Wed | Oct 18, 2017

Throne speech a useless ritual – political commentator

Published:Thursday | February 9, 2017 | 10:40 AM

As the Governor General Sir Patrick Allen prepares to deliver another Throne Speech to mark the opening of Parliament, at least one political commentator is describing the speech as a useless ritual.

The throne speech typically outlines the legislative agenda for the year.

However, several of the plans outlined last year did not materialise.

Political commentator Dr Paul Ashley says the pledges made, last year, by the Andrew Holness administration to introduce legislation to set fixed election dates and term limits for prime ministers were an exercise in hope.

One of the most repeated pledges made by respective administrations over the years including that of Holness, is to sever colonial ties with Britain by bringing legislation to Parliament to replace The Queen as Head of State with a non-executive president.

The administration failed to deliver on this commitment.

The much-touted impeachment bill to allow for criminal proceedings to be brought against corrupt public officials and parliamentarians was also a non-starter.

Dr Ashley reasons that many of the promises made by the Government could not be achieved with a one-seat majority in the Lower House.

However, the administration passed the Integrity Bill on the final sitting of the lower house to establish a single anti corruption body to investigate and prosecute corrupt public officials.

The state opening of Parliament is set to begin at 11 o’clock this morning.