But, woe! Just as the forty-sixth commemorative day was about to dawn, he who, for all intents and purposes, has absolute power in this land, in his ever-increasingly I-piss-upon-you fashion looked down upon his "subjects" and boldly declared that he, having been elected to office on November Fifth last, is, thus, aloof from any influence/check/rebuff from "below", until, at the earliest, November 2012, when the next General Election is, constitutionally, due to be held.
That's the lesson the wise learn from Prime Minister Patrick Manning's August Twenty-Eighth 2008 statement that there is no need to get the approval of us, the people, re: his proposal for Trinbago's political union with Grenada, St. Vincent and St. Lucia, since, as he puts it, his notion of how democracy works is that the people's input is sought and provided only at General Election time. Such utterances do not surprise the wise, for, alas, the Prime Minister, time and time again, has provided ample evidence that he is neither babe nor suckling.
Mr. Prime Minister! Reality check! Trinidad and Tobago is a democracy! Democracy is government of the people, by the people, for the people!
Or, as yours truly had previously said,
Democracy, you see, contemplates a scenario where the people, at all times, exercise control over their elected representatives, their government and their legislators and not, as some swear, the other way around.Mr. Manning and his blinkered ones apparently believe otherwise: that, to them, democracy means government of the People's National Movement, by the People's National Movement, for the People's National Movement! He will continue to get away with such misconceptions until citizens come to understand that, not only do they have rights, but they have a duty to participate in the political system that, in turn, protects their rights and freedoms.
This is done by distributing power as widely as possible, not by concentrating it in some centralized repository.
In true democracies, then, decision-making which belongs to/in the local/community purview is left there and not usurped by "the Port of Spain office". Such decentralization to the local/community level is done in a way that meaningfully demonstrates government's responsiveness and accessibility to the people whom it serves.
In other words, for democracies to work in a proper manner, the majority of the population needs to get up off its haunches and take active part in the running of things! It is the citizens' duty, each and every one of them, to get up and get involved, to educate themselves, to become aware and, to spread the word throughout their communities, for it is only with the correct knowledge that they would come to realize that the Government is accountable to them and not the other way around. By that, yours truly means that public officials, elected and unelected, have an obligation to explain their intentions, decisions and actions to us, the citizens. On an ongoing basis, not only at election time. And, if these officials don't, to move aside and be replaced by others who would oblige; even before elections are, constitutionally, due.
With the wise, one word to them always suffices.