Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Guest commentary: A personal view about the THA election

By Chris Hosein, a member of the Youth Arm of the United National Congress

As the disconcerting results of the THA elections came in, I am sure the TOP must have felt a sense of both pride and disappointment in the way the THA Elections turned out. 

Proud of the fact that the TOP fought a clean campaign, free from racial slurs and scare–tactics and I know for a fact those on the PNM side of the political divide cannot say the same. We know all too well of Mr. Sandy’s infamous “Calcutta” statements as well as the “threat of an invasion of Trinis in Tobago” both being very far from the truth of course. 

Unquestionably, I personally am disappointed with the results of the election as I am of the view that Tobago has taken a huge step backward with the re-election of Orville London as Chief Secretary. 

What he did not do for Tobago in the past 12 years, Tobagonians now expect him to do over the course of the next four years. Of course Mr. London, you now have a duty to deliver to Tobago on every one of your campaign promises. 

As there is no form of minority opposition in the house to serve as a check and balance, things should be interesting given the PNM’s track record regarding the handling of state resources.

From the very beginning of their campaign, the TOP signaled a new way forward for Tobago. In a well-illustrated 26-page manifesto, the TOP outlined their plans for Tobago should they be elected. This covered everything from Agriculture to Healthcare to Security to Education and much more. They also articulated their plans for the development of Tobago well on the platforms as well as the great THA Leaders’ Debate in which Mr. Ashworth Jack did exceptionally well.

However, Tobago unfortunately rejected new buses, rejected new gas stations, rejected a new hospital, rejected internal self-governance and instead voted for a party who spewed racist statements on their campaign and they succumbed to the scare tactics dished out by said party, the PNM. 

Mr. London, Dr. Rowley and the rest of the PNM allies, you must understand that you can fool some of the people, some of the time; but you can’t fool all the people, all the time. Tobago and indeed Trinidad as well will judge the performance of newly elected, PNM controlled THA.

Mr. Ashworth Jack as I understand is reconsidering his career in politics following the results of the THA Elections. To Mr. Jack I say Sir, you may be down but definitely not out. Your party still holds both Tobago seats in the House of Representatives and you remain an integral partner in the People’s Partnership. 

You sir, should hold your head high knowing that you genuinely care about Tobago and you will continue to do all in your power to ensure the development of the island. The TOP offered a lot to Tobago but their offer was sadly rejected in favour of a party who already had 12 years to deliver to Tobago but failed to do so. I am indeed disappointed.

However, there is always a silver lining. The result of this election has undeniably sent a signal to the Partnership and they now know where they stand. This has given them the perfect opportunity to reassess their policies and their holistic performance as a government so they can put things in place to ensure a victory at the polls at the Local Government elections later this year.

Also, as the election dust has settled, I hope Mr. London will now finally explain the Milshirv fiasco to the perturbed public and clear the air on the matter. If no one else, he owes the thousands of Tobagonians who placed their trust in him, an explanation. 

To the people of Tobago, you deserve the best and I wish Mr. London and the PNM administration of the THA the very best of luck for their 4 year term. I do hope that Tobago will be treated fairly and be given what they deserve unlike the past 12 years.

No comments:

Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai