Archive for the 'Elections' Category

Money Does Not Always Buy You Love

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
December 10, 2019

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIn May I met Esmond Forde, the parliamentary representative of Tunapuna, at the “dead house” of a respected villager. I told him that from what I heard and saw the PNM will lose the Tunapuna seat in the next general election. He disagreed and assured me that Indians in the constituency would support him so he was not worried. I wonder if he was surprised that UNC won the Tacarigua, Paradise, Caura seat in the local election.
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Simple equations, complex solutions

By Raffique Shah
December 10, 2019

Raffique ShahExactly one month before last Monday’s local government elections, I wrote in this space, inter alia: “…The PNM will face the December 2 elections at its most vulnerable point since winning the general election of 2015. Under its watch, thousands of workers have lost their jobs, most notably the 4,000 or so who were employed at the State-owned oil giant Petrotrin, but also other private sector employees who were retrenched amidst continuing economic stagnation. Serious crimes continue unabated, people are dissatisfied with the public health services and the availability of adequate potable water, many roads are in a woeful state, and so on…
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The bitter taste of sugar

By Raffique Shah
November 26, 2019

Raffique ShahI breathed a sigh of relief when I read my Express colleague Mark Wilson’s column last Friday headlined “Big Sugar, Kamla? Not so sweet.” I had just read the newspaper’s editorial which, in essence, supported a proposal made on the elections campaign by United National Congress leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar to resurrect the country’s sugar industry if her party returns to power, presumably following the 2020 general election.
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Chasing a crooked shadow

By Raffique Shah
November 20, 2019

Raffique ShahSometime between three and four o’clock on the afternoon of the general election of 2015,(September 7), my daughter Leila shouted from her room, “They have extended voting hours beyond 6pm!” “What?” I asked, “Who extended it? I am watching the television, and there is no such news.” “Kamla (Persad Bissessar),” she replied. “I just got an email from her.”
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Periscope on local government elections

By Raffique Shah
November 8, 2019

Raffique ShahFour weeks before the local government elections, and nothing tells me that there will be any more excitement than there was on November 28, 2016, when the customary one-third of the one million registered electors bothered to vote (34.34 percent to be precise), with the results being as predictable as the campaign was boring.
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Mobilizing Our Social & Cultural Capital

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
October 22, 2019

All you guys have done is reference to us getting jobs. I do not want a job. I want change, I want a future….You are ignoring our future….What are you doing to give us a voice?

—Stefan Lander, student, St. Mary’s College

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeTo hear Colm Imbert, Minister of Finance, tell it, the 2020 budget has nothing to do with the upcoming local elections or the 2020 general elections. It emanated from the government’s genuine interest in the welfare of our people.

The words had barely come out of Imbert’s mouth when Rohan Sinanan, PNM’s campaign manager, declared: “I am very pleased; I think my job as campaign manager was made significantly easier with a wonderful budget” (Express, October 10).
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Budget biggest ‘bag’ thieves lay their hands on

By Raffique Shah
October 07, 2019

Raffique ShahIt is a newspaper commentator’s dilemma—having to write on the Finance Minister’s annual budget presentation, as readers expect him to, both before and after the Appropriation Bill is laid in Parliament. This becomes even more challenging when the package covers the year leading to a general election when the Government, and here I mean any government, engages in distributing largesse like the proverbial “parsad” at “pujas”, throwing goodies at the electorate with the expectation that they will yield votes.
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A word to the wise…

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
September 3, 2019

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeJoy Cushman wrote that Barack Obama revolutionized his campaign “by putting his faith in hundreds of volunteers. ” She continued: “I was a top organizer in his 2008 campaign and trained thousands of campaign staff workers. If Democrats want to win in 2020, they must get back to investing in everyday people again” (New York Times, August 26).
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Fools rush in

By Raffique Shah
July 01, 2019

Raffique ShahI feel a sense of déjà vu, of having been there, seen that, whenever some self-proclaimed leader or obscure group announces the formation of a new political party—which seems to be a frequent occurrence, with three major elections looming large on the horizon. While this is merely democracy at work, citizens exercising their right to run for political office, too many fools are rushing into a maelstrom that wise men avoid like the proverbial plague.
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Look into the mirror, people

By Raffique Shah
June 06, 2019

Raffique ShahTwo crews, one from the URP and the other from the CEPEP, descended upon the two-by-two street on which I live during the past two weeks in a kind of pincer attack that I am convinced was devised by mid-level officials of the programmes to show citizen Shah how taxpayers’ dollars are wasted, and how we can do nothing about the wastage.

An in-my-face kind of gesture, probably with the finger…
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