I was exploring with relatives a school of thought where perhaps a monarchy may have been better then democracy because it takes away the need to appease sectors of a society for their votes and allows for focus on that which is best for a Nation. A highly intelligent relative made the point that in a monarchy, one is stuck with a leader for life and if that leader is inept or evil that Nation would have no choice but to live with such ineptitude until he or she passes. Democracy allows for one to change such leaders. Another relative made the point that democracy allows for people to vote for their self-interest and whether that self-interest is for the betterment of the Nation or not, the majority votes for what they feel is best for them.
That led me to think about Trinidad & Tobago and how we vote. Is it more important for us to see a leader in place that looks like us, or seems representative of our culture rather than one who seeks the best interest of a Nation? Is having a politically appointed job, or receiving political benefits more important than upgrading the National infrastructure and governmental management structure? If my relative is correct and people vote for their own self-interest, then one may ask at what point is the interest of the community, or the Nation given consideration? The likely conclusion may be that such consideration is given only after the personal need is fulfilled.
If in fact the people of Trinidad & Tobago desire are to elect someone of their social, cultural, or racial sect is more important that electing one with National objectives beneficial to most. Then at what point would National issues be seriously addressed?
Realistically, in a country where homogeneous existence is absent, sectarian voting cannot allow for national issues to be the determining factor for one’s voting choices until and unless other matters of personal interest are affected.
Those issues are present now and now is the time to look beyond the sect and seek leadership that offers a path away from sectarian temporary self-satisfaction. At what point would the people get fed up and sick of seeing our youths lying in puddles of blood from increasing gun violence. When would walking the nations, streets safely take precedence over temporary government projects that are ment to fund supports for the next election? When would the good people come forward in droves and elect leaders of integrity and competence? Will there ever be a time when one’s family future, one’s community one country takes precedence over one’s desire to feel empowered by seeing one’s sect in office?
I do not know the answer, but I know that for economic development, infrastructure improvement, safety in our communities, food security and modern education to take center stage, one must find a way to look beyond sect and beyond selfish gains.
God Bless Our Nation.