Finally, there is some good news for Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar as well as recognition of her inimitable leadership.
Yesterday, Persad-Bissessar was awarded the 2013 “Democracy Medal” by the 46th World Conference of the International Association of Political Consultants (IAPC) in Antigua. She shared the honours with Jamaican PM Portia Simpson Miller.
Faithful servant of her people that she is, the Prime Minister could not attend “due to a heavy work schedule at home.”
Not that the organisers would have expected her presence.
The IACP is a 49-year-old body drawn from obscure pollsters, lobbyists and political consultants on every continent; yet has less Facebook “likes” than one-year-old website, Wired868. It took the sharp minds at the IACP 14 years to deduce that, if they offered an award to a known politician, it might win free publicity.
So award recipients have ranged from polar opposite political leaders like Margaret Thatcher and Nelson Mandela to, more intriguingly, “The People of Indonesia” and “The Arab Spring.”
“The Arab Spring”, as Mr Live Wire would like to point out, is a media catchphrase rather than a real thing; and, naturally was a no-show at the 2011 awards. It is unlikely that recipient ever turned up.
The IACP has tried to pull the heart strings of its home crowd of late without playing favourites, which would be bad for business.
Last year in New York, for instance, the organisation went for a former Republican and Democrat US president in the form of George HW Bush and Bill Clinton respectively.
And, in the Caribbean yesterday, IACP president Felipe Noguera, an Argentine pollster and political consultant who may or may not be hawking his services to the PP, and his colleagues opted for Persad-Bissessar and Simpson Miller.
Persad-Bissessar’s acceptance speech, which was quoted by the Trinidad Express with no context of the award whatsoever, suggested why she felt she stood out.
“Perhaps at no time has the democratic tradition been more evident than this year, 2013, when our country witnessed (4) four separate elections,” stated the Prime Minister, “all of which were conducted without incident and within the time frames specified in our constitution and with the avid participatory of our citizens.”
What was Keith Rowley saying about a Guinness World Record for the PM’s four successive political defeats?
In your face, sir!
Democracy posse? Home!
Editor’s Note: The IACP president Felipe Noguera is an Argentine who has done political consultancy work in the Caribbean; and is not to be confused with the Felipe Noguera who worked as communications coordination at the Office of the Prime Minister under ex-Prime Minister Patrick Manning.
The story’s okay; I tittered and chuckled in parts. But for me, the real contribution it makes to journalism is its poignant reminder that a picture is worth a million words.
If KPB were not so much of a democrat, she would certainly sue you for using that last photo of her.