By Dr. Kwame Nantambu
September 15, 2008
While the leaders of the labor/trade union movement should be lauded for attempting to shut down the country on the 8th September, “Day of Protest”, one must, however, posit this protest action within the context of dictatorship politics, political immaturity and those people electoral politics in TnT.
Patrick Manning knows that the same people who may rant and rage and even misbehave on the “Day of Protest”, however, on election day, they will not vote for those people; they will vote PNM. That’s the stark reality of electoral politics in TnT.
The leaders of the labor/trade union movement must realize that Patrick Manning is a democratically elected dictator. Ergo, they have to utilize/wield the power of the ballot to get rid of dictator Patrick Manning and his regime.
These leaders must send a very clear and concise message to Patrick Manning and the PNM: We the People brought you into office and We the People will take you out of office.
In other words, if the leaders of this movement want to get rid of the Manning’s regime, then, they must mobilize the power of We the People and make sure that the PNM does not win any seats in the upcoming local elections.
This is the only potent electoral message they can and must send to Patrick Manning and the PNM. This will be the clear signal to the PNM that political maturity is now a reality in TnT.
The fact of the matter is that dictators understand one thing and one thing only, that is, power. In this specific case of democratic dictatorship in TnT, then, the only thing that Patrick Manning will react to is the power of We the People.
Put another way, in the same way “money talks and BS walks”, votes talk and marches, protest actions, shutdowns, etc., walk— “Resistance two” notwithstanding. The stark reality is that the only outcome that Patrick Manning must be forced to pay attention to as a democratically-elected dictator is the number of seats the PNM wins and/or does not win in any election.
Patrick Manning must be made to understand that even though under the rubric of democratic dictatorship, the dictum is :”The Prime Minister has spoken”; however, under the rubric of people’s democracy: We the people will speak. We the people must and will always have the final say, not you, Mr. Prime Minister.
The leaders of the movement must inform all those who stayed home on 8th September that they must not vote for any PNM candidate in the upcoming local government elections— the PNM has got to go by any and all means necessary.
On local elections day, We the People must signal to Patrick Manning and the PNM candidates that We the People are sick and tired of being “bamboozled, hoodwinked and took” by the PNM for the past fifty years. Enough is enough.
Furthermore, on local elections day, all the people who stayed home on 8th September must wear T-shirts that say: DO NOT VOTE PNM : DAY OF PNM ABSENTEEISM. We the People must tell Patrick Manning that we totally refuse to continue “stepping up with you” and the PNM.
It is at this crucial and survival juncture that the insidious nexus between dictatorship politics, political immaturity and electoral politics not only becomes inimical, detrimental, diabolical and antithetical to the core national interests of TnT and its citizens but Vision OO/OO also rears its ugly head amidst the grandiose splendor of Manhattan/San Francisco/Miami-like tall buildings bequeathed with the ubiquitous flooding of downtown Port of Spain and its environs whenever a miniscule amount of rain falls.
In the final analysis, until some modicum of political maturity were to become a vital component of TnT’s body politic coterminous with the complete eradication of those people electoral mind-set/modus operandi, then, the formulation and implementation of real, genuine, effective people-oriented public policy “will remain a fleeting illusion to be pursued but never attained.”
Shem Hotep (“I go in peace”).
Dr. Kwame Nantambu is a part-time lecturer at Cipriani College of Labour and Co-operative Studies and University of the West Indies.