Transcription: House, Speaker, AG, Bean & Burt

March 16, 2015

The discussion around the Speaker’s request to have MP David Burt removed from the House continues, and is expected to be brought up in today’s [Mar 16] sitting of the House of Assembly.

Mr Burt sent a formal complaint to the Speaker citing various sections of the House of Assembly Standing Orders, and also sent the letter to the media saying as his “ejection from the House of Assembly on Friday was widely reported and it is only fair they note my objections in full for balance.”

In response, the OBA said, “The public release by MP David Burt of his letter of complaint to the Speaker of the House, the Hon. Randolph Horton, is deeply disrespectful to the office of the Speaker, the Speaker himself, and a self-serving ploy to shift blame.”

7 minute excerpt of the exchange, and the Speaker calling for Mr Burt to be removed

A transcription* of the exchange preceding the Speaker’s request to remove Mr Burt follows below

Speaker: The member who makes the amendment now speaks, and then everyone has an opportunity to speak. But the member who makes the amendment speaks. And first of all, we have to agree as to whether the amendment is accepted. We have to agree as to whether the amendment is accepted. We must vote on an amendment first. We absolutely do. We absolutely do. Honourable Member, yes.

Opposition Leader Marc Bean: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I think that’s clear in terms of the debating of the amendment. But in terms of the rules and the decision that you are seeking to make referring to the standing orders 24, amendments 24:7 on page 30. It says an amendment must not substantially be a direct negative of the original proposition or any amendment thereto.

Speaker: I understand that. Yeah. I understand that, thank you. But I do not….

Marc Bean: Change it from an action motion to a talking motion…

Speaker: It is not a direct negative, no. No it’s not. Honourable members and I’m afraid that that is the decision. So the chair will now recognize the Honourable Learned Attorney General and we will vote on the amendment. We will first make the amendment and then we will vote on the amendment.

David Burt: Point of Order, Mr Speaker

Speaker: The decision has been made. Honourable Member, Honourable Member, everyone has made their comments. I have looked at it, according to the standing orders, I have ruled. So I’m asking that the Honourable Member would please take his seat.

David Burt: Point of order, Mr. Speaker

Speaker: There is no point of order now….

David Burt: According to standing orders, Mr. Speaker, I can make a point of order.

Speaker: Honourable Member, I’ve made my decision that, if you please take your seat, please take your seat. The member has…Please take your seat Honourable member. I have heard members. I have heard the comments from the leader of the opposition. I’ve heard the comments from which I agree with, and I agree with your intent, but it is not what you want, I understand, as well, but it is within the manner in which we run this House. I recognize now, the Honourable Attorney General.

Attorney General Trevor Moniz: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Do you want me to just put the motion…

Speaker: The motion must be put, you must read the motion and then we will vote on the motion…on the amendment to the motion.

Attorney General Trevor Moniz: I move that the motion be amended by deleting in an effort through to the end of the motion and substituting the following take note of immigration policy and the need to consider continuing reform of such policy. Therefore the motion would read “That this Honourable House take note of immigration policy and the need to consider continuing reform of such policy.”

Speaker: All right. Thank you. All those in favour say, Aye.

David Burt: Point of order, Mr. Speaker.

Speaker: There is no point of order on the… Honourable member please take your seat.

David Burt: Mr. Speaker, I have a right to stand for a point of order.

Speaker: Honourable Member, Honourable Member, take your seat. Honourable Member. No further discussion. We’ve made the discussion. I’ve made my decision. Wait a minute, we must vote on whether…no, you do not. You do not, Honourable Members. I’m telling you. Honourable Member, the motion is again, the motion is…

Attorney General Trevor Moniz: That this Honourable House take note of immigration policy and the need to consider continuing reform of such policy. Or do you want….

Speaker: Right. What I’d like to know is all those in favour of the amendment say, Aye.

Some Members: Aye

Speaker: Those against say, Nay.

Some Members: Nay

Speaker: Nay…and therefore we will have names

Opposition Leader Marc Bean: Mr. Speaker, point of clarification

Speaker: Honourable Member

Opposition Leader Marc Bean: I would just like to know, you made a ruling based on the standing orders.

Speaker: Absolutely.

Opposition Leader Marc Bean: For the record, we would like to know what rule did you refer to?

Speaker: I already referred to the rule Honourable member, the rule is 24:7, 24:1, 24:3. There are several of them, Honourable Member. Now, that’s it. I’m taking no more. I’ve made my decision.

David Burt: Mr. Speaker

Speaker: Honourable Member, you’re going to be asked to leave the House if you don’t take your seat.

David Burt: Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege

Speaker: Honourable Member, take your seat.

David Burt: Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege

Speaker: We really need to … we really need….Honourable Member, the Honourable Member…..Mr. Fox.. Honourable Member Burt. Honourable Member Burt. Mr Fox… Honourable Member Burt.

Marc Bean: Mr. Speaker, Mr. Speaker, we are Parliamentarians. We are just trying to get clarity, he has not done anything wrong for him to be removed from the House. But if that’s the case, we’re all going. The house is in disrepute, Mr. Speaker. You’re allowing the government to manipulate this house.

*As the audio shows, there was also ‘cross talk’, as in members speaking in the background, which is not included in the transcription as it wasn’t all clear enough to transcribe accurately.

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Comments (17)

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  1. What went wrong says:

    So Burt gets up 3 times and isn’t allowed to speak. I wonder if we’re living in a democracy or dictatorship.

    Horton is in the wrong, I hope he eats humble pie like when he was Captain of SCC and lost it for them!

    • Educate yourself says:

      It’s the Speaker’s job to maintain order in the house and move things along, that’s why his ruling is final. If he let PLP members speak whenever they wanted to, the House would never accomplish anything!

    • Cow Polly says:

      The Speaker of the House warned all the honorable members on both sides of the house at the opening of this year’s sessions that bad behavior would not be tolerated. Perhaps if there wasn’t such a history, he may have overlooked this particular exhibition of disrespectful behavior but if you’ve already burnt your bridges then don’t cry foul.

  2. Ann says:

    So tired every week of hearing a PLP member acting like a baby. How are we ever going to get anything done with all their childish behavior

    • hmmm says:

      It’s a game to them, it’s not about people, it’s about power and they’ll throw anyone who gets in their way under the bus.

    • @ Ann. That is a part of the Progressive Labour Party, (the Oppositions) “Grand plan”. Disrupted, divide and then, attempt to conquer. They are out to waste the time so as the Government (One Bermuda Alliance) have obstacles /obstructions in making positive headway that will benefit everyone in due time.

  3. aceboy says:

    Watching all the PLP supporters throw Randy under the bus is amusing.

  4. Skeptic says:

    Perhaps there was more going on than found in the sound bites posted. Horton is a veteran politician, who is likely to show some party loyalty in executing his duties as speaker, so it seems strange he would consciously make an incorrect ruling contrary to PLP strategy. Unfortunately the bigger issue here is perhaps not the Speaker’s actions, but the decision of MP Burt to rebuke the decision and deride the Speaker. In the real world we often have to accept judgement that may not be technically 100% correct and move on.

    • Unbelievable says:

      Well this can be twisted inside and out but it appears that the PLP will again win the PR battle here.

      • jt says:

        OBA should have just kept quiet and let things play out. I wish that was was their general strategy with respect to the PLP. It’s a time honoured and effective strategy for temper tantrums and bullies.

      • hmmm says:

        not at all, they have shown they have no respect for their elders and don’t care what it costs to get their point accross. Regardless of it’s merit or irrelevance.

        Sounds familiar…that’s why we are in this mess in the first place.

        they just proved themselves unelectable again.

        I do expect a march now by their cronies in the Peoples Propaganda unit.

  5. Navin Johnson says:

    All of this was orchestrated with Blurt remaining calm and agitating Horton in comes Bean with the faux outrage and everyone goes home or wherever they go …..stay out and Bermuda moves forward..come back and more time is wasted…..

  6. Oh no says:

    Does Bernews (or others) know what rules the minister are referring to? Is there a way to read them so we can make our own decision who was in the right?

  7. jt says:

    ‘This place is a den of vipers and I’m gonna take you all out.’

  8. UmJustSaying says:

    I was taught . Learn and know the rules of the game before you attempt tp play. Picking up your marbles and going home does not and will not make you a winner.

  9. UmJustSaying says:

    I was taught . I learn and know the rules of the game before you attempt to play. Picking your marbles and going home does not and will not achieve a solution

  10. mj says:

    We tell our children strive for excellence 100% we don’t ask them for anywhere from o to fifty is fine!ambiguity of rules, legislation, proceedure and priviledge leads to disrepute, let your nae be nae and your yea be yea,according to what has already agreed upon by all members…If the speakers word is bond than why the need for members on both sides to vote? he might as well just make all the decisions,hmm and what is that called???