BVI News

Clause about ‘no unrealistic promises’ removed from political code of conduct


The clause that forbade parties and candidates from making election promises they knowingly cannot deliver on has been removed from newly introduced Code of Conduct for Political Parties and Candidates.

According to Permanent Secretary in the Deputy Governor’s Office, Carolyn Stoutt-Igwe, legislators had opted to remove the clause after agreeing that there was no real way to define an ‘unrealistic promise’.

“It was determined after much discussion that it should be removed because it was felt that it could be subjective. Something might seem unrealistic today but not because something seems unrealistic today means that it can’t be done,” Stoutt-Igwe said.

That unrealistic promise clause was the only one that was removed from the code of conduct, Stoutt-Igwe said. She noted that other clauses just underwent what she described as minor amendments.

A few notable mentions in the code of conduct include a clause warning candidates to avoid defamation of character of their opponents, their families, and supporters.

No one assigned to monitor conduct of parties, candidates

No abusive attacks or innuendos may be directed to campaigners or their family members for reason of their political affiliation, race, social origins and background, education, gender, religion, or any other reason, the code says. Despite this policy, a series of defamatory content against select political candidates have been circulating on local social media.

And albeit the implementation of a code of conduct, Stoutt-Igwe said there is no one specifically assigned to monitor parties and candidates’ public behaviour leading up to the elections.

She, however, said the Office of the Supervisor of Elections serves as the group that widely overseas a general election.

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  1. LMAO says:

    So, they want to have the authority to continue to lie to us but they don’t want the people to say anything bad about them?

    LMAO – It’s the third world people.

    Like 19
  2. Not2Sure says:

    It probably makes no difference. If that clause was in there or not, they would still say whatever they wanted in order to get themselves elected – realistic or not.

    Like 19
  3. SMH says:

    It never made sense in the first place. Who would determine what is an unrealistic promise?

  4. E. Leonard says:

    Good policy. If you cannot measure and define it, you cannot enforce it. The campaign process is self-correcting. The serious, competitive political candidates will propose sensible, reasonable, practical and affordable policies and programmes to government the territory, meeting the expectations and needs of residents.

    The serious, competitive candidates will work to earn the confidence and respect of voters and will conduct themselves in a manner not to tarnish their image and integrity. Who wants to be viewed as a “poppyshow”? Voters are the check valves on politicians who are clearly making promises that they probably cannot keep and territory may not be able to afford. Voters will take that responsibility seriously. Further, it is voters choice if they want to vote for a politician who can sell air conditioning in the Artic Circle or in Antarctica.

    Moreover, politicians overpromising and undelivering on them (promises) on the campaign trail is not new or unique to BVI politics. It is age old strategy and tactic. For example, let’s take a peek back to 64 BC in Rome. Quintus Tullius Cicero in a supposed memo(The Commentariolum Petitionis or Little Handbook on Electioneering) to his brother Marcus Tullius Cicero who was running for consul of Rome advised him to promise everything to anyone, for if a promise is broken, the outcome is uncertain. But if you refuse to make a promise, there is a high probability of not getting elected. Quintus also suggested that a candidate must be chameleon on the trail. Again, voters must be the check valves on keeping things real.

    • Albion says:

      Elton, they can’t enforce *anything* in this country right now – whether it can be measured and defined or not!

    • Disinteresed says:

      “Further, it is voters choice if they want to vote for a politician who can sell air conditioning in the Artic Circle or in Antarctica.” Seriously, if you believe the political process will self correct, indeed, you may be selling A/C in the Artic and Antarctica. Lol! Things may, indeed, be no diffrent than 64 BC in Rome.

      Nuff politicians are promising any and everything with no plan on how they will be paid for. If the process is going to self-correct, the voters, not politicians, will make it happen. Politicians are not going to anything that is not in their self-interest. For example, will politicians vote to rescind their housing allowance to live in own home? No. But both government and opposition are in lockstep on this issue. Thinking you may be enabling politicians to promise all things, since it is not new and it is universal. Lol!

      • Quiet Storm says:

        “Thinking you may be enabling politicians to promise all things, since it is not new and it is universal. Lol!” Dem gydes nah need no help. They know that we have short attention spans. Politicians used political patronage to keep us in line. What else are these gydes going to promise? May be a free trip to Mars. Nonethless, we cannot put all blame on the politicians for this wild ride; we need to look in the mirror. There are more lil man than politicians but we have ceded power to the politicians; we need to wrest the power back. The many have the real/true power.

  5. No wonder says:

    No wonder the bulk of those men and women seeking office, and in some cases reelection, are promising fluffy pies in the sky which they full well know will not be realised.

    They are saying what they know the people want to hear. In fact, they are acting like a certain powerful yellow haired seventy three year old man (who is behaving as if he is a three year old toddler still in pampers).

    Shame on those who willfully know they will not be able to deliver what they are promising. You can fool some of the people some of the times; however, you can’t fool all of the people all of the times. No one is going to pull the wool over my eyes this guava crop.

  6. Really?!?! says:

    So the ones who would be regulated by this chose to change it. Nice work NDP. This is the accountability and transparency we want. ..smh… #

    Like 4
    Dislike 2

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