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The COP, whorehouse and strengthening the Partnership

Sunday, April 8, 2012

I would like to think that I was an observant child because as far back as I can remember, my mom and uncles would have coded conversations which I could easily pick apart. They would discuss personal family wrangling about who was cheating on who, which mother-in-law was becoming overbearing and why the children were better off wherever they were.


The stories were endless and I quickly learned that if I stayed quiet enough, and pretended to really be interested in building a Lego house for the thousandth time, they would not notice that I was in the room piecing together the story of our family history.


I also learned that a relationship is in fact bigger than just the people intimately involved in it. There are many roles for the extended family to play towards its success or ultimate failure. The difference between an intrusive mother-in-law or a supportive one can be even more important to the end result of a budding marriage than whether or not the young couple have two cents to rub between them.


When the external elements of our huge family were in support of the relationship, the end result was positive, despite whatever indiscretions the couple was going through. The recent assessment by UNC founder and former prime minister Basdeo Panday that the  COP was like a virgin in a whorehouse, may not be wrong, but rather just misdirected.


It is not the COP that was a virgin, but rather the young, blushing, and soon-to-be bride who we now call the Fyzabad Accord that was the virgin  surrounded by the five seasoned professionals on Charlie King Junction. The result was a marriage called the People’s Partnership, which in its essence was a union that would represent the many creeds of our diverse and great republic.


What the Fyzabad Accord lacked in experience she made up for with her enthusiasm. The People’s Partnership took the country by storm, leading them to a landslide victory and the reins of high office. Unlike the happy ending to many fairytales where Prince Charming kisses the beautiful princess, this story continues....


The marriage of the People’s  Partnership is no different. The many arguments, hurtful comments and even the occasional horn are part and parcel of any marriage in Trinidad and Tobago. An though we as a people may hate to admit it, a horn in T&T hardly results in divorce.


It is not the horn that ends the relationship, but the ole talk and disrespect for the parties involved that could lead to divorce court. This is where our virgin’s inexperience becomes glaringly obvious. In her haste to satisfy, she ignored the basics of making a marriage work.


With just 14 days to go before the second anniversary of her enthusiastic first performance, it’s time for the members of the Partnership to revisit the whorehouse with the now well seasoned and experienced Fyzabad Accord. The Partnership needs to move past the simpleton fairytale guidelines of trust and fairness, into common man-on-the-street  rules and regulations towards building a long-term and successful marriage.


The success of the union however, moves past the five leaders of the People’s Partnership. There is only so much that Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Prakash Ramadhar, Ashworth Jack, Makandal Daaga and David Abdulah can do without the support of the rest of the Partnership family.


In the same way that it takes a village to raise a child, it will also take all the members of this holy alliance to play their role to ensure success of this budding marriage. The members of the Partnership need to unite past a simple accord or for want of a better example, a marriage certificate.


Apart from the airy-fairy title of the People’s Partnership, what are the symbols, functions, rules and constitution that will unite these five families? The now seasoned and no longer pure Fyzabad Accord needs to be reassessed to include solutions.  It needs to institute a governing body made up of equal representatives from each party.


It should not be left up to the political leaders and party chairmen either, or there will be no real buy-in from the rank and file membership of the respective parties. A Partnership office needs to be set up to show that all its members have a home and do in fact belong to something greater than just a late-night booty call with the aim of  winning an election.


These simple solutions will go a long way towards making the five families—who may disagree on the direction of the relationship, come together with the sole purpose of strengthening the Partnership rather than heading to a tragic end.


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