Political maturity in opposition in T&T

October 22, 2009
Trinidad and Tobago News Blog
www.trinidadandtobagonews.com/blog

UNCThe recent dropping of charges against UNC’s “dissident MPs” and the meeting between UNC and COP representatives speak volumes as to the road to political maturity on the part of opposition parties in T&T.

In this era of democratically-elected dictatorship in T&T, both the UNC and COP must clearly realize and understand that their only enemy is the PNM. They must cease and desist from creating enemies within their own ranks if they are to remove the PNM government from office.

These political entities should reflect upon the fact that they lost the November 2007 general elections because they split the national votes separately among themselves; in other words, if they had contested against the PNM under one banner and combined their votes, then, the PNM would have been defeated.

This mathematical calculation is not advanced calculus; it is simple political reality. Numbers do not lie.

The UNC and COP need to extricate themselves from this 15th century Euro-centric ploy of Divide & Rule. This is exactly what they inflicted upon themselves in 2007 and thus presented the governance of T&T to Patrick Manning and the PNM on a silver platter.

Now is the time for opposition parties to come together as One to remove the PNM.

Citizens are sick and tired of being “hoodwinked, bamboozled and took” by the PNM for the past 53 years and counting. Enough is enough is their battle cry today.

Now is the time to stop this national bleeding. T&T is hemorrhaging in the North, South, East and West with no cure or remedy in sight under the PNM. Enough is enough.

Indeed, space does not permit this writer to delineate all the multi-faceted, multi-dimensional and intractable problems that affect and afflict the citizens of T&T 24-7-365.

The ruling Manning government does not seem to have the slightest clue as to how to proceed to solve these problems. Tall buildings and the holding of international conferences in T&T are not the solution— removal of the PNM government is the solution.

The Manning government has decided to turn its back on We the People. The Manning government has decided to turn its political venom on the labour movement, its hard-working/tax-paying members and Cipriani College of Labour and Co-operative Studies.

And the final nail in this dictatorial coffin is the imposition of the inhumane, vindictive and deleterious property tax on We the People.

Now is the time for We the People in the different opposition political parties, labour movement, academia and concerned citizens to join forces and send a very clear political message to Patrick Manning and the PNM government that We the People have had enough of their perennial mammaguy, pappyshow and congosa. Enough is enough.

In the final analysis, We the People must decide on three things: (1) The Manning-PNM government has to go beginning with local government elections (2) We the People brought the PNM into office, ipso facto, We the People will use the electoral process to take the PNM out of office and (3) PNM is not all that great. We the People are greater and more powerful. Only a united, solidified and committed We the People political front will make the PNM government fall.

Co-operation, not divisiveness and competition, among the national opposition body politic is the only potent power to bring down the PNM government.

Dr. Kwame Nantambu,
Diego Martin.

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1 Responses to “Political maturity in opposition in T&T”


  • If kaiso is the conscience of the nation that is put into words, then parts of the lyrics from 1970s kaisoes may provide some insight into a portion of this nation’s conscience:

    ‘We like it so, we free! … I is a P.N.M. ’til ah dead.’
    By Sparrow

    ‘Trinidad is my land and of it I am proud and glad. But I can’t understand why some people does talk it bad.’
    By Sniper

    ‘Trinidad and Tobago will always live on, colonialism gone, our nation is born. We go follow our leaders, who always do their best. In order to achieve, we got to aspire and we bound to be a success.’
    By Sparrow

    There are lyrics from many other kaisoes that could provide further insight into the conscience of the nation. However, if we examine the conscience of this nation, what we may find is that there is a lot of denial. It is difficult to say if this would change anytime soon. Nevertheless, The PNM could be in office for at least the next decade. Moreover, if Manning’s Caribbean integration initiative succeeds, then the PNM could be the dominant political party for many decades to come. The following are some reasons why this is very possible:

    Many Trinbagonians do not view the COP and/or the UNC as alternatives to the PNM. Since many do not take the UNC or the COP seriously, the country is seen as having a one-party political system. This should raise serious concerns about our democracy.

    Many Trinbagonians are fearful about speaking out against the government, and some Trinbagonians believe that to speak out against government misconduct and corruption is to be unpatriotic.

    A fair number of Trinbagonians believe that democracy is whatever the government of the day or the PNM says it is, and this mindset appears to go back before the days of Dr. Williams.

    Within both political parties, any member who tries to challenge legally the leadership will be victimimised and marginalised. Jack, Ramesh, and Rowley are examples. The process for selecting the party’s leadership is not and has not been transparent or fair.

    Many Trinbagonians (including some who are highly educated) do not appear to understand how representative democracy works.

    Since Independence, the electoral process appears to have been controlled by the PNM and not by an independent organisation.

    Some Trinbagonians see no difference between Panning and Manday, and some believe that they are both guilty of gross misconduct and corruption.

    It is unknown if the majority of Trinbagonians believe that term limits could be beneficial. Those who oppose term limits should know that the issue has never been placed before the voters.

    Manning is seeking additional power through a revision of the Constitution. Any revision to the Constitution should not be manipulated by Manning. One has to conclude that Manning’s ultimate political goal is to be the President of the Caribbean since he is trying to revise the Constitution to include an executive presidency. This has to be taken into consideration along with Manning’s Caribbean political integration initiative.

    Last but not the least; I believe that there are some reputable Trinbagonian within the PNM and the UNC. Because some are fearful of loosing their careers, they choose not to question the recklessness of their respective party leader. Additionally, if Manning were allowed to have his way, he would control and manipulate the Judiciary. In any real democracy, an independent judiciary is essential.

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