17 July, 2007

Acting Governor

Constitutional Discussions 6: The Executive. Sections 20 and 21 of the Constitution deal with the appointment of an acting governor and a governor’s deputy when the governor is absent. The governor appoints who he wants. At paragraphs 32 and 33 of their Report, the Commission made no recommendations for alteration. We figured that was the business of the governor and the British government. It was nothing to do with us.

Members of the House of Assembly had a different view. They took the position that there ought to be some local involvement in who should act temporarily when the governor was absent. They felt the Premier should be consulted. They agreed among themselves that they would prefer to see both the appointment of an acting governor and a governor’s deputy required to be after consultation with the Premier. They were not suggesting that the Premier should have a veto power. They were not recommending that it should say that the governor should act “on the advice of” the Premier. They want the Premier only to be consulted.

Personally, I have no problem with this suggestion. It contributes to an increase in local participation in government. It allows the Premier to discuss which Permanent Secretary ought to be given a turn at being acting governor. It is a democracy credit rather than a democracy deficit. I am all in favour of it.

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