Former Prime Minister and NDP founder, Sir James Mitchell. (iWN file photo)

By Vincy In New York

Opposition Leader Godwin Friday needs to take a page out of former prime minister, Sir James Mitchell’s political handbook.

That page reads that a politician must do his/her homework and must not be afraid to back up his/her position.

Sir James became prime minister because he makes bold statements on positions/topics many are afraid to tackle, and the amendment to the motion of no confidence is one of them.

Whilst Friday seems like a puppy in a dogfight, Sir James took on the “string quartet” and won.

The Speaker of the House of Assembly, Jomo Thomas, acknowledged his mistake when he allowed an amendment to the motion of no confidence. First, a motion can be amended but the amendment must be germane to the original motion. The ultimate question is: Is the amended motion of confidence germane to the motion of no confidence?

Confidence and no confidence are black and white or true and false. Any amendment that is diametrically opposed to or rejects the original motion is NOT germane and is out of order.

Sir James really schooled the “string quartet” on this one.

The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to news.iwitness@gmail.com

The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to news.iwitness@gmail.com.

6 replies on “Sir James fought and won”

  1. Absolutely false, as four different constutional experts have clearly shown which is why the NDP will never challenge this in court.

    1. Vincy in New York says:

      Quit referring to the experts and go and read the sections for yourself. Didn’t one of the experts said that magistrates can admit evidence from prosecutors not presented in open courts?

      Read the relevant sections on parliamentary rules and procedures or Roberts rules of order. Though any motion can be amended, it stipulates that the amendment must be germane.

      Read it for yourself and stop hiding behind the “string quartet”

  2. How did you measure his “win?” All he did was verbalized what may have been the intent of the clauses in the constitution, as one of its framers. However, as was clearly elucidated by the experts in the area, this area of law is clear, which is why the NDP WILL NOT engage the courts. They know that they have no legal basis to stand on. If they truly taught they had recourse, they would have already started the court process. Don’t you reckon?

    Sir James was just being a politician. It surely does not mean that he is right!

    1. Vincy in New York says:

      Vincy Lawyer, one person emerged from this saga as the real politician and that person is the prime minister. The PM came up with a masterstroke. He argued for 3 hours with the speaker over the relevance of the confidence motion and got it passed. That gave the PM time to assess his government and put certain minister(s) on the spot .

      Sir James presented the most concise explanation on the motion of confidence. Confidence and no confidence are like black and white. Basically, can you amend a motion that states “the pot is black” to read “the pot is white”. In the event that the pot is white, members have to first vote on the original motion, “the pot is black” and vote it down. Amendments are not supposed to be diametrically opposed to the original motion.

      If you are really a lawyer, you and C. ben David are on the same rudderless ship. Do yourself a favor and read the sections for yourself.

      1. Vincy in New York, what Sir James did was state his personal opinion, as what may have been the intent of the constitution, as one of its framers. I am no constitutional law expert, as my expertise are in other areas of law but what the four experts have stated on the matter sounds reasonable and legally sound.

        The intent of the clauses, as opined by Sir James may have been in line with his opinion but as read, I am not in agreement with his opinion. His opinion in my estimation is not legally sound. I implore you to read Mr. Lewis’ simple explanation of why the initial motion could have been amended. Thus, unless a court of competent jurisdiction rules otherwise, I agree with the “stringed quartet.”

        By the way, why pretend that I am a lawyer? Are you pretending to be in New York?

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