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Trinidad MPs are like ‘absentee landlords’

Former Independent senator Rev Daniel Teelucksingh has described MPs as “absentee landlords”.

He said there were too many of them in the country.

“They 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 have been seeing within recent times,” he said.

He also said 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 was bad politics.

Teelucksingh made the comments to his congregation during his Sunday morning worship at St Charles Presbyterian Church, Caroni Savannah Road, Chaguanas.

He criticised the portion of Chaguanas West voters, who, he said, were willing to “cross over” to other parties and did not realise the larger implications of the election. He said some voters were like parliamentarians “crossing the floor” to join other parties.

“They are crossing over and no matter how much you explain to them about the seriousness of crossing over, they don’t care, and they not hiding it. And that’s very interesting.”

He said such constituents saw the election as confined to their area only, unconcerned about the implications and consequences of deserting the ruling party.

“People in this area, so many of them seem to be content to let the Government or the ruling party fend for itself,” he said.

“It is open season. The politics in Chaguanas West seem to be very local and insular in nature. I tell you how we see it, the platform rhetoric and all the explanations about how people can and should vote, about national implications of this election … that somehow or the other, all the explanations do not seem to bother constituents who are prepared to cross over.”

He said constituents did not seem interested in the national impact of the election.

“People are very brave in Chaguanas West to ignore the safe-seat status quo, and they don’t seem to bother about the consequences.”

He described the electorate as not being afraid to show openly which party it supported, and that support ranged widely across the constituency.

“What we have noticed is that in Chaguanas West in this election, there is no secret politics,” he said.

He said long ago, people would keep who they were voting for a private matter, but were now strong in their political positions, and it was a good thing. (Guardian)

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