UNC Lacks Institutional Memory on Vote-Splitting

By Stephen Kangal
October 30, 2013

Stephen KangalIt appears that the UNC has no institutional memory relating to the impact of a third force in adversely affecting its electoral performance. Its well-known experience of 2007 and its course correction strategy of 2010 with the COP ought to be very instructive and to determine how it must act to avoid splitting the votes like split peas especially when that third force originates from amongst its traditional base.

The PP/UNC had the opportunity to factor this lesson in its electoral strategy post July 29 but it ignored the lessons of its most recent past electoral history. It turned down the overtures of the fledgling ILP on two occasions for membership of the PP. It has ignored and repeated the mistakes of past electoral history and paid the ultimate price to the detriment of its supporters.

Post the LGE of October 21 it is blaming every Jane, Jeewan and Jack for causing the UNC/PP to be decimated. Does it have the divine right to exist and to be accorded the top of the Order of Precedence. Poor UNC everybody wants to destroy it and its PP Government but it is going a good job by itself without help.

Even now it has the opportunity to adhere to the Chaguanas imperative but PM Persad-Bissessar is assuming the role and function of the Commissioner of Police/ judge jury and executioner and condemning the ILP as convicted criminals just as her predecessor condemned teachers to be criminals. Even elected MP’s and councillors stand to be fired by the Prime Minister. This is closing the door that was left open to accommodation and destroying bridges for dialogue.

Is this the political behaviour of the leaders in 21st Century T&T that is very advanced and savy politically -speaking. It is no wonder that Indian political leadership has betrayed the trust and interest of its follower base. They can be termed “one term PM’s” because after one term they are a complete and pure unadulterated embarrassment to their followers. They are ready to quit- abandon and consign us into the clutches of the PNM and are blaming others for so doing.

Jack Warner has shown enormous character in the way he handled the results and magnanimous in congratulating both the UNC and PNM. He has toned down the stress and tension by his positioning and the PP must respond and learn to forgive and forget politically speaking.

Elections are silly season. But now it is over let us conduct ourselves with equanimity, decorum and good political and electoral sense and think of T&T, the support base and how much it has invested in the leaders who cannot disappoint them.

We have been here several times before. Our leaders have not learnt from the mistakes of the past inundated by their delusions and illusions of cosmetic grandeur.

Happy Divali to all Trinbagonians and May Mother Lakshmi shower her blessings of peace, harmony and the good fulfilling life!

15 Responses to “UNC Lacks Institutional Memory on Vote-Splitting”


  • I beg to differ on the views presented here. Warner after forming the “I” party engaged in a campaign of accusations of corruption that remains to this day unproven. He drove a wedge between himself and his former colleagues. He accused one minister of having 5 houses, another of having a house in Canada, yet another of a big pay off to a close friend. He has done everything to destroy then come and say he wants to join the PP. Huh, am I missing something here!!!. You cuss your neighbor then turn around and say “let’s be friends”.

    The Prime Minister is a lawyer and one of the best at this profession. She defended Warner as long as she could, even after the video tape bribery Benhamin scandal she stood beside him, crocros bags of cash being share up at CONCAF. Then while in the US it came to light that the IRS/FBI was investigating Warner for “white Collar” crimes. In addition an eminent Bajan wrote a damning report on Warner involving “money laundering, kickbacks” and downright corruption of the highest order. The Express gave a “Ball by ball” commentary on bank account and letters soliciting kickback money. Warner for his part became quiet as “church mouse”. He never said anything or even attempted to defend himself. This is a senior member of cabinet with one of the most powerful portfolio. Silent…huh.

    Warner is spent politically, no new party ever win an election especially one with a leader who have a big ? Mark over his head. He only exist to help the PNM. Sadly…

  • We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.
    Martin Luther King, Jr.

    • “Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.”

      ― Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

    • Kangal talks of forgiveness. Is he not familiar with the extensive list if illegal activities involving Jack Warner?
      Support for Jack Warner is a sad reflection of the lack of ethics and morals of his supporters. In most developed countries he would now be in jail based on only one infraction and that is his failure to file and pay income taxes for a prolonged period. Conviction on the multitude of alleged crimes he is being accused of would give him a lifetime sentence in the US.
      To speak of forgiveness in Jack’s case is an admission of stupidity. There is no hope for T&T when men like Kangal who should know better, express support for a crook like Jack.
      The country would be better off with a newly elected PNM government, led by Rowley, than any coalition involving Jack Warner.

    • “Forgiveness” this word continues in every era of civilization to confront;and sometimes confuse humans dependent on circumstances.Jack Warner can obtain “forgiveness” from a large percentage of the population;but this does not necessarily asserts that “all” who forgave will (support/vote) for him in future elections.

      Permit me to deviate slightly: a man returns from work,and discovers another man in “bed” with his wife.She asks for “forgiveness” and is remorseful.He grants her “forgiveness”…..Seriously! can this relationship be ever the same as before?

      While you ponder the above scenario;it’s only God (infinite wisdom) that “truly”….”forgives”

  • “Jack Warner has shown enormous character in the way he handled the results and magnanimous in congratulating both the UNC and PNM.”–Kangal.

    Sounds to me like some kind of hero worship going on here. Mr Kangal at your age I thought hero worship would be something of the past.

    “Persad-Bissessar is assuming the role and function of the Commissioner of Police/ judge jury and executioner and condemning the ILP as convicted criminals just as her predecessor condemned teachers to be criminals.” –Kangal.

    Should the Prime Minister had said “the ILP is a great party with good people of high reputation” she would have been Stephen hero. The Bible clearly states “woe to those who call good –evil and evil good”… If something is wrong it cannot be called good because built within all is the divine ability to know right from wrong by our conscience. To deny our conscience is to lose our humanity.

    “It is no wonder that Indian political leadership has betrayed the trust and interest of its follower base. They can be termed “one term PM’s” because after one term they are a complete and pure unadulterated embarrassment to their followers. They are ready to quit- abandon and consign us into the clutches of the PNM and are blaming others for so doing.”–Kangal.

    The current Prime Minister has done an enormous amount of work in building a Coalition. Panday deliberately sought to exclude people but this PM has worked exceptionally hard to keep people together. Jack has had his time in the sun doing things to offend other members of the coalition and suffered the current fate. When Panday failed to act against corruption he was severely scolded, this PM has done everything to stop corruption and she has paid a price for it. It seems as though you could never please anyone sadly….

    • “It seems as though you could never please anyone”….Correction! (mon ami)….Instead:”You can never please everyone” and that’s a Universal truth.

      Meanwhile,somewhere on this site recently I read that “someone was sentenced to death”….Has T&T re-instated the “death penalty?” Please enlighten me.

  • The failed Indian political leaders I am thinking of are:
    1.Dr. Rudranath Capildeo who left Parliament to lecture to London University and left us without leadership in Parliament,
    2. Panday who was given an overwhelming vote of confidence in the 2000 GE and by 2001 he lost the Prime Minister and put us back in the shackles of the PNM until 2010
    3. Given a similar overwhelming vote of confidence in May 2010 of 29/12 she retrogressively eroded this support base and by January 2013 she entered a phase of terminal decline losing three elections by injudicious decisions and candidate choices and a fourth just around the corner with the PNM lurking to practice its exclusive brand of ethno-nationalism and already causing me to sweat and the beginnings of fever having experienced its discrimination since 1956.

    • Dr.Rowley is a Tobagonian, the Tobago vote will go to Rowley next election. It comes as NO surprise that the PP lost in Tobago. Losing that election came as a shock but that fact is the PNM played on people fears and won. Besides the Tobago vote was never really in PP camp. The second loss to Jack Warner was not unusual, Warner is a shrewd businessman who gave a lot to his constituents. He polled the most votes of any general election. Warner ran a campaign of hate and succeed in stopping the UNC. The final lost was not a UNC lost but a PP loss, the UNC did well with their allotted seats but the COP failed to impress. The ILP stole a lot of votes to give the PNM the victory.

      The next general election will see many returning to the PNM. Keith already have 2 seats in Tobago and 12 in a Trinidad equals 14 seats. All the PNM need is 8 more seats and they may get it because the last election was an anti Manning vote.

      The UNC will be left with no choice especially if they lose on Monday to go after Jack with everything they have at their disposal. They have 18 months to put Jack behind bars. As long as Jack is walking free the PNM victory in the next General Elections is guaranteed. Supporters of the ILP believe that Jack is a victim and the allegations of corruption is just that “allegations”. As long as Jack can convince them that he is a victim, he will have their support. Trinidad is notorious for allowing “big fishes” to go free Bakr is a prime example so it remains to be seen if Jack will find jail a nice place.

      The DPP has fallen asleep on the Warner file. He is a nice fella but I suspect the real power in the DPP office is with those who are under him,they are the ones pulling the strings. They appear to be a PNM cabal above critique.

  • Since we all agree that Jack Warner is the supreme culprit, then why does your beloved, hard working and ‘best’ Prime Minister not make an example of him, and do what she was elected to do in first place and put her name on the front page in the history books of Trinidad and Tobago?

    “In most developed countries he would now be in jail based on only one infraction and that is his failure to file and pay income taxes for a prolonged period.” – TMan.

  • Mamoo is about the most insidious hypocrite imaginable. He was defending Jack warner in the early stages of his ejection from FIFA over bribery and corruptions accusations. As long as Jack was dancing to the fiddle of Kamla his crimes, for the ethically challenged Mamoo, were insignificant. However, since he is seen as a threat to Kamla’s return to power in a General election, Mamoo resorts to beating on his chest and calling loudly in the streets for the jailing of jack.

    Thankfully many of those who were deluded into believing that Kamla offered hope to the salvation of the nation got religion as they noted the hypocrisies and double standards that emanated from her appointments whose ethical moorings were just as fragile as Mamoo. Be careful of those who speak from both sides of their mouths, and who have long jettison any affiliation with ethics and morality.

  • “Dr.Rowley is a Tobagonian, the Tobago vote will go to Rowley next election. ” …….Mamoo
    “Besides the Tobago vote was never really in PP camp.” ….Mamoo
    “Warner ran a campaign of hate and succeed in stopping the UNC.”
    “The final lost was not a UNC lost but a PP loss, the UNC did well with their allotted seats but the COP failed to impress.” ….Mamoo
    ” The ILP stole a lot of votes to give the PNM the victory.”……Mamoo
    “The UNC will be left with no choice especially if they lose on Monday to go after Jack with everything they have at their disposal. They have 18 months to put Jack behind bars. As long as Jack is walking free the PNM victory in the next General Elections is guaranteed.”………….Mamoo
    Oh! what a pack of opinionated crap. Whether you are sympathizer, supporter, follower or blogger, when you use public print to air views, I think you you it to yourself to be relevant and truthful to your own beliefs. Mamoo’s comments are generally unimpressive but as a blogger he leaves room for other people to add their contributions and make relevant points but those statements quoted above are faceless. For example, if his beliefs are that Tobago will go to Rowley because he is Tobagonian, why in God’s name did the PNM lose the GE in 2010? The converse of that is, Kamla is an Indian, she should win the bye-election, eh? I suppose, you conform to this thinking because you also stated that Jack stole the vote in Chaguanas West (or words to that effect). While these flaws caught my attention, they do not challenge my curiosity
    or judgements. It is a very hard sell to attach truth to those statements.

    • Kian the 2010 election was an anti-manning vote. The 2015 election would see a return to traditional voting. Don’t complicate things any further than that….

  • Well St Joseph has come in and the trend continues. Trinis are waking up and seeing that underneath the façade of integrity and inclusiveness resided a corrupt and nepotistic monster eager to whet their appetites from the public coffers.

  • Jerry Colin Hussain

    Is my math wrong? In St. Joseph out of 27,000 odd eligible voters PNM got around 6500 with UNC about 5600 giving a total between the two of 12100 votes. About 12000 voters decided they do not want to vote. There is just no incentive to do so. In the 2010 elections out of roughly the same 27,000 over 10,000 voted for the PP, UNC/COP arrangement with about 7200 voting for the PNM. Was this really vote splitting as the brainwashing exercise of the PP propaganda would have us believe or is it that some 5000 eligibe voters or more decided that they are not voting for COP/UNC, PNM or ILP? Is it not simply that the result of the election is that most of us are fed up with the political representation we are experiencing in T&T. What is clear to me that we are seeing by the result is that the diehards in each party whether by choice or being bought are voting. Hence we the diehards are only voting if you put something on the table to get us to vote. What a mess we are creating in our country?

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