We have had another chapter in our democracy started under the same government that we had for the previous parliamentary session. So what has changed for the country? Will we have the same pointless exercises that engaged us for the last nearly five years, going around in circles, spending vast sums of money with little to show for it? Will we continue to have nearly 70 per cent of the population feeling disenfranchised, with little apparent regard for their needs? There can be no disputing that Kamla Persad-Bissessar has not won an election since that first success in 2010, and it is questionable whether the UNC actually won that election or whether it was the coming together of the disparate elements of the partnership that were key to the victory.
In any event, she has to date lost two general elections and several local government elections. When is she going to come to the realisation that she does not have the formula for winning? More importantly, she is causing more than half of the population to be disenfranchised by her failure to maintain her pledge to initiate meaningful constitutional reform, which she had promised when in government..
At that time her attention was directed elsewhere and this critical part of her mandate was ignored.
The prime minister would be well advised to take steps to rectify this lacuna in our governance, as the current winner-take-all arrangements cannot provide the participation of the population in the direction in which the country should go, unless, of course, he is wedded to the view that only politicians know what is best for the country.
It is that which has led us to our current dilemma as even he has acknowledged in the past, when he was not the government, of course.
It is sad that everyone knows what is best for the country when they are out of office but it aĺl goes out the window when they control the reins.
The prime minister must be aware that what happened over the last five years; the depletion of our foreign reserves, the deterioration of physical infrastructure, the faltering health services, the collapse of the Tobago ferry, the steadily-increasing crime rate despite vast expenditure, and so much more, have made life intolerable for too many of our fellow citizens.
There is an overwhelming imperative for respite from these challenges, despite the public pronouncements during the election campaign, and the goodwill generated in this period will only go so far.
Prime Minister, the people are waiting expectantly.