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Senator Leacock, put conscience before party

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25.SEP.09

Editor: Senator St. Clair Leacock is waffling on the proposed Constitution and putting his party before principle, conscience and country. The amazing thing is that when this is pointed out by reference to his own words in Parliament, he levels the charge of “political mischief” against those who have been faithful to the truth.{{more}}

In his contribution to the debate in Parliament on the Constitution Bill 2009, he opened his presentation with the following words: “I have no compulsion to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on the proposed Constitution, but I am a party man…” He ended his contribution thus: “Where do we go from here? Is the proposed Constitution a significant contribution on the existing one? The answer is ‘Yes’; but I am a party man; and on this matter the existing Constitution says that Senators cannot vote on it here.”

In-between Senator Leacock’s opening and closing lines was what the Prime Minister called “a speech of avoidance” which addressed the constitutional issues at the second or third remove. Indeed, it was a speech of irrelevance.

It has been reported that in the Select Committee on the Constitution, Senator Leacock pushed for, and obtained, what the Prime Minister has labeled “the Leacock amendment.” This amendment requires Parliament to allocate specific sums of money in the Annual Estimates of Expenditure for Constituencies. Senator Leacock said that without such a constitutional provision he had informed his party, the NDP, that he would not contest the next elections.

Surely, given all of this one would reasonably expect Senator Leacock to be campaigning vigorously for a “Yes” vote. But, pathetically, he insisted that he is a party man and would vote “No”. On this stance alone, Senator Leacock does not deserve a single vote if he ever contests the next elections.

Stand up and be counted for principle, Senator Leacock!

Egbert Pope

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