Some Parliamentary Representatives (MPs) are Absentee Landlords, says Senator Rev. Teelucksingh
Former Independent Senator Rev. Daniel Teelucksingh has described some MPs as "absentee landlords, according to the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian Newspaper report, dated Monday July 22nd, 2013.
This statement comes on the "hills" of another by-Election carded for July 29th, 2013 in the Chaguanas -West Constituency (Trinidad). According to Senator Rev. Teelucksingh, "too many MPs function for five years as absentee landlords. They own the constituency, they own the place, but they are never there. We need a little more identification than what we have been seeing within recent times."
Senator Teelucksingh goes on to say that "the influx of politicians giving gifts, kissing babies and hugging anybody during regular walkabouts for the upcoming Chaguanas West by-Election was an attempt to win votes and this is bad politics."
He further argues, "Politicians who have been giving gifts, kissing babies and hugging anybody during regular walkabouts are only putting on a show." In fact, he pointed out that "such unusual concerns and care for people which we see at this time, is not a true reflection of genuine love. We are not fools! This is only reserved for the election season and something is wrong with this kind of politics…" Senator Rev. Teelucksingh who served as an independent Senator from 1991 to 2001 did not refer to any political party by name but expressed his concerns.
As a wider region, we may ask ourselves: Do these concerns have any relevance for us today? Does it challenge us to critically evaluate our style of politics in the wider Caribbean region? Does this kind of politics have wider implications on our society? Does this style lower our level of politics? And if it does, who is responsible? Should we blame the electorate (people who have the right to vote) for accepting such a low level of politics? Or should we blame the politicians themselves?
As an electorate, it is important to critically assess the style of politics exercised today. In fact, the whole concept of "party politics" seems to be losing momentum these days. The electorate seems to be more impressed when they see performance, integrity, transparency, accountability and public participation. The electorate clings to politicians who have the people's interests at heart, politicians who deliver on their promises. The electorate, on the other hand, loses confidence in politicians who only talk, talk and talk with little action.
But most importantly, the electorate must always remember that the POWER TO ELECT A CANDIDATE OR TO RE-ELECT A CANDIDATE INTO OFFICE are all in their hands and NOT in the hands of politicians. Again I repeat, the electorate is moved by performance, integrity, transparency, accountability and public participation.