THE EDITOR: TT is at an apocalyptic moment in history. Our economy is in shambles despite a plethora of highly respected talent and billions of dollars spent annually. We are living in a nation where the rich are getting more affluent and yet there is an ever-widening pool of disadvantaged citizens still struggling to make ends meet.
The Government appears at odds on how to adopt a comprehensive plan to cope with the dearth of oil and gas prices combined with a pandemic-induced lockdown with its resultant economic collapse. The Government's only solution is to borrow and spend and pretend that all's well. It is like saying that one can take an aspirin for a slight cold and temperature during a viral outbreak.
But what brought us to this unpropitious consequence? Was it fortuity or poor governance? After all, we live in a democratic republic where the people select their representatives every five years. Or do we?
As we prepare for the upcoming general election, we are bombarded daily with news of who the various parties have chosen to represent them in the election. Therein lies the crux of the problem. The parties are the ones that select the parliamentary representatives, not the voters.
When we go to the polls, we are only deciding which party we want to represent our district since the representatives have already been chosen for us by the party. Is that a democracy or an oligarchy? The answer lies in the way the parties choose who should represent them.
Parties choose candidates from among their financial supporters. The more money you contribute to the party, the better your chances of facing the polls. The “screening” by the party executives is, therefore, a sham. Their dilemma is how to reward their financial supporters without alienating them? They solve this seemingly intractable quandary by offering plum assignments in lucrative state or diplomatic jobs, or even senatorial or ministerial positions.
Is this the democracy we imagined or is it, in reality, a patriarchal society imposed on an unwitting electorate?