Panday: TT helpless after polls

September 23, 2015
Newsday –

Mickela PandayATTORNEY Mickela Panday, daughter of former prime minister and UNC leader Basdeo Panday yesterday at an OWTU post-election forum said the citizens of this nation, who wielded power for 24 hours on General Election day, are powerless now that the election is over and a winner declared.

Speaking at OWTU head quarters in Circular Road, San Fernando, Panday said the nation is effectively at the mercy of the new government following the conclusion of the General Election, which ushered the then Opposition People’s National Movement (PNM) into Government and consigned the then People’s Partnership into Opposition.

Panday affirmed that the constitution of Trinidad and Tobago, does not contain any mechanism to ensure that the government does not become tyrannical during its five-year tenure in office.

She concluded that while in paper, Trinidad and Tobago is a representative democracy, in practice, it is not. “Exactly two weeks ago, 734,985 persons voted in our country’s General Election. That is a 66.86 percent voter turnout. The result being a change in government with 23 seats going to the People’s National Movement, 17 seats going to the UNC and one seat going to the Congress of the People.

“So now that there has been a changing of the guard, what does this mean for us, the citizenry of our beloved Trinidad and Tobago? Ladies and gentlemen, whether you are a supporter of the corrupt government, or a supporter of our country’s previous government, as a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, you cannot help but be weary of the facts as history has shown, time and time and time again, we have once again returned to the status quo where the people of Trinidad and Tobago are powerless now that the polls are closed,” Panday said.

“So do we have anything to worry about? And if the answer is in the affirmative, what can we do about it? Let me begin by saying on the onset, the answer does not lie, in whether or not we dislike the current government, nor whether they are more competent or capable to run our nation’s affairs…, but where the new guard has the political will to truly empower the people for more than one day every five years by genuinely involving them in the decision making process.

“You see, ladies and gentlemen, once the country tries to return to some sense of normalcy after a three-month long election campaign, the population finds itself yet again hoping and praying for real change that will see a movement away from nepotism, favouritism, discrimination, unbridled corruption, wanton wastage and narcissism. A verbal promise given to us by the new regime, that we should never have the misfortune of ever witnessing or experiencing anything of its kind, during their tenure,” the former MP said.

“But what guarantee do we have that this government or the next will not fall into the same trap as those who have come before it. Unfortunately ladies and gentlemen, the answer is none, because under our constitution as it exists today, as we have said time and time again, there is no mechanism to monitor or control the government of the day once it is elected into office.


22 thoughts on “Panday: TT helpless after polls”

  1. True words from Ms. Panday. Citizens no longer wield as much power over government than they do when they vote.

    But any hint that the PNM is less, or more corrupt than the PP/UNC destroys the former argument.

    Both politically parties are self serving.

    1. The Madam Attorney recites the number of voters who turned out to vote, then the number of seats etc etc. As I read I fully expected a word on the Popular vote having gone one way or the other. No such luck. Instead an Indictment of the Results, of the Constitution for apparent defects in her time of need for same, and an ominous tirade of tyranny at the hands of the elected Government is what one gets from one local lawyer of no stellar Provenance to this observor’s knowledge.
      That the Petition underway may come to a Hearing, one hopes that this fulmination will form part of the evidence, whether or not already destined to be evidentiary in another Hearing convened for assessing damages in behalf of the Aggrieved.

  2. Ahhh yesss all political parties are “self serving” …but it is an irrelevant point…we are interested in which best suited for governing the society in a civilized, healthy manner where everyone is afforded dignity and equity….obama is a member of a political party an so was hitler…but in contrasting the two most decent human beings wouldn’t just say “both democrats & nazis are self serving” it wouldn’t make sense clearly there are numerous degrees or interpretations of self serving…all politicians are self serving i.e. they enjoy public life and respect that office grants them (self serving) however it is who genuinely tries to serve all of the people fairly, to the best of their ability the makes the difference…kamla and the unc/phony parnership were a disgrace…many people don’t even realize but….they didn’t even TRY to govern well!! They behaved like wild animals feasting on the treasury like pot-hounds at a bakery….and worse they clearly had a triumphalistic malicious, oppressive, racist mindset while in office. Remember the then pm kamla’s race baiting during the by elections along with her senior ministers.. during st joseph by election i believe it was G. Singh who made a joke about om lalla always in jck’s shadow and they weren’t able to see him (jack’s skin tone)…could you imagine your gov’t openly showing that they hate your group but loves other groups…it was humiliating and they literally squandered the goodwill votes they had received in 2010..they don’t even care…they are billionaires and they gave “their people” billions

  3. Notice these types of discussions when the hindu party is in opposition….when they are in office everything is ‘wonderful’ and ‘marvelous’..butttt as soon as T&T is not under their control “T&T” is helpless at the polls…what they want is ways to disrupt the society, rock the boat and make the country “Ungovernable” remember that (as this same lady’s father said…)

  4. Yes, it is true that citizens wield the most power around election time … this is generally true the world over. Referendums, measures to recall representatives and measures that can trigger an election if sufficient people are against a government could improve what we have.

    But, people can constantly keep governments in check if they become better informed and can challenge bad governance. In Trinidad, this is difficult because people do not understand history to be able to make sense of their political and social environment. Most importantly, unaddressed racism and colorism disenfranchises many and leaves many vulnerable.

    I hope Mickela Panday is not going along the same bogus line as her father, Basdeo Panday. He spoke about the powerlessness of people when UNC lost the election, as if that is really true. Basdeo Panday’s premise was initially based on a lie. He gave the impression that when the past PNM was in power, Indians were disenfranchised and therefore are likely to be similarly disenfranchised when UNC lost power. The reality is that this is a ruse to allow certain people to maintain political power.

    We have seen in Israel where some extremist Israelis maintain a hold on power because they form political parties and their politics allow for coalitions to form government after the elections. Without this type of proportional representation, a lot of these groups would not survive and would have to evolve or mask their ideologies to one day gain popular support. So while proportional representation can be a good thing, I think we need to think long and hard before going that way or at least evolve our own way of doing this.

    Historically in this country, only one group of people has been severely neglected under the PNM, and that is the Africans who reclaimed African names and were pro-African development. Indians prospered under the PNM … not because PNM were conscious of what they were doing but because the African state of inferiority complexes and unaddressed racism in general allow Africans to easily buy into economically promoting ‘others’ way ahead of fellow Africans. Africans’ unaddressed racism and colorism serve to favour lighter-skinned, straight-haired ‘others’ to blackness especially dark skin, kinky hair, broad nose, African blackness. Because of this, Indians prospered under the PNM.

  5. Hogwash.

    It is in the nature of rulership that some rule and the others are ruled. The alternative is anarchy, where there is neither ruler nor ruled.

    However the ruler is determined — whether by a tradition of monarchy (rule by one), oligarchy (rule by few), or popular ballot under some sort of republic — that logic remains unchanged. Strictly speaking, democracy (rule by the ruled, literally) is an oxymoron, an incoherence of terms. At best we may have some sort of democratic process by which a ruler is appointed. But rulership per se, is not democratic. Who would want to vote on every little decision a Government must take?

    At best we may do as our Constitution now provides. Call the government to account every five years through a popular poll. That is the extent to which the ruled may control the ruler. After that, the ruler must be allowed to rule. That is why we put them there.

    When they betray the electorate, as the recently dismissed ruler did, there should be, and is, a provision whereby the President may dismiss a Prime Minister, and therefore Government, that has turned rogue. It is a power that should be exercised only for manifest cause, obviously. But that is as much power that the people retain under the Constitution to control a Government while in office.

    It is a power that should have been exercised after Section 34. The electorate clearly wanted it, which is why the Queen Bandit lost every subsequent election until finally being dismissed after five years and three months of unchecked banditry in Government.

    But the legal fraternity, and the President likewise, seems to be of the collective view that the President has no such power.

    This is an absurdity of principle. When the powers of Government — any Government, be it monarchy, oligarchy, democracy — have been usurped for nefarious private purpose, when the reins of Government have fallen into the hands of a band of crooks, there must be a way for that Government to be removed forthwith, long before its normal term expires.

    For example, the U.S. Constitution provides explicitly for a sitting President to be impeached and removed from office for cause … and without waiting for the next election.

    Our Constitution does not have such an explicit provision, but to my mind it is not blind to the possibility of banditry at the highest level of the Government, which is why it vested in the President, as Head of State: (1) titular power over the armed forces; (2) total immunity from proceedings before any court in the land (except an impeachment court against him comprising both houses of parliament, presided over by senior judges drawn from the Judiciary); and (3) the right and duty to query the Prime Minister on any and all matters pertaining to the conduct of Government, and with a concomitant duty of the Prime Minister to respond satisfactorily. This makes it clear that the framers intended that the President have the power to rein in a Government gone rogue. Otherwise, we have the absurdity of a constitutional system that does not contemplate the possibility of a Government falling into the hands of bandits, or other kinds of usurpation.

    That is the issue as I see it.

    Provision for recall of MPs is not the issue. The House as its own quite robust rules for disciplining MPs, even up to the absurdity of removing an Opposition Leader, apparently! I am interested rather in reining in an aberrant Executive, a rogue Prime Minister. Note carefully: I have no interest in reining in a Prime Minister with whom I may have a policy disagreement. Let the ruler rule, and then let the electorate judge at the constitutionally appointed time. But, where there is clear wrong-doing, that is another matter entirely.

    In my opinion, the Constitution is strong enough in the powers it provides to the President to take care of the problem. But if the office-holders do not have the mettle to take care of business, it matters not what new set of words may be added to the piece of paper called the Constitution.

    In the end, we get the Government we collectively deserve. That is the iron law of Government.


    “Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity.” (Daniel 4:27)

  6. Do you know that while you guys are fighting over the mechanics and dominance of governing, big business and major contractors (PP) are presently making the right, successful “moves” with the new “regime” to continue as if an election did not take place.

    1. TMan, you are like ochro. Slippery to the point where no one can get a handful of you. You move from point to point never taking time to benefit from advice given to your previous point. You are forever a BRAHMIN, you really do believe that the creator created you from the head and not the feet or abdomen. You have stated time and again that you are a christian, yet it is difficult to decipher one bit of christianity in your thoughts. You said that you went to catholic schools yet your conversations always appear to be in support of the hindu religion. You claim to be educated in the U.S and UK yet, your thinking appear to come right from the Bhagavad Gita. The one thing that is constant about you is that you are very materialistic and this is where your comfort lies – materialism. You take comfort in Indian prowess, the accumulation of Indian wealth over others, without regard to how it is earned or how they come by it and this is what you bring to this site. As human beings we are constructed with a material body, a soul which embody spirituality, consciousness that allow us to build character and personality. Education is only a tool that equips us all with the ability to make informed choices but it does not necessarily give us wisdom. Wisdom is the intelligent use of learning, experience, effectiveness and knowledge. Other characteristics of spirituality is the ability to be moral or immoral. This is where religion have so much authority on our character. Indoctrination can either keep us in bondage or make us free agents to amend our thinking. This is where you have given us the authority to judge your brahminism. You see superior and inferior, you see achievers and losers, you see haves and have nots, you see privilege and under privilege,
      you view yourself as better than some and others as worse.
      You have been on this blog for quite a number of years and the arguments that you put forward today, is the exact same that you advanced when you first came to this site. You have never displayed a sense of equilibrium in your thoughts and this is troubling for one who wants discourse with others. I have always maintained that we learn from each other, no matter how divergent our views. There is always a thought one might advance that will tickle my curiosity thereby causing me to investigate to seek further knowledge. It does not appear that you are moved by facts that dispel your understandings and learnings. You are in effect a dogmatic person whose doctrines keep you in a comfort zone where you make sure nothing gets in your way that would supercede your dogma.

    2. So by inference you are admitting that the Indo business sector benefits when PNM is in power. Because I know there are very few Afro businesses in TT.

      1. Yes, certainly. We are already making the right moves with PNM “officials” to continue as if an election did not take place. Do you really believe that anything is going to change for us?
        And yes, Kian I am materialistic because I have a lot to protect and a lot more to make.I make no apologies for that. It seems that the concept of being well educated and rich is foreign to you guys.

        1. “Education is only a tool that equips us all with the ability to make informed choices but it does not necessarily give us wisdom. “……Kian

    3. Didn’t you just complain about negative stereotypes of Indians cheating and the lot and right now without skipping a beat you are boasting with the insinuation that ‘we’ Indians are as we speak bribing or threatening pnm officials to make sure you are given contracts illegitimately…my gosh boat Brahmin at least be consistent with the propaganda.

  7. And we will continue on this seemingly fruitless exercise…the more you try to deceive us into stopping the more i am motivated to continue…and please if political power was so beneath the indian hindu party of which you are a part….quick question … why fight like pitbulls to stay in office?
    Why didn’t kamla call elections on time like all other governments before? Manning called elections early TWICE and he was made fun of by ‘you guys’ but he demonstrated that he wasn’t a fake brahmin who believed he was due to rule for eternity…every time unc get in power is always a voter padding bringing indians from all over..i.e. their mindset is to cheat from the beginning even when it isn’t necessary for them to win but like i said they are compelled to do so.

    1. There you go again making wild accusations without a shred of evidence. There you go again resurrecting the stereotypical image of the “cheating Indian”.
      You would think that being a member of an internationally persecuted minority, you would refrain from falling into that trap.

      1. Why are you bothering to post, or me for that matter.
        Already identified as a false-papers, dishonest racist, you’ve been charged, tried and convicted.

        1. BM, how old are you?
          People on this Blog, like Kian, Yoruba, etc. usually post coherent and logical ideas with the courage of their convictions. I respect that. I attempt to do the same. Sometimes I appear to be ambivalent, undecided and confused, but I keep trying to unravel my thoughts.I will consider to stop” bothering to post” as you suggested.
          In the meantime, let me suggest that inappropriate, derogatory one liners are for juniors who have bowel movements, as your title suggests(BM)

      2. TMan, you are on record as the instigator calling a person to whom you are no match an imposter. To all and sundry Alyssa is an original that your LIES CANNOT touch, so in defence you wants us to believe that she is really Selwyn Cudjoe, what poor taste TMan. But you are in character, when the going gets tough you either change the subject or just say “there is no evidence”. For a long time now, I have been reliably informed that you are in fact Bhoe Tewarie. Can you confirm or deny this?

  8. I QUOTE “You see, ladies and gentlemen, once the country tries to return to some sense of normalcy after a three-month long election campaign, the population finds itself yet again hoping and praying for real change that will see a movement away from nepotism, favouritism, discrimination, unbridled corruption, wanton wastage and narcissism. A verbal promise given to us by the new regime, that we should never have the misfortune of ever witnessing or experiencing anything of its kind, during their tenure,” the former MP said.UNQUOTE I do agree not totally but I will say again. With the very corrupt judiciary from where Volney and Camona ( they are certainly NO EXAMPLE TO ANY OF US ) came we are in the deep as the CJ holds all the cards now but he just do not recognize his importance and he does not know trumps from the other cards in the deck he holds. LIKE CAMONA AND VOLNEY He is a complete failure and the KPIs shows this. Before we condemn the present government we must push to remove the corrupt Judiciary Head and the corrupt ones on the bench (check their bank accounts very carefully and their close friends). And also check the 12 million dollar a wuk lawyers (DOH JUST FIRE THEM; THIS IS WE MONEY) and their associates. This is the mess we need to clean up. We can deal with the suck up press later and then impeach the government if there is no accountability. WE NEED TO GET THE CRIME RATE DOWN. Now there are foreigners operating in our country breaking most of our laws and living like kings. They rob us of work and they steal our resources. We need to get Dr. Rowley to change this. Yara is a big offender here. I can supply all the proof needed. There are others bleeding us too. WE NEED TO REMOVE ALL OF THEM FROM OUR SOCIETY. They do not intend to share any of our wealth with us. We need to work on our people who are supporting them – the grease hand mentality needs to be removed from our society particularly in the oil and gas and downstreaming plants. Now for some time now in the USA almost everything had a “made in china tag”. The Chinese went all over the world 40 years ago and had their people trained in most industries and had them return to China. They also invite all the giant companies into China, learnt from them and kicked their arse back out of China. Where are they today? We invite tom, dick and harry and let them milk us while we suffered from our own (we are virtual slaves in our country; our scholarship, tertiary educated high performers now have to pull string to get a proper work in we country while false paper bosses reign every where) with everything from low wages to unhealthy situations (no more factory inspectorate; OSHA with no injury benefit and endless obsolete cheap equipment purchased with the lowest on stream time factors world wide with endless gifts handed out to these foreigners i.e. a real sweet hand to the foreigner). WE have become the jokers of the world. We pay out GATE monies that USA benefits from only because it is a vote getter. Who are we really fooling? The Judiciary needs to know that if you break the laws made by Parliament you run the risk of making a jail and nobody is above the law. If the CJ who lives higher than a King in T&T funded by our money cannot bring the crime down from the courts then he must resign now. He has had over 5 years in the job and says the same beans every year. We need to get real with him and the DPP office NOW.

  9. TMAN: It seems that the concept of being well educated and rich is foreign to you guys..

    Depends on how you define “well educated”. There is a difference between people being “well educated” and being “well trained”. The former is a process where they develop the ability to ponder, examine and pronounce logically on complex issues, including those involving the human relationship element. The latter simply means being taught to follow a script in a robot like fashion.

    So many of you mistake education for training. You are trained yes, and generally are programmed to react by tribal instinct. We do not stereotype people with this. We check out their cultural history, examine its beliefs and suppositions, and when we see traces of it being exhibited today, we conclude that the mind source from whence it comes today has not changed much from where it was three centuries ago.

    So the concept of people being rich and well educated is not foreign to us. Far from it. All we are doing is exhibiting interest in a thousand years old and enduring cultural concept that was introduced into India by the hordes that flowed down from the Caucus Mountains, especially when it is being pushed with fervor into a couple of Countries in this neighborhood. Don’t wish to wake up one day and see the swastika replacing the our national flag.

    1. Could u imagine this is the same guy that nags about stereotypes and racism without a missed beat, saying that africans and education are foreign to one another…?? Well i can! It reminds me of this well known racist indian guy (within a T&T company in the late 70’s) who had a quaint (some say cultural) habit of getting remarkably drunk at the office on fridays when everyone mingles after work…and he would in his stupor boast that was a youth his hindu father insisted that he work their land (more than likely squat owned). Anyway his father was typical in that mindset even then (70’s) in that he didn’t see literacy, secondary & tertiary education as important…to him and many indians/hindus at that time, land and business had sure money and saw school as frivolous…this hindu, indian guy boasted that an african headmaster of a school used to come down in their home and basically BEG his father to send him to school as this was necessary to transcend their circumstances…he had to beg for this boy…and after primary school he ensured he was in secondary too..and this guy went to u.w.i. and was at the time of this revelation and accountant…now…in theory, he should love African people right? Rightttttt…he is still known to be very hateful and scornful of africans but not only by africans in the company, but some other indians as well, who revealed his nasty, ‘private’ utterings…you see no amount of loving or university training can shift the caste mind…in fact that caste kind believes that you should suffer in this life for your blackness (skin) and if you accept you status with joy and obedience maybe you would be reborn a light (divine) skinned brahmin…to alleviate your suffering or attempt upward mobility will make your status even worse in your reincarnated life… again, please refer to the documentary available on youtube titled “BBC ‘India Untouched’- a people Apart” some posters post the entire documentary as one video, others have it in sequential parts 1,2,3,4,5 etc. Listen to the brahmin tell you about who has the right to education and upward mobility according to caste and light skin and dark skin are based on karma according to hindus ‘holy scriptures’ then listen to another brahmin state that different humans have the genetic capacity to meditate & study and can only clean up faeces…yes…it is not ‘right’ for inferior people to be educated and own land….’gods’ say so…now this is not a unique reality in trinidad. The first doctors , engineers and professionals, artisans in T&T between the two were africans…all those faculties in the then U.W.I. were pioneered by africans who passed the baton on to indians who came to be well populated there over time. However unknown to those africans who passed those faculties over to others with good will….the caste/varna mentality that manifests as “clanishness” turned the then U.W.I. into what it is today a H.U.W.I….and unfortunately over the past 5 years we have now developed a H.U.T.T.

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