Thursday, April 3, 2014

Guest commentary: We are Legion - by Ravi Maharaj

Over the past two weeks, there has been much said about the conduct of certain former ministers and their subsequent removal from office. 

While the population remains divided on the impact and significance of these occurrences, it is the view of the consolidated opposition forces that these events signal the demise of the People's Partnership government. It is with deep regret that I have to inform you that contrary to the opposition's personal opinions, the truth is in fact the polar opposite. 

But let's recap. Shall we?

It is being reported that 18 persons have lost their cabinet and senate portfolios since the PP won the general election on May 24th 2010. That view is only if you're looking at the cup as being half empty. 

For every administration this country has had since independence, there have been re-shuffling and dismissals, but that has never halted a government's progress or its advancement before and neither will it do so now. 

One only needs to examine the rationale behind these decisions to articulate the careful scrutiny and consideration being assigned to each individual government official to realize the level of audit each person undergoes in office. 

Never since our independence have we inherited an administration with a Human Resource model that adopted best-practice standards of private enterprise to guarantee that at any given moment, the people of this country are assured of the highest quality in the officials serving them.

On the flip side however, and on the off chance that I am completely misguided and misinformed, how does the opposition compare to this scenario? 

If someone were to take their argument that someone being fired from government represented certain political death then we are left to question the seriousness of their own candidacy, not only as Members of Parliament and Ministers, but especially those seeking to succeed Kamla Persad Bissessar as the next Prime Minister. 

As of now, those persons are:
  1. Keith Rowley - removed as Minster of Trade and Industry from the PNM administration in 2008 for his display of "hooligan behaviour" during a meeting of the Finance and General Purposes committee, as described by then Prime Minister, Patrick Manning. There were also allegations of misconduct in the development of the Scarborough Hospital in Tobago. 
  2. Penelope Beckles-Robinson - removed from the Opposition Senate in 2013. Also Mrs. Beckles-Robinson was "removed" from her Arima constituency in the 2010 general election after serving as its Member of Parliament for 10 years for what we can only guess may be as a result of poor representation of her constituents
  3. Jack Warner - removed (after submitting his resignation) as the Minister of National Security in 2013 from the current administration after allegedly being embroiled in a series of international scandals pertaining to FIFA, world football and his many personal enterprises
So here we face an ironic situation where all three serious contenders for Prime Ministerial candidacy have been removed from various government and public offices in the past, but still find it fitting to write-off those removed from the current administration.

Further to this, in 2013 we witnessed history in our nation when the then recently appointed President, His Excellency Anthony T.A. Carmona, replaced four Independent Senators halfway through their appointed term. What's more, one of those who was replaced in the Senate, Dr. James Armstrong, was then appointed by the same President to the Police Service Commission within a few short months.

If anything should be taken away from this dynamic People's Partnership government, it should be this: no individual is more important than the collective wisdom and objectives of the government. During the lead up to the 2010 general election, during a time when despair and disillusionment were widespread and rampant, the People's Partnership offered the promise of "New Politics" that would create a paradigm shift in the culture of politics not experienced since the end of the colonial regime.

The People's Partnership government has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that responsible governance requires a consolidated structure and approach in order to encompass and serve the nation in unbiased and incorruptible fashion. 

Missteps are inevitable, as no government is perfect, but this administration has shown through a collective outlook and weathered direction, that it will deliver on its promises to the people and the country no matter what obstacles they may face. 

To date, and excluding Mr. Warner, there has been no major disturbance within the accommodation structure of the partnership to threaten its integrity and its solidity. 

Even when tough choices and sacrifices needed to take place, never did we encounter a situation where any individual sought to destabilize this union for a personal vendetta. This is because for the first time in our history, we have a government that embodies the true essence of our nation's motto, "Together We Aspire, Together We Achieve". It is this philosophy, coupled with the all-inclusive nature of the coalition, that will guarantee victory for the People's Partnership government in the 2015 general election.

Ravi Maharaj

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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