And The Government Is Supreme

The government is generally left to its own devices in the formulation of policy because of the following conditions as outlined by Dror (1968: 112-114):

- Private individuals play a very small role in policy-making either because of lack of interest or apathy or a perception that it is the business of government. I would like to add that even when citizens are motivated and there is interest in co-governance, there is no easily available channel for immediate and acknowledged citizen input.

- Intellectuals play a similarly small role since they tend to become alienated either from politics or absorbed in it (they become political leaders or senior civil servants).

- Legislative bodies and courts play a secondary role.

- Government bureaucracy is weak and fails to counterbalance the main weaknesses of the other public-policy making units.

- The role of parties in public-policy making is shaped both by the ideological nature of the state and its stage of social development.

- Universities play little, if any role because of the alienation of intellectuals mentioned above.

- Interest groups tend to be fewer. They are also less pluralistic than, and lack the information content of, interest group arguments in developed countries. Here, influence is exerted mainly by means of personal relations and clientelist relationships.

Dror didn't mention the churches in his list, especially the organized religions, but since I believe that they play an important role in socialization, their impact, although indirect, should be expected to be greater than all the above. The evidence, however, is to the contrary. While governments do refer to religious beliefs and some individuals within government profess to be strong adherents, there is often a disconnect between religious and moral values and many of the choices made by governments.

The list also does not include the press, the Fifth Estate or civil society organisations unless the latter were included under "interest groups". I understand that NGO's in Trinidad and Tobago hope to make an even greater contribution in the future to the processes of policy formulation and decision-making and I look forward to witnessing the results of that development.

DROR, Yehezkel (1968). Public policy reexamined. San Francisco, CA: Chandler Publishing.
"Patria est communis omnium parens" - Our native land is the common parent of us all. Keep it beautiful, make it even more so.

Blessed is all of creation
Blessed be my beautiful people
Blessed be the day of our awakening
Blessed is my country
Blessed are her patient hills.

Mweh ka allay!