Destroying democracy

By Raffique Shah
August 17, 2020

Raffique ShahOne of these not-so-good days, some fool will vent his or her racial spleen on the anti-social media or in some public place once too often in a rant that has gone too far; another fool will feel sufficiently aggrieved to react with more than mere racial epithets, possibly summoning idle but willing hands to take up cutlasses and defend the domain of the tribe; and the tribal leaders, coming from a manure-fed lineage that nurtured the fires of hatred for generations, would, by word or deed, ignite an eruption that will wreck what passes for civilisation in Trinidad, not necessarily Tobago, sending this island back into a future filled with hatred, bile, sewage and all things negative. A potential paradise will never be allowed to bloom. It will instead be strangled by the patricidal savages who inhabit the wasteland.

If this painting of a canvas of our country comes across as confusing as a Leroi Clarke abstract of doom and gloom, then I, Raffique Van Cough, who knows not how to hold a brush, far less paint a picture, will have achieved my aim. You see, when one is condemned to dealing with Philistines who can neither think nor reason, one must communicate with them through a cacophony of grunts and expelled air, meaningless phrases and discordant notes.

How else can one explain to such morons that the exercise in democracy they participated in last week Monday was as free and fair as could be found anywhere in the world, and its few weaknesses in no way render it unfit to conduct the election? To the contrary, it may well be the envy of scores of countries where similar elections are held, but where voters’ rights are violated with dictatorial impunity. In neighbouring Guyana, a disgruntled party in defeat, albeit by a narrow margin, used provisions in the regulations to frustrate final results for several months before they finally succumbed to the ruling of the courts and the outrage expressed by CARICOM leaders as well as the power of a very vocal electorate.

Sensible people would think that the drama in Guyana might have dissuaded any right-thinking politician from going down a similar road here. Not so. The United National Congress, which knew from as early as 10 p.m. Monday night that it had lost the election, ignored the maxim that calls on the losing party to be gracious in defeat, and instead lowered the behavioural bar to basement level, much to the dismay of the population. The party’s public relations officer, Anita Haynes, was being disingenuous, or maybe downright ignorant, when she told the media that she had no idea “how Rowley could claim victory” (no Mr. or Dr Rowley, just natural disrespect).

Her leader, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, having used the race card liberally during the campaign, and having primed her supporters into believing that the UNC would sweep the polls, had to keep up pretences, hence the call for recounts in six constituencies which she knew the party had lost convincingly. To detract the fools from focusing on her poor leadership, her sixth or tenth or whatever successive loss in elections, she had them counting ballots that she knew would not change the grim picture of yet another five years in opposition.

Mrs Persad-Bissessar will no doubt argue that her party has gained one seat more in this election, which must mean something. It does not. And it certainly does not mandate her to frustrate the democratic process by dragging out the period in which the country is left without an effective government. In fact, she is doing herself a disservice, as her supporters, like the wider citizenry, see the resurgence of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the absence of a government to formulate and implement policies that might stem the tide that’s threatening to overwhelm us.

This brings me to another point that paints our politicians as vandals at a time when responsible leadership is urgently required. When the Prime Minister spoke to the nation before he stepped aside to make way for a new government, he, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh, and Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram, pleaded with politicians and their parties to observe all Covid-19 protocols during the campaign so that the country may be spared the worst of the pandemic.

What happened instead was a disgraceful indictment against all politicians and most of their supporters who engaged in an orgy of abandon that all but dared Covid-19 to “infect we nah!” People ignored social distancing and maximum gatherings, put their face masks in their pockets, and proceeded to jump and wine as if every day was J’ouvay. The results of that lapse are hitting us now. It’s not a pretty picture. In fact, it’s frightening, and will cost taxpayers substantial sums.

Irresponsible politicians and their supporters play the ox, responsible citizens pay. And you thought life was fair?

13 thoughts on “Destroying democracy”

  1. Manipulation, Propaganda, Deceit and Hypocrisy, all inherents of of South Asia’ Hindoo Nationalism is rooted in the Politics of Trinidad. Our South Asian Family, originally Shudras, are living the ideals of VARNAS and GUNAS, not allowed to them in an earlier time. The Afro/Indo make of this wretched Colony, have revealed to us that the HARBORING of conscious ILLs, can make one believe, that all is well, ALL AH WE IS ONE, while a contiuance of UNDERMINING exist. Volatile Political conditions have over the years continue to implode on a former Colony historically lacking MORALS and VALUES. Hindi Nationalism have raise its head, wherever South Asian way of life have been introduced. Power in its TRUE sense to them, mean corruption, in your face NEPOTISM, all the norms of a DELUDED belief. SLOGANS, what about WE, and is we time now, allows the Doorway to be opened for GRAFT, a way of life imbeded in their CULTURE shows off itself with impunity. Those of with Indo/Afro making, have the responsibility, if Educated enough, to expose the WRONGS presently being perpetrated.Rajas and Tamas conditioned Hindos have practically gone MADD, in their quest for POWER, they have materialize a deep hole for themselves, by holding on to VALUES that will impede their REINCARNATION, like the Christians and Islam, most lose their SOULS seeking FETTERED values. The CASTE system of HINDO South Asia, have been practiced in Trinidad and other HINDI dominated enclaves, emanating from the former International Sugar Industry. As time evolved, the lowest of the VARNAS, have thrown out SATTEVA in the back yard garden, as they hold on to BRAHMAN/ ATMAN in the form of Worldly Materialism and GRAFT. Canvassing this Credence, the poor among the Shudras hierache , not being able to advance are left behind. All the SICKNESSES of the lower VARNAS and GUNAS, are Exercised by the very same CASTE, who have been HISTORICALLY relegated to Sub-Humaness. England’s forced and coerce migration, have pitted two pure Peoples against themselves, in the name of Democracy. In every African Society through out the Ages to the present, the Arms of the Africans have have always extended to the South Asians. Our Brothers and Sisters from SIND have, and continue to make Africa their home in VAST numbers. Lack of knowing, have made our Dravidian/Dalit and Untouchable cousins the laughing stock of this multi-cultured Trinidad Colony. Black, a cherished color not to long ago in South Asia, is presently discolored through BLEACHING. Present day Indo Trinidad, will not find a place or space in modern India regardless of status acquired, our brothers and sisters belonging to the Dravidian/ Untouchable or Dalit Caste, live a life of Degradation and Abject poverty. Shame to the Uninitiated, when a People have been BLINDED by fleeting materialism, their place and space remains always TENUOUS in RAGGING FLOODING waters, while Truth is nestled in the Rhythm of the balanced COSMOS. Social media have exposed the DIMLIT place and space of a Mis-Educated people without the knowledge of MOHENJO DARO and the other great Civilizations of South Asia. Not knowing make a Man/Wo a FOOL, He/She was Incarnated to SEEK and to uncover with the HEART. Lord KRSNA, one of the greatest AVATARS, espouse to us, that the way of LIFE and LIVING of our South Asian Family in Trinidad, is nothing but an ILLUSION.

  2. The Guyana election experience has created mistrust of perceived PNM agents operating within the EBC. Is this based in reality? We do not know. But the UNC is suspicious.

    Defeated UNC St Joseph candidate Ahloy Hunt yesterday said the EBC was the one slowing down the recount process because of its refusal to let the party examine four key items.

    He listed them as the polling station diary, the ballot stubs, the white or blank polling cards and a sample of the presiding officer’s initials.

    He claimed in one polling division in St Joseph 289 blank polling cards were issued.

    “When we asked to see the polling station diary we were refused. This is important because there is no record of name and time and it is very easy for vote padding and voter impersonation to take place by representatives or agents of the EBC because they are the ones with the responsibility to carry out the function of ensuring that the process of recording all white poll cards issued.”

    Hunt added on election day it would have been virtually impossible to issue 289 poll cards as the process in issuing each card takes between three and five minutes.

    “Unless the process was subverted and they didn’t go through checks and balances,” he said, adding that this may be a matter of fraud.

    1. TMan please make valid points if you want to be taken seriously. Trinidad is Trinidad and Guyana is Guyana. For the longest while there is a concerted effort by Hindu Trinis to equate both populations as one and the same. It is not.
      UNC lost the elections fair and square and no amount of conjecture can rationalize Indian disappointment.

      1. Mr. Hunt is not a Hindu. He points out specific problems which are legitimate. He will likely not have enough votes to win, however the legitimacy of his complaints must be investigated and verified or debunked.
        The EBC in T&T has a long standing relationship with PNM governments. A lack of trust in this institution is not far fetched.
        Although it seems highly unlikely that fraudulent attempts were made, all complaints should be investigated.
        It is also relevant to point out that when the UNC won the local government elections, there were no complaints.

        1. TMan, exactly my point. When UNC wins – no problem.
          When UNC looses PNM cheats. You have just confirmed
          my assertions.

  3. The race card was played by Rowley. First he had the election 10 days after Emancipation Day knowing full well that tribal passions would be at the highest. He then had a conversion of the word “blank” to “black”. Which he used to his advantage. This played well into his narrative.

    The country is now in the hands of a dictatorship. The PNM took full control of the EBC by appointing the niece of Maxie Cuffie who had full authority to hire and place PNM operatives in polling areas they need to win. These operatives were well trained to conduct their mission, the sum of hush money $250,000 comes to mind. They executed it with great precision.
    Rowley deliberately choose not to bring in observers because of the Guyana experience where GECOM sought to put in Granger as President. The Observer mission along with US pressure stop Granger dictatorial nature from manifesting itself. Rowley knew he had won as his operatives in the EBC afforded him the good news before official EBC announcement.

    We all know the PNM is good at thiefin oops winning elections. Even Eric said if he put a crapaud with a tie they will vote for it. He fixed the boundaries for perpetual victory.

    What has Rowley done in the last 4 1/2 years. First there was no economic growth, 2017 was the worst for the economy. Each year he has been in power there has been no growth but over —10% contraction. They have borrowed $70 billion., the current deficit is $107 billion officially, unofficially it is $121 billion. The 1% continues to savour the fat of the land. They are the ones getting unlimited foreign exchange. They are the ones getting major contracts coming out of balisier house. With 7 plants down in Point Lisas and the Atlantic Train set to close in September, one can expect in a post Covid world economic hardship.

    With all the challenges ahead the new minister of finance will make the announcement that things are bad economically, then he will blame Kamla. To which the balisier juice drinkers intoxicated as they are will shout “Great is the PNM”. Then he will introduce a slew of tax measures. The balisier brigade will say time tough we all have to pay our “fair” share. Then he will cut again, more cuts to social program, they will say he doing real good. Then they will say T&TEC and WASA are a drain on the economy and need to be privatized. The Minister of Education will announce an end to several school programs. Of course youths out of work will engage in “sustenance” activities. As long as Rowley like Maduro could fund the elitist and PNM areas have nice roads and CEPEP all PNM supporters will be shouting “Great is the balisier”…..I demand a raise for Shah…

  4. I totally agree with Raffique Shah’s opinion of what took place pre and post the Democratically held elections on August 10 , 2020.
    Mrs. Bissessar gave her followers a false sense of security by having them believe that the election was a shoo-in for the UNC. Because of this belief, there was total shock among the supporters when the results were announced.
    Instead of doing the democratically honourable thing by conceding and congratulating the winning party, she decided to be as obstructionist as possible by asking for recounts in constituencies described as marginal and further spoke of taking legal action. She therefore sent out her young Turks to the heat of the battle to frustrate the Democratic process all the while hiding in her safe bunker.
    One can see the animosity towards the winning party by those young people representing the UNC such that Ms. Anita Haynes could not bring herself to address the Prime Minister in a respectful manner.
    One should look back at what took place under the UNC during the period 2010 -2015 where the Life Sport Programme was used as a feeding trough for friends, politicians and family with one individual receiving $34M without fulfilling any part of a contract.
    Then there was the National Quarry which was a total disaster where all sort of illegal quarrying took place with millions of dollars lost.
    Millions of dollars were paid to lawyers for services not rendered or paid at a cost way above the going rate which now has two individuals awaiting their day in court.
    Mrs. Bissessar always spoke about the PP Government but this was only paying lip service as the Cabal ostracized the other parties giving them only token positions at the table.
    One should recall that it was Mrs. Bissessar and Dr. Moonilal who approached the US authorities to have our country sanctioned a most despicable act if ever there was. Did they believe that it was only Dr. Rowley and the PNM who would have been affected.
    Those are only some of the things together with the blatant racism which caused the defeat of the UNC who were hoping to sing “is we time now”.

    1. “One should recall that it was Mrs. Bissessar and Dr. Moonilal who approached the US authorities to have our country sanctioned a most despicable act if ever there was. ”

      Which leader around the world, whether national in structure, regional in acclaim, community in spirit or aspirational in intent would INVITE a super power like the United Staes, to invade their country just because they want power for themselves, want a change in government or just cause chaos? Lets put it another way. Why should we want a leader who is ready, willing and able to sell his/her country without using the ballot box? No matter how you look at it, the answer is criminal or subversive.
      And why should we want such people to run our country?

      The narrative that our country’s practice of universal suffrage
      equates with that of Guyana is false and misleading. The funny thing is, those who are pushing that theory are the same ones who celebrated the UNC’s sweep of the local elections juts a few months ago. So, how come on one hand they are satisfied when they win and disappointed when they loose under the exact same system? Thats called racism, thats called betrayal of citizenship,
      thats called traitors in some countries.

      Are they disappointed in the results? Yes. Do they they think that they deserved to win? Yes. Did they accept the result when the PNM lost? Yes. Then what gives them they perceived power that they feel they alone MUST BE WINNERS????????

      Calling black people names and WITH insults WILL NOT FIX THINGS IN THEIR FAVOR.

      1. Dear Kian,
        The answer is beyond your christian ears. brahman-ist (“Hindu”) theology, IVALIDATES black-skinned, african(untouchable) leadership. This could NEVER happen in india…an untouchable elected over a brahmin? That is a grave insult to the white-supremist ideology.THAT’S where the anger comes from…The hatred and dehumanizing name calling IS always there, just in secret. Brahman-ist (“Hindu”) nationalism or HINDUTVA, is a political movement/ideology, that is supposed to be an all upper-varna/caste fundamentalist and militaristic political organization.Theie objective, is to MAKE the society formally OWNED by brahman-ists (“Hindus”) and to impose manusmirti as the official laws. It is also credited by scholars as inspiring hitler. Founded in india in 1915, by the 1930’s, HINDUTVA was being adopted as indian trinidadian politics. It is described as being principally, at it’s core, about un-fairness…ruthless lies, deceit, re-writing history dishonestly and altogether ‘anything goes’ to achieve ethno-religious domination in india. The man who took gandhi’s last breath, was a HINDUTVA devotee!The organization he belonged to?…The Maha Sabha!Read and learn kian;

        Why white supremacists and Hindu nationalists are so alike | Far Right | Al Jazeera

        How Modi’s Hindu nationalism complements Trump’s racism | Letters | World news | The Guardian

      2. Good Day Kian,

        The UNC’s obfuscation and disingenuous commentary and behaviour on all media platforms masks a reality that this party fails to accept: there is an irreparable failure at the leadership level of this party.

        The United National Congress was defeated at the polls due to its lack of a coherent mission and vision for social, economic and cultural progress in Trinidad and Tobago in these unprecedented times.

        Mrs. Persad-Bissessar continues to do her party a tremendous disservice by refusing to relinquish her leadership role in the party.

        From the perspective of the PNM government this is great news as it all but guarantees election victories in the near future.

  5. The comment by the defeated St Joseph candidate that he could not examine the books is very disingenuous. The LAW does not permit this!! What was his polling agents doing? This is what they need to observe during the election process! What were they doing? Further will the UNC bring legislation to have this changed for the future? I am almost sure that this will not happen. I await the change in the law, please surprise me

  6. The elections are over and and the PNM and UNC supporters can now go back to living and enjoying their life.

    For the PNM people another five years of feasting and plenty, for the losers roti and pepper and rain water, but they will survive as their ancestors did since the first Calcutta Boat.

    Such is life, today you are a winner tomorrow a loser.

    Best Wishes to all.

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