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The Pres, Sections 81 and 34, A dreamer in a fool’s paradise

Sunday, December 23, 2012

While the debate rages whether the President has the right as per Section 81 of the constitution to request information from the Prime Minister on matters pertaining to Cabinet decisions (and not just Section 34), the question that this provokes is whether an unelected official (as is the case of our President) has the moral right to challenge an elected government on any matter whatsoever—especially if that official holds his position courtesy the dispensation of a rival political party and might be thought to be beholden to his benefactors—especially again, when it seems that his requests was prompted by such a call by the people to whom he owes his position?


We have to be very naive to believe that once a person assumes a position that enjoins them to be of lily-white neutrality they would mutate from all of what constitutes man and his compendium of frailties into a demigod...if not a God. People choose between their children— some actually preferring one child more than the other in a set of twins.



Bias is a natural condition of mankind, thus for anybody to believe that the head of state embraces everything that comes before his discriminatory mind in a manner of implacable unbias is to be a dreamer in a fool’s paradise.


So long as we continue to nominate (as opposed to elect) people to high offices, to even low offices, we are always going to end up with the suspicion, the accusation that the nominated one will always be singing for his supper; that out of cronyism and nepotism breeds the cynicism that it takes two hands to clap, and that anybody who holds his position of authority from such an evil axis of dispensation could never be his own man.


That is why in America everybody is an elected official—from the County Sheriff and District Attorney to the President of the United States. The US Congress—both the Senate and the House of Representatives—comprises only elected members.



Our Senate of 31 members are all nominated. And this always provokes the question even about the President’s men and women: On whose back did they climb to get such a free ride into the corridors of power? Especially again, when more than one or two might display no debating skills but just unashamed bias.


The framers of our constitution must look at this aspect of America’s politics, of its constitution, and much could be plagiarised thereof. For once we continue to nominate people to positions that they might not rightly earn or are qualified to have, we continue to wallow in a state of cynicism.



We continue to nourish in the criminal minds the idea that you don’t have to work hard to get to the top—to get what you want if you have a godfather at the top of life’s pyramid, or if you have a gun in your pocket.


The office of the DPP, for instance, is one of the most powerful positions in the country, and while District Attorneys in the US are elected, our DPP—whose responsibility is national as opposed to his US counterpart whose jurisdiction is limited to his district/county—is a selected and not elected official.



All this talk of removal of the DPP today might not have happened if we the people had elected him, and if we the people knew that we could vote him out, say within three years (the maximum term in the first instance for such an office holder).


But when you know that the only way of removing a DPP (in this country, it seems) is to elevate him to a judgeship, one wonders if, when we framed our constitution, did we see ourselves as being permanently a banana republic?



Did we see ourselves lacking the vision of America’s Thomas Jefferson and company who saw all these things back in the 18th century and enacted them back then, so that America remains the land where the democratic process works; where the few officials who are nominated are so scrutinised by the elected Congress before getting their stamp of approval that many of them would have preferred to face the electorate than go to Capitol Hill and be dragged over the burning coals that awaits them there, that wants to know why they broke a traffic light when they were 17; why they hired an illegal immigrant as a maid and underpaid her?


It is only when we reach that level of political sophistication can one take Section 81 and ride with it on our high horse.


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