Backpedaling

Dec 31, 2018 Features / Columnists, Peeping Tom, Kaieteur News, https://www.kaieteurnewsonline.../12/31/backpedaling/

The bowler marched to the end of his run-up which was almost to the boundary board. The batsman settled in his crease paying keen attention as the bowler began his long run-up to the wicket.

 

It took the bower almost eight seconds to reach the bowling crease and to send down a thunderbolt of a delivery. The batsman played missed and lost his off stump.

He turned around look at the shattered stumps and refused to march off to the pavilion. The fielding side enquired why he was not going off. It was a friendly game among friends so there was no umpire; the players were expected to play like gentlemen would.

The batsman protested. He said he was not out. He claimed that he was not ready. Yet, in the eight seconds it took for the bowler to run him from his bowling mark to delivery was a full eight seconds.

At no time did he withdraw from the batting crease or raise his hand to stop the bowler. He played at the delivery, was beaten and bowled, but refused to walk.

Anyone who has played bottom-house or backyard cricket would have had an experience where someone refused to accept his or her dismissal. But that is how cheats operate. They want to play by their own rules.

The APNU+AFC is playing dishonourably. They are refusing to accept the fact that they were defeated in a legitimate no-confidence vote in the National Assembly. They are refusing to abide with the verdict of the National Assembly.

In support of their refusal, a number of facetious and fanciful arguments are being made. The first one is that that a majority of 65 is 34 and not 33.

When it was pointed out that if this is the case then all those motions and Bills, which were passed with a 33 votes majority vote would be invalidated, it is contended that that there is a difference in the nature of majority required to pass a Bill or an ordinary motion as against a no-confidence motion.

It is argued that for the former what is required is a majority of the votes cast. In the latter – that is in the instance of a no-confidence motion – the majority required is that of the elected members.

What those making these arguments fail to realize is that if all the elected members of the House vote on a Bill, ordinary motion or a no-confidence motion, it means that those who voted is equal to those who are eligible to vote.

Therefore, the majority of the votes cast in the former is the same as the majority in the latter since everyone who can vote has voted. The majority to pass a Bill therefore becomes the same as a majority to pass a no-confidence motion.

The majority in both cases, would be same, that is, 33 because all sixty-five voted. This is simple mathematical logic.

It cannot be that if everyone voted for the passage of a Bill, the majority is 33 but if everyone voted for the passage of no-confidence motion, the majority suddenly becomes 34. This would be ‘jumbie’ mathematics.

The government has always been aware of this fact. This is why they have always ensured that even for ordinary Bills where a division of the House may be necessary that every elected member on their side is present. And the opposition usually does the same, because they too know that once sixty-five persons vote, the majority is 33.

The government has always tried to ensure that it has the majority present in the National Assembly. At one time, it even had one Minister wheel-chaired out of hospital in order to ensure a majority of 33.

Both before and after the no-confidence vote, the government said that the opposition needed 33 votes. After the vote, the government accepted its defeat.

One of its Ministers even went outside to the talk with the government supporters and comforted them by saying that “we beat them before and we will beat them again”, meaning that he acknowledged the defeat of the government.

The APNU+AFC lost the no-confidence motion. It accepted this loss but is now backpedaling. It is trying to buy extra time in office.

It is suspected that this change of heart may be because of the pressure being applied by some of its financiers who feel that the benefits that they enjoyed are going to evaporate.

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