In the face of global forces and volatility, democracy is under constant challenge. But for the concerned, responsible common good and belief in true power does not come from the assertion of unjust rules and threats, but the honesty and sincere voices that are uncorrupted.
But what can be done to preserve a campaign theatre in Trinidad and Tobago that is crowded with nightmares?
There is the rationale either to batten down the hatches or the more subtle trend to keep at bay untrustworthy politicians in exchange for more sensible representation, ideas and solutions in a transparent democracy on the people’s behalf.
The situation may be grim in a region that is lacking political unity and structural uniformity. A dysfunction that is fueling voters and taxpayers to broaden the base and remodel the workplace from a culture that covers Jack and the beanstalks to provide on a personal level, ill gotten gains, rather than implement useful policies to encourage growth in industry, sports and culture.
But a deeper battle lies in the economic way of life and social beliefs that are threatened by offenders of law and order. So it is refreshing as I write that a joint effort of protective services is ongoing, in an effort to curb the carnage on the streets, towns and cities of Trinidad and Tobago.
Adding to the problem, there are cronies operating as financiers that hug huge government contracts on favourable terms then flip revenue in offshore bank accounts, thus robbing taxpayers, perpetuating corrupt politicians and generational poverty.
For one, there is need to streamline consideration for cooperative companies, enterprise, banking and financial services with share ownership to empower work on issues of pay equity, creating ownership and financial advancement. But, this will require shrugging off government agencies at the hands of party machinations that facilitate transfers in the underground economy.
Such a diagnosis would be important to redirect investments in entrepreneurship to drive innovation and growth, thus reducing unemployment and increase economic sustainability.
But these take discipline and responsibility of action to reshape everyday lives and public interest, as no politician will declare his or her own irrelevance, though many qualify.
But through events, trust and persistence, that choice is becoming clearer in Trinidad and Tobago, to lead the way and confront the challenges to address law and order, climate change adaptation, energy self-sufficiency and the possibilities for cleaner air and a brighter future.
Trinidad and Tobago must be applauded when the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in the middle of an election campaign approves US$100 million to establish a multi-donor energy facility for Caribbean sustainability. It does not come much better than that, if ever there was any doubt to reassure confidence, vision and trust in Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s administration.
This is rather a brave new world of political action all around. In practice, this is not in any way comparable to the opposition political theatre and Hollywood auditions that in the end, when the dust is settled, will turn out to be nothing substantive, but a scam.
As Election Day draws nearer, the correct narrative is to focus on incentives, on long-term thinking to promote trust and opportunity to transcend a better life and a more inspiring region.
Simply, the region and people matter in a broad agenda of thought and action, leading in the 21st century, to ensure success with all the right moves including financial and legal systems.
It is not a puzzle that new light is shining. According to Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar, “This will enable promotion of energy diversification, energy efficiency and a reliable supply of alternative fuels at a reduced cost in the Caribbean. It is very exciting because it will bring stability, security and sustainability to our region.”
Melanius Alphonse is a management and development consultant. He is an advocate for community development, social justice, economic freedom and equality; the Lucian People’s Movement (LPM) www.lpmstlucia.com critic on youth initiative, infrastructure, economic and business development. He can be reached at [email protected]