By: SUZANNE MILLS
Inherent in the Opposition Leader’s response last week to a recent poll was this foolish, irritant of a philosophy that Trinidad and Tobago is and always will be PNM country.
“The population recognises the PNM as the country’s premier political institution and if they are unhappy with what the PNM is doing they express themselves. It happened in 1986, in 1995, in 2010…” he said.
In other words, the PNM is the sole true party and it is only when the country has had its fill of them that they vote for inferior entities, just to make a point, plug a gap like political putty until the PNM comes to its senses.
Utter delusion. Utter arrogance. Utter Rowley. Utter PNM.
When you look at voting results, particularly over the recent years, you realise that the PNM is second best; that more people have voted against the PNM and for other parties, which is why proportional representation is a dagger in the heart of the Balisier. Highly critical of the manner in which the runoff measure was introduced; accusing the PP of trying to alter and skew the polls in their favour; not supportive of first past the second post and the resulting elimination of the third party, or of constitutional change without legitimacy; in my arguments in August I repeatedly noted that it is only through the split vote that the PNM has a hope in hell. If the country moved to PR, the PNM would be obliged to participate in coalition governance and indeed though Rowley vows that the PNM will not “shove down the country’s throat anything they do not want”, neither will the PNM accept what the country may want, that is to say, proportional representation.
If it is victorious next year, the PNM too will be moved by self-serving motives — as it has stated that it will reinstate the simple majority — which is equally unnerving because we cannot go back and forth like this; we should not alter the system of voting without referenda and what the PNM should do is ask the population what sort of system it desires before embarking on a rewind.
The Opposition Leader further expressed his certainty that the population will next year vote out what he calls “poor governance, corruption, incompetence and all this government has given to the people of Trinidad and Tobago.”
I’m not so sure. it’s interesting that despite her government’s shortcomings the polls show that the Prime Minister is still more popular than he is.
I have stated that with the exception of its core, the country is fed up with the UNC, but with the exception of its even tinier core, the country is tentative about returning the PNM to office and particularly a PNM led by Dr Rowley. There is many a non-aligned, a not sure, and an undecided that prefer the PP precisely because of what it has given to the people of Trinidad and Tobago: infrastructure, social programmes and not multibillion mega projects by which the money goes to the cream of the crop.
Again, I have been highly disapproving of the manner in which the social welfare programmes are implemented; how they are plagued by corruption and nepotism and are not helping the vulnerable out of vulnerability and thus not empowering the people as the PP promised and I would have preferred the PM not to have introduced the baby fund in an election year.
I have been disparaging of many of her decisions and actions, but nevertheless, when compared with the ethos of the PNM, there can be no doubt that the PP is more people friendly and more devoted to sharing the wealth and to poverty alleviation.
A 51-year-old “red man” this past week made what I thought to be the most insightful observation which challenges Rowley’s premier party assertion and his insistence that this regime is the worst, most corrupt government ever.
“Look around you. Look at the decrepitude in the country. The PNM ruled for decades but poisoned us. It neglected central and south, gave little to Laventille in return for its undying loyalty, encouraged a laissez faire mentality and ensured the money went to its elite…READ MORE