THE EDITOR, Sir:
In January, on behalf of the Office of the Governor General, I had to take issue with erroneous information carried in a lead story by The Gleaner. I referred then to the critical role of the editor in ensuring the credibility of the newspaper's reporting.
That stemmed from our belief that the editor himself would be committed to reporting the facts and that even in his editorials, where he is free to opine, whether impartially or not, his arguments would be based on fact. Respect for truth must be a principled position, including that of the media.
Your editorial published September 26, 2013 undermines that belief. I shall comment only on your first fallacy: your categorical statement that the governor general, "at his sole discretion, appoints the independent members of the ECJ".
Had you taken the time to read the 2006 Electoral Commission (Interim Act), you would have avoided this blatant error. In accordance with the act, two commissioners are nominated by the prime minister and two by the leader of the Opposition. Four commissio-ners, referred to as 'selected commissioners', are appointed by the governor general only after consultations with both the prime minister and the leader of the Opposition.
The governor general has no discretionary authority in the selection of these commissioners. The remaining member of the commission is the director of elections, who is appointed unanimously by the eight commissioners.
The governor general has not employed "sentiment", as you inferred, in his acceptance of the continued membership of Dr Thompson on the ECJ. Not only is it relevant that neither the prime minister nor the leader of the Opposition advocated Dr Thompson's resignation from the ECJ, but there is also nothing in the qualifications for membership, as stipulated in the act, which would disqualify him from membership of the ECJ.
With respect, your editorial should avoid being "half-pregnant" where truth is concerned.
Special Adviser to the Governor General