Friday, February 14, 2014

A Valentine message for Keith Rowley

Dear Dr Rowley,

I am writing to wish you the very best in your forthcoming battle to retain the leadership of your party, the People's National Movement (PNM), and I wish to extend the same to your opponent and any other person(s) who might join the race.

I also wish to commend you for changing the PNM's constitution to allow a one-member, one-vote system to replace delegate voting, which helped rob you of the leadership several years ago and that helped fan the flames of discord between your former leader, Patrick Manning, and you.

I know you were so upset with Mr. Manning that in 2010 you campaigned against him, stating publicly that the captain would have to face a court martial. It seemed odd that while you were a candidate for the PNM you were also working against the party.

When I look at the election results from 2010 I am alarmed at how close you came to losing your seat after being the MP for Diego Martin West for such a long time. 

It is amazing that Mr. Rocky Garcia of the Congress of the People (COP) received 8,023 votes, which was very close to your 8,777. If there had been another week of your campaign against your own party you might have driven away another 755 PNM voters and Mr Garcia would have won the seat.

What I am writing you about is your commitment to democracy. You have said that you believe in democracy and also that you want the PNM to elect the best (well better, because so far there are only two) candidates.

But what would happen if the PNM members choose your opponent and on May 18 you find that you are no longer the leader of the party? That would be a first for the PNM and a great shock to you, no doubt, so I am have been thinking of what you might do in such circumstances.

I am not a politician so I cannot think like one. But as someone who believes in democracy - as you do - I want to offer a suggestion. 

If it turns out that the people choose someone other than your goodself to lead the PNM on May 18, who is not a member of parliament, I would suggest you embrace the person and resign your seat in Diego Martin West. 

That would force a bye-election and since yours is a safe PNM seat (or is it?) then your successor could win and enter the House of Representatives and take up the post of Leader of the Opposition. 

I know you are an honourable man and would do that because I recall your words in 2010 in an interview with the Express newspaper when there were rumours that Mr. Manning was planning to drop you as the candidate for Diego Martin West. "And if they say they don’t want me as their MP, I will thank them very sincerely for the period that I served" you said. So show the same spirit if they say they don't want you as leader!
I trust you would demonstrate that same commitment to democracy and your respect for the will of the members of your party. Such a move would win you top political points, which would ensure that the new leader returns you to active politics in the 2015 general election unless, of course, that person is full of hate, spite and acrimony.

If the leader drops you, it would show a lack of leadership and send you into retirement but you would remain an example of a man who put his political life on the line in defence of democracy and freedom.

Of course the great risk is that if you resign your seat Mr. Garcia (or some other candidate) might mount a winning campaign and defeat the new PNM leader ... and that would indeed be a political tragedy for you, the new leader and the PNM.

But I hear none of this will happen because you have everything in the bag and nobody could beat you. If that is so, then you get your chance to face Kamla in 2015 in what people are already calling the mother of all elections. (Isn't it strange that they call every election the mother of all elections?)

Anyway, like I said, I wish you well but in case the tide turns against you please do the honourable thing and resign on May 19 if the new leader is not an MP so that person could try to win a seat and become opposition leader. Show them you are a leader, even if you are not!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Yours truly,

Jai Parasram - 14 Feb. 2014

No comments:

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