A dose of reality

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In 2001 when I started the Democratic Party of TT, the aim was to be the party that unites our people and attracts our best minds. That has not changed. What has happened since then is that almost everyone who thinks he/she can contribute towards a better TT forms a political party grasping for individual attention and media coverage, rather than uniting with other leaders under one organisation.

The failure of third parties in this country is perhaps based on the leaders’ ignorance of the mathematics. Both the PNM and UNC control about 60-70 per cent of the political support. That is due in part to loyalty to party and race. Any political party that attracts voters from either of the two main parties simply enhances the chances of the other to win the majority vote.

For a third party to win a general election here, that party must attract supporters from both major political parties. To be able to do that it would be necessary to focus on country, not on the ills of either party. The ills are already known and highlighting them does nothing to encourage those parties’ supporters to leave their base.

A viable third party must be led by people of integrity, intelligence, varying levels of experience, progressive patriots. The one-person leadership must be replaced with a leadership team. Those who served under previous administrations where there were clouds of impropriety and serious allegations of misconduct in public office must clear their name and indicate to the public that they were not party to the mismanagement of our country.

The leader that would be successful in uniting and restructuring the country towards peace and prosperity must be capable of winning a series of debates with other potential leaders, thus enhancing his or her public image and demonstrating publicly his/her levels of competence.

In such light I challenge all potential leaders to a series of public debates on television to indicate to the public that they are more than popular people with sectarian followings.

For progress and change there must be a coming together of our best minds, there must be vision, there must be realistic approaches to restructuring the economy, there must be modern local government reform, there must be commitment to returning every square inch of land throughout the country to a safe place for all our citizens.

There are many whose dream is to be prime minister. They run after every passing car barking loudly, they garner much more attention than the few focused on solutions. They are not the solutions we seek.

We need our thinkers, our youth, our dreamers and our people who wake up each day with a love for country to step up and commit to a better tomorrow for everyone. Unity is the key, not a plethora of new political parties.

STEVE ALVAREZ