Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 22nd 2014 Contents A25
Saturday, March 22, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
This is a perfect example why an efficient wrecking service is needed in the capital so that scenarios such
as this, with a parked car completely blocking a portion of the sidewalk at the corner of Park Street and
Richmond Street, Port-of-Spain, will stop happening. PHOTO: KRISTIAN DE SILVA
How to level the playing
field when holding elec-
tions is a matter that has
troubled us in T&T for a very
Governments past and
present use the power of
incumbency to seek unfair
advantage in influencing elec-
I hazard a guess that such
a state of affairs will continue
into the foreseeable future
unless the law forbids.
Another instance of the
dynamic tension between
"the legal" and "the ethical"!
Where the latter falls victim
to the former and the morali-
ty that is politics reigns
It is time we emulate the
enlightened actions of others.
I take the opportunity to
highlight excerpts from the
code of conduct applied by
the Electoral Commission of
India to regulate the political
behaviour of the party in
government in the period
leading up to the elections
once the date is announced.
Here are some useful
insights from the Indian
code, which we citizens
might reflect upon with a
view to agitating for the
modification of the conduct
of elections in the country:
• Announcement of new
projects, programmes, con-
cessions or financial grants in
any form or promises thereof
or laying of foundation
stones, etc, which have the
effect of influencing the vot-
ers in favour of the party in
power is prohibited.
• Simply because a budget
provision has been made for
a particular project or that
the project was sanctioned
earlier or announced in the
budget does not automatically
mean that such projects can
be inaugurated or otherwise
initiated after the announce-
ment of elections, since they
are clearly intended to influ-
ence the voters. Such actions
if undertaken will be consid-
ered a violation of the code
• No work shall be imple-
mented, if not already not
begun in the field. These
works can be undertaken only
after the completion of the
election process. However, if
an activity has actually start-
ed, it may be continued.
• Tenders are not to be
finalised during the period of
• Grant or lease of Govern-
ment land is completely pro-
hibited until completion of
the election process.
• No appointments or pro-
motions in Government/State
Enterprises shall be made
during this period, without
prior clearance of the Com-
• Official vehicles cannot
be used for electioneering.
• Ministers are entitled to
use their official vehicles only
for commuting from their
official residence to their
office for official work pro-
vided that such commuting is
not combined with any elec-
tioneering or any political
• Any and all advertise-
ments at the cost of the pub-
lic exchequer regarding
achievement of the
party/Government in power
• Official work should not
at all be mixed with cam-
It is instructive that the
referred list is only illustrative
and not exhaustive.
It also applies to a large
extent in Nepal.
One is tempted ask what
are we waiting for?
We should campaign with
energy and haste for consid-
eration and adoption of an
electoral code of conduct
embracing such ideas!
Winston R Rudder,
ELECTORAL REFORM AND
POWER OF INCUMBENCY
I am an aged retiree who lives in the
United States of America. Every year I
return home for the Carnival celebrations
to enjoy the cultural activities that are on
display during this period. This year was
I attended some of the pre-Carnival
shows, including the Junior Calypso com-
petition, and waited anxiously for the Pa-
rade of the Bands on Carnival Monday
and Tuesday which I usual view at the
South Quay venue.
Disappointing is the only word that I
can use to describe the extent of the
Downtown parade, which comprised ex-
actly two bands! I sat at that venue in
South Quay from 10 am to 5.30 pm and
waited for the other bands, but none
came. This is a far cry from what oc-
curred in the years gone by.
I think I would be well within my rights
to ask for a refund of the entrance fee,
which I paid to access seating accommo-
Certainly, the arrangements for the
parade of the bands at the various ven-
ues must have gone awry.
A re-visiting of these plans is of the
utmost importance if a repeat of this fi-
asco is to be avoided.
God willing, I will return next year,
hoping for a better showing from the or-
Hoping for a better downtown Carnival show
The allegations of misbehaviour on a
local inter-island flight, had it occurred
in the First World, would have seen the
gentleman and his luggage back in the
departure lounge awaiting the arrival of
It does not help the situation that
the entire world is glued to their televi-
sion sets awaiting news of the missing
Malaysian flight 370. We are regaled on
all channels about dangers on an aero-
plane flight. Its not a maxi taxi where
you can leave a window open.
One lone passenger could cause a
whole plane to disintegrate by not fol-
lowing instructions. Even a caveman
could be made to understand that fact.
One lone passenger could cause problems
Recently, I was at Mount Hope Hospi-
tal and I heard stories of young mothers
who were not married having four and
five babies and are being paid to do so.
This is how they live and survive. They
are far removed from reality where one
should to go to school, work hard and
get a job. I recall one of the mothers say-
ing, "I ready to make a next child you
know, because this one (fifth one) just
walk out of me."
Making children was easy for her it
seems, but it was quite doubtful if she
was able to provide for the other four.
Some people cannot even have a child
and to some, it is just a game.
Having a child is serious business.
Bringing up a child unsupervised, with
the absence of role models and revered
elders, encourages youths to join the
criminal elements. They become serious
troublemakers at school and life ex-
pectancy among them is automatically
reduced. That is why it is necessary to
root out these "special children". They
should be "extracted from the environ-
ment where you misbehave and put into
an environment where you are being pre-
pared to give up that kind of life," as was
stated by Dr Rowley in the press on
March 19, 2014. Implementation of boot
camps is one such solution. Here, well-
trained army boot camp specialists deal
with these uncouth youth. Soft and hard
measures are required. Entrepreneurial
or special skills training (soft measures)
can only be introduced once bad behav-
iour and disrespect are eliminated.
Using the boot camp method to wrest
away bad behaviour followed by the soft
approach can make a serious dent on the
unfortunate situation of young kids join-
ing gangs and ruining their lives.
Boot camps the way to go
For the past decade the T&T Police
Service has been getting negative press
for its lack of administrative skills which
is carrying the Service downhill.
The irony is the present membership
has a high percentage of those who had
the opportunity of tertiary education
and more so, degrees in management
science. Again mentioned has been
made in the 1990 Commission of En-
quiry report by Chairman Sir David Sim-
mons of the poor performance of our
police service. In the past we had dedi-
cated and educated officers, not aca-
demics, who went the mile to satisfy
their servants, the citizenry and visitors
to our land.
We the retired membership of the
T&T Police Service have now embarked
on a mission to raise the morale of its
present membership by sharing our
stored experiences over the years---in
skilful policing techniques, locally manu-
factured. As every country has its cul-
tural behaviour, so let us bring back our
service. It is to be noted that in the area
of sports, for which there is no better
form of community policing, we were
number one in football, cricket, athletics
Where are we today? Out of a mem-
bership of 7,000, we cannot field 11 for
football or cricket. What a shame.
Retirees to impart 'locally
manufactured' policing skills to service
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