Mottley predicts CA victory
By Gizelle Morris
CITIZENS Alliance leader Wendell Mottley yesterday predicted victory at the polls for his party.
A confident Mottley told the crowd, estimated by police to be around 300, that he sensed a “profound victory” on Monday.
“We have already won the election. We have shown people what politics ought to be,” he added.
Speaking at a political pep rally at the St James Amphitheatre, a feisty Mottley told the crowd of his “dream team Government.”
“My ultimate goal is being able to form a dream team Government with proven performers from all parties,” he told the cheering crowd.
He said the CA dream team is the only approach, “because we are polarised and deadlocked.”
In his 20-minute speech, Mottley also accused the UNC and PNM of spending public funds to further partisan interests.
“Spending public funds in naked partisan interests is a most corrupt and disgraceful thing, and both of them are guilty of the same thing.”
“He right you know,” one six-year-old supporter in her CA T-shirt and hijab seriously told her equally youthful companion.
Other speakers included candidates Elizabeth Solomon, Anthony Joseph and Eldon Coker.
However, it was candidate for Diego Martin West Rocky Garcia who proved to be a crowd favourite.
Touted by the meeting chairman Val Kempadoo as “the man willing to tame the Rottweiler,” Garcia almost sent the crowd into hysterics as he approached the podium.
Attired in a droopy CA T-shirt, three-quarter denim jeans and sneakers, Garcia, the most casually dressed candidate, brought the crowd to attention as he lowered his husky voice sensuously to challenge his PNM opponent: “To stop me you have to come real good, and I accustom getting what I want.”
The cold, wet weather did not dampen the jubilant mood of many of the CA supporters, most of them taking full advantage of the free corn soup, jerk chicken wings, pies and soft drinks provided at the meeting.
Even a few PNM supporters got into the act.
One in particular, chewing noisily on an aloo pie and holding a soft drink while walking out of the amphitheatre, pulled out a balisier flower from beneath his shirt and loudly declared: “I voting PNM till ah dead!”
Promises, pledges, pacts
By NATASHA OFOSU
The political parties contesting tomorrow’s general election have laid them on thick in their various manifestos. The ruling People’s National Movement created a 16-page document on newsprint and distributed it through the national newspapers. It has focused on the promises it delivered in the last nine months, while making a new “covenant with the people”. The United National Congress put out a full-colour, glossy brochure, and in its 40 pages introduced candidates as well as measures it hopes to implement. Crime is its major concern and a safe T&T its top priority. The UNC even adds bits of nostalgia with a section recalling the “good old days” before December 24, 2001, when it lost power.
Citizens Alliance is offering a new politics which embraces diversity and will devolve more power to communities to govern themselves. The party took the route of a seven-page highlights flyer while the Democratic Party of Trinidad and Tobago outlined its vision for the country on its Web site. Having had the experience of being in Government, both the PNM and UNC were very specific in their language and data. The lack of such experience shows in the vagueness of some of CA and DPTT’s pledges. Here’s a summary of some of their main promises under the headlines education, health, economic policy, and the role of the State.
PNM: The party says an estimated 21 per cent of the labour force has little or no formal education. It pledges to improve the quality and equity of access to education and training by:
• constructing 23 pre-schools, four primary schools and 14 secondary schools;
• upgrading of educational professionals;
• expanding youth camps in terms of programme content and location;
• widening entry to post-secondary and tertiary education.
UNC: “A highly educated, intelligent, technologically-driven and globally-competitive people,” is the UNC’s aim. It plans to:
• continue and expand the Dollar for Dollar programme;
• develop a strong graduate school and post-grad culture at UWI;
• provide distance learning facilities in Tobago;
• increase the number of Childhood Care and Education Centres for pre-schoolers.
CA: The party regards education as “the most effective point of insertion for breaking the cycles of crime and poverty and achieving social justice,” by
• upgrading teacher training so teachers can help in detecting young people with problems;
• a decentralised approach to education, increasing the input of the community and PTAs;
• investing more in technical vocational training in preparation for another energy boom.
DPTT: Will ensure all schools are equipped to facilitate learning by,
• installing air-conditioning and sound-proofing in every classroom on a phased basis;
• ensuring all schools have computer, biology/chemistry labs and a fully-equipped library;
• encourage youth groups like the Boy Scouts, Girl Guides, Red Cross and Cadet Force in schools.
Aims to promote wellness, healthy lifestyles and healthcare for all.
• train some 300 nurses per year over the next three years and introduce a BSc in nursing degree at UWI;
• provide subsidised cardiac surgery and free prostate and cataract surgery for the poor at public and private institutions;
• remove duty and VAT on all medication;
• clear the backlog of surgeries at public hospitals, reduce the waiting time for operations to a max three to six months.
• Introduce the National Health Insurance system;
• Convert the old Caura Hospital into a Cardiac and Pulmonary Centre, and develop a high-tech burns and trauma centre at San Fernando General Hospital;
• make wheelchair ramps mandatory at all public places;
• upgrade the Emergency Health Service to include helicopter emergency evacuation.
• place greater emphasis on community-based primary health care;
• bring hospitals and health centres in line with internationally acceptable standards;
• launch an aggressive public education campaign on lifestyle diseases;
• provide subsidised treatment for people living with HIV/AIDS, especially pregnant women.
• pay healthcare providers competitive wages and benefits;
• introduce a system of free healthcare for all;
• build a new mental hospital and relocate the St Ann’s Mental Hospital to a more serene environment;
• invest in medical research.
• target the energy, manufacturing, agriculture, small business, tourism and transportation sectors to drive economic growth and achieve developed country status by 2020;
• establish a Light Industrial Manufacturing Estate at Wallerfield, creating 70,000 new jobs from 2003-2013;
• expand downstream industries related to natural gas;
• allocate some 7,000 acres to 2,000 farmers under the Accelerated Land Distribution programme.
• transform T&T into a First World nation by 2010 and make it one of the three most competitive nations in the Americas;
• create over 130,000 new jobs over 10 years;
• cut Personal Income Tax and Corporation tax 5 per cent initially, with a subsequent 5 per cent;
• institutionalise national strategic planning.
• create a sustainable and globally competitive energy sector;
• make T&T the regional centre for higher education, tertiary healthcare and financial services;
• develop new sectors, for instance, a ship-breaking industry in Sea Lots;
• increase local food production.
• structure the financial accounts of each Government department so they can be evaluated independently;
• wherever possible, make all State departments self-sufficient and profitable to minimise any negative impact on the Treasury;
• simplify the Income Tax Return form and make it mandatory for all employees to file one.
Role of the State
• decentralise the Local Government system;
• establish a Constitution Commission, involving all parties and civil society, to lead the discussion on constitutional reform and make recommendations to Parliament. MPs will be allowed a conscience vote on the issue.
• pursue constitutional reform after widespread consultation;
• set up a Ministry of Public Administration and Compliance to establish and enforce Codes of Ethics for all Ministries and State enterprises and regulations to ensure transparency and good governance.
• hold nationwide consultations to bring about constitutional reform;
• create a culture of transparency and accountability in Government;
• adopt a base-up approach to governance giving communities more power.
• redistribute power from the few at Central Government to the communities. Central Government will oversee the development of major roads, State policing, and the delivery of State policies;
• set up townships with responsibility for their own security (community police), maintenance of secondary roads and bridges, schools and public buildings. Townships will be equipped to provide services such as registration of births and deaths, land deeds and taxes, and have satellite offices for passports and driver’s licences.
Mottley predicts CA victory
By Gizelle Morris
CITIZENS Alliance leader Wendell Mottley yesterday predicted victory at the polls for his party. A confident Mottley told the crowd, estimated by police to be around 300, that he sensed a “profound victory” on Monday. “We have already won the election. We have shown people what politics ought to be,” he added. Speaking at a political pep rally at the St James Amphitheatre, a feisty Mottley told the crowd of his “dream team Government.” “My ultimate goal is being able to form a dream team Government with proven performers from all parties,” he told the cheering crowd. He said the CA dream team is the only approach, “because we are polarised and deadlocked.”
In his 20-minute speech, Mottley also accused the UNC and PNM of spending public funds to further partisan interests.
“Spending public funds in naked partisan interests is a most corrupt and disgraceful thing, and both of them are guilty of the same thing.” “He right you know,” one six-year-old supporter in her CA T-shirt and hijab seriously told her equally youthful companion. Other speakers included candidates Elizabeth Solomon, Anthony Joseph and Eldon Coker. However, it was candidate for Diego Martin West Rocky Garcia who proved to be a crowd favourite.
Touted by the meeting chairman Val Kempadoo as “the man willing to tame the Rottweiler,” Garcia almost sent the crowd into hysterics as he approached the podium. Attired in a droopy CA T-shirt, three-quarter denim jeans and sneakers, Garcia, the most casually dressed candidate, brought the crowd to attention as he lowered his husky voice sensuously to challenge his PNM opponent: “To stop me you have to come real good, and I accustom getting what I want.” The cold, wet weather did not dampen the jubilant mood of many of the CA supporters, most of them taking full advantage of the free corn soup, jerk chicken wings, pies and soft drinks provided at the meeting. Even a few PNM supporters got into the act. One in particular, chewing noisily on an aloo pie and holding a soft drink while walking out of the amphitheatre, pulled out a balisier flower from beneath his shirt and loudly declared: “I voting PNM till ah dead!”
Low road to tomorrow
By the end of the week, Abu Bakr, the new Minister of National Security, will be sitting in his office on Knox Street using his $61 million of spy gear to transfer money out of your bank account while at the same time listening in to what you’re saying in your bedroom. Outside, his goons will patrol the streets, kidnapping anyone rash enough to put their nose out of doors. Or, alternatively, Ali Baba and his 40 thieves will be trundling wheelbarrows of your hard-earned cash out of the Treasury and into their overseas accounts. Or perhaps Prime Minister Wendell Mottley, his brilliance universally acknowledged, will be picking and choosing his dream team of experts from all parties, and all will be well. Those, in a nutshell, are the prospects we’ve been presented with in the course of the campaign: choose between state terrorism and wholesale plunder. Then there were lesser accusations about tearing down billboards and mutilating crapauds.
That wasn’t all, of course: both parties dutifully spoke about employment and health, education and investment. But the gambits that got most of the attention have been the less edifying ones. The UNC ran a more polished, though not necessarily more plausible ad campaign. (Obviously a lot of work went into the radio ads about the “terror” that is starting, for instance, with the ominous music and the horror-movie voiceover. But they went too far. I might be willing to be convinced that the PNM is incompetent, or behind the times — but evil? Get real.) Weeks ago the UNC faxed the Guardian newsroom a complete list of its national meetings from September 12 to today; the PNM could only give that information a day or two in advance. And we got used to having to scramble to send a reporter to accompany the Prime Minister on a walkabout in Claxton Bay or Tunapuna at a couple of hours’ notice.
On Friday the UNC sent a list of where and when their candidates will be voting tomorrow; to find out about the PNM candidates’ plans, reporters had to call them. But the fact that their machinery runs more smoothly doesn’t mean everything is going according to the UNC’s plan. There’s another marked difference between the campaigns. The long road to tomorrow’s election began on August 28, with the dissolution of Parliament being greeted by a gleeful UNC and a disconsolate PNM. But the PNM had pulled itself together by the time the party launched its campaign in Woodford Square on September 15. And in the last days of the campaign there’s been a complete reversal. Rightly or wrongly, the PNM is convinced it’s going to win. By the time of the women’s platform in St James last weekend you could feel it in the air, strong enough to make your hair stand on end.
At the Tunapuna meeting on Wednesday, only the hangdog Eddie Hart put a slight damper on the jubilant mood of the huge crowd (even the yuppies from Diego Martin West turned out for the occasion). That afternoon, he said, while he was out campaigning, a lady ran behind his truck and told him she was a special voter, but when she went to vote that day, she was told someone using her name had voted already. There were some beautiful people at the EBC office in Tunapuna, said Mr Hart, but also “cantankerous ones, wicked ones.” Still, even he livened up and told the crowd: “As long as we come out, we going to beat them.” The Prime Minister was relaxed, joking in his heavy-handed way about the UNC wanting to pay people next for trying to make babies.
He ended as he’s been ending his speeches for several weeks now, with an aggressive and increasingly upbeat riff. It starts: “We will beat them in the east, we will beat them in the west...” and builds up to: “We will beat them, we will beat them, we will beat them!”, which he embellishes by turning up the volume and waving his fists in a suitably macho way.
Mr Panday, by contrast, has sounded increasingly embattled. Somewhere during the campaign the UNC began to feel like the underdog. On Monday, in San Juan, its leader seemed exhausted as he ploughed confusedly through his party’s anti-crime plan. “There’s a kit, and you see a criminal, and the policeman has a thing like a screen, and he asks you, ‘Did he have a round head or a square head?’” was how he had to convey the concept of an Identikit, having forgotten the word.
As for rallying his troops, the closest Mr Panday has come to “We will beat them” is to urge, “Never surrender.” That’s hardly the statement of a man who believes he’s on the winning side. But whatever happens tomorrow, one good thing has come out of having to have another election. Record numbers of people have regularly left their homes and made their way through dark and lonely streets to attend political meetings until late at night. An election campaign, it seems, is an effective remedy for paranoid fears about being kidnapped
Penelope Beckles- PNM
Jennifer Kernahan- UNC
Richard Thomas- UNC
Camille Robinson- Regis- PNM
Arlene Maingot Alexis- UNC
Wayne Rodriguez- DPTT
BARATARIA/ SAN JUAN
Fiaz Ali- PNM
Dr Fuad Khan- UNC
Ronnie Phillip- CA
Raffi Mohammed- PNM
Hamza Rafeeq- UNC
Lyndsay Parmashwar- PNM
Ian Alleyne- PNM
Manohar Ramsaran- UNC
Imtiaz Ali- CA
Romando Rampersad- PNM
Anthony Khan- PNM
Kelvin Ramnath- UNC
DIEGO MARTIN CENTRAL
Ken Valley- PNM
Carson Charles- UNC
Jo- Anne Hosein- CA
Winchester Jack- DPTT
DIEGO MARTIN EAST
Colm Imbert- PNM
Garvin Nicholas- UNC
John Ricardo Laquis- CA
Steve Alvarez- DPTT
DIEGO MARTIN WEST
Dr Keith Rowley- PNM
James Lambert- UNC
Rocky Garcia- CA
Moses Barbour- DPTT
Arthur Sanderson- PNM
Chandresh Sharma- UNC
Hedwige Bereaux- PNM
Norris Ferguson- UNC
Mc Morris Edwards- DPTT
Fitzgerald Hinds- PNM
Patricia Henry- UNC
Anthony Joseph- CA
Eulalie James- PNM
Princess Smart- UNC
Kofi Applewhite- CA
Robert Amar- National Democrat
Tricia Jitta- PNM
Nizam Baksh- UNC
Zilda Pariagh- PNM
Harry Partap- UNC
Daeshan Ramdeen- CA
Heather Sedeno- PNM
Roodal Moonilal- UNC
Ralphy Ramcharan- CA
Franklyn Khan- PNM
Winston Peters- UNC
Alan Watkins- DPTT
Larry Achong- PNM
Gillian Lucky- UNC
PoS NORTH- ST ANN’S
John Rahael- PNM
Elizabeth Awai- UNC
John Eastman- DPTT
Eric Williams- PNM
PoS South Frank Ferreira- UNC
Wendell Mottley- CA
Racquel Putt- DPTT
Radanal Bunsee- PNM
Subhas Panday- UNC
Errol Fakira- CA
Neil Gosine- DPTT
SAN FERNANDO EAST
Patrick Manning- PNM
Carol Cuffy-Dowlat- UNC
Daren Mc Leod-CA
SAN FERNANDO WEST
Diane Seukeran- PNM
Sadiq Baksh- UNC
Roopnarine Ragoo- PNM
Kamla Persad- Bissessar- UNC
ST ANN’S EAST
Anthony Roberts- PNM
Anthony Nero- UNC
Eldon Coker- CA
Esau Mohammed- PNM
Winston Dookeran- UNC
Sam Salloum- CA
Sharon Gopaul- Mc Nichol- PNM
Gerald Yetming- UNC
Michael Harrilal- PNM
Adesh Nanan- UNC
Lee Keith- CA
Roger Boynes- PNM
Anil Juteram- UNC
Karen Joyett- DPTT
Eddie Hart- PNM
Carlos John- UNC
Stanley Beard- NAR
Eudine Job-Davis- PNM
Dan Morgan- NAR
Francis Morean- Independent
Well as an outsider looking in your government looks corrupt as it gets and it's annoying to even read about how people vote solely on racial lines. There's no way that will ever result in what's best for Trinidad & Tobago. As for all this stuff I've been reading about Panday, it seems awfully suspicious that 10 million bucks just appears out of thin air and all the sudden it's not his? His wife won the lottery? GIVE ME A BREAK. You have to be awfully ignorant to believe a word that guy says, I don't know how anyone with any common sense would vote for him. Not only should he not be able to run for office, the guy should be in JAIL. I know my native country isn't perfect and President Bush is far from a Saintly man, but if he stole 10 million dollars from the U.S. people you can be sure his ass would be in the ringer. I"m not trying to bash Trinidad because I enjoyed my time in the country a lot but it's sad to see a country with so much potential trying to self-destruct. If my facts are inaccurate someone please let me know but there aught to be a strong push for a more powerful independent party who cares about the country.
|You have to be awfully ignorant to believe a word that guy says|
|If my facts are inaccurate someone please let me know but there aught to be a strong push for a more powerful independent party who cares about the country.|
Now what? Lets see the road ahead... I was suprised with the Tobago wins looks like all the other parties are out? Where has the NAR gone? I guess without Robbie they do not have any zest.