Pringle says a more inclusive form of governance needs to be adopted and advocates for more consultation with the people

Opposition Leader Jamale Pringle is advocating that a new mode of governance – one that is more inclusive of the people – be adopted for Antigua and Barbuda.

Speaking to parliamentary practice, Pringle says it has become common for the Government to pass laws without consultation with the wider community.

However, he believes the people should be a part of the decision-making process, especially when it comes to legislation that direct impacts how they live.

The way in which the Browne Administration hurries a Bill through the Parliament in a single sitting serves no useful purpose, the Opposition Leader notes.

It often turns out to be a waste of time, he adds, since, in many cases, the Bill has to be returned to Parliament for amendment – which could have been avoided if there had been prior consultations.

House Speaker Sir Gerald Watt has warned the Government against rushing Bills through the Lower House and tabling certain legislation without public consultations.

One such example is the recent Bill to establish a sex offenders registry. Following the debate, the matter had to be sent to a Special Committee of the House for review, along with public consultations and the input of the Bar Association and other civil-society bodies.

In this case Watt, as well as Barbuda MP Trevor Walker, was concerned that the Government could be breaching people’s constitutional rights and therefore risk being sued.