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A PATRIOT’S PLEA By Bryan St Louis

posted 7 Oct 2015, 09:54 by Gerry Kangalee
I have been a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago for over fifty seven years. During those years I have witnessed changes in governments on a regular basis because of various acts of poor governance. The last five years in particular, has been described by many as the worst in the history of this Country. In making an analysis of what gave rise to these regular changes in governments one only has to look at the attitude and culture of our citizens, the relationship between the Government and the People, the state of our public services, the poor delivery of customer services to the citizenry and the inefficient political and constitutional machinery which presides over our governance structures. All these issues are affecting the ability of our beloved country to provide social justice and equity for all.

We, nevertheless, recently went through another electoral process which facilitated a peaceful change in government from the People’s Partnership to the People’s National Movement without any rancour, save and except for those who used and those who are still using social media in an attempt to create an environment for civil disobedience and those who are using every opportunity to continue with the campaign for office, inclusive of the UNC with its Election Appeal, which in my view has not focused on the real issue of constitutional reform as it relates to the role and powers of the EBC.

As citizens we need to focus on the political and economic future of our twin island state and as such the following must be our focus at this time:

What is really the focus and vision of our Government?
Is enough being done to earn the trust and respect of all citizens?
Why aren’t the citizens recognized and accepted as Stakeholders and Partners in the Vision for Trinidad and Tobago?

In conversation with many there are great expectations for good governance from this PNM administration under the leadership of Dr. Keith Rowley.

If however, this PNM Government is serious in saying that the time has come to put country first, then they must do everything possible now to begin the healing process in a meaningful manner. Now is the time to heal!

As responsible citizens we also need to take off our party and racial caps and stop fuelling talk shows and social media postings to justify our support for any particular political party or individual. A government has been elected, so it is time the campaigning and racial connotations stop and we all unite as citizens and ensure that our Parliamentarians bring good governance to Trinidad and Tobago.

We as citizens must all come together and tell those who are intent on dividing our society that enough is enough! We have all endured too much partisan politics and party acrobatics in public office over the years. So, I agree with Dr. Rowley, when he called on citizens to adopt a spirit of volunteerism where people willingly give back to the country.

Dr. Rowley said. “I want to appeal to the nation to bring back a sense of volunteerism...Not everything you do should carry a pay cheque. Let us get rid of the gimme gimme attitude. Let us be confident that what we have done in the dark can be defended in the light,”

He also said “I will make every effort to rekindle the feeling of nationalism in Trinidad and Tobago. All of us should be proud that we are citizens of Trinidad and Tobago…as Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago…I will not be the Prime Minister of the PNM, I am the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago”.

In that regard as leader of the government Dr. Rowley must start the healing process by putting his thoughts and speech into action and recognize that as stakeholders we must all share in the vision of the Government for our beloved country and be involved in all initiatives to facilitate Trinidad and Tobago becoming a society where everyone would count and there is Social Justice and Equity for all. 

This would put the framework in place to restore respect, create trust, build relationships, establish a meaningful partnership between all stakeholders and encourage motivation, efficiency and productivity. But a word to the wise is that people will judge you by your actions, not your intentions. Enough Said For Now! Let Us See Where The Tide Will Flow! ‘The ball is now in the court of the PNM Government!’
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