Sunday, October 28, 2007

T&T Politics

Elections are set for Nov 5 this year and things are really heating up! For the past 20 years or so, it's been a two party competition with the same two leaders at the helm. Patrick Manning leads the PNM (People's National Movement) which is currently in power and Basdeo Panday leads the UNC (United National Congress) which has been in power in the past (I gather both leaders have had around 10 years in office). This year, a third part has emerged led by Winston Dookeran called COP (Congress of the People) which is certainly mixing things up a bit. PNM has traditionally been a mainly west african party and Manning is a professed Christian. UNC has traditionally been a mainly east indian party and Panday is a Hindu. COP is a split off from UNC and has strived to be an ethnic mix of candidates (not sure about religious mix - could be christian, hindu or muslim). There are 41 seats in parliament and the party that wins the most seat gets to put their leader into the prime minister position. Elections are required to be held sometime between years 4 and 6 (I think) and are announced by the ruling party after the yearly budget is printed in the paper (which happens sometime in the fall). Once an election year is declared, the ruling party must announce an election date for sometime in the next 60 days. So campaigning occurs fast and furiously. Needless to say, newspapers are selling well right now and everyone has an opinion. Please pray with us that good people would be elected to those 41 seats and would lead this country well. Joke for the day: A man from New York City died and when he arrived before God, God asked him where he wanted to spend eternity - heaven or hell. The man said he'd like to get a look at both before he made his decision. God agreed. The man took a look around heaven and saw people and angels fellowshipping with each other and worshipping God. It seemed kind of boring to him. So, he took a look around hell and saw acres of golf tees on gorgeous green grass, bountiful gourmet food, and beautiful women everywhere. He told God "I'll take hell!" So God sent him there. When he got there, he found lakes of fire, selfish people and scary demons. He went back to God upset and said "what happened to the beautiful golf courses and food and women in hell?" God said, "oh that - they were campaigning".