Many positives from current campaign
With respect to the present local government election campaign, I have identified the following features which demonstrate, in general, a deepening of the democratic process in T&T:
1. The apparent heightened interest as is evident by the large attendance at organised meetings, suggesting that voter turnout could be expected to be considerably larger than hitherto;
2. The relative average youth of candidates among whom are an unusual number of women;
3. The fairly high quality of candidates some of whom are educated at the tertiary level;
4. The appearance of party manifestos at least one of which is said to contain sub-manifestos for every one of the 14 regions, thus indicating a recognition that the characteristics, developmental requirements and demands of one region would invariably be different from those of another;
5. The unusual, but nevertheless, welcome prominence, whether by necessity or by design, being given by at least one party, to its candidates at its meetings as opposed to domination by party and\or ministerial big-wigs.
With reference to item 5 , in particular, I am of the view that this is most welcome at the level of local government elections as it ensures the electorate is made aware of the competing qualities of candidates who are seeking its suffrage. At the local government level, should not the electorate be able to base its selection more on the qualification of the candidate to satisfy its needs locally rather than on wider centrally-oriented considerations?
Is this not what local government entails?
Errol OC Cupid