Local talk show host Claude Skelton Cline is of the opinion that the party system does not meet the needs of the territory and has ultimately failed Virgin Islanders.
During the most recent edition of his radio show “Honestly Speaking”, Cline said, “The party system in my view is floundering and has faltered, and some would even say has failed the people of these Virgin Islands.”
At the time Cline was posing a question to his guest, Territorial At Large Representative Honourable Carvin Malone, surrounding his views on what could unfold during the 2023 elections.
Cline asked Malone if he believes that there would still be a constitution in place at the time of the election or if he saw anything that would impede the territory from having an election by its constitutionally due date – to which Malone offered this response.
“We have a test of the elections in terms of what we have. The First District, that seat will soon be vacated one way or the other and we have to determine whether there is to be a bi-election or whether they will ask for a general suspension of the constitution in order to get all of them,” Malone stated.
He continued, “There are some who boast that we’re well on the way to appeasing, as to giving in and making sure that all of what was agreed between the government and the UK is actually done. There are a number of measures that have come to the House of Assembly. One has already…the Governor has indicated that he’s not pleased with the amendments so he is either going to send it back and it’ll either be a “this doesn’t work” … or it will have a stalemate.”
Malone lamented however that the threat facing the Constitution is not receiving the necessary attention from learned Virgin Islanders who could facilitate educated discourse within the population.
In the Commission of Inquiry Report, it is recommended that certain parts of the Constitution by which areas of government are assigned to elected representatives be suspended, with the commissioner concluding that the move would be “the only way in which the relevant areas can be addressed.”
According to Item 24 of the Executive Summary, the suspension was dubbed “not only warranted but essential” if the abuses identified by the commissioner were to be addressed.
These abuses, he said, if allowed to continue, would “put at severe risk steps towards self-determination as a modern democracy” to which Virgin Islanders are entitled.