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The only service that matters

On the political hustings, politicians on both sides of the divide peddle language that resonates with the population. We are told that ‘the voice of the people is the voice of God’. But the reality is that this is only so for as long as it takes for a political party to get into power.

Many politicians will want to deny this stark reality, but when a government is elected it comprises the ruling party and the opposition. They are meant to work together in the interest of the people.

But every time the Parliament sits, we see the grand-charging from both sides, each one trying to better the other in political gamesmanship.

We are currently experiencing a runaway crime rate. The Constitution expressly states that citizens have a right to ‘life, liberty, security of the person and enjoyment of property and the right not to be deprived thereof except by due process of law.’

These rights are daily being trampled by the criminal element, and yet it seems our elected representatives cannot realise that they need to work in a meaningful way to create viable and workable solutions and stop thrashing each other at every opportunity.

It is a shame that politics in this country seems to have become self-serving rather than about service to the people, which is not in alignment with the good governance that Trinidad and Tobago sorely needs.

Just recently, the Privy Council ruled that the change in the term of representatives as contained in the Miscellaneous Provisions (Local Government Reform) Act, which was passed by Parliament without the support of the Opposition last year, could not apply to local government representatives who were elected for a three-year term in 2019.

The 3-2 ruling by the Privy Council stated: “The right to vote out representatives is as important as the right to vote in representatives.” The Privy Council ruling is now under consideration by Attorney General Reginald Armour (AG) who will then advise the Prime Minister and the Cabinet.

The calling of any election is up to the Prime Minister. Up to the time of writing (Tuesday), PM Dr Keith Rowley has been silent on the ruling pending, we assume, the advice from his learned senior counsel AG.

One would hope that those in authority would move swiftly to ensure that the democratic right to vote as enshrined in the Constitution will be dealt with in the swiftest manner. Local government elections must be viewed as important as General Elections and should not be left to the whim and fancy of those in authority.

This weekend, the Catholic Church celebrates Pentecost when we remember Jesus’ gift to us of the Holy Spirit, who lives within us and who brings to each of us different gifts once we open our hearts.

True service, the only service that matters, is service in the Lord. We urge those in authority to listen to the voice of God this weekend and to reflect on His words as spoken in 1 Corinthians 12:5, “There are many different ways of serving but it is always the same God.” It is the only way to serve.

Jesus who died for all of us, who never wavered in the duty that God called Him to, elected by the Father to ransom His life for us, steadfastly did the will of God on Earth, leaving us with the gift of the Holy Spirit as He continues His work to lead us to eternal life.

Jesus took His job of serving and saving mankind seriously. Just maybe, if as a nation we put service to God at the centre of all that we do, this country will be a far better place for all of us.