Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 26th 2014 Contents Cumuto/Manzanilla,
D Abadie/O Meara, Pointe-a-
Pierre and Toco/Sangre
Of around 180 countries in
Union s Parline database, at
least 30---a dozen in the
Americas, and a dozen-and-
a-half elsewhere---have some
sort of residency requirement
for parliamentarians. This
may be contemporary resi-
dence in the constituency
they represent; being a
"native" of it; past long-term
residence; or, with the United
States House, residency in
the state, but not necessarily
district, they represent.
Do you care where the MP
who represents your con-
stituency lives? I do---deeply.
Even if I m voting for a party
crapaud, I want it to be one
known to local schoolboys.
This idea of residency
requirements hasn t ignited
much public imagination in
our tribal politics. I wish it
would. It takes care of a lot
of the issues that drive the
ill-conceived idea of recall
elections I talked about last
time. And it s much, much
simpler, especially in a house
of purely legislators.
We can require MPs live
among the people they repre-
sent, drive on the same
roads, fear the same floods,
smell the same air, participate
in daily life, have children
who need emergency care. In
other words, appreciate first-
hand, on a daily basis, the
public goods a constituency
A culture---and a mandate---
of living and having close ties
to a community make it more
likely that constituencies will
elect people who understand
and can champion their
needs. And perhaps it also
means that more women,
"minorities" and independ-
ents get elected by those
constituencies, people whose
networks and relationships
can overcome tribal voting.
Residency requirements for
MPs---not right of recall---is
my double R campaign for
political accountability. Join
me in starting a national
conversation about that!
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt January 26, 2014
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'MPs need close
ties to a community'
Continues from Page A22
The Charismatic Community in
T&T has always been one of the more
vocal of the many ministries of the
local Roman Catholic Church.
Addressing the community s 19th
Caribbean Conference at the JFK Audi-
torium of the University of the West
Indies at St Augustine, two weeks ago,
Bishop Jason Gordon spoke of "luke-
warm" Catholics. The Trinidad-born
bishop heads the dioceses of Bridgetown
(Barbados) and Kingstown (St Vincent
and the Grenadines).
He said Christians living a "lukewarm
Christianity" were the biggest obstacle
to faith in Jesus Christ today, referring
to "Christianity in name and not in
heart; a Christianity in form and not
in substance; a Christianity of externals
but not in internal commitment to Jesus
Christ; Christianity that is hypocrisy."
Bishop Gordon used the theme
"Lord, let me see again" (Mark 10:46-
52) about the encounter between Jesus
and Bartimeaus, a blind man from Jeri-
cho, which resulted in a healing and
one that went on to bring on disciple-
ship. Bishop Gordon said Bartimeaus
took his cue from Jesus and understood
that his life was no longer his life, but
had now been set by Christ.
He named a few of the problems
facing the church today: materialism,
secularism, abortion and same-sex
marriage. He then said: "All of us are
the problem. If we did as Bartimeaus
did and followed Jesus along the road,
and went where Jesus wants us to go...
there would be no problem in the
Bishop Gordon asked: "How do we
see with our spiritual eyes?" and he
urged Catholics to yield to the power
and grace of Christ.
He said Catholics must be willing to
confess their blindness and hypocrisy
and truly confront the "chasm"
between words and action. He remind-
ed listeners that today s children were
looking for authenticity and wanted to
see adults living the values they spoke
He said of the youth: "They are look-
ing and seeing hypocrites, and they are
bolting with their feet. The challenge
is for us to become who we say we are:
disciples of Jesus Christ."
He said the self-centredness of
today s "me generation" was at odds
with what Jesus taught and suggested
that this form of blindness was eroding
Vernon Khelawan is the media
relations officer of Catholic Media Serv-
ices Ltd (Camsel), the official commu-
nication arm of the Archdiocese of
Port-of-Spain. Its offices are located
at 31 Independence Square. Telephone:
Bishop takes swipe at
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