About IEDP

About IEDP

The IEDP was established in 1999 by the IPSA at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. It is a student initiated, three-credit program that serves as a forum for students to discuss the challenges faced by developing economies. IEDP participants engage in a seven-week course in the winter semester, extensively studying the country of choice, and then take a one-week trip to the country over Spring Break. During the trip, IEDP students conduct extensive interviews and discussions with policymakers, members of civil society, foreign development agencies and university students. So far the IEDP has visited 11 countries, including Ethiopia, Cuba, Morocco, China, Costa Rica, Peru, Jordan, Senegal and the Philippines. The country of study for 2011 is Grenada, the first country from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in the IEDP's history.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Houses of Parliament in Grenada

Parliamentary democracy as we understand it today is based upon the consent of the governed.  Sovereignty resides in the people and it is they who decide who shall occupy the seats of power.

Parliament consists of the Queen, represented by the Governor General, the Senate and the House of Representatives.  The Governor-General summons Parliament, brings its session to an end by prorogation, and formally assents to every bill before it can become law.  In practice, he exercises all these powers on the advice of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet.

The passage of legislation depends on the participation of all three component parts of Parliament.  A bill must be agreed to by both Houses and receive the Royal Assent before it can become an Act of Parliament.  The powers of the Senate and the House of Representatives are constitutionally equal except that financial legislation may not be introduced in the Senate.

All Senators are appointed by the Governor General on the advice of the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.
The House of Representatives is directly elected by the people, and although by tradition the Senate is the Upper House and the House of Representatives is the Lower House, it is the House of Representatives which plays the predominant part in the parliamentary system.

The Parliament of Grenada came into being in 1974 when Grenada became an independent country.

The Senate consists of thirteen (13) non-elected Members. The members come from different sources.  They are:
  • Seven are appointed on the advice of the Prime Minister;
  • Three are appointed on the advice of the Leader of the Opposition; and
  • Three are appointed on the advice of the Prime Minister after he has consulted the organizations or interests which he considers the Senators should be selected to represent.
  • To act as a House of review with responsibility for expressing second opinion in relation to legislative and other proposals initiated in the House of Representatives;
  • To ensure proper consideration of all legislation;
  • To provide adequate scrutiny of financial measures;
  • To initiate non-financial legislation as the Senate sees fit: the Senate’s capacity to initiate proposed legislation effectively means that Parliament is not confined in its opportunities for considering public issues in a legislative context to those matters covered by bills brought forward by the executive;
  • To probe and check the administration of laws and to keep itself informed and to insist on ministerial accountability for the administration of the Government;
  • To provide effective scrutiny of Government and enable adequate expression of debate about policy and government programmes.  As a parliamentary forum, the Senate is one place where a Government can be, of right, questioned and obliged to answer.
All bills must be passed by the Senate before they can become law and it has the constitutional right to reject any bill, and keep on rejecting it as long as it sees fit.  It can also amend any bill, although it cannot initiate or increase the amount of any bill dealing with taxation or expenditure.

The House of Representatives was modelled on the British, and even now, in any matter of procedure not provided for by its own rules and practices, the rules and practices of the British House of Commons are followed.

The House of Representatives is the focal point of parliamentary activity and public attention, the grand forum of the nation, where major national and international issues are debated; where the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition may be seen in regular confrontation; where Cabinet Ministers defend the policies and conduct of their departments; where the nation’s business in freely and openly transacted, all that is said and done being faithfully recorded.

Parliament makes the laws and the House of Representatives plays the predominant part in making them.  Any member can introduce bills, except bills involving expenditure or taxation, which can only be introduced by the government.  Since the responsibilities of government now extend into almost every sphere of activity, and since most government action involves spending money (and raising it by taxes, fees, loans, and so forth), most of the time of the House is spent on Government Bills.

Every bill must pass both Houses and receive the Royal Assent before it becomes law.  Assent is signified by the Governor General.

By law a general election must be held at least once every five years.  However, Parliament may be dissolved and an election called before the statutory period has elapsed, and this is what normally happens.  The power to dissolve Parliament is a royal prerogative exercised by the Governor General, normally on the advice of the Prime Minister.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

IEDP 2011 Group Picture

Fatman George - Skin Up (Grenada soca 2010)

This is the SKINUP that Tova mentioned in today's class. However, I don't have any clue what this song is singing about.

Rum Shop Culture

Nearly every village on the island has at least one rum shop on the street corner where the locals go to gossip, play pool or darts, and discuss politics--politricks according to Bajans.  The rum shop was (and still is) a central institution in village life.  "The Rum Shop served as a meeting point for society's more colorful members.  [It] is often seen as a common ground, where people form [sic] all walks of life could meet and feel the pulse of society, exchange ideas and refresh themselves" (www.tidco.co.tt/local/THF-1996/rumshop/).  I was told once:  "If you want to experience real Bajan culture, visit the rum shops and talk."  

From: http://www.courses.vcu.edu/ENG-snh/Caribbean/Barbados/Images/rumshop.htm

Monday, January 17, 2011

Exploring the Sounds of Grenada

Week 3 of the IEDP focuses on Grenada's cultural dynamics. A cultural element such as music can serve as a means to express social commentary as well as protest. Calypso is an Afro-Caribbean style of music which originated in Trinidad and Tobago in the 18th century that blends modern folk culture with the history of slavery and colonialism. The Calypso musical style stems from the Caribbean's African heritage as well as French, Spanish, and British influences. In many ways, the Calypso genre became a means to spread news and test the boundaries of free speech under British rule. Historically, the general public of Trinidad relied upon these songs for news of the day, but the songs also inspired many political debates surrounding corruption, political independence, and social norms.

                                     (King Ajamu, http://www.ajamumusic.com/biography.htm)

Today Edson Mitchell, popularly known as "King Ajamu," is Grenada's most prominent award-winning Calypsonian. King Ajamu began singing and writing Calypso in Trinidad in 1983. His music is a combination of Calypso, soca, and reggae. Some of his most popular songs are: "A Prayer to the Nation," "Oh Grenada," "Freedom," and "Until My Work is Over."

Movie: Island in the Sun

The movie, Island in the Sun, was filmed in Grenada in 1956, helping promote Grenada as a tourist destination. The movie is based on the novel by Alec Waugh, and stars an ensemble cast including James Mason, Joan Fontaine, Dorothy Dandridge, Joan Collins.

Plot summary for Island in the Sun:

Set on a fictitious island in the Carribean during colonial British rule. It focuses on the life of a young charismatic and handsome black male with political aspirations. He finds himself confused on returning home when his romantic liaison with a white female tends to conflict with his political views. As rumor has it an interracial screen kiss caused quite a commotion in the U.S. when the film was released. The plot is further strengthened by a look at the lives of a white ex-pat family also living on the island. The family has to deal with problems of infidelity, racism and murder. Written by Warren D. Mottley <trident@toj.com>