Historian Lennox Honychurch Points to the Caribbean’s Resistance to Regional Integration

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Caribbean historian Dominican Dr. Lennox Honychurch is pointing out the inequity between appointed senators and elected members of parliament and the problem this could pose for legislatures in the Eastern Caribbean. He also expressed doubt that the Caribbean will ever “come together” because of individualism, in spite of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) push towards an agenda focusing on regional integration.

“For the most parts, except for these things like votes of no confidence and changing the constitutions in certain respects, the nominated members have the same power in parliament as the nominated members. Now this may not be considered to be fair,” Dr. Honeychurch said. He argued that elected members have the stress of dealing with constituencies while nominated members do not and still have the same powers as elected members.

Dr. Honeychurch, a guest on WINN FM’s Voices programme on Wednesday commended the provision in the St. Kitts Nevis constitution that bars appointed members from voting on a motion of no confidence. Since the motion of no confidence was filed in the government in December 2012, opposition politicians have been very critical of the senators who they say have been given more powers and privileges than elected members by the prime minister. Mr. Honeychurch is not hopeful that the status quo regarding appointed members of parliament in relation to elected members will ever change.

[. . .] While the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) pushes the agenda of regional integration, noted Caribbean historian Dr. Honychurch from Dominica is not that optimistic that this will materialize: “The Caribbean will never come together because of this individualism,” he said. “That is why I have given up on CARICOM; yes let them have their meetings, let them have their big bureaucracy down there in Guyana, but really nothing is going to happen with them. I put more faith in the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States but I do not see a political union,” he added.

But as the region continues to struggle to integrate, Honeychurch spoke of another challenge affecting the region: brain drain — the movement of professionals from the Caribbean to more developed economies.

For full article and video of Honychurch’s speech, go to http://www.winnfm.com/news/local/7123-dr-honeychurch-points-out-inequity-in-caribbean-parliaments

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