ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada: As a way of strengthening democracy in the country, the parliamentary system will be subjected to continuous assessment and training, said House Speaker, George McGuire, in a recent address marking the celebration of the International Day of Democracy. He added that the nation needs a robust parliament that would be “much more than a place of fruitless ventilation”.
“We have set new benchmarks for the Grenada parliament which we hope will strengthen our procedures and advance our developmental goals,” said McGuire. “We are committed to the best practices of parliamentary democracy. I expect there will be continuous assessment and training to ensure that parliamentary democracy is not opened to distortion.”
McGuire highlighted the need for a certain level of decorum in the House of Representatives by both government and opposition MPs, saying public perception and respect for parliament are important determinants of the health of our parliamentary democracy.
Parliament does not exist only to transact State business, said McGuire, a former Member of Parliament himself.
He described parliament as a “forum in which all legitimate points of view can be expressed”, adding also that “good government demands strong advocacy on the part of parliamentary representatives as they lobby to meet the needs of their constituents”.
McGuire assured Grenadians that all will be done to ensure that the country’s parliamentary democracy is not left open to manipulation. In addition, he said having a parliamentary opposition is of paramount importance in upholding good governance and advocated for the preserving and enhancing of the role of House members sitting across the aisle from those in government.
“Grenada needs a strong parliament, one whose purpose is not only to legislate but also to ventilate views on national issues,” McGuire said, adding that parliamentary activities must not be viewed by the public as “ineffective and pointless”.