Commentaries

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Commentaries

Clear case of ministry avoiding transparency

Now that the legal opinions on the $5.5 billion Invader’s Bay project have been highlighted exclusively in the Sunday Express, it is clear why the Ministry of Planning has so strongly resisted all attempts to get information about the tendering process. Read More »

Emailgate and run-off politics

I BEGIN today’s column with a confession—my utter surprise over the vigorous and emotional displays of opposition to the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2014, particularly, its provision for “run-off” elections in constituencies where contestants fail to secure more than 50 per cent of the votes. Read More »

National unity on the ropes

The Prime Minister and her cohorts seem determined to bully-pilot their constitutional reform proposals on the basis of naked executive power. They are within their rights. But in piloting the bill, the PM defended this right with an expired mandate. Nothing is new here. Every prime minister since Eric Williams made policy without any effective parliamentary constraint on executive decision-making. Lloyd Best coined the phrase “re-constitution” to des­cribe Williams’ ability to circumscribe the Constitution. Read More »

The dubious reformation of our Henry

BEYOND mystifying is Nigel Henry’s sudden acceleration from his “poll” position, to run down the first-past-the-post system (FPTP) while giving a much-needed lift to the controversial run-off proposal (ROFF, I prefer) of questionable virtue (Express, August 9). He has thus forfeited his perch, sadly, as a prom­ising neutral pundit. Read More »

Full disclosure needed to confirm ‘fake’ e-mails

The determination “fake” always lurked in the background, as observers and participants in what became known as “Emailgate”, weighed the bona fides of both the provider and the information provided. Read More »

Taking in front

On the resurfaced “e-mail” allegations, the real issue is the AG’s decision to undertake a parallel and undisclosed investigation. The controversy resurfaces alongside the latest State tendering revelations, the proposed and controversial amendments to the Constitution, and the national awards fiasco. So the AG’s sudden certification from Google looks like the usual People’s Partnership distraction but this is no simple sideshow. It is real. Read More »

The PNM’s ten points

Point four of the PNM’s offering calls for “a specified number and names of ministries...” This, the party says, “would entail a determination of what ministries are required to effectively service the needs of the people of (T&T) and those ministries should be named in the Constitution.” Read More »

A requirement of democratic legitimacy

Our Constitution is our supreme law. That must be the starting point. We are entitled to make a fuss about it, more so if it is going to change the way we choose our political leaders. We are entitled to understand the changes being proposed and the way they are going to affect our lives. It is the political and social contract by which we the people have agreed to regulate our relationship with the State. Read More »

Protecting the national awards

It is truly regrettable that the national awards should be dragged through the political mud. Trinidad and Tobago is a country still searching for symbols of honour and excellence and every effort should be made to protect the integrity of the national awards from the destructive impact of partisan politics. Read More »

Simmering in the Senate

The unrest in Ferguson, Missouri has grabbed America’s attention. Because a black president has been voted into the White House twice, many Americans kept hoping that their country would have advanced into a post-racial era—but the excessive force of the white police officers in Ferguson over the past few days has proven to be another indication of how little that country has transformed. Read More »

The PNM’s ten points

I have commented a few times now on the shortage (the near-absence, indeed) of policy positions from the People’s National Movement (PNM). An unceasing assault on the Government, yes, and on individuals in it, but nothing—or nothing worthwhile—on its plans for the country. Read More »

Manning’s tantrum shows political pettiness

Last week, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar announced she would recommend former prime ministers Patrick Manning and Basdeo Panday receive T&T’s highest national award, the Order the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Read More »

Value of finesse in T&T’s public affairs​

It is especially welcome that no shadow will be cast over proceedings on the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2014, arising from participation of Senate president Timothy Hamel Smith. Debate on the amendment, already so hotly disputed, should not suffer from any possibly delegitimating discredit arising from the fitness of Mr Hamel Smith to preside over it in the Upper House. Read More »

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