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It's about corruption, poverty not race

It is rather strange to hear Jack Warner's outburst about the Tobago electorate voting along tribal lines.

There is nothing new here. This has been more or less always been the case here. Citizens of African descent support Afro-politicians and citizens of Indians descent support Indo-politicians.

In some other countries votes are cast on religious lines.

With respect to the attitude of Laventille voters, the same principle applies. The poor communities in the Caroni belt do exactly the same as those in Laventille — they support Indian politicians in droves.

Laventille is a deprived area, lacking in good education, good housing and welfare amenities. Yes, these people hold on to the only hope of escape from this ghetto—the PNM—as in the past no other party has really tried to help them out of their predicament, so why change allegiance? It will make no difference.

Sadly, Laventille has become a den of evil because over the years all political parties have failed to really do anything constructive or meaningful to help.

Despite what Mr Warner may say, when it comes to elections, canvassers of all parties can be found trying to drum up support in Laventille.

Before politicians jump on the bandwagon of degrading poor and uneducated citizens they should examine what they or their parties are doing or have done to improve these people's lives.

Moreover it does not matter who votes for whom in elections in T&T. The game of politics here will still be played on racial lines.

It really does not matter who wins any election. We will still be plagued by increasing poverty, rising crime and white collar corruption.

We are plagued by corrupt politicians, law enforcement officers, government officials and rich businessmen. In fact, these people are found in every walk of life in great numbers.

These are the very people who have continued to set very bad examples, by turning a blind eye to serious crimes committed by their own class.This attitude only leads to the generation of more corruption by the upper class and other crimes in our society, thus helping to create more deprived areas such as Laventille. While race or tribal attitudes may be picked upon to cause controversy the real cause of our lack of progress is corruption among the elite, and the associated crimes which are offshoots of corruption.

The strategy of almost all our parties is to try to get their turn to govern so that they can reap what they consider part of their inheritance by stealing massive sums. To achieve this aim the voters in political strongholds such as Laventille suddenly appear in the forefront as important citizens, but only for a very short time, once the elections are over such people and their communities are left to rot.

The elected politicians turn their interest to contracts on large projects that offers kickbacks that really do not benefit the ordinary citizens who see and comprehend what is going on year after year but have not enough organised support to retaliate.

GA Marques

via e-mail

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