THE EDITOR: If politics was cricket, the PNM and UNC would be compared to two Test nations with one very good at the game and the other struggling to field a competent team. The problem with both teams is that they fail to recognise that the game has changed. The slow pace of Test cricket, the few people that believe in this pure, testing five-day ordeal, the crowds of mainly older people have made the game unattractive to the many.
Today’s limited-overs cricket games are shorter, faster, more colourful, more attractive to the youths, internationally expanding and more financially rewarding. The same can be said of politics today. The politicians of today must be smarter, tech savvy, aware of international standards and best practices, eloquent speakers, and visionary.
The world requires faster, more appropriate reaction to the ills that confront humanity. Those prepared to meet the challenges of a developing world would succeed while the others will perish as their best minds leave their shores to join a developed world.
In TT, for example, the enlightened population knows that we have the finance, equipment, personnel and skill set to repair every one of our roads throughout the country within months. The practice of dinosaur politicians to pave and repair roads when election day approaches no longer impresses the electorate.
Our competent people are leaving our shores in droves, never to return as TT seems unable to get out of an abyss of hate, racial voting patterns, political cronyism and poor standards.
Simple solutions to our problems seem to overwhelm those we elect to guide us. Property tax is one such example. While internationally this tax is best utilised by local government, our local government structure is at best chaotic.
It is the Government’s responsibility to survey every property in the nation and determine a local tax structure in tandem with international best practices. It however continues to bungle a tax system that can easily be solved by increasing last property tax paid by a percentage in tandem with economic growth.
The backlog of cases in our judicial system continues with some cases over 20 years unattended. The solution is dismissing a large percentage of the older cases, especially as many of the witnesses and personnel involved may have passed on.
There is need for arbitration and plea bargaining to be a first response in many cases. The issue of delayed justice is critical to restoring trust in our governance system.
Our youths need to be offered an alternative to a life of crime. A gun amnesty followed by strong and uncompromising penalties for gun possession and offers of employment in sports, road repairs, water distribution and pipe repairs, agriculture and tourism within one’s community must be the way forward.
The game has changed and those who continue to remain stagnant would be bypassed by a new and dynamic world.