Friday March 2, 2012, will be chronicled as a defining day in the history of Trinidad and Tobago. A motion of no confidence in the Prime Minister, the Honourable Kamla Persad-Bissessar, brought by the Opposition Leader of the People’s National Movement and debated in what has been deemed the longest sitting of the Trinidad and Tobago Parliament. The motion caused the knights and Templar of the People’s Partnership to rally and counter with a vote of confidence in their leader, heralding the Prime Minister’s virtues and compassion as our modern day Joan of Arc. Speaker after speaker advocated their epistemological reckoning, those for and those against, as the nation sat in the theatre of life with tense expectations. The post debate protagonists narrate on the efficacy of the motion of no confidence brought by the Leader of the Opposition, Dr Keith Rowley. Some opine, “it was a waste of time”, others lament their disappointment, and fewer held a perspective which suggest that the debate was a necessity for the growth proposition of our emerging democracy. The deuteragonist whispers to the issue of a leadership crisis, while the tritagonists shout the refrain of commitment to the leadership of the Honourable Prime Minister.
At stake was the “political capital” of the country, brought to the trading floor of the bulls and the bears, whose attitude to prospecting was premised on the colloquial axiom of; “who have more corn will feed more fowl”. Each member of the House of Representatives presented an acutely different interpretation and meaning of the issues, yet in their differentiated paths they all held to a commonly shared value, that is support for their respective leaders. Many leadership paradigms posit leadership as the process of influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task. Peter Drucker, (2007) renditions in his offering that the foremost job of a leader is to take charge of his own energy, and then orchestrate the energy of others. Dr Keith Rowley took charge of his energy as evidenced by his advocacy and was quoted as having said, “the no-confidence motion was intended to provide a platform to raise certain matters relating to the governance of T&T under the 22-month-old PP administration. So the actual votes cast is not the matter at hand, it is what is said in the debate.
The energy orchestration of others is evidenced, by the People’s Partnership inauguration, of a series of public meetings to garner support, preliminary to the great debate, and the engaged conversations across the spectrums of the nation. Within the concert chamber of the Parliament, two orchestras and ensembles performed to a captive audience as they sought to influence the psyche of the nation. While in the amphitheatre of the world, millions were transfixed as they looked and listened to the unfolding epic event, which represented a model of action, organising, and leadership for global considerations, which was evident in the reference to the United States, Japan and India in the parliamentary dialogue. Is this the emergence of a new Arab Spring? As Trinidad and Tobago enters its golden age, we are witnessing the transformation of old structures and the birthing of new ones. The nation is given an opportunity to evaluate itself and its leaders. The orchestration involved in the debate impacts the nation’s energy to be inclined to collaborative effort, as the dominant social value, and the desire of the citizens to continue and be successful. Orchestrating the energies of others Dr Rowley’s Motion of No Confidence entreats the Prime Minister like a conductor before the orchestra to ensure that the harmonic sounds of comfort prevail for the nation’s future well being.