THE EDITOR: There is an easy path to popularity in politics. Support the many gangs or groups that feed on the aspirations of politicians and soon enough you can be popular enough to get elected. I have chosen to follow the path less travelled. To share my vision for the country and hope that the good people of the country will buy in and together we can rebuild our nation and make TT one of the safest and best place to live.
At every level there are people willing to support politicians if they are willing to meet their needs. There are some business people willing to write cheques or underwrite costs amounting to millions of dollars in return for government contracts, access to special privileges or to bypass standard regulations.
Then there are those people looking for short-term contracts, employment where they are simply required to turn up and not work and even appointments to state-controlled companies.
Some politicians are even willing to make deals with criminals to gain popularity in the communities where these notorious elements have influence.
Other politicians fill maxi-taxis with their followers who wave flags, destroy opposition campaign material, spread propaganda, call radio stations, and post their misinformation on social media to the delight of those they support.
After the election they return for their pound of flesh. They occupy jobs that they do not have the qualifications to access. They gain employment in communities where they do the barest minimum to access government money.
These arrangements work fine when the cost is underwritten by the State through income from taxes, oil and gas. Any disruption to this financial supply through low energy prices or a reduction in income through unexpected developments like a covid19 pandemic causes chaos.
Within a very short time the many who danced on campaign trucks and waved party flags revert to protests, negative commentary and in some instances to a life of lawlessness and criminality.
As the pandemic rages on, as unemployment rises, as prices continue to go up beyond the means of the poor, as infrastructure deteriorates and the Government fails to keep its promises to its supporters, there is the very likely probability that the monsters created by some politicians will show their true colours.
Aided by those who are willing to make similar deals to bring down a government, the few who traded their support for government special treatment can willingly support those ready to replace a government unable to meet its promises.
The only long-term, realistic, sustainable solution to good governance, peace and prosperity is a determination to stay as far as possible from political bartering. Good politicians must embrace goodness and sincerity as together we chart a better future for TT. A future where every creed and race find an equal place.