The Trick in Campaigning

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By Dr Neil Gosine

LOCAL Government Elections (LGE) will take place on August 14, 2023 however, the heavy rains and massive flooding throughout the country that occured recently and continues to occur with minutes of heavy rainfall tells the real story of the poor service we have received by the People’s National Movement councillors in the government service to their communities.

Every time LGE come around we are promised reform to make difference but after the flooding on the June 27,  2023, we are hoping it will impact the electorate to understand why it’s a priority to go out to vote and why local government is so important in maintaining the roadways and drainage so we can have no fear of being flooded out because the drains are not cleaned.

So we can have reliable health care in our communities or we can have reliable water supply, telephone services, electricity without power outages, particularly well-kept savannahs and playgrounds among other services that are neglected year after year.

However, all we saw on June  27 was that within minutes of a heavy downpour, roads were impassable, flood water rising and many citizens faced with their homes flooded out in mere minutes.

The People’s National Movement has been campaigning once again on local government reform but really has this ever worked without support by the opposition, the United National Congress? It’s another example of a “trick” to campaign on a point but without opposition support changing the law will be difficult to achieve meaningful reform.

So why campaign under this pretence that hasn’t been implemented over the last eight years they have been in power.

Local government is the frontline for true representation of the people within their communities, so let’s go out and vote, vote for more effective service for our communities and real representation from the people we put in place as councillors in the burgesses. Don’t vote for just the red party for representation just because you are a member.

We need to focus on what we really need in our communities and forget the narrative of who jumps ship and who bad-mouthing who. We must focus on our needs within our communities from a position of performance. What I saw on June 27 was when there was flooding in the flood-prone areas, the opposition ex-councillors were seen all over their burgesses getting debris moved, ensuring fallen trees were removed and preparing food hampers for the flood-affected victims.

These are the representatives that we must support when we see that they with little resources from the government ensure the drains are cleaned, streetlights will be repaired and working, potholes are fixed, garbage is collected within our communities. With little to no money being released from the government we see them go the extra mile, time and time again, to look after our communities. Don’t forget this.

In an examination of this LGE, to the average mind, it doesn’t make any kind of sense to give the PNM our votes again and again since all of Dr Keith Rowley’s councillors were underperforming for the last four years, in fact for the last eight years. Not one of them is making a difference in the population’s lives.

They all seem unfit for their portfolios and they come again with their hat in hand to ask for our vote. It is like shuffling a pack of cards composed of only jokers where we only seem to draw bad cards that turn up red and red again.

Neil Gosine is an insurance executive. He is also the treasurer of the UNC and a former chairman of the National Petroleum Marketing Company of Trinidad and Tobago. He holds a Doctorate in Business Administration, a Master’s in Business Administration MBA, BSC in Mathematics and a BA in Administrative Studies. The views and comments expressed in this column are not necessarily those of AZP News, a Division of Complete Image Limited.


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