In God I trust – everyone else needs to be watched – with all the back and forth about the January 28 poll in the society, a critical question has yet to be asked – is this poll going to be a fair, honest and transparent poll? Who are the officials other than the government’s people involved in ensuring that this vote will be free and fair, from the handling of the register to the operation of the polls, to the count and certification of the votes, etc? Not a word has been spoken about any of this.
In his national address on the poll questions, National Security Minister BJ Nottage said the following:
“The result of the poll will be determined by a simple majority of the number of “Yes” versus the number of “No” votes. There will be no election agents in this referendum. The regulations however empower the Minister to appoint a maximum of three Local Observers per polling station with a view to ensuring the fairness of the process including at least two persons representing the views of those members of the public interested in the “yes” and “no” vote. The appointment of the Local Observers shall be made in writing and signed by the Minister.”
SO THEN, THE CRITICAL QUESTIONS ARE:
- Who is the official representative(s) for both sides of this poll, the “vote yes” and “vote no” sides? If there is none, then how will we know whether the persons working the polls are actually on the side the government claims they will be on, either “vote yes” or ” vote no”?
- Who are these “Local Observers” for each polling station going to be and how will the public be made aware of this list of persons?
- Has the Minister already appointed all of these observers, and how many people have been appointed in total? Will each polling station in the country have the same number of observers, equally apportioned – 1 “yes” person and 1 “no” person? If not, why not?
- Who is vetting this list of observers to determine whether they are who the government says they are, that being “vote yes” or “vote no” people?
- What is the role of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition in this process?
- What ties do any of these observers have to the government (whether they are government employees, etc)?
- Are these observers being paid or are they all volunteers?
- If they are being paid, who is paying them and how much are they being paid? This is after all, a poll about MONEY AND THE BIGGEST MONEY MEN IN THE COUNTRY, so only a fool would believe that money is not THE relevant question with respect to this gambling poll!!
- Who are the presiding officers for each polling station?
At no time should any government simply be taken at its word when it comes to voting and elections – the necessary checks must always be in place to ensure that a poll in a democracy passes the standard of “free and fair.”
These are questions that need to be answered immediately by the government if it is concerned at all about satisfying the electorate that this poll on January 28 will in fact be as fair and transparent a poll as our system enables.
The Opposition should have already looked into these and any other pertinent questions and should already have in their possession the answer to all these questions. If they did not and do not, why not?
WILL THE JANUARY 28 POLL BE A FAIR, HONEST AND TRANSPARENT POLL?
In God I Trust – Everyone Else Needs To Be Watched.