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Only the People Can Provide
a Solution to This Crisis

December 11, 2001
Posted: January 25, 2002

At the end of hours of vote counting, both leaders of UNC and PNM mounted their platforms to confirm their complete uselessness to the people's yearning for a way forward for themselves and society.

Their only solution to this continuing crisis of their so-called representative democracy (really a series of contests to put parties in power to implement the programme of the parasitic oligarchy) is more of the same.

Each was demanding that the President put them into office, when neither of them can realistically form a government that will last much longer than a snowball in the fires of hell.

The UNC became sudden converts to convention. The same Basdeo Panday who a year ago brashly denounced convention and pressured the President into appointing a bunch of losers to government now clings to monarchist "precedent" in England to demand that he be reappointed PM.

Manning, while telling his supporters that UNC cannot form a government with 8 seats seeks to work sleight of hand to suggest that somehow he could do just what he described a breath earlier as impossible and form a government with the same number of seats.

What will in fact follow is a nasty round of horse trading, cajoling and worse to try and see who can get a floor-crosser to "defect" from the other camp in their bid to maintain the status quo that the people are demanding must change.

The real issue is not who can grab one or two from the other side and end up with a very slim majority which will lead nowhere. The issue is how to create a political process which recognizes the people as sovereign and puts the politicians under their control and not vice versa.

This is a defining moment not merely in this country. What has happened in these and recent elections is that they have exposed an underlying "equilibrium" in the trial of strength between the people striving for the new and the parasitic oligarchy striving to keep things as they are, for the old.

The political analysts parading as experts on panels last night also displayed their own irrelevance with useless and empty rhetoric about "this shows that the people are tribal"; "the results reflect the demographics of the society" and such intellectual and political nonsense in support of the status quo.

They cannot see that the people have rejected and rebuffed the UNC's campaign of bribery based on their belief that the people can be bought for 30 pieces of silver.

A coat of asphalt on chosen roads, entourages like Jack's band of sycophants with bags of money to try and buy two seats and 'bombs' of promises of $1,000 don't cut it.

For a decade now, the people after the NAR nightmare, have refused to give any party a large majority to carry out the programme of the parasitic oligarchy and thus we have the stalemate.

This stand-off is caused by the fact that the people have no real alternative, no real champion of the people's interest to elect and therefore they have voted more and more to deprive those who champion the anti-social offensive against them of the means to do so without fetter.

This is a time when those like the UNC who campaign on base sentiment and hide their tribal appeal behind high-sounding phrases like "inclusion" really are cutting their own throats and facilitate the people in bringing about the stalemate.

This situation cannot be resolved by cutting deals away from the people. None of them can realistically form a government. They will have to go back to the polls in the shortest time.

In the longer term, those who want to bring about the changes necessary for the people to become really sovereign must work to fashion the democratic renewal of the political process to put the majority in power.

The people must become sovereign. They must be in control of the political process from start to finish.

The electors must be the ones to select and elect candidates, not maximum political leaders imposing absentee landlords to rule over the people.

The electors must be involved in the formulation and implementation of policy and must have the right to remove elected representatives if they fail to keep faith with the people.

There are lots of proposals about constitutional change, about reshaping the parliament and so on, but, I suggest that the most important is to do everything to put the people, not parties, in power.

These changes in the present configuration cannot be brought about by this parliament and the next round of elections will have to decide who will be put in charge of the process to begin to implement the changes necessary as decided by the people.

The people of Tobago have asserted that they are equal to the people of Trinidad and the relationship between the two also has to be put on a new basis - a free and equal union between the two.

The people must not allow this opportunity to begin to constitute themselves as the nation to slip by.


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