Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Letter: THA campaign left ugly scars


When the Great Debate ended a week ago, no one could say for sure who lost. After yesterday's rout, it's clear Trinidad and Tobago lost. 

The returning Chief Secretary acknowledged this in his victory speech, as reported in the Newsday article "Orville tops Jack". To the triumphant and the vanquished, he made a stirring plea for us to "put aside our political differences and embrace each other", arguing that, with the election over, "all that matters now is the development of Tobago, which we will work together to develop". His plea is belated for the following reasons.

Mr London's invitation immediately set me wondering why our political parties wait until the battle's over to pursue such lofty ideals. 

If I'm not mistaken, the Geneva Convention governs the way violent confrontations between countries are conducted. Basically, the Geneva Conventions shield persons not directly involved from harm or attack. Whoever breaks those rules can and do face severe consequences when hostilities are over...sometimes, before. Frequently, sanctions include stripping the offenders of their share of the spoils and locking them away forever, as was done to Rudolf Hess, the Nazi general

I suggest the time has come for us to develop and implement a somewhat similar code to guide "battlefield" conduct during our election campaigns. There are rules under the Representation of the People Act, however, given what we saw as the Tobago House of Assembly election campaign drew to its close, if "Election Conventions" were in place, today certain individuals would've been facing the music over certain very disparaging platform insinuations they made. 

Those insinuations have deeply scarred the psyche of many Tobagonians and many more Trinidadians. It would take much more than a trite plea from a victorious candidate to undo the damage already done.

Ayodele Chieng | Irving Street, in Petit Bourg.

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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