EDITOR, The Tribune
I am aware that the mainstream media is biased towards what it hoped would be the successful navigation of the Corona Virus syndrome by the Minnis regime. It is now known that the official Opposition is lockstep with the PM and his allies in the imposition of draconian emergency powers which might abrogate the Bahamas Independence Order, 1973.
While I do agree with the health and national security issues, the PM et al are dead wrong from a constitutional and legal position with the imposition of so-called regulations and subsidiary legislation supposedly enabling the PM and his cabinet, I suppose, to restrict the freedom of assembly and freedom of movement of the entire nation, despite there being no discernible national emergency which could trigger such powers, but only after full parliamentary debate in both chambers then sent to the Governor General, not the other way around.
Minnis and them are simply copy catting what is being played out in the major nations like the USA; India; Canada; Western Europe and some Asiatic counties. Massive lockdowns; enforced quarantine and, of course, huge fines and even imprisonment or both, hopefully after a duly convened court trial. These measures should and must be adopted but within the confines of the law. Measures and regulations which prima facie (at first view) are inconsistent with the constitution and the common law are to be rejected.
If we have learned anything from this we should have learnt that all administrative; legislative and penal or coercive measures against a citizen must be under girded by the appropriate legislation on enabling referendum. It cannot be where the PM wakes up one morning and decides, in a potential vacuum, after or before his fabled stewed fish, that he wants 14 or more days of a national lockdown without apparent rational.
We all wish the PM and the entire government, inclusive of the Official Opposition, well, but it must be achieved at the expense of the stark abandonment of human rights and constitutional rights, given originally by God Himself. Now that there has been a fait accompli....a deed already done and universally accepted, relative to the curfew, there are several other questions which much be addressed .
Theses include: what will be the stimulus and recovery package to be offered by the regime? What about families where the bread winners have been made redundant and have no income? Will the stimulus package include three months basic income until we turn the tide? Where is Social Services & Urban Renewal in all of this? Where is the normally loquacious Minister of Labor and his sidekick the Director of Labour?
Dr. Minnis is trying his best, I am sure, but I want to see more meat on the dried bones. To God then, in all things, be the glory.
ORTLAND H. BODIE, Jr.
March 25, 2020.