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Ensure there’s never an Anil Roberts again

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Another newspaper columnist, Clarence Rambarat (whom Singing Sandra in a Facebook thread once invited along with me to meet her somewhere private) has gone political. Last month he mounted a PNM platform and talked about running for election. I doubt I will find myself disgusted enough with Anil Roberts and his leaders’ insults to voters’ intelligence to follow suit; but I empathise.

Weeks ago I imagined politics that’s not about voting. I still hold fast to that vision—the 20-minute act of staining your finger isn’t a sufficient exercise of citizenship to make any meaningful difference. You simply choose among options you’ve done little or nothing to determine. Political accountability takes much more work than that.

But if (at least for the Muslimeen moment) it’s political parties that are going to form governments, then maybe the only way to get good government is to work within political parties. To ensure that no matter which one(s) get(s) elected, competence and principle come with it. Essentially, it’s recasting our political parties into political movements. I think the ex-Caroni workers who threatened to start a party understand that. Labour and social movements, after all, were crucibles for most of the Caribbean’s political parties.