Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Manifesto for We.


So if I'm going to complain about the parties having no "manifesto" then I thought, "Why not write my own?" Well not a LONG 28 page document like some Political Parties, but something that tackles the issues. So here we go.

We'll break it up into three sections, because in reality, this new government has a LOT of work to do to fix what the PEOPLE say the problems are. So breaking it up into smaller bites will aid in the digestion, and let's be realistic, if any Political Party promises more than what is written here, I think the people will be disappointed. There is no way anybody can be expected to fix everything in one term.

Political 

Constitutional reforms.

This is not just urgent, this is beyond urgent. The Local Government elections have been postponed way too many times to accommodate some "pie in the sky" bill that has not even been laid before parliament yet. The whole mechanism of the way government does business has to be revamped. This is not easy. This requires a lot of work. The Constitutional reform people like Dennis Pantin have been all over this for years. I am not going to repeat all of what is in the public domain. Here are some useful links to read on your own.

http://www.caribelaw.net/crf/aboutus.html

http://www.caribdaily.com/search?query=constitutional+reform&order=best&country=0

http://www.trinidadandtobagonews.com/selfnews/viewnews.cgi?newsid1255245024,7734,.shtml
However before we can talk constitutional reform, we must talk electoral reform. That is putting laws in place to make party funding public domain and putting caps and controls in place to "level the playing field as it were" when it comes to advertising. This is crucial. No one is saying you can't PROFIT from the elections as media house or supplier (really people gotta eat) but at the same time every Party MUST make its donations public knowledge.

The Anti-Corruption laws need to be revamped and the "Integrity Commission" needs to be studied more and really, is the Integrity Commission DOING anything? Transparency International has many anti-corruption tools to aid governments in fighting corruption and a lot of these tools have been submitted to T&T Gov'ts before. If you want to see what the TTTI is doing to help stem corruption go here and see the tools here

Its all there. all you need is to bring it home, push it through and get it done.

New Politics

The OLD ways of governing are fading away. Social Media is now the becoming the backbone of governance and political movements. Obama proved it and its easy to implement. You think becoming a fan of T&T Government on Facebook might not be cool? But if you do become a fan you become part of the process and providing daily updates on bills that are passing etc puts the power of the decision process into the hands of the people. This is why under Constitutional reform the power of recall and the implementation of referendums is important.

In summary the government needs to get back to the people with a conversation about where THEY see themselves being in the decades to come. Putting a goal for development is not enough. We've missed the deadline for 2020. What we need is more focussed goals for ourselves. For example, put the goal of constitutional reform to be done by 2012. Party reform and funding by 2014. The new election would then start using the new systems. But obviously we're not just concentrating on politics alone. There's still the Social and Economic sides to explore and work on.

See part 2 "Social" Here

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