Don't take the people for granted
Politicians are often perceived as not caring about the needs of the people, except to gain their votes.

Dear Editor,

He was not what most women would run after, but she made him feel that he was the most important person in her world. He never appreciated her endeavours, and after trying her best for years she left the relationship. When asked afterwards what is the one thing that he would never do again, he responded, "Taking someone for granted."

Too often when we are comfortable and loved, we take that love and appreciation for granted. Sometimes becoming so complacent that we are unaware that we may be hurting someone. It is only when they leave that we realise what we have lost.

In 2010 the People's National Movement (PNM) in Trinidad and Tobago felt so comfortable with the people that they called an early election. They had become unaware that they had lost the support of many of their supporters. The result was a victory for the People's Partnership Alliance. They won 29 seats to the PNM's 12.

By the end of their term in office, they too hadn't realised that they had lost the support of the majority. They lost the election, with the PNM gaining 11 new seats. The fact that the United National Congress (UNC) partnership had lost 11 seats did not seem to inspire a need to do better. The leader simply left her supporters looking for words of comfort and went home.

In 2020, the PNM was again victorious, losing the Moruga Tableland seat to the UNC. There were newspaper reports that the PNM's choice was not popular among their people. There seemed to be a belief among many that the people of Trinidad and Tobago will vote blindly for their own. They have allowed the leaders of both major political parties to, at various stages of their management, become arrogant and assume a false sense of security. The reality is that the people have proven, time and time again, that they are not to be taken for granted.

As Trinidad and Tobago approach another general election, there is the belief on one side that, although rejected in two general elections, the leader would somehow win as the other side is seen as not doing a great job. On the other side, there is the belief that the present Government would not retain leadership as the people are uninspired.

Both sides seem uninterested in the needs of the people. They find no merit in seeking long-term economic development for the country and reducing the high levels of criminal activity that is negatively affecting economic growth. They are not interested in things like food security; infrastructure upgrade; and maintenance, tourism, health care, and education. They are consumed with proving that the other side is incompetent and corrupt, thus they should be given the opportunity to manage the affairs of the State.

The people once again are taken for granted with the assumption that they would vote for one or the other. There is every likely possibility that with the appropriate representation the people would vote in great numbers for an alternative to the two major political parties.

A word to the wise: Do not take the people for granted.

Steve Alvarez

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