Is democracy a farce in T&T? | Letters to Editor | trinidadexpress.com – Trinidad & Tobago Express Newspapers
Is democracy working for us here in Trinidad and Tobago? Did someone not tell me that democracy is a system of government in which laws, policies, leadership and major undertakings of a state are directly or indirectly decided by the people?
Did I not hear that democracy implies both popular participation and government in the public interest? And did not Dr John Hirst say a democracy is a society in which the citizens are sovereign and control the government?
In my simple layman’s mind, I am wondering if there are some aspects of totalitarianism and authoritarianism in a democracy. When I listen to the words and watch the actions of those in power, would I be out of my mind if I say democracy is a farce in my country?
Some bloggers tend to think democracy is a work in progress and that democracies are not stagnant things, and are changed and manipulated by the men who run them.
Others believe democracy takes work on the part of both the elected and those who elect them. They posit that to expect a democracy to run on autopilot is a mistake, and can result in crashes and near misses.
The popular view is that democracy is a farce because of people blindly following their leaders.
Democracy can survive only if asking questions about everything is encouraged. The view I am inclined to agree with is that the one big reason democracy fails is that people are unwilling to think about their country more than how much their leaders tell them to.
So the party faithful would not want to be seen or heard asking our opposition leader why she refused to support a bill put before Parliament in the interest of the country and requiring the support of the opposition.
So the party supporter would not want to be seen or heard telling the prime minister he was out of place to refer to the opposition members as “imps, pimps and chimps”, when the opposition is simply fulfilling its main role of questioning the government of the day and holding it accountable to the public.
There is a school of thought that says countering negative political behaviour with negative political behaviour often escalates to worse behaviour. Also, it can hurt one’s credibility and relationship with stakeholders and colleagues who detest this type of conduct.
I have long thought our politicians lack political skill. Politically skilled individuals think before they speak, and demonstrate impulse control. They demonstrate good judgment about when to be assertive, resulting in more cooperative relationships.
They play the political game in a fair manner, and are effortless at doing so. Politically skilled individuals are sincere. They display high levels of integrity, authenticity, sincerity and are genuine. They are open and forthright, and inspire trust and confidence.
My burning question is: when would our politicians acquire the political skill and qualities that are so urgently needed for the successful governance of our country? When will we see a democracy that encourages individuals to give and receive feedback on the behaviours of our politicians?
I personally commend the Martin Dalys of this country for making their voices heard and asking the pertinent questions so that we can safely say democracy is at work— a work in progress, though.
The release of an anonymous voice note reporting mayhem in Port of Spain on Sunday, followed by Monday’s explosion of a device crudely built with firecrackers, suggests a calculated attempt to destabilise the population at a time when there is no Commissioner on Police in office.
I can only imagine being a diehard supporter and witnessing this political calamity occurring right before your eyes. Do you turn a blind eye, or do you face the veracity?
This is a letter to the president of the Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA).
Madam President, you and your colleagues at TTUTA have failed your members—the teachers. You seem to be more concerned with the image of your office and the brand that is TTUTA, instead of the well-being of your teachers.
“The future of our nation is in our children’s school bags.”
—Dr Eric Williams
What does it say for the future of our nation that our children’s school bags have been empty for the past 19 months? We all know education is arguably the primary indicator for social, economic and national development in any country.
TWO news items carried on different pages in the last edition of the Sunday Express combined to topple an intention to dedicate today’s agenda to the abolitionist cause.
It seems that the Ministry of Agriculture and, by extension, the Government of the day, has finally come to realise that farming, to a great extent, is the one sector to save us from a growing food import bill and, indeed, starvation.
While just a tiny island of 1,981 square miles with a population slightly larger than 1.3m, Trinidad and Tobago produces high levels of greenhouse gas emissions.
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