Annisette and Seetahal Have No Credibility

By Stephen Kangal
January 03, 2010

Senators Dana Seetahal and Michael AnnisetteWhen will MP’s and Senators begin to factor into their parliamentary stewardship and daily conduct that T&T is looking on and listening to them via Channels 4 and the Parliament Channel late in the night? Their late arrivals and at times their early premature departures from parliamentary sittings are telegraphing the wrong negative and disappointing signals to their respective constituencies.

During the debate on the property tax on Wednesday 30 in the Senate both Senators Annisette and Seetahal lost any credibility that they possessed. The former laid down some serious people-oriented concerns on the provisions of the Bill to the Government that he proclaimed had to be adhered to before this “Independent Senator” could support the Bill. He championed and claimed to speak for the suffering masses, the dispossessed and the fixed income pensioners. He was totally opposed to the Bill in its current manifestation. But when the Bill was put to the vote without a coma or full-stop being altered and none of his conditionalities being met, Senator Annisette cast an ever-ready “Yes” vote in favour of adoption. Is this politics with a morality of its own?

As for Senator Seetahal she brought to the attention of the Senate a range of drafting errors and incongruities that she said as an experienced legal draughtsman, would render the Property Tax Bill if passed in its present form a hazardous minefield for interpretation. It was horrendously bad law.

I shared her summation having read the bills more than thirty times. I felt that with her presence/expertise in the Chamber that the Bill could be referred to a Committee stage for the necessary repairs.

Imagine my shock when I saw Senator Seetahal leaving the Chamber before conclusion of the general debate after having arrived late for the sitting. She gave no thought to staying on to force a Committee of the Whole discussion when her excellent drafting changes could have been proposed. Was her premature and “pre-arranged?” departure intended to enhance the prospects for the unhindered passage of the bill I ask of this Senior Counsel having given previously a most brilliant, convincing and erudite critique of the Valuation of Land (Amendment) Bill 2009 the previous day?

Where is the credibility?

Congratulations to the Senate for conducting a most enlightening, well-researched and forensic analysis of the land and property tax bills that far outstripped, with some exceptions, the bacchanalia of other place.

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8 thoughts on “Annisette and Seetahal Have No Credibility”

  1. Dana Seetahal: Debating the property tax
    The new property tax regime came into effect on January 1, after a stormy passage of the legislation in both Houses of Parliament. The debate in the Senate began last Tuesday, after being passed in the House of Representatives with amendments. At the outset, it was clear that the Government was accepting no amendments in the Senate. Since this would necessitate returning to the Lower House for adoption—and there was no time for this—they wanted the laws to be in effect by January 1. Why did the bills come to the Parliament so late? To date, no one has been able to answer —or tried, for that matter. In the past, amendments arising from the budget have usually come to Parliament in October, or at least by November.

  2. This is in fact, politics with its own morality and I don’t care who says otherwise, this has been demonstrated over and over again in the parliament. Parliament is also a talk shop, the government do as they wish and any oppositions is just that opposition. Government MPs like Colm Imbert could stand in the house and tell opposition MPs to shut up, sit down, we don’t need you, you are irrelevant and we have 26 seats. But I am not too worried about this as much as I am concerned about the electorate who encourage this with blind loyalty, it would seem as if the electorate are so uneducated and dotish, all they seem to want is the bacchanal and the platform rhetoric, “beat them in the east, west, north, south”, “great is the PNM, it shall prevail” bull shit. Presently there is a report that East POS is one of the most dangerous places on earth, already many have condemned this report saying that it stinks with politics, and I am sure that they mean by that, that the UNC is behind this. What more dotishness is there than this, these idiots would not understand that the PNM which has been in office for most of our independence is the sole reason for the state of these communities (PNM till ah dead communities), when would they wake up and stop blaming others and realise that it’s there blind loyalty that has them where they are.

  3. So let me see if I got this right. The government (PM) appoints the President, the President appoints the (Independent?) Senators.The very nature of the system is corrupt. Where’s the independence? What do we foolish citizens really expect? And to compound it all, the powers that be – Gov’t and Opposition – are intent on retaining the status quo or even up the ante. Unless and until the people open their eyes to what constitutes real democracy, it will always be business as usual. Look in the mirror folks – Mr. Kangal included, are we prepared to change the rules of engagement should our preferred party acquire power?

  4. I stand to be corrected but I believe the bill was being debated as a “money bill,” meaning that it can only be altered in the lower house. This is why senators said that the debate in the senate should be skipped and the vote taken without discussion.

    If the above information is correct it is still not surprising that Annisette did what he was ordered to do. Senator Seetahal is what worries me. I was unaware that she was not present for the vote. Perhaps she has a reasonable explanation but becoming an optimist at this point is just plain stupid.

  5. Another gross failure by our government in passing this unwanted and unnecessary tax bill without debates. No country in the world operates like ours when it comes to politice. This is pure DICTATORSHIP, my fellow Trinis. I beg you all to WAKE UP on election day and VOTE OPPOSITION PARTY.

    1. PLz, I noticed many ppl welcoming back Panday at the airport from his posh multi million dollar, oops POUND mansion in kensington London, i’m very sure he PAYS his property tax there with NO FUSS or opposition.

      But his loyal minons and letter writers have not seen the irony in this.

  6. There is much to say about Panday but you will have to prove that the money he allegedly used to purchase/build a mansion was taken from the treasury or otherwise illegally aquired. I am not aware of panday owning any mansion. Please inform me.

    1. It may not have been taken from the tresury directly, but you must understand that they way this works is somewhat like a favor for a favor. you contribute to a party, you are on a prefered list. you get a contract, you get a heads up on a deal, you get first option to purchase rum stocks for example. lets not bury our heads here, we would never be able to prove what you ask, but just like what is going on with Udecott and calder hart and his inlaws getting contracts (Sunway/CH) etc, the same existed during the UNC’s term in office.

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