RICARDO J RODRIGUEZ
BASED ON public outcry on the governance of TT, the time seems right for a new political and government structure. This improved structure should include all stakeholders in the administration of the country’s affairs through simple collective bargaining units.
Firstly, there is no need for so many government ministries and political appointees who are just members of the boys club arrangements and really have no interest or knowledge of how to manage their ministries. These individuals all answer the call of the party leader whose key objective is to win the next general election.
This must stop as we are witnessing the destruction, devastation and eventual fail-state outcome caused by the governing system at present. We want to eradicate corruption, strengthen national security, reduce poverty with proper distribution and equity of natural resources and promote opportunity and hope for our citizens.
Secondly ,we want TT to be the way it once was when we cared for each other, had a culture of sharing, tolerance and general goodwill, river limes, bars open until 3 am even during the week, women respected and men responsible fathers in the society.
Our cavalier approach to our job and the constant demand for more money show how focused on self we have become, insisting on rights but not considering the responsibilities that come with those rights. The love of money and acquisition of wealth has cast this country in the doldrums it now finds itself.
The ministries charged with ruling the State can be reduced to four: state management ministry, state resources management ministry, state wealth and empowerment ministry, and state ecclesiastical ministry.
The state management ministry would comprise elected Members of Parliament and would be responsible for national security, judiciary and legislative affairs and the handling of the treasury and disbursement of funds to all ministries.
The state resources management ministry would comprise professionals in engineering, science and mathematics and would be responsible for ensuring equity and protection of the natural resources of the country, land, sea and air as well as environment and disaster preparedness, land acquisition and other non-human resources.
The state wealth and empowerment ministry would comprise professionals in economics, business and marketing and would hold the portfolio of creating wealth and business and employment opportunities. This ministry would charter the way to prosperity based on business models, creativity and innovations from the public and development trends both nationally and internationally.
The state ecclesiastical ministry is most important for a developing nation and this concerns itself with the nurturing, protection, guidance and well-being of our human resource (young and older people).
This ministry would comprise professionals from the humanities, theology and social sciences and would be responsible for sport, education, culture, human disposition (homeless people and those addicted to drugs) and the health of our people and would require input from the churches, mosques, temples etc in collaboration with the surrounding communities on the needs of the people in these identified areas.
The moral, ethical and spiritual leaders of our country have been silent on the affairs of the country for far too long and must now have a 25 per cent say on national issues.
These four ministries will have equal share on national issues and consensus must be achieved before the passing of any bill in Parliament.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” WHO just stopped short of saying spiritual and used social well-being which may be more widely acceptable.
This international body sees it fit to include social well-being in its definition yet we are removing this aspect from our life. Let us rally behind a call for this change in our politics and embrace any party that includes this four-model ministry approach of governance and inclusion in its portfolio for the next general election.
As a people we must be willing and ready to sacrifice comfort to usher in change. The removal of corporal punishment, reduction of religious instructions in schools and the promotion of vulgarity, lewdness and downright unacceptable behaviour in public at Carnival, all in the name of “we culture,” has destroyed the moral fabric of our country.
We have to examine ourselves to see if we are the problem and, if so, then make the changes which can only be achieved if there is inclusion in the running of the country.
I hope that this is not a little said a little too late, but for me I am waiting on the leadership that can communicate intelligently and honestly with us before I cast my vote. I hope you do the same.