Who in UNC has courage to challenge Electoral Redistricting in Trinidad and Tobago?Do the MPs identify with culture of Supporters?
Historically, electoral boundaries in marginal constituencies are routinely redrawn and or constituencies are created (manufactured) to favor the PNM party. Housing plan and distribution of government houses is also used to favor supporters of the PNM to fortify support to win the marginal seats. There has been rabid discrimination against supporters of UNC and other parties. No MP from the UNC or any other party or no NGO or activist or lawyer has ever challenged the redistricting plan or housing discrimination that disadvantaged their party and supporters. Even the party and its leadership have been silent.
The MPs and the leader complain in private against racial discrimination but lack the courage to speak publicly or challenge the government. Only strong MPs or representatives like the late Kelvin Ramnath, Trevor Sudama (God bless them), Raymond Pallackdharrysingh, and Roodal Moonilall spoke out publicly against racial discrimination; Panday also spoke out against marginalization of and discrimination against Indians. They were excellent debaters, ridiculing opponents and represented their constituents with distinction and honor. They were never afraid to speak out on issues affecting party supporters. They deserve accolades. Almost all of the current bunch of UNC MPs have lacked courage, not to mention intellect, to speak out publicly against racial discrimination, but in private they condemn discrimination against their constituents or supporters. UNC MPS have largely failed to advocate for constituents and several don’t even identity with the culture of their supporters.
UNC MPs should emulate Trevor Sudama who was a giant in his heyday as an elected representative. Sudama was always available (24 hours anytime of the day or night) to champion interests of supporters and he grounded with constituents. Sudama was responsible for several projects in Penal/Debe. He established the Sudama Teerat where Hindus can perform puja and a location on the waterway for shraad in addition to widening roads and making available parking for the Debe Delicacies (bara, kachourie, sahena, doubles, etc.) Plaza. He also got the market in penal modernized. Which one of the current crop of UNC MPs is available 24 hours? Which one shares their phone number with constituents?
Compare the current recent crop of UNC MPs and political activists with Black representatives or activists in America or Canada or UK, who actively and courageously represent constituents or their supporters. They champion the rights of their supporters. They go to court if necessary to correct injustices. As an illustration, activists in Florida went to court to challenge redistricting that disadvantaged Blacks. The re-districting that is done every second year of a new decade would have eliminated a Black Congressional seat and created a new White republican seat. The Blacks went to court to challenge the redistricting plan. A state judge has thrown out the congressional map drawn by republican aligned commission and approved by the Republican controlled legislature. The judge ruled that the gerrymandered map violated state law by placing Black voters out of what would have been a Black congressional seat.
Circuit Judge Layne Smith ruled on May 11 that the enacted map violates the state’s constitutional amendments on redistricting because “it diminishes African Americans’ ability to elect candidates of their choice” in Florida’s 5th District. The judge called for the state to adopt a map that restores the district’s previous shape, which would stretch from Jacksonville to Tallahassee and have a near majority-Black voting population. The judge said that the Black minority vote is lowered enough that you would expect it to be substantially harder for minorities to elect the candidate of their choice. Would judges in T&T have the courage to make such a ruling in a racially polarized nation? Would MPs or activists or NGOs or lawyers or constituents in a district have the courage to challenge redistricting that hurt them or their party and diminish the chance of electing one of their own?
Democratic Congressman Al Lawson, an African American, who represents Florida’s 5th District, said he was pleased by the judge’s, commenting “it is critical to maintain congressional district 5, so minority voters have a voice at the ballot box in November.”
Which UNC MP and or party activist has the courage to challenge electoral redistricting and discrimination against supporters?