Archive for the 'Elections' Category

Polling the Pollster

By Raffique Shah
September 28, 2014

Raffique ShahI won’t challenge the results and projections of the Solutions by Simulation poll published in the Express last week. Nigel Henry’s company has established itself as being uncannily accurate in projecting the results of four elections in Trinidad and Tobago last year, the most startling being the 12-0 victory to the People’s National Movement (PNM) in the Tobago House of Assembly election.
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Better bite the bullet now

By Raffique Shah
September 14, 2014

Raffique ShahNine out of ten people, if asked to comment on Government’s 2014-2015 budget, would quietly, and many grudgingly, say it was a good package.

For the average citizen, what matters most in the annual Appropriation Bill are what new measures strip him (or her) of some portion of his earnings or wealth, meaning taxes or levies, and what new benefits accrue to him by way of increases in grants, subsidies, soft loans and so on.
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Politics and ethics only rhyme

By Raffique Shah
September 07, 2014

Raffique ShahArchbishop 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.
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One dose of democracy

By Raffique Shah
August 31, 2014

Raffique ShahOne 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.
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Bill passed after heated debate

August 29, 2014 – guardian.co.tt

ParliamentThe 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.
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Professor Maignot’s Non-Response

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
August 20, 2014

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeProfessor 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.
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Real People Power

By Raffique Shah
August 16, 2014

Raffique ShahWhat the railroading of the runoff provision in the Constitutional Amendment Bill in Parliament last week showed is that Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar will not heed the voices of reason, even if they come from within her own ranks.

Hubris having enveloped her soul, and with an army of sycophants massaging her ego with every word uttered from their mouths, the lady sees in every critic an enemy bent on destroying her. On the eve of her political self-destruction, paranoia has compounded the toxic mix that will hasten her demise.
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Penny accuses Govt of deceit

By Julien Neaves and Marlene Augustine
August 13 2014 – newsday.co.tt

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeFORMER 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.
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Dance Macabre in the COP

By Raffique Shah
June 08, 2014

Raffique ShahI suppose the Congress of the People (COP), born a robust, bouncing baby in 2007, died of greed rather than malnutrition in the aftermath of the 2010 general elections, so there is little to mourn today as its corpse twitches in delayed rigor mortis, signs of life that are really spasms of death.

How else must one interpret the feast of vultures we are witnessing today, a kind of dance macabre in which those who suffocated the healthy infant in the ample but noxious bosom of big-mama United National Congress (UNC), pretend to be architects of the party’s afterlife?
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PNM’s Last Chance

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
March 05, 2014

Part 1

A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones—and South Africa treated its imprisoned African citizens like animals.

—Nelson Mandela

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI am pretty certain that Keith Rowley will emerge victorious during the PNM’s party election and go on to become the next prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago. Fortunately, that is the easy part of the political equation. The more difficult part is to govern in such a way that the society emerges in a better place than it is in 2014. That’s the challenge PNM faces when it takes the helm of government. However, if Rowley and the PNM fail to leave Trinidad (and especially our brothers and sisters in our depressed areas) in a better way than they found them in 2014, one can confidently predict that 2020 would mark the beginning of the end of the PNM as a political force in our country.
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