Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Letter: We all have a right; even a right to be wrong

A senior Government Minister Dr. Suruj Rambachan asks, “What did the people of Tobago vote for”? 

That question also resonates in my mind. Did Tobago consider the very strong allegations of corruption being made against the incumbent Assembly? Did Tobago contemplate upon the unreasonable delays in bringing such infrastructure as a modern hospital to its people? 

Were Tobagonians content with the delivery of basic amenities under an administration that spent billions of dollars in the last decade? Were the political debates held on the eve of the election and the perceptions created about the competence of the candidates of any relevance to them? Was consideration given to the fact that there are as many as three Tobagonians in the Cabinet?

There is a perception that the “boat talk” did the trick, well timed and properly executed. Did it inject xenophobia amongst our Tobago family? 

The Merriam-Webster online Dictionary (2103) defines xenophobia as a “fear and hatred of strangers or foreigners or of anything that is strange or foreign”. Xenophobia is capable of manifesting itself in many ways but is typically exhibited through the fear of losing one’s identity to another which is foreign. 

Was this the strategy that won the election? Were Tobagonians fearful of losing their identity or of being gobbled up politically or otherwise and by whom? Surely, these are the questions that the strategists would have to ponder in preparing for Local elections around the corner.

Whatever the motives however, we must at all times respect the right of individuals to political choice. In democracies, we all have a right; even a right to be wrong. 

In the meantime, we congratulate the people of Tobago on an incident-free election. The Prime Minister herself admits, “the people have spoken”. 

The Prime Minister and her Partnership Government must not, now or in the future, shun or abdicate its responsibility to Tobago and its people. More than ever the people of Tobago must feel the government’s embrace. 

In every election, there are winners and losers. The Partnership must stay focused. But at the same time it must reflect and learn. Learn from the elections and move on.

Ashvani Mahabir

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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