Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 12th 2013 Contents The televised debates organised by
the Debates Commission (TTDC)
should be welcomed as a valuable and
civil addition to the political landscape.
Many voters are so disllusioned and
disgusted with politics and its practi-
tioners that they are unwilling to ven-
ture out of their homes to hear what
their would-be representatives have to
say; others are already allied with one
party or another, and rarely have an
opportunity like this to compare and
contrast views from acros the political
spectrum in the course of one evening.
The debates are also refreshingly free
of the bile that too often predominates
on the individual party platforms and
even in Parliament.
The enforced absence of ad-hominem
attacks, slander and wild accusations
meant the speakers had to focus to the
best of their ability on the issues at
hand and to answer questions on top-
ics judged to be relevant to the local
government elections, rather than
choosing their own hobbyhorses.
Thursday night s first local govern-
ment election debate proved interesting
and entertaining, though not always for
the right reasons.
The results of the debate, though
uneven, were an accurate reflection of
the relative abilities and experience of
the four speakers.
Perhaps the debate was a little too
formal; a way might usefully be found
for the audience---both in the studio
and watching at home---to participate
by asking questions.
The studio audience also seems to
have been told to be on its best behav-
iour and to have been discouraged from
reacting naturally to the best and worst
of the debate.
This may add to the decorousness of
the occasion, but surely detracts from
the purpose of having a live studio
audience to offer instant feedback to
the participants and to reflect the
response of viewers at home.
The debates are also very media-
unfriendly, with no opportunity even to
photograph the participants before-
Thursday saw at least one missed
opportunity in that none of the four
parties represented offered women can-
didates a chance to speak out.
On behalf of the People s Partner-
ship, former Local Government Minis-
ter Dr Suruj Rambachan took part in
the debate, rather than the present
incumbent, Ms Marlene Coudray.
The Movement for Social Justice is
the front-runner in terms of the per-
centage of women candidates: half of
its 16 contenders are women.
The PNM has always had a strong
female presence, but it was one of its
most senior MPs, Colm Imbert, who
spoke for the party on Thursday.
The rookie party, the Independent
Liberal Party, might have fared much
better by sending its interim deputy
leader Lyndira Oudit rather than the
unfortunate Mr Ken Roach, who strug-
gled to express his thoughts within the
When the party leaders debate, of
course, only the PP will be able to
redress this omission, being the only
grouping to be led by a woman.
Whatever their shortcomings, the
debates are still a work in progress,
and Thursday night s showing appears
to have succeeded in engaging a sub-
stantial and enthusiastic TV audience,
and no doubt next week s leaders
debate will draw an even bigger view-
Missed chance for women at debate
Thursday saw at least one missed opportunity in that none of the four parties represented offered
women candidates a chance to speak out. The rookie party, the Independent Liberal Party, might have
fared much better by sending its interim deputy leader Lyndira Oudit rather than the unfortunate Mr
Ken Roach, who struggled to express his thoughts within the alloted time. When the party leaders de-
bate, only PP will be able to redress this omission, being the only grouping to be led by a woman.
Nothing has, so far, come of the
murder of Dwayne Jones, the drag
queen who was beaten, stabbed and
shot by a mob at a dance in St James.
Frankly, we expect nothing to come
of Mr Jones murder. And not only
because of the police s general in-
competence in solving crime, re-
flected in a "clear-up" rate of under
40 per cent for homicides.
Rather, Mr Jones was gay. That is
likely to mean his case having even
less attention. Earlier this week, the
house where Mr Jones lived, which
was occupied by other gay men, was
firebombed. Like with the Jones inci-
dent, we don t expect much.
It would be good for the police to
surprise us by actually doing some-
thing.---The Jamaica Gleaner
• Twitter: @GuardianTT • Web: guardian.co.tt
A product of Guardian Media Ltd
Editor-in-Chief, Judy Raymond
Editor, Irving Ward
Chief Editor---Business, Anthony Wilson
News Editor, Robert Alonzo
Sports Editor, Valentino Singh
E-mail the Editor: email@example.com
Newsroom (daily) Telephone: 623-8870/9,
ext. 2251, 2252, 2222, 2242; 623-News
Newsroom e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Newsroom (Sunday) Telephone: 623-8870/9,
ext. 2362, 2552, 2722, 2724
SG e-mail: email@example.com
Fax: (News) 625-7211; (Advertising) 623-2050
Managing Director, Gabriel Faria
General Manager, Douglas Wilson
Circulation Manager, Cashyap Sharma
Sales Manager, George Elias
22-24 St Vincent Street, (PO Box 122)
Telephone: 623-8870/9; 623-7543;
San Fernando office: 652-3700
Chaguanas Bureau: 665-1977
Internet address: www.guardian.co.tt
Sound off: Firebombing gays and police inaction
Links Archive October 11th 2013 October 13th 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page