Political analyst Michael Harris says he has not voted in a general election since 1986, but with the new political developments of 2010, he is now ready to cast his ballot. Harris was speaking at a joint trade union Cossabo, titled Towards a Worker's Agenda, at OWTU's Paramount Headquarters in San Fernando yesterday. Delivering an overview of the current political situation, Harris said the labour movement needed to intervene in the politics of T&T, because of rampant corruption, nepotism and racial divides, based on a two-party system. Harris told labour leaders that they needed to work out a national agenda which would influence the politics of T&T.
More than a dozen trade unions, including the Public Service Association, T&T Unified Teachers Association, Communication Workers Trade Union and All-Trinidad Sugar and General Workers Trade Union, attended the meeting. Harris told the leaders that they needed to understand the unequal distribution of power, as well as the power of a two-party system that was built on race. "We need to look at the unequal distribution of power between the executive and the people. We need to take back that power and destroy that party system once and for all. "The urgent need in this country is the crafting and forming of a truly national party, whether there is elections or not."
He said two institutions, the judiciary and the trade union movement, had a role to play in the removal of a corrupt system. "When we look at this country, we see nothing else but that which is corrupt, bought out, or made dependent on a political party. "This is why we need a national agenda. Be careful, because there are obstacles and mountains to climb." He also questioned: "Why do you think that this party system has lasted so long? We are a divided society. It is easy to play upon the racial fears of our people.
"We are not secure in our native land. We fear that there will be no recognition by other races. People don't follow the UNC and the PNM, you know. "They do it because in the current context they feel they have no choice but to settle for ethnic allegiance." He said that the labour leaders were responsible for bringing down the PNM by raising issues, and that because of the corruption, he had not voted since 1986. However, with the labour intervention he had decided to vote in 2010.