Saturday, November 3, 2012

At the Tipping Point

A tipping point is defined as "the critical point in a situation... beyond which a significant and often unstoppable ... change takes place".

I look around and I wonder when T&T will reach that point and what it's going to take to get there. Given the nation's history of generally mediocre (and often piss-poor) governance, the decade of sky-rocketing crime, pitifully crumbling infrastructure and an incumbent government that shows open disdain for its citizenry, I honestly wonder how much more people need to see before deciding that - whatever it takes - real change is imperative.

Of course, it's possible that we're already near the tipping point. Thousands of people from various backgrounds and political affiliations have taken to the streets in unprecedented demonstrations to show their distaste for this government's corruption, nepotism and poor handling of the nation's affairs. 

Naturally, the Opposition is taking the unrest as a sign that the wheel is about to turn and return them to their "rightful place" in governance - and that might be the political result - but I have a sneaking suspicion that there's more going on than that. 

The People's Partnership Government rode into power on a platform of accountability and change, but since then, they've bitched and moaned anytime the population (much of which really seemed to expect a new kind of governance) attempts to hold them to the promises they made on the campaign trail. The PP honestly seems baffled by the idea that - campaign promises notwithstanding - winning the election didn't just mean it was their turn at the trough.

The PNM - which recently unveiled a new softer version of itself - likely believes that the ongoing dissatisfaction with the PP is putting them into position for their return to the trough. But in spite of the Government's posturing or the Opposition's machinations, I suspect (hope, really) that - no matter who wins the THA elections or the general elections 2 1/2 years from now - a new kind of governance is actually on the way. 

It's beginning to look like the people won't stand for anything less.

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