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Disband the Debates Commission
Posted: Monday, June 8, 2015

By Stephen Kangal
June 08, 2015

This 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.

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