Disillusioned, Disappointed and Distressed; this is the review of a recent trending movie, starring several infamous actors, aliases, puppets and puppet masters.
In sharing the sentiment of the electorate, including her supporters, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar gave a stellar review of the satire, which some say she directs with an iron fist. While the performances of her chosen actors are recognised in isolation, the prime minister has previously said that the buck stops with her.
Not to be outdone in the eyes of a particular demographic, young black male who are unemployed or at-risk and predominantly live on the East-West corridor, Life Sport and the likes were born. The folly of all follies is to find pleasure in doing what one is forbidden.
My elder daughter sang to her sibling, “All around the Mulberry Bush, the monkey chased the weasel. The monkey stopped to pull up his sock. Pop! Goes the weasel.” I thought that this child understood our politics; because in a 2011 debate, opposition leader Dr Keith Rowley said he was accused of being racist in 2002 when he tried to defend a UNC initiative of using special COSTAATT programmes to target young black males and lead them away from a life of crime.
However, people still manage to do the same things, speak the same way, make the same decisions, repackage and repurpose the same projects and programmes that were rejected in 2010. Has anyone considered programmes for young red and white? Who perhaps live in central and south Trinidad or God forbid, in Tobago, or belong to the group of ex-Caroni workers, cane farmers, cane cutters and their dependents or who rely on the fishery to sustain their livelihoods?
Politicians follow laws or make their own but often don’t think that one of the oldest moral admonitions applies to them, the law of karma. That’s the one, seeped in Buddhist philosophy, but accepted by other religious traditions, that says what goes around comes around. It’s a variant of the biblical injunction to do unto others what you want others to do unto you and the notion that for every action there’s a reaction.
What has happened is another case of karma writ large, with someone who has been trying to go on the offensive now on the defensive, accused of the very practices that he has accused Hafeez Karamath, Calder Hart, Andre Monteil, Uthara Rao and others. Anyone with any memory of the recent past will remember that all of this bad karma leads to paranoia and paralysis in high places as it did in the days leading up to 2010 GE, 2013 LGE, 2013 THA elections, and the two by-elections when certain people were on the warpath looking for leakers and others to punish.
Many rats are either coming out of their holes or squeaking in corners about the selection and retention of senators, who enter the movie at a prime minister’s leisure and not by electoral choice. Over the years there have been many allegations of corruption, synchronized incompetence and ill-will sweeping through the media but, as 9 days in sweet T&T would have it, these wounds seem to be plastered with some advertising, photo opportunities or silence. The simple message is that, not knowing how to act, when a fool undertakes an enterprise, he doesn't just fail, he shackles himself in chains. The liberation of which is due every five years. However, the prime minister must act or at least consider this precipitating sentiment of the right to recall senatorial appointments.
The attempts at constitutional reform, which will now include the right to recall non-performing MPs and the introduction of a second ballot run-off vote system, sounds topical but must be examined and discussed thoroughly. A democratic electoral process should never create mayhem and division; or for the least, create that perception. By revising the options available for election in the second ballot, people are essentially being told to choose from those two when in fact they would have personally preferred a third or fourth party. Essentially, the conclusion will be an election only between the two leading parties in that constituency. This may in fact undermine the spirit of the constitution which speaks to the recognition and declaration of rights and freedoms, and their protection.
If in the second ballot there is a low voter turnout, then the percentage of the actual votes will exceed 50% for one candidate, that person is still a minority MP; having not benefited from the support of 50% of the constituents.
People in the streets are saying that 2015 coming, but not yet divulging what it means for Trinidad and Tobago. There is a growing constituency who believe in the Life Short 3D message; people need to be careful when karma strikes again.
Eventually, we will need to embrace the grain of truth on each side of the polarity in Trinidad and Tobago politics, and create a new and higher synthesis of the best of each side -- strength while nurturing, morality and tolerance, unity and diversity. Can we find higher common ground on these polarized issues? Can we heal our divided nation? Are we that mature? This is the path into the future.
Having known people on both sides of the divide, people who have swallowed the fat of the land and those who butter their bread with the smell of chicken, Life Short 3D is for everyone in Trinidad and Tobago. This movie will showcase the unborn, the departed and those on life support. It will also send a message to migrants wishing to set up shop here. Time has now lost its duration.