Constitutional Reform. “Cockroach na gat right near fowl house” (Antiguan proverb)
Our Constitution is modeled on that of the British. The British constitution is said to be “unwritten”. The greater part of it is not in a law or statute. They have traditions and conventions that are binding on British government and society. These unwritten conventions are as legally effective as if they were in a written constitution. They have been at it for a thousand years. By contrast, our Anguillian democracy is forty years old. That is no time at all. Our Constitution is too new to have had the time to develop binding conventions and traditions. We have few if any conventions that can override or amplify a written provision. We need something fundamentally different from what we have at present. We need a Constitution with workable mechanisms in place that can be put into effect immediately one of our politicians is discovered in a high crime or misdemeanor. That is what the Constitutional and Electoral Reform Commissioners recommended in their Report of 25 August 2006. Let us hope their recommendations can be improved on. Let us hope they are implemented. We need detailed protective measures in our Constitution. We have to have it all in writing. Nothing must be left to good sense and gentlemanly behaviour.
If Anguillians feel strongly enough about the need to provide for greater democracy and transparency and balance in the way we are governed, now is the time for us to insist on it. Do we want to continue with the same weak and spineless Constitution? That is the model found in