By Stephen Kangal
October 23, 2013
As the politician-in-chief of the centrifugal forces that dominated the recent LGE, the Honourable Prime Minister has conducted herself in a most apolitical manner that can only parachute her PP and the UNC into disaster survival mode. Having scuttled twice publicly and prematurely the rapprochement of Jack Warner in the period prior to July 29 for membership of the PP that paved the way for the emergence of the ILP that in fact served to weaken the PP/UNC/COP electoral appeal and performance on the October 21 LGE, she now is negating any remaining attempts geared to salvage the recent retrograde political debacle. Are the wounds too fresh?
In my view her publicly stated reaction to the October 21 meltdown of the PP/UNC/COP both in Siparia and at Rienzi is very unreal and unconvincing in claiming victory of the people. She side-stepped the conspicuous and glaring reality of her loss of territory across the political landscape wherein the PP controlled 10 Corporations and polled more than 200,000 votes in 2010.
She is now vaunting her leadership of the UNC, retention of an abridged base and disengaging from the PP. She is confusing us as to what really is her political base. She disengaged from San Juan/Barataria, St Joseph, St. Augustine, Tunapuna, Arima and other East-West Corridor marginal and regime-forming seats. The UNC is now a reduced Caroni party. That position is very unreal and puzzling to the electorate psychologically speaking. It appears that she may be disoriented very badly and unsettled by the succession of three losses/defeats. Facing a potential fourth very soon adds fuel to the fire within A quite visible body language mirrors the mind.
Now she is saying that she would not negotiate with criminals in her new capacity as the “Commissioner of Police”/judge, jury and executioner in the post October 21 hung Council in Chaguanas. She can fire and hire MP’s and Councillors. At one time on Monday night she also claimed victory in Chaguanas, that she did not lose the pivotal Chaguanas heart-land fortress.
In my view the PNM did not win this 25% turn out election. The UNC/PP/COP lost it through poor leadership and sub-standard campaigning. Chaguanas may very well be her waterloo if the political challenges posed by Chaguanas from July 29 to October 21 are not negotiated and addressed dispassionately and taken on board seriously as a collectivity rather than as a one-woman impulsive show of strength.
Chaguanas now constitutes the formula towards the road-map to reconciliation and accommodation because this is what is needed to salvage the November 4 challenge and face saving in 2015. We can do without childish positioning. Respect and appreciation for the Chaguanas imperative holds the key and the solution to vote-splitting that ravishes the UNC in all elections.
Sincerely and seriously the Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar is not making political sense these days and she may need advise and help to adopt a more politically correct and sustainable position because politics is the art of compromise. The PM is in this not for herself, her cabal and her personal preferences. She is there for the benefit of the people and the party who look up to her for leadership and politically correct, integrative decision making. She must show character.
The people of the rural and sub-urban areas have a huge stake in the contemporary political scenario and their interests must play a dominant role in the decision-responding process taking into account the disappointment spawned on Monday night and continuing unabated.
Third party interventionist strategy is sorely needed to instill a more politically sustainable and realistic response to the events of October 21. Posturing and pontificating is not making political sense because Basdeo Panday colluded with his arch enemy ANR to form the 1995 GORTT.