Editorial: Campaign reform

POSTED: 10/25/13 12:04 PM

If the statement by Prime Minister Wescot-Williams that 97 percent of the issues independent MP Frans Richardson mentions in his motion for campaign reform is already regulated by law is true, it is indeed time for an awareness campaign.

Such a campaign should not only be directed at all citizens, but in particular at Members of Parliament. When representatives of the people start making demands from the government that have already been taken care of in existing legislation, there is only one conclusion possible and that is that some Members of Parliament do not know what they are talking about.

Enforcing existing legislation is obviously a completely different topic and if this is what MP Richardson meant to express with his motion, we will stand corrected.

The text of the motion however suggests no such thing. It simply demands measures, mainly against vote buying – but that is already illegal. Article 132 of the penal code prohibits vote buying; breaking this law carries a maximum prison sentence of 6 months and a maximum fine of a mere $165.

As we all know, the written law is one thing, breaking the law is something else and prosecuting violators could take almost until the next elections – or never happen at all.

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