Whereas T&T regularly comes into the glare of the international spotlight for violent crimes, murders, guns and drugs, it has recently made news for a positive “feel good” story of a Trinidadia
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Groupthink and doublespeak
“(Forbes) Burnham has confided to close colleagues that he intends to remain in power indefinitely—if at all possible by constitutional means. However, if necessary, he is prepared to employ unorthodox methods to achieve his aims.”
—CIA, Director of Operations Files, Job 89–00998R, Latin American Division. Secret (Declassified).
Not since the regime of late Guyanese president Forbes Burnham has any Caricom leader attempted to use their country’s constitution to unabashedly entrench their party in power. What is even scarier is that all the proposals announced by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar last Monday for debate tomorrow are intrinsically undemocratic and if approved, have the potential to take us down the road to Guyana.
In Orwellian doublespeak, the amendments are being touted as an attempt to strengthen democracy.
And given Friday’s news on the second thoughts of Merle Hodge on the recommendations of the National Consultation on Constitutional Reform Committee, in which she was basically requesting a runoff on the runoff proposals, it is clear that the committee members were all captive to groupthink. It is in keeping with Persad-Bissessar’s Burnham-like penchant for attempting to use Parliament to entrench her party’s electoral positon, as she has done in every election so far.