Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 25th 2017 Contents viewpoint A19
Wednesday, January 25, 2017 guardian.co.tt
QUESTIONS AFTER RESULTS
The recent THA election
results have left us with more
questions than answers.
Here are some that come to
• Was the election legal and
• Are there too many parties
for such a small population—
PNM, TF, PDP?
• Is the PNM losing ground,
from 12 to 10 seats?
• Can the PDP’s Watson Duke
be both a union leader and a
• What is the latest status of
the desalination plant?
• What is the latest status of
the ‘’alleged’’ Sandals project?
Standing by with bated breath.
A homeless man perspires as he sleeps, covered with plastic, under a tree in the Queen's Park Savannah on
Monday morning. PHOTO: ROBERTO CODALLO
ODD NUMBER OF SEATS
CAN PREVENT DEADLOCK
Congratulations to the PNM on its
10 to 2 win in the THA elections of
2017. This is of course a regression
from the results of the 2013 THA elec-
tions when the party won all 12 seats.
The party has clearly lost some ground
but is still in control of the THA, which
Notwithstanding the need for Par-
liament to validate the date of the THA
election in 2017, the results could have
been deadlocked if it had returned a
6/6 result, which of course was un-
likely given the fractured nature of the
opposition but not impossible. Notice
that the above hypothetical scenario
could not have occurred if there were
an odd number of seats on offer.
This is the said problem which
cropped up in the 2016 local govern-
ment election in Trinidad with respect
to the electoral district of Sangre
Grande when there was a 4/4 tie in
terms of seats won and was a source
of some political upheaval and rancour.
When Mr Basdeo Panday became
Prime Minister on the back of a 17/17
general election tie in Trinidad, it was
the late ANR Robinson who bequeath
two Tobago seats to the UNC in order
to break the deadlock.
When there was the 18/18 tie in a
subsequent general elections, it was
the then sitting President of the Re-
public who chose Mr Manning over Mr
Panday for Prime Minister, proffering
the need for moral and spiritual values,
although Mr Panday was the incum-
bent. This was of course when the
number of seats in the Parliament of
T&T was 36.
One of the greatest decisions the
Elections and Boundaries Commission
in T&T ever made, albeit inadvertently,
was with respect to the adjustment of
electoral boundaries and the concomi-
tant increase in the number of seats
on offer from the even number of 36
to the odd number of 41. It will of
course become impossible for there to
be any future deadlock with respect to
the final results in general elections in
T&T given the odd number of seats
that is available.
Any marketing manager that is
worth his salt knows that whenever
you're listing the benefits of a new
product or service, it pays to choose an
odd number of benefits. There is em-
pirical evidence that people tend to re-
member them more readily. Whenever
a decision is to be made having an odd
number always saves the day. There is
magic in an odd number!
Looking ahead therefore, I think that
it will benefit everyone in T&T, if the
EBC should use an odd number of
seats at general elections, local gov-
ernment elections as well as the THA
elections. If this is implemented the
need for jockeying for positions and
brinkmanship shall not arise.
AIM SHOULD BE FOR ZERO,
ZERO, ZERO MURDERS
How do we equate murders with
low crime detection? Are we so naive
as a people to know that solving mur-
ders brings minimum relief to the vic-
The answer is not only to increase
the detection rate but to eradicate the
high number of murders.
Won't we be more comfortable with
zero murders 2017 to the alternative
of 100 murders...98 solved?
Is it our education policies that are
failing us, producing more school drop-
outs for the past 40 years. Or, if not
drop-outs, those who would have gone
through five years of secondary school
and yet cannot read, interpret or anal-
yse any task before them.
Or is it a nation of followers, of yes
men/women whose answer is "true" to
any topic, or shy away with no input
from the floor. Or is it those who have
been fortunate to enter the buildings
of Tertiary Education coming out with
certificates having read books but
failed to add two lines of their own to
modify these said books.
All the above leads to an ignorant
society which does not have the skills
to settle disputes unless being ordered
so to do. So with the lack of analytical
skills and the inability to solve disputes
they rely on violence with the weapon
of choice being the gun.
BEEF WITH PRICE OF PORK
Religious, irreligious or areligious,
many of us consume pork in one form
or the other, be it baked, stew, curry,
processed or roasted. My concern is
with the last aspect---roasted.
South Trinidad is noted for the best
roast pork. A quick meal for many is a
pork sandwich and a soft drink and, for
some, a cold beer.
Cutters as we know it is usually
roast pork. As sold, a "quarter" pork is
in the vicinity of $30. That is, $120.00/
lb! My beef is with the price.
If it s local pork I can understand,
but with the revelation in the House
and from what we know, a pound of
imported pork costs around $9!
Now tell me, is that fair to the con-
Simply put, these people are buying
cheap and selling very expensive. Is
there some kind of moral or ethical
value here or business is all about
making the most money---ie profit
What about the removal of Vat on
certain items by the PP government?
Wasn't that meant to lower the
What happened to that glorious ex-
pectation? Creative ways were found
to work around that. Are we at the
mercy of businesses?
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