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Theatre of the absurd

Thursday, October 25 2007

THE EDITOR: The election campaign has become a veritable theatre of the absurd. The fact that Hazel Manning found it necessary to talk about marital affairs on the political platform, much to the delight of the crowd, is a clear indication that the serious issues confronting the nation will be ignored. And Basdeo Panday’s utterly ridiculous tirade against Kennedy Swaratsingh is intolerable. Our democracy is being trivialised. And that must be halted.

It is therefore necessary for the fourth estate to enter the campaign and demand that our politicians get serious. It is the responsibility of the print and electronic media to seize the initiative and come to the rescue of our democracy. The fourth estate must insist upon a debate and immediately proceed to make arrangements for this televised confrontation between the political leaders of the PNM, the UNC-A, and the COP. We have quite capable moderators who can ask the tough questions. Monday October 29, just one week before the elections, is the ideal date for this debate, the first such event in our history. Invitations must be dispatched to Patrick Manning, Basdeo Panday, and Winston Dookeran. Not one of them would dare refuse to participate.

The 2007 electoral race has been described as “the mother of all elections”. And it is indeed a privilege to live in these tumultuous times. We must rise to the occasion and turn a new page in our history. The name of the game is accountability with a capital A. Our political leaders must account for their stewardship. And they must do so before the entire nation in a televised debate. The electorate must settle for nothing less. The fourth estate cannot and must not shirk their responsibility. The ball is in their court.

ISHMAEL SAMAD

Boissiere

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