Keith Rowley and the Coercive State

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
August 27, 2015

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeSometimes our public officials act in incredible silly ways that are entirely incomprehensible to the ordinary citizen. Dr. Keith Rowley, the leader of the PNM, is locked in a close fight with the UNC, the governing party, for the leadership of the country. Fifteen days before the election the Integrity Commission (IC) demands that he produces certain documents within that period or face the prospect of prosecution.
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Gypsy jumps off: “The PM is ungrateful, conniving”

By Kim Boodram
August 26, 2015 – trinidadexpress.com

Winston Gypsy PetersREJECTED by the United National Congress after being screened to be the general election candidate for the Mayaro seat, Winston Gypsy Peters has lashed out at Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, describing her as conniving and ungrateful.

He has resigned the Minister of Community Development, and given up his membership in the UNC.
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Half truths and manifestos

By Raffique Shah
August 25, 2015

Raffique ShahI don’t know that the majority of people in the country are influenced in any way by the manifestos presented by various parties-in our case two, one from the UNC/PP and the other from the PNM.

In fact, I believe few people, likely less than ten percent of the electorate, read these voluminous documents. In my case, I sought the synopses of the presenters because I know they will have highlighted what they saw as the fundamentals of what they would implement if elected, and certainly their most marketable offerings.
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Clarify property tax

Newsday Editorial
August 25 2015 – newsday.co.tt

HouseUNFORTUNATELY all of the barbs being exchanged in relation to the question of a proposed property tax have distracted us from the deeper question: what is the policy of both of the major parties on the imposition of taxes on property assets generally? The property tax was a proposal of the last PNM administration and it would have introduced a brand new regime of taxation which would be tied to the rental and taxable values of property.
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SS Trinidad Sinking

By Raffique Shah
August 19, 2015

Raffique ShahAmidst the din of election campaigning—hundreds of ‘Kamla has a plan’ ads on all television stations during prime time, DJ music systems scouring the country daily, public meetings broadcast nightly on almost every radio and television station, more ads popping up every time you click on the Internet, assaults via phones and emails—I have yet to hear one frontline politician tell the people of this nation of the grim times the country faces if oil and gas prices keep tumbling, as they have done over the past two months.
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The Laptop Scandal

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
August 18, 2015

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI was at Maloney on Wednesday evening when Dr. Keith Rowley analyzed the Government’s laptop program. Dr. Rowley did not have to do much work since he read from a document that pointed out the introduction of laptops and the incorporation of ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) in our schools “had no statistically significant impact on student performance.” It also found that staff and student groups registered “a relatively high dissatisfaction with the provision of internet service” and the implementation of the laptop program.
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7-year-olds can be charged

By Alexander Bruzual
Monday, August 17, 2015 – trinidadexpress.com

ViolenceWith two children, aged 11 and 13, currently before the courts on charges of manslaughter, several members of the public have taken to social media questioning at what age can a child be held criminally responsible for their actions, and if it was right that children be made to face such a serious charge.

However, many people may be shocked to know that the age for criminal responsibility in Trinidad and Tobago is actually seven years.
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PP candidates superior to PNM’s—Kamla

By Richard Lord
Monday, August 17, 2015 – guardian.co.tt

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-BissessarIn the face of significant inroads into territory of its (UNC) coalition partners, political leader of the United National Congress (UNC) Kamla Persad-Bissessar told party supporters yesterday that the People’s Partnership could not be in better shape to seek a second mandate from the electorate as the coalition presented its 41 candidates for the September 7 polls.
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Reckless endangerment

By Terrence Farrell
Aug 14, 2015 – trinidadexpress.com

FinancialWhat has been the impact on energy sector revenues of the fall in oil and gas prices? Data published by the Central Bank indicates that in the first eight months of the current fiscal year, energy sector revenues have declined by $3.3 billion or 27.5 per cent. Total Government revenues declined by only 1.7 per cent because the proceeds of the tax amnesty and NGC special dividend helped to offset the fall in oil revenues.
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An issue more important than crime

By Raffique Shah
August 8, 2015

Raffique ShahWE columnists are on a roll during “elections season”, but in my 34 years of writing commentaries, I have never enjoyed a long, scandalous, comical campaign as the current one.

It’s so good, or bad (depending on one’s perspective), readers have taken to telephoning or emailing me with suggestions as to what I should address.
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