Monday, November 15, 2010

Are you genuinely willing?

We voting, Abeni says it well enough for all of us in our lil blogging community.

But allow me to tackle an issue that existed as a "wonder if" thought frame prior to Sunday night which has now been transformed into a current reality. Last year, our PM marched up and down the country's byways and highways asking for a yes vote in support of the Constitution Bill 2009. One of the major features of the Bill that he pushed was the lessening of the powers of the PM (I am not entering into a debate as to the substance of those provisions) but I must make reference to the power of the PM to call elections at anytime, during the constitutional tenure of that governing party.

Dr. Gonsalves once said (if memory serves me correct) and I agree, that any politician worth his weight should function in a state of readiness for several months prior to the constitutionally due date. But he insisted that he believed that this ability to call elections at the whim and fancy of any PM to be excessive - Vincentians were pleaded with to lessen that power (was there a feeling that his leadership was not dependent on such 'mere' tactical moves?)

About a week or so ago, the PM sat in a press conference and declared that he offered up this power as one of the elements of the 2009 Bill, but "they said no" - insisting that he had already set the date for the elections but it was not time for it to be revealed.

Was this a realigning or re-embracing of this limbo environment - where everyone sits in poised anticipation, alert to every hint, suggestion, breach of confidentiality or slip of the tongue (or wrongly inserted date LOL)? Or was this simply a statement of how 'insignificant' that provision was to him?

So there we have it - less than a month in which full-fledged campaigns can take place - sweeping the nation in red and yellow, with hints of green - overwhelming us with their voices that shall surely be louder because the time is shorter.

So I must ask and I wish I could get an answer - Was the Honourable Prime Minister ever serious about limiting that power and effectively setting a constitutional date as to when elections would be held? Was he genuinely willing to relinquish it?

It would seem to me that if he was indeed desirous about limiting that power, he would not await the inclusion of such provisions in a Constitutional Bill - but would rather conduct himself in a manner that would imbue the 'spirit' of that limitation that he purported to 'desire' last year, around this exact time. But maybe that desire was for a season - one that has faded away - one that the majority of Vincentians said no to - one that has only a similarity in calender dates.

Even though, strategy-wise calling quickie elections makes sense, I hoped the exercise of our civic duties, would meet us at a more settled state as a nation rather than having such pertinent issues pending - like the NCB sale, the Argyle airport, or even a return to some semblance of normalcy for the persons displaced by Hurricane Tomas. (I am sure you can add to the list ) Is this my treasured naivete speaking or am I realistic in wishing that our PM acted in a more statesmanlike manner by adopting one of last year's highlights?

But here is my hope, my epiphany:

We have been hearing, listening, learning and analyzing for the last couple years -
we have become aware of many things, essential, trivial and in-between, seeing the change in our nation, our leaders and ourselves -

may we take these lessons, remain firm in our stand to better beautiful Uromai, make the decision that is reasonable in our own minds and prepare to embark on a continuation of our independence journey, while respecting each other.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Dream on

I am a couple years away from 30 and I have found myself settling into a routine that is comfortable but pulsing in my sub-conscious (with occasional thrusts forward) is that desire for thrill -because like many persons, my life is spent doing what I love but sometimes don't like.

I recently created a list in my mind of the things I want to do - maybe perfect them or just try once. Some are feasible, while others border on shaky ground. Most are possible and a couple may cause a questioning of my sanity.

So rather than wait until I am approaching 60 and creating a bucket list of regrets, I thought I would dub this "the list of the evolving me".

1. Bungee jumping.
2. Learn how to play the classical violin/cello/piano.
3. Write a novel.
4. Play mas in Brazilian Carnival, with just body paint.
5. Backpack through Europe.
6. Ride a Harley-Davidson across the US.
7. Meet Oprah Winfrey.
8. Go to the Amirita Spa in Canouan and soak in a hot tub - facing only the ocean.
9. Eat sushi in Toyko - low couches, sake, chopsticks, wasabi, soy sauce all of it.
10. Visit the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem.
11. Live in Greece for an entire year ((preferably while doing 3).
12. Own a wardrobe of Michael Kors clothing only.
13. Dive on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia.
14. Surf in Chile (but I have to learn how first).
15. Host a social commentary interactive programme in SVG.
16. Visit every jazz festival in the Caribbean.
17. Create a regional organ donor programme.
18. Reach a place of spiritual fulfillment.
19. Design and own my dream home.
20. Host bi-monthly dinner parties for friends and family.
21. Have a mural wall by my fave Vincy artist, of course in the dream home.
22. Own and manage my consultancy firm.
23. Retire before 50.
24. Learn to belly dance.
25. Experience genuine, intimate love with a beautiful man - however brief or long.

I know I am missing some stuff but this is my way of reminding myself and hopefully you to continue dreaming - never fails to be a fun experience.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I received a message from a colleague of mine, asking for a boycott of Trinidadian products since the PM of Trinidad and Tobago has stated that any assistance offered to CARICOM must involve benefits to Trinis. I would honestly say that I am not surprised. Persaud-Bissesar is the product of circumstance rather than experienced merit.

So before I began a Kingstown Tea Party, I had check out the media coverage of the comment - first to ensure that it was even made and second to comprehend the context in which it was made.

[check out the Trinidadian Express and the Guardian newspapers].

So, she made the statement. But Rowley, the Opposition Leader is faulty for refusing to participate in discussions relating to determining what aid should be given to CARICOM. The basis of his refusal is that the condition attached to the yet-to-be determined aid is "backward", "colonial" and basically an attempt to thwart any relationship favoured by his party - formerly led by Patrick Manning.

I was saddened by her words - the second such statement by her within recent times but I am in two minds or should I say seeing both sides of the coin.

The reality is any diplomatic offering, whether it be humanitarian aid, regional investment or otherwise always comes with strings attached, whether it comes from a developed country or developing nation. Maybe Kamala has simply not realised that such declarations are better not made in the public forum, limited only to confidential discourse among regional peers. After all her rise to leadership involved a battle within her own party and nation, the lack of interaction among CARICOM leaders now showing face.

The other aspect of this is the callousness of the statement. How dare she rank the desire to ensure the benefit of her nationals in the same category of the families, villages and communities that have been ravaged by Tomas? Has she seen or was she even cognizant of the dire needs not trivial wants of St. Lucia, Barbados and our very own Hairouna? I spoke to a close Trinidadian friend of mine and she had seen pictures that I had not even seen of my own country and that was on Monday.

As I sit here, uncertain if my internet connection would even allow this to be posted, our own PM must be applauded for his response to the comments - stating that he does not respond to comments made by PMs that are communicated to him via the media. I wish we could see that level of reasonable logic from him and others on a consistent basis.

I wonder what were the conditions that Haiti (earthquake 2010), Grenada (Ivan 2005), or South-east Asia(tsunami 2004) had to agree to so as to ensure that food, water, tents, medical aid, and clothing could be received. Indonesia is currently experiencing a volcanic eruptions - what will they have to promise to get masks to prevent inhalation of ash and smoke?

I am tempted to blog on the possible effects of this Hurricane on the political landscape but I shall refrain while I pray and do my best to bring our nation back on its feet.