THE EDITOR: Is TT a failed state? It depends on whom you ask. The opposition clearly thinks so, but that is their job. Or is it?
First of all, let us look at the facts. What constitutes a failed state? According to Wikipedia, "A failed state is a political body that has disintegrated to a point where basic conditions and responsibilities of a sovereign government no longer function properly." By that definition, TT certainly does not even remotely qualify as a failed state unlike neighbouring Venezuela, who epitomises the classical definition of a failed state. For example, the Venezuelan Government is incapable of providing public services, refugees are fleeing to neighbouring states, there is extensive corruption, there is a precipitous decline in economic and monetary value, and many external organisations and financial institutions do not recognise the legitimacy of President Maduro's Government.
Clearly, TT does not even remotely qualify in any of those categories. Why then are so many opposition politicians in TT quick to pronounce that we are a failed state? Is it being done to question the legitimacy of the Government? Is it in the hope that, like Guyana, a call for a no-confidence vote will have government MPs fleeing to side with the opposition? Since that is unlikely to happen in TT, maybe the opposition and the other parties will be better served by proposing substantive alternative methods of dealing with the many issues that the citizens live with on a daily basis instead of trying to destabilise the country with pie in the sky theories, which, based on our economic downturn, will be unfeasible.
The opposition can gain some credibility by working with the government to produce a better society instead of gleefully pointing out missteps that were made. And those parties who are on the outside looking in and hoping that the country collapses so that they can gain a foothold in the Parliament as the general election gets closer will be well-advised to work for the people of TT, not just be against everything the Government proposes.
I am calling on all those who will be vying for a seat in the 2020 general election to earn your trustworthiness by toning down the rhetoric and begin the task of comprehending the job of being a representative of the people by viewing it through their eyes, not through the lens of someone opposed to the Government. Only then will you truly be ready to be a member of Parliament.
Rex Chookolingo, Diego Martin