Sunday, 9 August 2015

Who Yuh Voting For?

“Every election is determined by the people who show up”- Larry J. Sabato

Hey, there. I'm listening to David Rudder's Madness as I type this post. Gypsy's The Sinking Ship is in the queue. 

I try not to discuss politics. Like topics of religion and sexuality, some people are overly passionate about their politics, and can be unreasonable, volatile or prone to idiotic outbursts if you were to present a dissenting view.

For some people, it’s this sense of blind loyalty bordering on reverence towards political leaders and their parties. You’re either UNC or PNM, there’s no in-between (sorry, COP); if UNC is in power and does something good, you had best not like it if you support the PNM and vice versa. And I’m not even getting into race and politics.

I remember back when Kamla had unveiled the People’s Partnership some years ago, I had commented to a classmate that I thought it was a good idea, and I looked forward to what she had to offer going into the 2010 General Elections.

“So because you went ah Hindu school, you hadda vote for she?” he asked.

His implication was obvious. I was shocked that someone whom I had regarded a friend would stoop so low and throw that in my face. If anything, my years in Hindu school left me with, among other things, an addiction to parsad.

Anyway, that was one of many interactions I've had that scarred me. I vowed to not discuss politics with any and anybody. That was then, this is now.

With the 2015 General Elections fast approaching, unless there’s another SOE, of course, I am faced with the decision of which party I should vote for. Were it up to me, I would stay home on Sept. 7th with a nice book and listen to Florence + The Machine.

I would remain separate and apart from the nonsense and there would be none of that repulsive electoral ink staining my finger; a win-win, if you ask me. But, you know, voting is my civic duty and all that jazz, so I have to weigh my options.

In 2010, I voted for Kamla and the People’s Partnership. She had convinced me. I wanted change. I did not want Manning as Prime Minister for another five years. The PNM had been in power long enough and I wanted to see someone else in the driver’s seat. I liked their manifesto. I liked the double entendre of their slogan. I wanted to rise too. Plus, I was convinced that the candidate for my area had stolen money from the last organization he had been a part of. So, hell yes, I voted for Kamla and the PP.

The last five years have been, well.... I am literally wracking my brain. I want to speak of the successes that she has had, of the development the country has undergone, of where I see the country heading were she to be given an additional five years. But, all I can think of is the disappointment. And how hard it is to determine what went right.

From the creation of Government Ministries all willy-nilly to the revolving door that was her Cabinet to the characters that formed a part of said Cabinet. I think of Section 34; Volney; Glenn on the plane; Chandresh in the car-park; Life Sport; Anil; despicable character assassinations; the list goes on and on and on. It was a circus, bobol and scandal at every turn, un fracaso total.

I think Kamla is aware of the public’s perception and has been doing everything in her power to sway the voters to her side. It’s reflected in her campaign.

All over the Internet, there are little ads, each signed with “Kamla 2015” in the colours of the national flag, depicting a photo and what she stands for. From the requisite “interacting with children” (Manning used to kiss babies) to her and Gregs, hugging for Family Values.
On YouTube, the “Why So Growley, Rowley?” and “The Gruesome Twosome” ads have disrupted many a streaming of The Wendy Williams Show’s segments. And we shall not speak about that televised masturdebate.

The emails are another thing. Whilst I’m mostly hurt that she referred to me as ‘Friend’ as opposed to ‘Garvin’, ‘Garvs’, ‘Nephew’ or ‘Son-Son’ and confused as to how she got my email address in the first place, I get what she was going for.

She bashes Rowley, as usual, but she also reiterates the successes of the last five years and lists her 2020 plans, however, vague. Sure, it’s mostly backfired (have you seen Facebook?), but her intent was clear. I might have also downloaded the 2020 Plans.

What her campaign has done is made me genuinely sit and wonder if she’s deserving of my vote. With any Government, there's the good, the bad and the downright scandalous. It’s unfortunate that 'The Bad' and 'The Downright Scandalous' have overshadowed 'The Good'.

Then, there’s Rowley. I find his campaign to be the opposite of Kamla’s. On the one hand, his is ‘meet with his supporters on a grassroots level and engage them’, whereas hers is more ‘bombard the electorate with facts, promises, photos and invasive emails’.

I feel like I’m experiencing ‘The Taming of the Raging Bull’. The softer, more gregarious side of Rowley is almost enough to make me forget about his perceived arrogance, the Vote of No Confidence, Vernella’s accusatory filth, and his allegedly poor pick-up lines ("You looking rosy." Really?).

On the other hand, from what I've heard at rallies and read in the newspapers, it’s all mudslinging and reiterations of past transgressions from him. It’s obvious that he’s playing with the majority of the population’s disdain and ire over what has transpired over the past five years.

But, aside from Late O’ Clock News and their reporting his plan to give Tiidas to toddlers, and his incredulity over Kamla wanting to build a bridge from Toco to Tobago, I'm yet to hear anything of his plans for the next five years. Maybe, they flew over my head or Google has failed me. Should you have any links you wish to share, do so, please. I’m all for learning more.

At this point, I feel like I’ll be voting for the lesser of two evils come Sept. 7th. Kamla has a 2020 plan, but her campaign reeks of desperation and I cannot forget. Rowley can’t be any worse than Kamla, right? He seems to be more than capable of working for the people. Ugh! I envy those who know exactly where they’ll put their X.

I should forego the back and forth and simply follow the words of Mark Twain: “Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason”.

Until the next post!