OBA Concerned About ‘Abuse Of Process’

August 14, 2018 | 25 Comments

Jeanne Atherden Bermuda May 24 2018The OBA have “grave concerns about an abuse of process which saw Bills tabled in the House of Assembly and then going through first, second and third readings in the same day,” Opposition Leader Jeanne Atherden said, adding that the “usual procedure is that Bills are tabled and then debated following a two-week period.”

Ms Atherden said, “The OBA has grave concerns about an abuse of process which saw Bills tabled in the House of Assembly and then going through first, second and third readings in the same day. Both the Bermuda Housing Amendment Act 2018 and Road Traffic Amendment and Validation Act 2018 were tabled and pushed through in this way.

“The usual procedure is that Bills are tabled and then debated following a two-week period which allows a review of the proposed legislation and the ability to consult with the lead Minister, technical officers, and key stakeholders to briefed or to address any concerns that may arise.

“On occasion the two-week period is sometimes allowed to be abbreviated to one week where an item is uncontroversial and urgent but to do all three readings in one day is exceptional and is based on great national importance and urgency.

“Not being allowed that process and being required to just agree to the passing of legislation without having the opportunity to properly consider it, is a dangerous precedent and leads the way for the law of unintended consequences to come into play.

“We agreed in July to have a sitting of the House of Assembly on Friday, August 10, specifically for CFATF related bills. We were then given 36 hours’ notice of other Bills being tabled.

“From the onset in my discussions with the Premier and the Speaker, I made it clear that 36 hours’ notice was not in good faith as it was not the reason why we were having the unaccustomed sitting of Parliament. For the Speaker and the Premier to go forth in this matter brings the House into further disrepute.

“The potential impact of passing legislation that has not been properly vetted – meaning there is potential for bad legislation to become law – has caused us to raise concerns about suspending the Standing Orders of the House of Assembly, to table and debate legislation. The changes that had to be made to the Road Sobriety legislation are indicative of the unintended consequences of rushed legislation.

“Last, but not least, let us not forget the people of Bermuda who elected their MPs to represent their interests. They have a right to consider and make their views known in that two-week period. They have now been denied that by those PLP MPs they elected to represent them.

“That is simply not good enough. The conduct by the Government in this last week and the unnecessary sitting of the Senate on August 8 just speaks to larger issue of not respecting people’s time or the legislative process.

“Quite possibly, the first the public will hear about these Bills is after they are passed from a press statement or a story in the media.

“High on the list of changes being contemplated over the break should be the protection of the Standing Orders of the House so that democracy is not trampled just because Government has a large majority.

“The Speaker is the keeper of the process and haste makes waste as we see persistent legislative amendments coming to the floor of the House. “

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Comments (25)

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  1. I and I says:

    Was the airport deal an abuse of process?

    • Double S says:

      Did the OBA give the Opposition at the time only 36 hours to read a proposed bill and only one House sitting to debate it?

      The only other similar occurrence I can think of is when Dr. Brown tried to sneak in the gambling bill without any notice.

    • Question says:

      What exactly about the process was ‘abused’ in the airport legislation?
      Oh yeah. Nothing.

  2. Did you figure this out after you woke up?
    It does’nt top sneaking in de HoP 5:00am to pass a shady deal.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      Beating the troublemakers to the door was a wise decision and took the wind right out of your sails , much to your regret.

      Nothing however will ever top Uighergate . Mind you your folks are back in again so anything’s possible.

  3. jt says:

    The PLP are skilled at passing legislation that requires ammendments. Nothing to worry about.

    • TO jt::
      Your comment is formidable.I wholeheartedly agree with you comment. Absolutely NOTHING to worry about.
      I am sure that you do recall , not too long ago,that the horrid OBA tried all types of dirty, unrealistic antics to sway their own believers in believing that they were great.It worked short-term.
      Sooooo happy that the villains are out of power.

  4. John says:

    Just to be clear, before all the PLP supporters start talkin trash, pointing out things like this is the JOB of the opposition. This is what they are paid by us to do.

  5. Question says:

    They are an elected dictatorship. Next they will pass ‘Enabling Acts’ giving themselves more access to unchecked power.
    The electorate is too stupid to see the tyranny happening right in front of their eyes.

  6. San Patrick says:

    Two wrongs don’t…. Unfortunately they are emulating UBP/OBA abuse of power for how many years. Would not expect anything less.

    • Onion Breath says:

      How did the OBA abuse their power?

      You won’t answer, because you have no answer. You’re simply pushing your Trumpian agenda.
      Bermudians need to grow up.

  7. Hurricane says:

    Jean, go fly a kite

    • Swing Voter says:

      Jean is to busy sleeping to fly any kites. I was a strong supporter of the UBP/OBA. My mate that’s still there explained to me that the OBA is desperate to find new members but the talent their looking for is not biting.

  8. cpm says:

    Ewrat brought in [uighar] immigrants in the dead of night
    What about that plp sheepies?

  9. Kevin says:

    you too will pay ,,,,,, you may think its all going your way but these clowns will screw this up so bad that ..yes you too will pay ….I didn’t vote for them you did …but you will also pay in the end ….who will you turn to, to help you
    Walton ? Burt ? Famous ? good luck they will abuse power because they don’t know how to use it.

  10. Process is there for reason…due process…and it is due.
    Just as film is proof of suspected behaviour and good reason to request a test…stopping people indiscriminately is deprivation of liberty and without merit .It is unreasonable to impose anything without suspicion and therefore unlawful.My passport provides passage that is protected.

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