The political battlefield
Once again we see prominent issues within the political arena drawing the attention of the wider population and raising concern therein. Two separate matters saw virtual blows traded and defences initiated on either side of the political divide. Ever since the advent of modern democracy, there seems to be non-agreement on major issues from both sides of the fence, which ultimately leads to the detriment of the general population’s well-being and country itself. Today we try to see through this smoky political battlefield.
On one hand, there were reports of three Opposition senators raising red flags regarding the Government’s expected move to abolish trials by jury and it being a sign of totalitarianism. One cited the Attorney General’s removal of the requirement for the special majority on the Marriage Bill…and that the Government would introduce legislation without the requirement for a three-fifths majority. He said the AG stayed in line with his words over the last two weeks, introducing the Indictable Offences Bill – which seeks to remove the need for preliminary inquiries without the requirement for a special majority – and has now introduced the Miscellaneous Provisions (Trial by Judge Alone) Bill, also without the need for a special majority.He believes there should have been deep consultation with citizens on the Trial By Judge Alone bill so the citizenry could fathom how their rights to a trial by jury are being affected and the advantages and drawbacks of this newly proposed legislation. Presently, the bill is seen as fundamentally flawed by senators representing the interests of the Opposition. We wait to see what develops and if this is indeed a sign of things to come. It is too early to make such a declaration. The main point to be noted here is the Government’s willingness to move ahead without Opposition support and in spite of Opposition disagreement.
Then we have the Prime Minister accusing the Opposition of creating “fake news”, an accusation contained in a letter to the editor to all major daily newspapers yesterday. Dr. Rowley was referring to the Opposition’s assertion that the Government hired a lobbyist and lobbying firm to represent T&T’s interests in the United States. He urged the Opposition to instead join with the Government to improve and widen the relationship with the United States, especially in light of the new Trump administration and his distinctive and sometimes radical policies which will affect us in one way or another.
While we clamour for more transparency in Government matters, we have to agree that our Nation’s welfare should always be first priority. We hope the Honourable Prime Minister heeds his own advice too, and puts Trinidad & Tobago’s well-being first always. Part of that Mr Prime Minister, is actually working WITH the Opposition.
March 14th, 2017