Disband the Debates Commission

By Stephen Kangal
June 08, 2015

Stephen KangalThis proposal of the CIC Debates Commission to host two Leaders Debates involving the PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar and PNM leader, Dr Keith Rowley is clearly indicative of the extent to which the Chamber is fossilized in and slave to the old paradigm and the old politics or order championing talk-talk and more talk. It is this continuing focus on and slavish obeisance to artificial talk that has hindered the rapid development of T&T. We continue to elect eye and ear-servants galore.

The Prime Minister and her PP Government underpinned by a new political culture of governance since 2010 have rejected this template. They have introduced a new political culture on the ground that is driven by the pioneering of rapid balanced and equitable development of the country to improve and change the lives of all citizens, and provide much needed infrastructure.

We must reject this imposition of an obsession with stage-managing talk before a manipulated and contrived audience. Accordingly the emphasis must on what the PPG has accomplished and delivered over the past five years compared to what the PNM regime did during the period 2001 to 2010 having nothing of any substance to show for the expenditure of billions. Only this approach will generate the crucial indicators of futuristic governance.

The electorate must ask for evidence of walk and reject a talk-shop type of politics that is the hall-mark of the accomplishments of the PP regime. Were the PM to participate in this foolish debate that is out of sync with current political reality before a media that is out to discredit and down-play the accomplishments of the Prime Minister she will be going back to the past template. She will be legitimizing a political paradigm that has been rejected by the modus operandi of her Government that has dramatically changed and transformed the socio-economic landscape forever. She will participate in a charade – wasting precious campaign time that could be spent meeting the voters and getting their views.

She has amply and convincingly out-maneuvered, out-classed and silenced Rowley into total submission in the newly introduced Prime Minister’s Question Time in the Lower House.

On what basis has the Chamber assumed the responsibility for hosting the Leaders Debates? The whole structure of the debates must be revamped to take on board and endorse the prevailing political culture of getting things done fast, on time and within budgets (Value for Money Governance) is a value that must appeal to the Chamber of Commerce who like businessmen should focus on achieving tangibles and forget the vacuous ol’ talk of the past in which the PNM is good at.

I support the fact that participation in the National Debates is an exercise in political futility. It will symbolise a rejection of the new brand of politics based on balanced and equitable governance that seems to be foreign to the Debates Commission.

We cannot take a retrograde step that is inconsistent with the politics as practiced nowadays. We must reject old wine skins that lack the flexibility to accommodate the new preferred emerging political order.

Hello Chamber of Commerce! Move with the times of T&T.

Forget what happens in London and Washington as being irrelevant to T&T and copy cat.

14 Responses to “Disband the Debates Commission”


  • The Debates Commission is another one of the offices tainted with red from the balisier. Disbanding it is a good idea. I remember the best person to debate was Mr. Roach from the ILP. He didn’t know anything…lol.

  • You’re not serious with this post. The PM should answer the questions that are pertinent to the up coming election. In a debate there is little room to deflect and evade the moderator’s and opponent’s questions. Both leaders must have their feet held to the fire.
    You sir are part of the problem in Trinidad and Tobago; an enabler and useful idiot of a criminal administration that has wasted state resources, enriched themselves as well as their cronies and undoubtedly set the country back.
    If you were truly a patriot you would wish to have a well informed electorate. An electorate which makes decisions based on facts and data not platform propaganda.
    The PM needs to discuss clearly how she intends to diversify the economy and strengthen Trinidad and Tobago in addition to addressing the numerous shortcomings of her administration. Additionally, Mr. Rowley has to state how he would govern differently.
    You are a part of the problem in Trinidad and Tobago; an individual of questionable ethics who is willfully ignorant and altering history in his/her mind to suit his/her narrow, myopic and selfish needs. Please, stop pretending as if this post is an objective viewpoint; it is heavily biased in favor of this poor excuse of an administration that has championed corruption and mediocrity. When you do your introspection remember that you are an advocate for mediocrity and corruption; and yes I’m calling you out because this piece you have written is truly insulting to any objective and logically thinking citizen of Trinidad and Tobago.

  • Dr Keith Rowley cannot enter the debating studio for the Leaders Debates while still contaminated by his false, malicious and fabricated e-mail hoax that he knew to be fabricated and without any credence. He has to apologise to The Speaker, The Prime Minister and the people of T&T as a pre-condition to be admitted into the Debates Chamber.
    This was the apex of irresponsibility and he must clear the decks and come with clean hands to receive any credence.

    • Apologize for what? The emails have been shown to be a hoax by whom? The Integrity Commission ? Google? Additionally, Google has issued no statement discussing the authenticity of the emails; that is not its job, it has merely provided the requisite data. The investigation is on going or have you forgotten that? Let the investigation run its course and when a definitive statement is made then speak about the authenticity or lack thereof.
      Wade Mark has zero credibility and is merely another useful (as well as dangerous) idiot as yourself. You speak on behalf of the citizens of this nation? Please stop.

      You want to speak about irresponsibility? Irresponsibility is mismanaging an economy, failing to take steps to diversify, spending on projects that will generate zero or little revenue and having the nation’s credit worthiness called into question and thus leading to a downgrade. Irresponsibility is placing Jack Warner in your cabinet as well as having him act as Prime Minister in addition to numerous other ‘ministers’ and ‘officials’ unfit to hold office. Irresponsibility is cutting the property tax without taking the necessary steps to offset the revenue not being collected. Irresponsibility in short is the criminality, poor decision making and nepotism that has taken place under this administration. Granted the previous administration isn’t clean this administration is by far the worst; destroying the nation as they go along.

      The PM can’t debate. You know and I know it. Anyone that follows politics objectively in this country knows it. She lacks the ability to debate. Therefore, well scripted and poorly reasoned propaganda is the only choice for her; the sort that you have engaged in and are trying to pass of as critical thinking.
      How do you live with yourself? You are promoting criminal behavior and mediocrity? Pathetic!

  • Oh what arrogance! What high handed stupidity! This man shames even himself into some kind of nitwit intellectual. What are you trying to say, Kamla posses a higher credibility than Dr. Rowley? First of all, the email matter is yet to enter into any credible jurisdiction where there is FairPlay and evidence judged on the basis of truth. Apologies to what? Speaker? What Speaker? That nitwit of a man called Wade Mark? Outside of the chambers of parliament, tell me Mr. Kangal, who respects Wade Mark? Wade Mark might be doing the bidding that you like, just as Jack was doing for Kamla when the going was good. Should Wade Mark turn his back on Kamla tomorrow, you would be the first to disrespect him. So you speak from tribal terms, not intellectual. All of your kindred loved Jack when he was doing your bidding then. Now! he is filth filled with stench.
    I am not saying this in defense of Jack, God knows, he deserved the licking your tribe is giving him now, for his stupidity in believing that putting you guys in control of the government would make him a hero. People like you have not let me down, I expected all along that that is what you will do. But Jack did not! My youngest grandson could have told Jack that this is how the play was going to end with his support of the UNC and Kamla. But he would have called us black fools. Those of us who are more enlightened always knew it and said so many moons ago. But that piece of bull tata that you write about apology and irresponsibility is for your tribe to swallow and spit out. Not to enlighten us. Tell that to your tribe. Neither Dr. Rowley nor us, enlightened folks need your counsel on credibility when you see absolutely nothing wrong with all the scandals under this visionless prime minister. Dr. Rowley’s true history is NOT the one created and manipulated by the UNC, LIKE THE RAPIST ACCUSATIONS AND OTHER LABELS. By your writings, I can tell that you subscribe to that kind of mauvis langue that you all allowed into the hansard of the parliament of this country. In most civilized countries shame would be brought on you all, but because this is Trinidad and a hindu government – anything goes!
    Dr. Rowley has shown his intellectual capacity. It is now five years since Kamla took over the reins of this government, tell me Mr. Kangal, give me one instance that she achieved greatness and statesmanship, in addressing the NATION (not Indian nation) the nation in order to lend calm, confidence, brotherhood and unity as a country?

    • A statement laced with name calling, denials, false conclusions, accusations, disrespect, obscenities, religious and racial bigotry.
      We are getting used to this sort of tirade from Kian, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Fortunately, you live outside of our country.

      • BY the way TMan, Im not sure that your statement “Fortunately, you live outside of our country.” is in fact a threat or just a statement to bolster your silly points.
        If it is a threat, I would advise that you don’t take me too lightly. This government is known for not just stupidity and callous threats but vanishment as well. So, I ask that you clarify your statement.

      • POT IS NOW CALLING THE KETTLE BLACK!

  • TMan you need not talk. Your vocabulary surrounds a few words. Anti-Pnm, pro UNC, race, money, lies and pro Hindu. Every thing you write surround those topics, so who are you to talk? I have done more for the good of Trinidad and Tibago than you will ever do in your lifetime.

  • When people write comments that many of us believe run contrary to our understandings, teachings and history, we owe it to ourselves and the preservation of our morality to question such comments. In the past five years, much of what we have experienced, is not in keeping with good citizenship. Much of what we have experienced, are not just in contravention to our spirituality and good governance, but also alters racial and ethical borders that worked so well for us prior to the year 2010. It is not an understatement to say that our society have been driven further apart by the introduction of the new culture.
    We have downright hostility in terms of how we see basic things. It is nowhere more evident by what we experience on this blog.
    One does not have to “read and spell” to identify who is who.
    On this blog, many say they identify with the truth, whatever that is, only concluding in different results. THERE IS ONLY ONE TRUTH. There is not a truth for me and a truth for you. When ‘truth’ lacks the confidence of facts, morality, fortrightedness, ethics and commonality, it can no longer be valid as ‘true’. This forms the basis of most of our arguments that we hold close to our morality. For example, to my opponents, when my comments run contrary to their likings, they usually refer to me as racist, durasic, old, out of touch and just plain prejudiced. Most of the misdiagnosis are due to the lack of appreciation to my understandings and truth as has always been accepted by the Judeo/christian concept. With this PP government, a lot of what has been introduced into the standards we inherited from the colonializers, have been due to the religious customs of those who command authority in the PP. As intelligent people, we have a right to question what is new to us. Our opponents call us names that we find unfair to our understandings. And so, we cross swords. Some time ago an accomplished physicist with a Phd in Mathematics was invited to lecture at UWI. This physicist, is the brother of one of our current ministers in the PP government, who also is titled “Dr” when properly addressed. The physicist, who lectures at a renowned university in California, U.S.A was interviewed on TV by one of our local commentators. As we all know, to be proficient in mathematics one has to have an above average command of reasoning formulas, ideas, numbers and logic. So, it follows naturally that it is expected of this individual, to be reasonable and forthcoming with whatever is put to him. The topic on discussion was RE-INCARNATION. No doubt as expected, the physicist was excellent in his discussions on other matters of science and maths. But when asked by the commentator to explain re-incarnation as his religious beliefs, he became dumfounded and said that he don’t know, can’t explain but all he knows, is that he believes what his religious masters taught him.
    If this reasoning sounds contrary and similar to what we are actually experiencing in the country today, it is. In areas where we expect reasoning to prevail, we are told to accept it. And this is where most of our differences arise from our discourse. Too many times, we are expected to have faith in something that does not sound reasonable, even though to our opponents, the reasoning is great. Many times, we wonder how could they expect us to believe in something that is void of our experience, history and ability to comprehend! This is the nature of our politics as preached by the other side. Because of race, culture, beliefs and other nurturing, there are serious differences in how we process and accept things. No amount of blogging will correct this. In order to have national peace and commonality in understandings we must resume and accept basic truths in morality and ethics. To continue on divided paths can only further divide us and nurture standards that are alien to many amongst us.

    • “Much of what we have experienced, are not just in contravention to our spirituality and good governance, but also alters racial and ethical borders that worked so well for us prior to the year 2010” (KIAN)

      This single decleration by Kian, extracted from his long, rambling and incoherent tirade above symbolizes and characterizes the essential truth of which he laments. Your self described “ethical and racial” borders which you described worked so well before 2010 were shifted after 2010 to include the largest ethnic group in T&T.I believe you guys in the US call it “affirmative action”.

      • Anyway TMan, my purpose in writing is to start a conversation (not necessarily with you) but discussions that focus the differences. But you want to be combative.

  • TMan, you fall so easily into my trap. I knew before hand that you would use that opening to declare that prior to 2010 the PNM had things their way, excluding (as you like to say the ethnic majority). I know you would extrapolate anything I say into your limited vocabulary of PNM/UNC rivalry and racial imbalance that you wish to replace with the favorite word ‘equity’. Most people understand equity to mean equality of opportunity but you, most definitely uses it to mean numerical presence. This is the sort of things I am talking about. I for example, refer to my my birth as being of my maternal mother. Children going to certain schools are learning to accept the cow as their spiritual mother. This kind of new culture is unacceptable.

  • The media is fanning the exploits of Jack Warner’s FIFA corruption and related management ills of the sports of football, as evidence of Jack’s failings. I beg to differ that Jack’s downfall is only Jack’s and nobody else’s problems. The ease with which Jack was allowed to operate was not in camera. Most of his exploits took place before our very own eyes and also with the complicity and encouragement of those in high places. There is every reason to label Jack’s indictment as symptomatic of what we ALL have become as a people. What we are actually seeing by the comments expressed by most of his ex-colleagues are hypocritical and selective morality. For example, the Attorney General Garvin Nicholas, when asked about his thoughts on Jack Warner, whispered convoluted ramblings of law and justice and what deserved to be the course of action for Jack Warner. At the same time, by way of The Sunshine newspapers, there are copies of spent checques that Mr. Warner gave to the same Attorney General Garvin Nicholas to run his election campaign in his Diego Martin race against Colm Imbert. What moral and ethical authority does this AG have to pronounce on Jack’s so-called disgracing of Trinidad and Tobago? From a purely moral standpoint – none! Then there is the case of the Prime Minister, who used the Parliament to announce the indictment of Jack and then walked out in disgust of his presence in Parliament. The real disgrace here is not Jack. The disgrace is the prime minister. Again, based on the Sunshine newspapers publication, it is the same Jack Warner who provided board and lodging for her during her campaign to unseat Basdeo Panday as political leader of the UNC and her subsequent ascension to the prime ministership. Jack not only provided boarding and lodging for for but also her sister. Emails (not emailgate) regarding this arrangement was also made available by the Sunshine article. She died not even have to buy groceries and entertainment – Jack provided that too! She now has the gall to publicly deride him as though he is a nobody and no good rascal?
    What hypocritical and selective morality! That too is a disgrace to the people of Trinidad and Tobago. Then there is that clown Moonilal! Every word that comes out of his mouth now is ‘Loreta Lynch’, as though he and the Attorney General of the United States are friends. What outrageous display of hypocrisy? After using the man’s money for his wife’s education, according to Jack he has the gall to public taunt him and ask him to leave the shores of Trinidad and Tobago to go to the United States for equal Justice? In this respect Moonilal is correct in expecting justice in the U.S and NOT Trinidad and Tobago, especially under this current regime. I want to reiterate my view that Jack deserves all the denouncements and criticisms he got. But when his compatriots in crime encouraged him and even sought legal validation to promote him to manage ministries and even act as prime minister, then that kind of morality and ethical denunciation is too much to bear. Our leaders are in fact the biggest liars and hypocrites and that too is giving the country a bad name.

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