Theatre has been used for and as advocacy for decades.
It is not unusual to employ the creative and performing arts to carry society’s deepest and often obscurest messages.
In between putting together supplies to assist his hurricane-ravaged birthplace of Dominica, former St Joseph MP Herbert Volney is also working on putting together something for his T&T homeland.
It’s a political movement called We The People (WTP) whose symbol, featuring an X and a flame, was registered with the Elections and Boundaries Commission a few months ago. The group intends presenting third force options to the electorate in the 2020 general election.
And Volney will be among them seeking to contest his former St Joseph seat.
“Our work is to give citizens hope that in 2020 there’ll be opportunity for real change as opposed to exchange between the PNM and UNC,” he said.
It’s coincidental he’s speaking now since today marks the fourth anniversary of his removal from the Parliament in 2013 following the Section 34 fiasco for which he took responsibility and had been dismissed. Volney resigned from the UNC on whose ticket he won St Joseph in 2010 and was later removed from the Parliament by then House Speaker Wade Mark. A by-election was held for the seat and the UNC lost to the PNM.
Despite the removal, Volney had been on UNC’s fringes for the 2015 general elections but that relationship is over.
“After Kamla refused to step down after a fifth consecutive loss I told her I’d not be rejoining because the people rejected her and once she remained leader and continued with the old heads from her last government, she’d never see the corridors of power again. I’m not about backing a loser,” he said.
According to Volney, the WTP movement is different.
“We’re working on a platform of agreed policies that will come from the people and not be imposed by any party. While not necessarily the promulgation of a new political party, we’re shaping a common platform whereby people of standing and potential who share the desire for real change will be offered under a single symbol representing commonality of interests and visions.”
“I cannot disclose at this time because it could predjudice their jobs.”
Any UNC members? He wouldn’t say.
“In politics everyone is welcome but it doesn’t mean you’ll be a candidate. Someone with baggage from a failed administration is unlikely to be chosen,” he said.
“My role currently is to organise the platform for development of the movement. The people at the appropriate time, will decide WTP’s leaders,” he said.
Volney expects to win St Joseph
“I live there, I’ve always continued working the area. People knew I was never absent—I know how to win the seat back.”
Volney said his fellow Dominicans, now struggling to rebuild, are strong resilient people who can rally.
“So too are my fellow Trinbagonians. It makes no sense sitting idly by complaining. One has to get up and do something when needed,” he said.
4 YEARS AFTER REMOVAL FROM PARLIAMENT
Views on the major parties
PNM: The PNM sold the electorate a campaign slogan that it had a plan when in fact it had no plan. Unforgivable, given that the PNM Government has failed in every aspect of governance to protect the people and advance our well being. They’ll pay the ultimate political price of loss of office.
UNC: The memories of alleged corruption, bid rigging and cronyism is a still a very fresh wound and electors are unlikely to leave their homes and return Kamla Persad-Bissessar and the same group of people to office. They had their chance and they blew it.
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