NDP should have made effort to meet on the Consumer Protection Bill – Leacock
Parliamentary representative for Central Kingstown St Clair Leacock says the New Democratic Party (NDP) should have made a greater effort to take part in the select committee on the Consumer Protection Bill.
However, as far as the opposition parliamentarian is concerned, their participation does not normally change anything.
“Even if we comment, they don’t have any regard for us,” Leacock said yesterday, while speaking on BOOM FM’s OMG in the Morning radio show with host Dwight “Bing” Joseph.
The Bill was passed in parliament last Friday having been tabled by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Sir Louis Straker.
Leacock said the NDP did not plan to not participate in the select committee and he could be held culpable as he is the lead spokesperson on consumer affairs for the NDP.
“But the other side of it in terms of political strategy, you don’t want on [a] select committee to go and give away all your independent thinking because they would take the best of you and eat you alive,” Leacock opined.
He said that if you are not involved in select committee, your absence allows you to express your own independence of thought.
“So that’s the other benefit to me, so I prefer that approach and even if I went, I would probably stay silent and listen the conversations,” Leacock said.
He added also that he does not see any benefit in the NDP participating in any legislative agenda of the government between now and election day.
“I see no benefit, that’s me. I would make no comment on legislative matters with that sitting Speaker as well,” Leacock told listeners while adding that he does not want to go to parliament “to be manipulated and denigrated” as he thinks that the NDP can make better use of its time.
In Parliament last Friday, Leacock was prevented from debating the Bill because he refused to withdraw a statement he had made about Sir Louis “cursing out people” in parliament.
Leacock said we are still a parliamentary democracy and that gives us the right to agree or disagree.
“We have a government to remove from office. We have to make sure our candidates are firing on all pistons,” Leacock told Joseph while adding that while parliament is about the business of the people, sometimes you can conduct that business more effectively outside of parliament.