TRINIDAD, September 8, 2015 – In Trinidad’s general election last week, the PNM (People’s National Movement) secured victory last Monday over the PP (People’s Partnership). The PNM won by five seats, 23-18. Dr. Keith Rowley, Party leader for the PNM, will rise to the position of Prime Minister while opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar will leave the Prime Minister post and take over as head of the opposition.
The country is home to a rich oil and gas sector and will soon enter the ranks of developed country status. However, that oil wealth has also fed corruption and concern over corruption in the granting of government contracts was a significant issue in this contest.
Electing Rowley has Trinidad’s one million voters ultimately trusting the PNM over the PP.
Every form of government has it’s own shade of freedom, none so bright as the peaceable transitioning of government. Other hemispheres on the globe are plagued with diplomatic turmoil and armed strife. The unfortunate side effect, or first world malady, however, is the underlying issue of corrupt practices. No government is free of some sort of bending of the rules.
The most common problem occurs awarding government contracts. Ideally, every contract should go to the most capable and most qualified individual, enhancing the public good, making both the economy and the overall society function better. In every government there are limitless accusations of rule bending and unfair practices in the award process; Inadvertently affecting the public good, namely, people’s trust in government.
Rowley announced that he was “humbled” by the victory, and gave a much-lauded speech highlighting national unity after his win. He also said the government plans to overhaul the national education curriculum and noted that he will head the effort of implementing austerity.
The new Prime Minister is expected to face a difficult economic period, with lower gas prices hurting T&T’s economy.
In reaction to concerns about corruption, Rowley said, “We will behave in a manner worthy of the people of T&T.”
The PNM helped forge Trinidad and Tobago’s independence, through the tireless work of Dr. Eric Williams. This gives the party a strong hold over national politics. The parliamentary system gives total control of government operations to one party. In times of plenty there are numerous fans of the government. In times of scarcity there are plenty of attempts to lay blame.
The prevailing element is the amount of resources that a government can amass for the general benefit. Human resources in the amount of training and skill of its citizens, and the natural/capital resources that amount from the application of government actions.
The future of the Caribbean lies in its ability to sustain its grip on domestic policy. However, its ability to formulate lasting roles in crafting international policy to better serve the needs of its citizens are the greatest testimony left to hurdle. Travel, education, healthcare, employment, and fiscal stability all have a role to play in the developed nation’s view of the Caribbean. To taking a seat at the table and modifying global resources which it contributes , although in small parts, of a major sector –namely the energy sector.
Paved roads and new schools can eventually build themselves. In today’s modern world of rapidly expanding technology, machinery can complete automated tasks that once took a human hours to perform. And with engineering advances being made everyday it is likely that very few products in the future will require constant human intervention to create.
This cuts the productivity gap and increases capacity utilization for those that know how to harness these technologies.
A well armed and ably directed electorate can form a government that can change the course of humanity. Inevitably, every election is another attempt at getting the brand right, so to speak.