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Show us the way, Chaguanas West

Friday, July 5, 2013

If I see the back of Jack Warner after July 29 I would not shed any tears, bitter or otherwise, but I’m objective enough to appreciate the work he has done in his constituency, lambaste him where he didn’t (has anyone driven through Warren Road in the last three years?) and laud him for being the only politician who knows how to connect with his constituents instead of paying lip service about “the people.” More importantly, however, is the opportunity Chaguanas West has to show the way to the sheep in this country who blindly vote for party and lame-duck representation (crapaud with a PNM tie or UNC pin anyone?) and disregard quality of candidate and his/her ability to champion issues that directly affect them. 



No one has ever come this close, and if Chaguanas West doesn’t reflect carefully and choose a different path for all of us to follow, then I don’t see it ever happening in my lifetime. While everyone sees the challenge Jack has thrown down against his party and the so-called cabal in Government, Chaguanas West has to also see and take careful note of the challenge he has given them to think and act differently. This by-election is a watershed moment in our electoral history and more important than the actual candidates themsleves and the parties that support them. Fearing that an independent candidate cannot get anything as opposed to an MP-in-government is irrelevant. A government MP falls under a parliamentary whip and has to toe the line in what the executive believes to be more important to them. No consideration is made with regard to the harsh realities constituents face and representation becomes the backbencher. Heaven help you if your MP has achieved the dream of being a minister and their elevation to that post is via the lower house.


Can you imagine Jack Warner, or any MP, showing up at a government office with an 80-year-old constituent on his arm and demanding a real answer to why he/she cannot get the service they are due instead of misdirection? I’m sure you can, but then you’ll have to catch your MP between flights on “urgent government business.” Show us the way, Chaguanas West. Your decision on July 29 will resonate for years, no matter what it is.


J Maraj



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