Madam Clerk should have known this and be prepared just in case. The whole swearing in just became one big clown show. From the antics of the Prime Minister and Mr. Pringle swearing in with The Holy Bible turned upside down(as Trump did here in the US) etc.

  3. Yes they were caught with their pants down. We the onlookers did not know that the parliamentarians had to actually write the name. So it was up to our representatives to bring this to our attention. I am sure if they did with the strong audience support the clerk would have had further embarrassment.

  4. The assertions in this “Observation” show a clear lack of understanding of several issues. Firstly, how can you have names printed if you do not know who the nominees are going to be? The various representatives in the House can nominate anyone who is an Antiguan and has met the age requirement to sit in Parliament, including Pick-up Jimmy.

    Secondly, to ensure that nothing was in the box before, a clear box is used. It removes the question of a corrupt balloting process.

    Thirdly, the balloting WAS secret. Each individual wrote a name, folded the paper and then dropped it into the box. All over the world in all kinds of organizations, that process is used whenever a secret ballot is required. In other words, it is a standard practice that was not invented by the Parliament of Antigua and Barbuda.

    Stop trying to invent and issue where none exists!

    • Pay these simpletons no mind. They jolly well know that voting process was fair. It was done with the utmost of transparency and secrecy. Asot with his plot to have an Ablp member defect to unseat Gerry Watt fell flat. Asot with us ineffective vote has no real leverage or weight he’s a guppy without water.
      Hopefully, he will continue to record and release his tapes to keep us all entertained.
      Where is Scotland Yard as Gaston promised?
      It’s time for all of us to say goodbye to Richie Rich Michael.

  5. How silly for this news medium to write such an unintelligent article and not think there would be push back. How can one vote by secret ballot when no one knew Asot Michael would come forward with his malicious scheme to muddy the waters by nominating Hon Spencer for the job of Speaker of the house?
    Should he have tipped off the clerk so she could have the ballots pre printed?
    What utter rubbish, and unintelligent argument to think any ABLP parliamentarian is as disloyal as Asot Michael & Trevor Walker. They proved how untrustworthy they are by nominating and seconding the nomination of Baldwin Spencer only to turn around and not vote for him. They had hoped by throwing unassuming Baldwin in the mix it would force a secret ballot and a defector in the ABLP clan would vote for their nominee.
    If Asot needed complete secrecy in a ballot then perhaps the clerk should have been notified prior of his intention to nominate someone else to show how disloyal he really is. The UPP have gone to bed with Asot and I am here, popcorn in hand waiting for the fallout when One of them tells the poor little rich boy, No.
    Again, Asot and his hare-brained plot ended with pie on his face. What a 🤡

  6. Must be good to live in your own make up world as the writer. In his world he would have not only known there would have been more than 2 persons nominated, he would also know the names. Anything would be imagined in order to defend a thinking that A&B is backward. Problem for the writer, is the world he dreams of exists (in reality) nowhere. It does not even have a perrmanent home in his head. UPP operatives always making straw man argument

  7. Our learned Attorney General did the right thing to step in and not allow Trevor Walker who is not a legal mind to validate the process of this important proceeding and I think he was wise to concur with his legal authority , well done Mr Attorney General.

  8. It’s not a secret ballot if you have to write it. The correct procedure would’ve e been to delay the process, have the documents printed up accordingly and then return to sitting. Why y’all acting like everything is a clown show in Antigua.

    It’s the absence of respecting the constitution and rules that got all of you acting like dunce. The AG knew what should’ve happened that’s why he mentioned a break, however as usual under Gaston leadership them just do as dem like.

    That’s why they have clerks on standby to quickly fall into place and prepare the necessary documents to facilitate the process. Let’s face it DEM DROP THE BALL!!!

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