The proposed constitutional amendments have me really excited. Once every five years (or less) I have the opportunity to hire persons to represent me and my fellow constituents. Now, if they under-perform, I have the opportunity to fire them! This proposal has engendered me with a feeling of empowerment, as I felt having the opportunity to effect change only twelve hours every five years is too limited without the avenue for any recourse. In most cases, these candidates are foisted upon us by the political parties, without having any knowledge of them and their potential to perform. Now, I feel these candidates have no choice but to perform else I will be exercising my right to recall in three years time.
Also, the concepts of term limits for a sitting Prime Minister is very revolutionary. Most constitutional experts agree that the main advantages of term limits are the potential for a reduction in corruption, an increase in the number of new ideas flowing into the legislative environment, and having a Prime Minister who might potentially focus more on effective governance instead of constantly worrying about re-election as a top priority.
Many experts believe that political leaders have a tendency to grow more corrupt as they spend more time in office. Some blame this on the legislative environment, while others simply cite basic human weakness and the tendency of people to succumb to temptation if they are exposed for too long. Term limits are often seen as one potential solution for this problem. By shortening parliamentary terms, proponents hope to make sure that nobody sees becoming a Prime Minister as a viable lifetime career choice, leading to more people who get into politics for noble reasons instead of a simple desire for power.
Another possible advantage of term limits is the potential to change the behavior of Prime Ministers who are elected. It is pretty common for politicians to be accused of constant jockeying for electoral advantage instead of voting based on their real beliefs. Some hope that by reducing the constant concerns about being reelected, term limits could potentially reduce this kind of political gamesmanship. Term limits would also potentially result in a constant influx of new people bringing new concepts and philosophies to the table, which is often seen as an important advantage.
This is certainly the dawn of a new era in the political landscape of Trinidad and Tobago. I would like to commend the government for having the fortitude to bring these amendments for debate and hopefully, passage.