Jamaican Parliament A 6th Grade Civics Class On ID Law…

If one can over­look the juve­nile nature of the the­atrics which pass­es for a leg­isla­tive process in the Jamaican Parliament then we may take a moment to cel­e­brate the pas­sage of a National Identification Bill in the Senate.
If you are won­der­ing what I’m jab­ber­ing about, you decide whether this is dia­logue fit­ting of a delib­er­a­tive body in this day and age.
During delib­er­a­tions on sec­tions three and four, tem­pers flared. Opposition sen­a­tor K.D. Knight ref­er­enced the activ­i­ties as a “kan­ga­roo Senate” after Senator Lambert Brown was denied an oppor­tu­ni­ty to speak to the motion seek­ing to allow the sit­ting to go beyond the 4:20 time.

If you ever won­der why I’m so dis­mis­sive and dis­re­spect­ful of the process and the prac­ti­tion­ers, it is because of these old dinosaurs which con­tin­ue to con­t­a­m­i­nate the process which irks me.
In response Senate President Tom Tavares Finson flew into the usu­al rage, stat­ing that he took offense to Knight’s call­ing the sit­ting a kan­ga­roo Senate. “I know when I leave my yard I don’t come here to pre­side over any kan­ga­roo Senate,” Tavares-Finson said. Knight would lat­er apol­o­gize, say­ing he was forced to make such a com­par­i­son. Finson would also find him­self apol­o­giz­ing, as he said it was point­ed out to him that he “hissed his teeth or kissed his teeth” dur­ing the sit­ting.

I am not one steeped in the inner work­ings of the leg­isla­tive pro­to­cols of the Jamaican Parliament but suf­fic­ing to say that the lan­guage seems more suit­ed to anoth­er venue and the process­es more appro­pri­ate for a 6th-grade civics class we’ll take this vic­to­ry for the rule of law non­the­less.

For years I have per­son­al­ly called for a nation­al iden­ti­fi­ca­tion sys­tem as part of the process of law enforce­ment account­abil­i­ty and bet­ter rep­re­sen­ta­tion of all Jamaicans.
Though the process is not ful­ly com­plete all Jamaicans once edu­cat­ed on the ben­e­fits of the law should be encour­aged by this law.

There are not many pieces of leg­is­la­tion which has come out of the Parliament which has been good for the Jamaican peo­ple.
The (INDECOM Act) as well as a Contractor’ Generals Act (with­out pros­e­cu­to­r­i­al pow­ers) are just a cou­ple which read­i­ly comes to mind.
I have not read the bill and as such, I am still skep­ti­cal about it because of local law­mak­ers propen­si­ty to load up these bills with amend­ments which gen­er­al­ly end up water­ing down the bill.
This bill I under­stand is no dif­fer­ent, and as such there are already much hand­wring­ing about it from some quar­ters.

Nevertheless, it is 2017, there can be no legit­ime expla­na­tion for not hav­ing a National Id law in place.

The Government has placed the cart before the horse as was to be expect­ed. It will now bear respon­si­bil­i­ty for explain­ing to the peo­ple the mer­its of this new leg­is­la­tion.
The People’s National Party now under the lead­er­ship of Peter Phillips has once again demon­strat­ed that the par­ty has no con­cept of Governance.

What I find most juve­nile about the way the leg­isla­tive process is approached are the things which become stick­ing points which should be eas­i­ly over­come.
One such triv­ial issue which result­ed in a major brouha­ha was who should bear the cost of replac­ing the card if it became dam­aged by an enti­ty to which it was pre­sent­ed upon request, or if it was not delib­er­ate­ly destroyed by a hold­er.

You lose the damn card or destroy it you bear the cost of its replace­ment peri­od, what is so dif­fi­cult about that?
I promised that I would not men­tion Peter Phillips but it appears the new­ly mint­ed leader of the oppo­si­tion have no con­cept of what Jamaica needs as a nation in the 21st cen­tu­ry.

Peter Phillips oppo­si­tion leader

Phillips as did the hap­less Portia Simpson Miller hangs his hat on crit­i­ciz­ing what­ev­er the Government does in the hope of gain­ing trac­tion from any fail­ures.
Peter Phillips must know that as a mem­ber of the International com­mu­ni­ty Jamaica must be able to iden­ti­fy its cit­i­zens fail­ing which they will not be able to leave the coun­try going for­ward.

The inabil­i­ty to account ade­quate­ly for cit­i­zens lands nations in the failed states cat­e­go­ry whether we agree or not, just ask Sudan, Somalia, et al.
Jamaicans line up to give up every­thing for­eign nations demand just for a chance to enter their coun­tries and on the rare instances, they are allowed to enter they have to give up much more to be iden­ti­fied and account­ed for by law enforce­ment.
The Government must go full tilt with this process and ensure that all Jamaicans are iden­ti­fied.

This is a good first step in the right direc­tion despite the crit­ics, naysay­ers and Monday morn­ing quar­ter­backs.