By Andre Bagoo
September 09 2014 – newsday.co.tt
STATING Government is moving to safeguard the welfare of society, Finance Minister Larry Howai yesterday unveiled a record $65 billion budget. It contained increased benefits on a wide range of fronts, including pension enhancements which will affect more than 131,020 retired and self-employed persons, a new minimum wage, improved allowances for the disabled and easiser access to mortgages for more than 26,100 prospective homeowners.
In the fifth Budget of the People’s Partnership administration, Howai announced:
Continue reading ‘WELFARE BUDGET’
By Raffique Shah
September 07, 2014
Archbishop Joseph Harris strikes me as being a “rootsy Trini”—a prelate who commands respect beyond his flock even as he exudes a tremendous sense of humour.
What I could not discern from a distance (I’ve never met the good Father) is that he is also a humorist who can put veterans such as Paul Keens-Douglas and “Sprangalang” to pale on any stage at any time.
Continue reading ‘Politics and ethics only rhyme’
By Raffique Shah
August 31, 2014
One thing we citizens can celebrate on the 52nd anniversary of the nation’s independence is just how dependent we are on our illustrious politicians to tell us what is wrong and what is right, what is good for us and what is not.
Mere mortals that we are, and ignorant ones at that, we were blissfully unaware that for five decades-plus, we had engaged in general elections 13 times (counting 1961), but mostly, the results have yielded governments that did not reflect the will of the electorate. This seething but invisible problem has been the root cause of all our woes — rising crime, nagging poverty, dysfunctional health and education systems, and so on.
Continue reading ‘One dose of democracy’
August 29, 2014 – guardian.co.tt
The controversial Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2014 was passed in the Senate last night with the support of Independent Senators Dhanayshar Mahabir, Rolph Balgobin and David Small.
After almost three days of heated debate, the bill was passed at 11.09 pm with a total of 18 senators voting for it and 12 against it. All the Opposition Senators present and six independents voted against the bill. However, the bill received the three Independents’ votes only after Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar agreed to accept an amendment to the controversial runoff clause put forward by Mahabir.
Continue reading ‘Bill passed after heated debate’
By Stephen Kangal
August 26, 2014
Former Prime Minister Patrick Manning now in the twilight of his long political career, albeit sadly interrupted by an unfortunate cessation of blood to part of his brain, made a fool of himself by concealing more than revealing in his Press Statement on the magnanimous offer of an ORTT by the Prime Minister.
Continue reading ‘Manning Drifted Off on A Pathetic Political Tangent’
By Raffique shah
August 23, 2014
Patrick Manning was absolutely correct on all the reasons he cited for declining the Order of Trinidad and Tobago, as announced by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar last Thursday.
It is amazing that in just about everything she says and does, the PM gets it wrong nine out of ten times. The furore over her insistence on enacting and implementing the “run-off” provision in general elections still rages, yet she puts both feet in her mouth by publicly announcing that she has advised President Anthony Carmona to confer the ORTT on Manning and Basdeo Panday.
Continue reading ‘PM Politicised Awards’
By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
August 20, 2014
Professor Antony Maingot has accused me of myopia but he has not responded to the arguments I made in my recent article on the constitutional reform proposed by the present government. Even if we grant that everything he says is true they do not refute my contention that in most of our political discussions we go no further than 1955; we do not look for constitutional precedence in our social and political history; and we do not seek, at any time, to determine the events had shaped our present thereby making us a unique society.
Continue reading ‘Professor Maignot’s Non-Response’
By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
August 15, 2014
To hear Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Anand Ramlogan tell it, one would think that August 12, 2014, was a red-letter day for Trinidad and Tobago’s democracy. They seem to indicate that somehow our society realized one of its brightest moments when the PP voted legislation to recall parliamentary representatives after three years of service if the needs arises, to creating time limits for the prime minister and, most important, to require that each parliamentary representative receive more than 50 percent of the votes cast at a general election though not necessarily more than 50 percent of the total voters of that constituency. Although I have no problems with the first two resolutions, I don’t know what democratic magic occurs when 50.1 percent rather than 49.50 percent of a constituency votes for a candidate of their choice.
Continue reading ‘Staining the Soul of Our Nation’
By Julien Neaves and Marlene Augustine
August 13 2014 – newsday.co.tt
FORMER Arima MP and Leader of Opposition Business in the Senate, Pennelope Beckles-Robinson, says Government has been “misleading the people” that the issue of a runoff elections was included in the consultations by the Constitution Reform Commission and described the government’s attempt to introduce constitutional changes at this stage as “an exact replica” of what occurred with Local Government elections and proportional representation.
Continue reading ‘Penny accuses Govt of deceit’
By Stephen Kangal
August 05, 2014
PM Kamla: “…The election of this government has changed the political landscape. The expectation of the public that something will be done when wrongs are committed in public office are now the hallmarks of good governance…”.
The standard of political accountability changes according to the regime because after four years the PNM that was rejected in 2010 on the platform of persistent wrong-doing may be on the cusp of returning to Whitehall in spite of all the numerous wrongdoings it has visited on the people of T&T.
Continue reading ‘The Dualism of Wrong-doing’