Referendum Debacle – My Two Cents

Taking it back to some 6 months ago when the hot topic was Grenada’s first ever referendum which resulted in the rejection of all 7 proposals.

Persons Voted: ~23,000

Registered Voters: 71, 241

First Edited: October 2016

In the last couple weeks, as the referendum date approached there has been so much uproar surrounding the bills particularly Bill No. 6 (Rights & Freedoms) on gender equality. Some people believe and are leading others to believe that voting yes on bill no. 6 would make way for the legalisation of same sex rights/marriage. The level of ignorance is astonishing, to the point where persons are actually urging others to vote no on the bills up for amendments.

In my opinion the confusion stems from the fact that the bills, like so many other existing pieces of legislation are either vague or ambiguous when in fact they should simply get to the bottom line.

How can we expect people to vote to make amendments to the constitution when they don’t even know what the existing one states? Although there have been attempts in the last couple years to engage the public in the process, many people simple don’t care or understand the importance of knowing their rights. The question is – how do we get them to care?

For the people who prefer to engage by doing research in their own time would come across the issue of copies of the constitution not being readily accessible…(we don’t even have a public library where one can go in and read about our history). I am an educated person however I find it rather challenging to understand the language in the constitution, so what about the people who aren’t literate? The content needs to be written in the simplest possible form so that one can read and comprehend comfortably.

The most vital question of them all is : Does this really mean change or are we just making amendments so that these bills can not be enforced like so many already in existence? Yes! it’s a step in the right direction as an independent nation, but we need to be consistent in enforcing all laws equally.


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