Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Guest commentary - by Ronald Bhola

Chandresh Sharma is a politician of whom I have had mixed views over his 23 years as a parliamentarian, and I have openly written about it over the years. 

The tendering of his resignation as a cabinet minister was politically astute. 

Chandresh Sharma has been a political survivor and Jack Warner was one of the first persons to publicly speak of Sharma's power within the cabinet. There are many who will smile in glee, but they should walk softly, as the prime minister's power is now growing and her ratings are obviously rising. 

The decision of the prime minister to accept Minister Sharma's resignation and to advise the president to revoke his appointment, is the working of statecraft. Others in the cabinet who feel that they are untouchable, because of closeness, should now walk softly. Chandresh Sharma and the prime minister were very close friends for many years. So too was Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh.

The prime minister's actions are best explained by American historian Arthur Schlesinger who said that, "Statecraft is always under the clock. The statesman is the victim of emergency, the prisoner of crisis and, even in tranquil times, the servant of deadlines. He must often make decisions and seize ideas before their time and use them without knowledge of consequences. Worse, the statesman often confronts situations in which, if he waits too long to be absolutely sure about facts, he may lose the opportunity to control developments."

Within one day of a public story that threatened to embarrass her government, the prime minister acted decisively. Harold Wilson once said that a week in politics is a long time, and within the space of one week the actions taken by the prime minister are indeed indicative of her sharp political instincts.

Last year, three days after her birthday, the Economist magazine wrote that: "Mrs Persad Bissessar's coalition swept to power in May 2010, promising a break from divisive politics and corruption. On both counts, she was unwise to choose Mr Warner, who served first in the powerful Ministry of Transport and Works, moving two years later to National Security.... With two years until the next election, she has time to rebuild her government's reputation. For Mr Warner, who turned 70 in January this looks like a career endgame." 

Ronald Bhola

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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