Last week, Father of the House, McKeeva Bush, voiced his concern that the Select Committee formed to consider amendments to the Gambling Act seemed to be “rushing” the process.
Bush’s comments were made after it transpired that one or more MPs had previous engagements and might not have been able to attend the Select Committee hearing on what appeared to be 24 hours’ notice to attend.
Trying to understand the urgency of the Select Committee’s desire for a meeting the next day, Bush asked:
What is so pressing other than the claim (and I have no doubt that they would probably be telling the truth) that there is criminal activity associated with gaming?
Why is there such a need… pressing on government members to do this when there are so many pressing issues that they have to deal with?
Whether the members of the Select Committee had information that Bush wasn’t aware of is unclear. However, what is evident is that Bush’s logic was on point that notwithstanding the perceived urgency of the Select Committee to discuss the Bill to amend the Gambling Act, criminal activity associated with illegal gambling would not suddenly cease because the Select Committee met or the Bill was passed.
Having made his point, Bush said:
I fail to see why we can’t set a longer period where we can start the process next week since in the beginning of the year… everybody is doing things that needs to be done… with ministries etcetera, setting schedules and all sorts of things… plans with their staff… all sorts of things are happening.
Objectively speaking, setting an adequate time frame makes sense because it may allow relevant MPs to properly prepare for Select Committee hearings and have their valuable feedback considered in the Select Committee’s report.
In addition, more time might allow witnesses to prepare and give evidence before the Select Committee properly.
Lastly, additional time might also give members of the public opportunities to research and understand the whole picture as to the reasons behind proposed amendments to the Gambling Act, which may further aid them in considering what factors are the most important for a future referendum vote on the legalization of gambling or a national lottery.
Without these thoughtful steps, Bush seemed concerned about the Select Committee’s motivation to proceed quickly.
I can understand that you moved the Bill and you want to move forward but if you got to take a while longer to the Bill, then you take a while longer because Select Committee process should not be rushed in any event.
I’m not one to sit down and say what goes on in ministries. I don’t know. All it seems to me is that everybody is very very busy of important matters and I just cant see why we cannot put this up… put back the meeting to begin this next week.
I don’t see why this is such a Almighty Rush.
Perhaps, over time, members of the public will understand why there is a perceived “Almighty Rush,” as Bush put it.