Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Letter: Party will take precedence in CWC byelection

File: Trevor Sudama
The Chaguanas West byelection has generated a great deal of sound and fury but, at the end of the day, it signifies little. The political landscape will remain much the same after the dust settles.

The quality of representation does not count for much among the majority of the electorate in the type of political culture that has developed here. Poor representatives have been re-elected time and again. 

The overwhelming majority are said to vote party rather than individual. But political parties are hardly functional and are merely convenient symbols of ethnic loyalty. Such loyalty by and large trumps service and dedication to constituents. 

The current leader of the party is assumed to be the focus and custodian of that loyalty. In politics gratitude is a rare sentiment. I learnt this from personal experience. 

In this context, money, lavish public relations exercises, repetitious advertisements, razzmatazz, gifts and trinkets will bring limited electoral benefits. It would be foolhardy to take seriously people’s superficial expression of support. The propaganda on the ground is far more effective than statements on the platform.

The results of the Chaguanas West byelection seem to be a foregone conclusion bar the shouting. 

The real issue is how many votes can Jack Warner attract in this heartland UNC constituency. The UNC will have to limit Warner’s support to less than 5,000 votes in order to save some face. 

A larger number of votes for him will send a muted signal and have some impact on the UNC’s base support nationally.

San Fernando

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai