Why this blog? What are its objectives? Let me begin by identifying my base of operation and focus of attention as Trinidad and Tobago with the wider Caribbean as being my next theater of operation. Insofar as global events impact on this area of the world, they too are of great interest to me since they have both direct and indirect impacts on our daily lives. Issues of national sovereignty, climate change, sea level rise, global fresh water supply, human rights, fair trade, the global economy and the structure of governance are all within in my ambit of interest. With respect to the structure of governance, I believe that we need more democracy not less. That the political architecture of a country must be such that there are real instruments that allow for the exercise of sovereign political power by its citizens. In Trinidad and Tobago there was never any real avenue for the exercise of such power save and except periodic elections with predictable outcomes based on the racial make-up and division of the country and supported by and electoral system that did not reflect the will of the electorate.
So while I will be offering my perspectives on matters of interest, democracy and the state of public affairs in Trinidad and Tobago will receive priority attention. The reason for this is my belief that the country’s democracy, which has been under house arrest fo some time, is now seriously threatened. Prime Minister Manning’s proposals for constitutional reform coupled with his style of governing which is marked by the subordination of the House of Representatives to the Cabinet, a blurring of the lines separating Party from State, an inexplicable indifference to allegations of corruption, and a complete failure to solve run-away crime and provide an environment of public safety for the country’s citizens and visitors all point to the demise of democracy.
This blog then aims, not only to create an avenue of self expression and commentary, but also to create a community of interest dedicated to defending the country’s democracy, such as it is. But more importantly to work towards eradicating all those divisions that, to date, have prevented us from developing a more robust democracy complete with a new political foundation and architecture that places the nation’s citizens at the center of the political universe. The country’s size and the digital age offers a truly great opportunity for creating a democracy such as the world has not yet seen. One in which citizens power, transparency, accountability and such values can be made real.