By Capil Bissoon
Understanding and internalizing concepts through repetition are critical to messages gaining traction in Trinidad and Tobago, in our Parliament and worldwide. Global organizations like Nike, Coca Cola and FIFA spend fortunes on advertising to make their products global brands.
That is why in TT, a beer is a Carib!
Simply put… no repetition, no traction.
If UNC messages are stymied and circumscribed by House Speaker Bridget Annisette-George and Senate President Christine Kangaloo in our Parliament, they will not gain traction.
No one will hear them. And no one will listen.
It is, from a communications theory standpoint, as if they have not spoken.
James Carville, renowned and world respected political strategist who visited TT in 2000, tells us that if you say something twice or three times, no one hears.
Say it ten times and one person may pay attention.
Say it one hundred times – ten persons will listen.
Say it one thousand times and it becomes reality.
That is why many wrongly believe that Trump won the US presidential elections. He repeats the lie over and over.
UNC messages cannot gain traction in Parliament and in TT, thanks to Anisette-George and Kangaloo.
By limiting debates to the literal wording of any Bill or motion provides no room for UNC speakers to develop context, understanding and more so traction.
Limited room to maneuver means that after two or three UNC speakers have contributed, remaining speakers are easily accused of “tedious repetition”. There is only so much one can say on the literal wording of Bills.
After two or three UNC speakers have contributed, Annisette-George and Kangaloo invoke tedious repetition.
Wittingly or unwittingly, they serve their PNM masters key communication strategy (master minded by US lobbyist and PNM strategist Art Collins) of stifling UNC speakers. The PNM US-based taxpayer funded lobbyist may wish to confirm or deny this observation.
Like schoolmistresses of yesteryear, Annisette-George and Kangaloo exercise dictatorial control of debates, giving leeway, or otherwise interpreting the Standing orders in ways which openly support the PNMs interests.
These two supposedly impartial referees are anything but impartial; under their tenure, open robust debate is dead. Indeed, they are more involved in the cut and thrust of debates than elected members.
Apart from their continued “tedious repetition” rulings against the Opposition, both Annisette-George and Kangaloo are forever admonishing Opposition MPs with the warning, “I am giving you a little leeway… tie your comments in.” Is that really the role of referees? It is a subtle but pronounced stifling of the Opposition’s debating the issues by making these spurious interventions and not giving the representatives of over 310,000 voters the right to develop their points and seek their constituents’ best interests.
That is why they deserve a PNM gold medal for work over and beyond the call of duty.
They must recognize that this is the 21st century of social media and its impact on free speech.
That they are too intrusive in parliamentary debates.
That they have made a mockery of free speech in Parliament.
That parliamentary debates have become boring under their watch.
That no one elected them.
And lastly that, if James Carville is correct, they are serving their PNM masters to the hilt and deserve the Balisier Award of Excellence.