Former Prime Minister Stephenson King has asserted that the standard of some debates in the House of Assembly causes people not to want to follow the sittings of parliament.
“The quality of debate sometimes really puts people off and rather than listen people just move on their merry way because they believe it is not bringing any value to the discussion or to the national debate ,” King observed.
” I believe that probably we as politicians need to up the debate even though there is the little what you call picong and the banter that takes place which brings in the flavor that the people would like,” King stated on Wednesday.
The Castries North MP was a guest on the Choice Television programme ‘State Of The Nation’ hosted by Calixte George Jr.
He explained that if politicians can create the right balance that would sustain interest and not result in a boring debate, many more people would listen to parliament sessions.
King said he proved it in his contribution to the parliamentary debate this week when he highlighted the significance of a motion by Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre and at the same time pointed out ridiculous jabs made at the government regarding food prices and victimisation.
“In so doing then came the kind of banter that emanated and the jabs that were extended and is is amazing how it inflamed, how it sort of just radiated and the excitement it brought about and people were on fire, on my phone. All that was being said ‘Well, what did you eat today? What did they do to me?'” He recalled.
King pointed to the closure of Radio Saint Lucia, declaring that there’s a need to have a voice of the nation airing the people’s business.
“That is the time when we realise that there is a void,” he expressed, notwithstanding the presence of other media outlets that do their job well.
King ditched the United Workers Party (UWP), which he once led to run as an independent in the July 26, 2021, general elections.
And on retaining his Castries North seat, he accepted an invitation to serve as a Senior Minister in the current Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) cabinet after the party’s landslide victory at the polls.
This week, in parliament, King took several swipes at opposition leader Allen Chastanet, under whom he served when Chastanet was Prime Minister.