THE EDITOR, Sir:
One has to admire American politics. Recently, 21 members of the US Democratic Party voted with Republicans to hold their own attorney general, Eric Holder, in criminal contempt of Congress.
Around the same time, Opposition Leader Andrew Holness, in a press conference, was calling for the resignation of Education Minister Ronnie Thwaites, citing the government MP's "untenable membership" in the Cabinet after Thwaites' public disapproval of the Simpson Miller administration's decision to tax certain basic food items.
Mr Holness' case is that if one is a member of a Cabinet and a decision is to be taken which one considers to be flawed, that member should resign. This is according to the Westminster system of government.
CONTRASTING POLITICAL SYSTEMS
In the US federal system of government, members of Congress are answerable to the electorate, and congressional representatives vote, not inevitably along party lines, but mainly according to the dictates of the constituency.
On the contrary, the Westminster system, which we are looking to replace, mandates the political representative to cast voters along party line without regard to the wishes of the constituents.
In good conscience, a representative of the people, an MP, should feel uncomfortable when his/her own government levies a great tax burden on the people. Mr Thwaites should have the right to disagree with his government without being duty-bound to rubber-stamp a burdensome tax package.
One would have hoped that the opposition leader would have seized on the Thwaites 'disapproval' to fuel a call for a rollback of these oppressive taxes imposed by the Government. Mr Holness dropped the ball which, to some in America, was carried loftily by those Democrats who voted with the Republicans.