Dominica's Speaker: Just Pull Her Strings


Can anyone who witnessed the spectacle in the House of Assembly on October 1st 2018, really believe that Dominica has a genuine House?  How else can one explain what took place on that day, where a Speaker calls  a House to order to deliberately violate the constitution, in order to confirm a President when she knew that the duration of nomination period was not in keeping with the law. Yet, how could she refuse? How could she say no? Because she is not the 'real' Speaker. It seems that Alix Boyd Knight is the Speaker in name only. She sits in the Speaker's chair go through the motions of a Speaker but she is not the Speaker. She is controlled by Roosevelt Skerrit and his bunch of jokers;  when they tell her to jump she asks  'how high'. It is hard to believe that this woman is trained as a lawyer. Seriously! How can Ms Boyd Knight call herself a student of the law and then goes to the House of Assembly to behave as an ignoramus and a human puppet.


It is unclear whether Alix Boyd Knight realizes that she is shown no respect by her 'controllers'. They behave as if House rules do not apply to them and, that she better not try to apply those rules especially to the Prime Minister or else she will be ignored. This behavior was on full display at the Budget Session July 31st 2018 (Afternoon Session)  during the Prime Ministers speech. The Speaker said to the PM "your time is up".  Mr. Skerrit, in his usual insecure demeanor, did not even look at her. He just continued to mutter his way in presenting a document he neither comprehended nor appreciated.  He went on for a few more minutes; Boyd-Knight said to him again  "Your time is up".  Skerrit continued to ignore her, without even looking at the Speaker or missing a beat in his automatism; this second-rate mouthpiece had a message to deliver and was having no interruption from a Speaker who existence depended on him and his extra-judicial Bosses.   After a few more minutes,  Alix Boyd said in a submissive voice "Do you want more time?" He didn't say yes or no. He just stops her with his hand  and said 'Thank you". How condescending. The PM never asked for more time.  How can a Speaker of the House of Assembly allow herself to be so publicly humiliated and embarrassed. That scenario told the world that Alix Boyd Knight sits in the Speaker's Chair in Parliament but she does not control the house. PM Skerrit does.


How sad and shameful to allow yourself to be so humiliated?   However, it's what she does with that level of humiliation which is disturbing!  She takes it out on the Opposition Members by trying to berate and belittle them at any opportunity.  Even though, it is the Opposition Members who try to obey the rules, listen, respond and offer her respect. Her displaced anger is so obvious in the manner in which she deals with the Opposition that it is difficult to watch at times. On the other hand she treats the  Cabinet members as if to say 'what else can I do to make you happy?' Can anyone remember Madame Speaker issuing a warning to any Parliamentarian in the governing administration's side?  In particular, when Austrie and the other representatives (aka goons) with their thuggish behavior start running  "wild" in the house.  They know they own and control her.  Not even a Cabinet member pulling a gun on an Opposition member received a reprimand. What else is left to happen?

Historically, under the Westminster System of governing, the path to an independent and impartial  Speaker has been painful and hard fought.  In early days, a Speaker was the agent of the King and was expected to give him only good news.  Just imagine, between 1394 and 1535, seven speakers were executed by beheading. That job was indeed a perilous one. No one wanted the job.  Overtime, and following many years of change,  the Office of the Speaker evolved as fair, independent and impartial. These qualities in a Speaker are  necessary for the proper functioning of a democratic parliament. This lady, Alix Boyd Knight, must think that she is still living in the 14th Century and that she has to the listen to the King or else.....

It is obvious that Alix Boyd Knight has no concept of impartiality or independence as a Speaker. She will go down in history as one of the most biased, cantankerous, partisan and the proverbial puppet of the Labor Party Administration.   Sittings after sittings of  house in Dominica witnessed abhorrent display by this miserable Speaker. After 18 years this woman has shown a lack of respect to the Office of Speaker because she is not really the Speaker.  She does not understand or know her role.  She sees her function as making the lives of the members of the Opposition 'Hell';  throw them out of Parliament wherever she gets the chance.  How many brownie points has she gotten from her controllers for that action? She is prepared to destroy the very institution which she took a vow to uphold. How shameful?

Dominica has seen some admirable speakers over the years. Ms.Marie Davis Pierre, for example, may not have had the formal legal education of Alix Boyd Knight but she did understand her role.  Speaker Alix Boyd Knights has turned the Dominica House of Parliament into a House of Shame.  She has put politics before procedure. She has allowed political gamesmanship to rule in the House in favor of one side. Under the Speakership of Alix Body Knight,  the Dominica House of Parliament has become dysfunctional, irrelevant and meaningless. Dominica does not have a Speaker of the House. It has a human Puppet masquerading as Speaker.  She has lowered the esteem of this great House to be a place of public contempt and should resign. But that would be an honorable thing to do. However, no one expects such behavior from a puppet! That will only happen when Dominica decides to cut the strings of that puppet.
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