PRESBYTERIAN minister the Rev Daniel Teelucksingh has dismissed the description affixed to general election as a “silly season.”
Far from it he said, “This is not to be dismissed as a silly season. It is serious and significant with significant implications for our country for the next five years and beyond that.”
In a sermon preached at the Knox Presbyterian Church, Couva, Teelucksingh said after August 10 the party in power will be given immense power and authority to run this country.
He recommended that the during their tenure the 41 MP’s heed the advice the Prophet Micah gave to the people who enquired about the Lord’s expectation of them - “To do justly, to love mercy and walk humbly with your God.”
The former Senator said those who hold office have a moral responsibility towards their subjects who put them in power.
“We expect them and God expects them to govern and rule in justice and justice is the highest form of service anywhere.”
“Teelucksingh said this is a political contract because people would go out and vote.
Teelucksingh observed that in the last term and even before, “Parliament has been like a war zone with incessant and disgraceful and unproductive conflict between government and opposition.”
“Hostile, devoid of civility, pugnacious politics in the legislative chamber has obstructed national progress and blighted the quest for sustainable development and frustrated the hope for solution to so many of our social ills.”
He said when the 41 are sworn in and take their seats in the 12th Parliament, “this nonsense should stop and the people’s business ought to be the only business of all 41 MP’s.”
He noted that “persistent bickering in the Parliament for the last five years and before has absorbed too much parliamentary energy with their quarrelling while the electorate continue to suffer and social ills in this country fester.”
He blamed that kind of combative politics, which he said has been like a “millstone around our necks” in part on the Westminster system of governance.
He said the Westminster system which TT has adopted, the majority party rules and the opposition is ignored. He said this system has not worked for TT but he does not see any constitutional changes being made to create a more workable balance.
He said the system where the winner takes all has been abused and corrupted for decades and taken to such extremes encouraging the party with the majority to practice a dictatorship, and the ensuing swing away from democracy virtually ignores the presence of the opposition unless their votes are required to pass certain legislation.
He advised the 41 new MP’s to be elected on August 10 to put country and people first and be guided by the nation’s motto “Together We Aspire, together we achieve.”
“If they cannot do that and cannot be guided by that then we perish.”