The constitutional proposals made by the Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bisessar have been long overdue in Trinidad and Tobago. The right to recall an MP, term limits for a Prime Minister, runoff votes etc. are all positive changes that are necessary in improving the democratic institutions that exist in Trinidad and Tobago. The questions that have been raised concerning the government’s strategic timing and short term intent should be considered as almost irrelevant in this particular case.
The objections raised by the Honorable Opposition leader to a large extent are valid but the average citizen of Trinidad and Tobago should be conscious enough to not let this opportunity to improve our democratic institutions pass by. For anyone to think that the Opposition would not also serve its own interest under similar circumstances whether short term or otherwise would be foolish. This was quite clear by the Bill that was supported on all sides including that of the Opposition to increase Parliamentarian’s pension - even making them inflation proof - while public servants are being left out to dry.
The reality is that although many Trinbagonians are disturbed and even disgusted by the last four years of governance under the Peoples Partnership, presently there is the opportunity to ensure that our country benefits in the long term from these Constitutional amendments that the Prime Minister is presently proposing. The Opposition leader and his band of party members should simply get their act together, rebook their vacation tickets and do their jobs. They have already ensured for themselves ample compensation, now they need to give their constituents their just due and pass unanimously what the Prime Minister is putting forward. Not because they support her, but simply because the proposals are good and it’s the right thing to do.