BVI News

Vanterpool calls for term limits for elected officials

Opposition legislator Mark Vanterpool is calling for term limits to be introduced for legislators elected to the House of Assembly.

The fourth-term legislator said he wants these changes reflected under the territory’s next Constitution Order; discussions for which have already started.

Vanterpool made that statement in the House of Assembly where he debated in favour of a constitutional review for the BVI. 

The Opposition legislator said he believes limitations on service would restore confidence in the electorate.

“I would mention in here now, we need actual term-limits so that people can believe and trust us a little more and not see us here forever, especially the premiership or the leadership of the country,” Vanterpool said.

“At least it gives a chance for after two terms or another term for a Premier to lead the country and he takes a break. And if he’s young enough and wants to come back again, he comes back again later,” he further reasoned.

Should be decided by the people

Vanterpool, who is the Representative for the Fourth District, added that the decision to implement a term limit in the BVI should be decided by the people of the territory.

“I want to make sure that the people are willing to support us under certain principles accepting that the Virgin Islands should be governed based on adherence to well established democratic principles and institutions,” he stated.

Strong Institutions needed

In addition to his pitch for term limits, Vanterpool also proposed strengthening local institutions in order to further restore the electorate’s confidence in the legislature.

He said examples of these are the Public Service Commission, Teaching Service Commission, the Judicial & Legal Services Commission, and the Police Service Commission.

“The House of Assembly institution, we need to keep strengthening and the Judiciary as an independent branch of government and so on. Those are some of the things we need to see strengthening the new constitution as we go forward,” he said.

“Those are the things that we have established under this present constitution and now we are now moving towards the Ministers’ Code of Conduct and other things like those which gives the people the confidence that we have to abide by certain laws and rules to govern ourselves,” he further said.

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  1. Ken dreger says:

    And like I said earlier, no special treatment, no special retirement, medical, education, free cars, housing benefits! treat them just like regular working people BECAUSE that is who they should be and it is who they represent! PS: and NO special pay raises!

    Like 6
    Dislike 1
    • 2 Much Time In D Hous says:

      After hearing from “Ken Draeger and Moderator” nuf said. In total agreement. Ill add just 2 more things. (1) Politicians spending to much time in the HOA; sometimes into the night. Get out of the house and go do the people’ work); spend some time in the districts seeing first hand what needs to be fixed and meet, greet and talk with their constituents, (2). Reduce Board members of statutory bodies to a maximum of 4 with matching payment no higher than $600 per month and restricted to serving on no more than 2 boards at a time nor serving longer than 2 governments; *allow other equally voting member the opportunity to serve) .

  2. Moderator says:

    Two term limits for everyone (including the Premier) then take a break for the next two terms, then run again.

  3. GTFOH says:

    Is he for real? One of the longest serving members of the HOA. One that quit and changed his mind to be a part of the HOA is talking about a term limit. After milking the cow dry he ready to make some burgers.

    Like 19
    Dislike 1
  4. E.Leonard says:

    The Hon Mark “Action Man” Vanterpool (R4), former MCW, 4-term legislator and served in both opposition and government, is espousing an idea that is employed in a few locales, eg, mostly in the US. As far as I’m aware, the UK does not have term limits for MPs. I take a different view from my friend the Action Man. The VI already has term limits——-the voters.

    Every 4 years voters go to the polls to vote for 9 district representatives and 4 at large representatives. Instituting term limits may be telling voters that they their judgement is trusted, there doubt of their knowledge of the process and doubt about their political savvy. We don’t like your choices. An insult to voters.

    Looking forward from 1950 through today, the VI electorate has matured and continue to increase in political savvy and maturity.

    True, the current process is flawed and a popularity contest yet it is the people’s choice to vote for whom they want yo whether it is for 1 term and 10 terms. The VI has adult suffrage, ie, 1 man/woman, 1 vote.

    Moreover, instituting terms IMO have down sides, including:
    a. Taking away the choice of voters
    b. Kicking out effective legislators early and prematurely
    c. Depriving HOA of acquired policy making expertise
    d. Losing quality legislators with years of corporate history early.

    Like 6
    Dislike 1
  5. SMH says:

    Territory only so big. So why wait till now? People have their Constitutional Rights to make such Decision.

  6. Well says:

    Vanterpool, Got it but, you don’t seem to have an interest in politics anymore. Four years term limit and step away. I mean people get tired of eating ? every day.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Those elected officials, all of them, are existing in a political cocoon.

    Not one syllable of utterance concerning the financial plight of the masses, and not even a thought being made towards paying increments that are over due, to people they depend on to keep the wheels of the country greased and turning.

    It is a breach of the human, spiritual, godly, political and economic contract not to pay humans what they have worked for and earned.

    Once sealed inside that perverbial political cocoon, the votes they sort and worked to get are cast aside until the next electorial cycle.

    Not just the constitution needs reviewing, the political spirit, methods, focus and manner of governing need to be reviewed and changed also.

  8. Ausar says:

    I would like to see term limits also, but how long is too long?

    I think this has to be a decision decided by the people!

  9. Agree says:

    I totally agree with him.

    In recent years he is the second elected official to lose their drive and deflate right in front of the eyes of the very people who voted for them and brought about their success.

    We all know what happens when this happens: the districts do not have proper representation, and the people suffer.

    But then again, these honourable people should just do the right thing and bow out while the going is good, especially when they get stale.

  10. FFT says:

    What is greatly needed more than term limits is limits on ELECTORIAL EXPENDITURE.

    For, among many other reasons that will not be mentioned here, the one with lots of money will be able to buy his way into office, then turn the office into a personal casino. Yet, he may be the least politically oriented or smart enough an individual to execute the job.

    The territory has been and is witnessing such an example in its current political journey.

    But the smarter, more capable and honest man or woman, who cannot afford to buy the ELECTORIAL process will never be able to run and or succeed.

    Thus, his/her political giftedness will never be realized or beneifit the country.

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