Editorial: Serious flaw (On St. Maarten, parliament cannot fire a Minister)

POSTED: 08/4/14 10:12 PM

No political system in the world is perfect, but usually when glaring problems are revealed in the system, its theorists and pundits analyze and critique it, and political players make changes to it. But not here it seems, if its participants even understand the system at all.

The Prime Minister made an interesting observation in her remarks on her radio program (see page 1). Parliament, in fact, cannot fire a Minister. It can, however, pass a motion of non-confidence and said Minister is expected to do the gentlemanly thing and resign. It depends, therefore, on the discretion of the Minister. But politics is not always a gentlemen’s game. Some may refuse to step down, and place the country in crisis.

In many models, there is usually an ultimate source of authority when all else seems unclear. Most countries place that authority in the legislature, the people’s representatives. The American Senate, by two thirds majority, can impeach a president. In the British Westminster model, Parliament remains supreme, the last word.

What we have here is seriously flawed, however, and needs to be changed.

 

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