Where we stand‎ > ‎News & Comment‎ > ‎

PNM STUCK IN THE TYPEWRITER AGE by Cecil Paul

posted 28 Mar 2011, 15:30 by Gerry Kangalee
At its recent Convention, the Peoples National Movement has demonstrated that its inner and intra relationship politics is backward, undemocratic, pathetic and exposes its negative/self defeating cult of the Absolute Leader. Patrick Manning is no longer the PNM's Political leader but he still determines the policies of the PNM. Even though he was absent from the Convention Manning was able to defeat Rowley, the new, unopposed leader on two major policy issues, critical to the image and future of the party.

By "influencing" his San Fernando East Constituency, Patrick Manning has shown he is still the real PNM leader. He has defeated one of Keith Rowley's major democratic modernization policies - one member - one vote and to rub salt in the wound, his constituency abstained from voting at the convention.

The rationale being that replacing the delegate system to elect National Party Officers could be manipulated by drug persons and other PNM enemies who could eventually control the PNM. As if the PNM or any other Party in T&T is controlled by its leaders or members!

All Political Parties in this country have been bought and sold by big business of all types for a very long time. Big Business in all areas legal or illegal is in control of the political and economic policies of T&T. On the issue of abstaining from voting to elect the National executive, the reason given by the Constituency is to avoid division in the Party. This is the kind of disrespect for the intelligence of working people that has time and time again, been displayed by political Leaders of our Parties.

They treat their members and followers like little children that can be manipulated. Or do they in fact believe that working people are incapable of making major decisions? Or maybe, they believe that the real function of working people in their parties is not to formulate policy but merely to blindly support and vote for the instructions of the maximum leader? No debate, no analysis of the pros and cons. Just do as I say. Follow my instructions or pay the price of isolation and or expulsion.

By instructing members not to vote on one issue (election of National Executive) and then having them vote on another issue (introduction of one member - one vote) is a clear indication of the backwardness of some PNM Leaders. How could leaders of a Political Party that calls on all citizens to vote in National Elections, as a patriotic duty, and then in National Party elections suggest to their citizen - members to abstain from voting?

This is not only contradictory; it is downright dishonest, unpatriotic and reeks of sabotage and intrigue. After all the National Executive of these Parties in time, become our National Political Leaders - the most powerful people in our country. The right to participate in electing your Representatives whether in the Party or in the Country is vital to a functioning democracy. Any leader who encourages non participation is inherently undemocratic and has no right to leadership position.

It was puzzling that a former elected officer of a Trade Union that fought for the right of each member to elect their Leadership was on the floor piloting the opposition to the one member-one vote resolution at the recent PNM Convention. The same leader was elected as a Local Government Representative on the one member-one vote system. What a conflict of action! A leader elected on the basis of all members having the right to vote in one organization, spearheading the opposition to deny members the right to elect their leaders in another organization – a clear case of double standards by the dominant faction in the PNM.

One must remember the interest shown by the population in the internal elections of the UNC: a policy borrowed from the OWTU of George Weekes where members of the Union had a stake in the performance of their universally elected leaders. The internal elections in the UNC became a National Election of sort and garnered tremendous interest from the populace. The UNC election therefore played a major role in that Party's victory in the national election of 2010.

With the poor performance, chauvinism, pro big business, anti-worker and broken promises of the ONR/NAR/PP Government and the political backwardness of the PNM, Trinidad and Tobago is headed towards political, economic and social difficulties.

Interventions by Public Interest Groups have provided some hope that the people can effect some sort of policing of the chaotic political, social and economic environment. With the current backward and pathetic policies of the PNM coming out of the recent Convention, the PNM seem to have lost its way and unaware of the level of development of Trinbagonians.

The same is true of the PP. These two political entities have been stuck in the "Typewriter" Age, unaware that the people of Trinbago have long entered the Age of Mass Information and Communication. Our Politicians are now Redundant. They are unable to move our Society Forward. And If we are not moving Forward then We go Backward. The fact is that our Political Elites have all failed us. We need to look beyond the existing Political Paradigm and fashion A New Approach to Politics in Trinidad and Tobago. An approach that includes Participation, Consultations and Peoples Representations at all levels of The National Community.
Comments