In House TV

Public Works Minister Trevor Moniz says people would object to spending money televising debates in the House of Assembly at a time when we face austerity measures.
This is the intro to a story in The Royal Gazette but I think Mr Moniz is wide of the mark here.
Firstly, this Government has been preaching transparency (although not always does it achieve that aim – there were promises of weekly press conferences with the Premier which I don’t think have materialized, for instance) and what better way is there for people to see what actually happens in the House?
Secondly, if you spin it the right way, people are likely to accept the cost. (The RG article does not say what the cost is, although with CITV at hand I doubt it is a lot.)
Thirdly, it may force MPs to up their game when it comes to debates, which can be very poor indeed, and to increase their attendance and participation in debates.
The public might be surprised to see how many MPs are actually in their seats at any given time.
This story comes from the House of Assembly on Friday and was not part of an interview.
According to the paper’s report, the comments were made during a motion about “setting up a committee to explore ways in which the effectiveness and efficiency of the legislature could be improved in order to bring Bermuda in line with standards set out by Commonwealth Parliamentary Association”.
It was unanimously supported with one PLP MP quoted as saying that Parliament “has lagged behind the wider community in its modernisation”.
From the narrow perspective of a journalist I agree. There is still little transparency – committees, for instance, are all too often held in private and no minutes are released afterwards.
Which makes a bit of a mockery of this line in the story: Mr Moniz urged the press to play its part in “getting to the bottom of issues” and keeping politicians accountable.
How about MPs holding themselves accountable and accepting that TV – even internet streaming – is one of the best ways to go.

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