Mr. John Issa wrote in his column, View From Afar, in The Tribune yesterday that if laws are ignored and not enforced we should apply "the old rule of "USE IT OR LOSE IT" to all our legislation", and while people might not comply because the law itself is seen as being unjust and not simply because people are selfish, his recommendation deserves serious attention.
We might also consider the process followed when legislation is being passed by the House of Assembly. I refer to it as the Bahamian code of silence.
"Successive governments have shown an unwillingness to widely circulate legislation it intends to implement. Laws are rushed through Parliament without proper discussion, sometimes making it to the third reading before the private sector has an opportunity to review the proposed bill."
"Government policies must be able to withstand the scrutiny of public debate long before they are presented to parliament or cabinet."
"Discussion papers and policy proposals should be available for review by all citizens, unless overriding issues of national security are involved."
"The agendas of parliament and the cabinet should be disseminated to the press and other interested parties at least two weeks in advance to allow citizens to research information or provide input to their elected representatives."
But for some reason Parliament seems to think that they do not have to hold themselves to the same level of accountability they attempt to hold the private sector and taxpayers to.
See for yourself how many laws are on the books and how few are actually enforced at this link…
As far back as 1999 The Nassau Institute suggested that while "our Parliamentarians appear to be doing their "job" when they are passing laws…their time (would) be better spent reviewing the laws that exist to determine what laws should be removed from the books? The reality is that with every law passed, we lose a little more freedom. Seldom is a law changed or removed from the books... they are usually expanded when governments find out their intentions were not fulfilled with the first attempt." Read more…
So yes, if the laws are not enforced they should be removed from the books and the Parliamentary code of silence needs to be broken.