Your only access to the road is via a waterway. But the waterway is privately-owned. Sailing then is your main method of transport. You bought a boat.
You took the boat into the water to get to your destination. The owner of the waterway asked you to take his son to school every day when you go on the water. You refused. He refused you permission to use his passage. Who is the foolish one? You are.
Your access to your work is the man’s river. You automatically have to enter into some form of concession with him and his concession is that you take his kid to school.
The simple fact of life in your world is that you have to negotiate if you want access to the road. It is the same with the national budget. President Ramotar said on Wednesday that the compilation of the national budget is the right of the Executive.
What the media are going to do is let Mr. Ramotar off the hook by not asking him the pertinent question. If the Executive has the legal right to craft the budget why then can it not become law unless the Parliament approves it? You don’t need a doctorate in logic to know that the framers of the Constitution intended Parliament to have oversight over the budget.
The Constitution says that Parliament must approve of the budget of the Government (the Executive). But there are many things that are contradictory in the Constitution.
A good exposition of this is the book, Law and the Political Environment by Rudy James and Harold Lutchman (Univ. of Guyana, 1984).The two professors describe what a subtle document the 1980 Constitution is.
In one section, the Constitution is supreme and has overriding power over the Executive. But in another section there is a clause that gives the Executive the authority to be supreme and the power to veto any aspect of the Constitution that puts a brake on absolutist power of the Executive.
The budget is an exception. There is nothing in the Constitution that allows the Executive to make the budget legal if Parliament rejects it.
There are only two courses available to the Executive. One is that the President can dissolve Parliament and call elections, or compose another budget.
If the framers of the Constitution wanted to vitiate the Parliament’s tight grip on the budget they would have initiated a clause that found a way out for the Executive to pass the budget. For example, present the budget for a second reading and if rejected again, then the Executive can use his authority to make it law.
The writers of the Constitution chose not to give the Executive a way out. Parliament must approve the budget, if not, governmental spending ends.
President Ramotar is simply being arrogant to assert that it is the right of the Executive to shape the budget. It is, but it is foolish for Mr. Ramotar not to contextualize. One hopes Mr. Ramotar knows everything in life has context.
In the context of the Executive not having a majority in the Parliament, his yearly estimates cannot become law. Like the man with the boat, President Ramotar has to accept an imposition or agree to a favour or accept concessions.
If President Ramotar expects an opposition-controlled Parliament to pass his budget without getting concessions from him, then it calls into question his understanding of life, human nature and politics in general. No politician can be that naïve.
Life is certainly not that simple and will never be that simple. Mr. Ramotar lives in a country that is intricately bound up with the United States of America. Mr. Ramotar must know that when the American President does not have a majority in the Congress then his budget becomes a victim of cruel realpolitik.
This writer believes that Mr. Ramotar is totally familiar with how the US system works and deals with budget stalemates in the US Congress.
It is an amazing act of ignoring reality for President Ramotar to proclaim that the Executive will proceed with the budget because that is the right of the Executive. Then he should answer how his government is going to get the money if the Parliament votes down the yearly estimates.
President Ramotar has reduced human nature to one little playful game when you think about his attitude towards the national budget. How can any opposition politician save his/her career when their party is the majority in the House, the President rejects opposition input into the budget but yet this strong majority meekly passes it in the House.
Is President Ramotar for real?
Jun 17, 2021Works at the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) National Training Centre located at Providence, East Bank Demerara is progressing satisfactorily with the current phase nearing completion. Updating the...
Jun 17, 2021
Jun 17, 2021
Jun 17, 2021
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Jun 17, 2021
Kaieteur News – I am quoting directly from Donald Ramotar’s letter on me in the Kaieteur News of yesterday. I will... more
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