Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 13th 2014 Contents A29
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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To hate or injure other beings is as bad as hating and
injuring oneself. The reason being that the injurer is
as much a living being with God as the core, as the
injured is. Until you become aware of your own
Divinity (Deva-tatwa) so long as you are conscious of
your distinct individuality (Jiva-tatwa) - till you feel you
are you and God is God, you struggle, with some atti-
tudes and objectives. This is called the Sadhaka
stage. During that stage, you must endeavour to
equip yourself with the qualities of love, sympathy
and compassion. For, without these, Yoga and
Jnana(wisdom) cannot be secured. Love is vital, it is
divine. To render an act fit to be offered to God and
pure enough to win His Grace, it must be a manifes-
tation of Love. The brighter the manifestation, the
nearer you are to God.
What must we do to move
nearer to God? Bhagawan
answers this important
You are a spark of the Divine and you must manifest
Divinity in your every activity. - Baba 0813023
What power to the peo-
ple? All arguments to
date about runoff elections
have got it wrong!
None of the arguments artic-
ulates how the people have
power in any type of election,
including the runoff. The party,
however, has the power. At
elections, especially general
elections, people vote for the
party and not a person. This is
why the party can decide who
it wants to represent it in a
particular constituency, regard-
less of where that person
resides. This is primarily why
very many constituencies do
not have true representation.
Their MPs do not have the
required empathy for "their"
constituents because they do
not reside there.
This is why the people have
to resort to protests. They are
powerless! Their MPs are nei-
ther representing nor caring
about their issues. How many
complaints have been made by
constituents that they do not
see, far less meet with their
No runoff election will
resolve this situation.
The people have no power,
except maybe to withhold their
votes and we saw what hap-
pened with this strategy in 1971
when there was the "No Vote"
campaign. Just 28 per cent of
the population voted and all for
the PNM. So a "No Vote"
campaign will return an ethni-
because the two real parties,
the UNC and PNM, are ethni-
cally imbalanced. As it stands
now, both government and
opposition create "ethnic bal-
ance," with the government
being "more equal" than the
Instead of listing pros and
cons of runoff elections, we the
people should be clamouring
for true representation.
How do we achieve this? By
forcing an "Agreement to Rep-
resent" between the con-
stituents and the potential rep-
Firstly, the potential represen-
tative must be from the con-
stituency. Secondly, he must
articulate the issues in the con-
stituency and the proposed
solutions. His party must agree
to this condition so that if
elected and in government,
implementation will occur.
Every party and all con-
stituents must agree to these
conditions, if the people are
truly to have power.
The proposed constitutional
amendment to have power of
recall but after two, not three
years, will then have value. The
yardstick will be the MPs pro-
posed solutions. Without this
as a measure, all manner of
reasons for non-performance
can be advanced. Being minori-
ty representative or not will be
moot because performance can
be measured in a tangible man-
This is what the debate
should be about, not the pros
and cons of runoff elections. In
the absence of an agreement
between the people and their
party, then the sentiment
expressed by the late Dr Eric
Eustace Williams that he could,
"put a crapaud...and it would
win" was prophetic!
Whilst it is understood that a
government must look after the
country at a macro-level, it
also has an obligation to look
after the people, at a micro-
level. No party/government, to
date, has shown that it cares
for people. Look at what has
happened to the East-West
Corridor under the PNM gov-
ernments but more so the tra-
ditional opposition areas.
Now that the current govern-
ment is seeking to address the
imbalance in these areas, there
are a myriad of criticisms.
A performance yardstick will
silence critics and surface the
leadership skills of opposition
MPs in seeking betterment for
The debate should be about a
serious dialogue between party
and people. Otherwise, the "tail
will continue to wag the dog"
as all previous governments
have done but more so this
government which came to
power on nice-sounding prom-
ises, for which won it wide-
spread support, and the
mantras, "serve the people,
serve the people, serve the peo-
ple" and "the voice of the peo-
ple is the voice of God."
The new mantras, it seems,
are "away with the people,
away with the people, away
with the people" and "we are
now atheists so we don t listen
to the people."
With respect to the Constitutional Amend-
ment Bill 2014 some citizens would get
two chances at electing a member of Parliament
in a general election.
Doesn t our Constitution state "one man
(woman) one vote"? Why are we now going to
create a situation where some citizens would be
given a second chance to selecting an MP?
Citizens. this Constitutional Amendment Bill
2014 would be making some citizens more
important than some.
Please note our national anthem has "where
every creed and race finds an equal place." We
already have biases existing within our country;
are we going to increase on these biases?
If a citizens opts not to vote in a general elec-
tion or wants to vote for a person of his choice
he should be free to do just that and should not
be forced to select a second-choice candidate.
It's Your Write
We're defined by
humanity, not diseases
As a medical student at the Eric
Williams Medical Sciences Complex, I
could not help but write this letter
after reading an article published in a
well-known newspaper on August 10
entitled, "Epileptic found dead."
There are two models in medicine
that medical practitioners adhere to.
The first is the biomedical model and
the latter is the biopsychosocial model.
The second is the more humane and
should be practised more than the first
as the biomedical model focuses on
body solely and not the mind of the pa-
tient. As we strive to become more
competent doctors, we should no
longer refer to our patients by their
condition, as the biopsychosocial para-
We were taught that instead of say-
ing, "Epileptic found dead" we should
say, "Man suffering from epilepsy
Do you see the difference? In the
first sentence the patient is being de-
fined by his disease, whereas in the
second, it suggests that the patient is a
human being, which entails thoughts
In another example, we should re-
frain from saying expressions such as,
"I saw an albino." By saying, "I saw a
person suffering from albinism," the
human body is seen less like a machine
that needs repairing and the patient's
feelings is taken into account.
Lydia E Brown
PEOPLE WILL BE POWERLESS
WITH OR WITHOUT RUNOFF
Instead of listing pros
and cons of runoff
elections, we the people
should be clamouring for
true representation. How
do we achieve this? By
forcing an "Agreement to
Represent" between the
constituents and the
as soon as
Citizens should be
free to vote for
whom they want
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