Urgent need for constitutional reform
I warmly welcome President George Maxwell Richards' call for the reform of our Constitution. While His Excellency concentrated his call for wider powers for Tobago, I would add that the whole system needs an overhaul.
Trinidad and Tobago's society consists of a myriad of colours and, therefore, a myriad of conflicting interests, yet our Constitution allows for the preponderance of one race over another like musical political chairs and, therefore, we institutionalise the politics of race over the politics of reason.
The first-past-the-post system is anathema to the building up of a nation, in which the politics of reason is subjugated to the narrow, parochial interest of the party in power and leads to a position of active patronage, which remains as the policy of each successive government.
The People's Partnership Goverment promised constitutional reform as one of its platform issues, but it has now been placed on the back burner. This is common with all political parties which seek power, but the moment they get into power, they forget their promises. Blinded by the power of the incumbency, don't our people understand that the day of reckoning will soon be at hand and our politicians will soon be called into account?
So before that day of judgment arrives, let us take heed of the President's well-worded appeal and pursue constitutional overhaul with some measure of urgency, and produce a Constitution in which every creed and race will have an equal place, and may God bless then our nation.
Dr Clifford Ramcharan