Time to move beyond racial voting
Every day we are faced with choices. It is those choices that determine the quality of our lives. Trinidad is now caught up in another election campaign and once again we are asked to choose among the many candidates seeking our support. The choice we make not only determines who we wish to serve us in Government but perhaps more importantly it tells us where we are in the development of our nation. This election somehow will indicate how far along the road we have developed. It will tell us whether we have finally gotten past the debilitating effects of racial voting.
What are the messages of the political parties? Are they inspirational? Is there a vision for taking Trinidad and Tobago forward and preparing us to face the challenges of a changing world? Are communities finally given the opportunity to have a say in how they access governmental services? Where do the parties stand on local government reform? These and many more are the questions that should help the electorate determine which political party is better poised to take Trinidad and Tobago forward.
As citizens determine which political organisation to support, one can only hope that they realise that for the future of our children our politics must evolve beyond racial voting. For our children’s sake we must raise the level of the politics to embrace ideas, policies and, most importantly, integrity.
We must seek to remember that unity, love, tolerance, discipline and production are important in charting a new way forward. There will always be the temptation to ignore that which is best for country and embrace the comfortable positions of traditional voting patterns but such comforts are consistent with stagnation and decay.
We face the challenges of rising criminal activity, a declining or almost dead agricultural sector, consecutive budget deficits, declining oil and gas reserves, increasing national debt and a population that is increasingly dependent on the Government for survival.
These challenges cannot be resolved by pursuing the same objectives along the same path with the same personnel that have led us to where we are. It is time to abandon the path of divisiveness and religious and racial segregation and embrace our youth, utilise the wisdom of our elderly, replace archaic methodologies with modern technology and start the journey.