by Linda Straker
- 3-day training for MPs began week of 6 March
- Organised by Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK branch
- MP Kerry McCarthy led delegation
Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell said that his training as a lawyer contributed to him having a better understanding of parliamentary procedures.
“I am mindful, perhaps, had it not been for my training as a lawyer, the average citizen may often time find Parliament itself bewildering, archaic, out of touch, and not necessarily agile or flexible in terms of responding to the needs of its citizens,” he said during the opening ceremony of a 3-day training for 30 Members of Parliament (MPs) of the 11th Parliament. Mitchell is MP for St David.
“I look forward to gaining insights and sharing experience…so that at the end of the day, we have more effective representation for our people, and we can make the institution of Parliament more reflective of the dreams and aspirations of our citizens.” He pointed out that the procedures of Parliament traditions may need to be revised. “And while traditions are good and still should be upheld, perhaps we need to ask ourselves whether traditions should be kept for tradition’s sake or whether we need to adapt to suit our environment and the needs of our people.”
Mitchell reminded the facilitators that Grenada has a fairly youthful population with more women than men. “I think it’s important that our Parliament reflects that as much as possible, so I am happy to know that the bulk of the UK contingent is made up of women.”
The training held the week of 6 March, gave the participants a better understanding and confidence in carrying out their parliamentary responsibilities. It also increased members’ knowledge of the purpose and operation of the scrutiny functions of Parliament, including parliamentary questions, debates, and committees. Among the topics at the training was The Role of Parliamentarians in the Legislative Process, An Overview of the Committee System in the UK and Grenada and Ethics, Behaviour and Standards in Parliament, and Balancing Responsibilities.
Organised by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK branch, the training provided a better understanding to Members of Parliament, especially on the Government side, who were mainly newcomers to parliamentary matters. The leader of the delegation was MP Kerry McCarthy, and the facilitator was MP Nickie Aikin.