Neither serves as effective political strategy, and if initially effective possess little longevity.
As tribal/racial as many posters to this forum believe Trinbagonians to be, it is unlikely that an incumbant leader, whether elected on the basis of ethnicity or nationality would enjoy a thirteen point lead over a political opponent in an upcoming election, after having presided over an administration whose policies have lead the nation into recession, a record job deficit and national debt, and created an atmosphere of hostility in the world that now has citizens, with good cause, afraid of their very own shadow.
The advantage Trinibagonians have over any other nation is the fact that they are not band-wagoners. And if Abu Bakr and Panday's defeat did not serve as a lesson to the proponents of racial/tribal politics, then they will learn from their own demise.
Except for Raffique Shah, has anyone with an opinion on the criminal element in T&T ever been a victim of "serious" crime? I believe that when the citizens of T&T have had enough they will find a way to put an end to this current crime wave. The history of our nation has proven that, time and time again.
The media pundits and politicians who advocate, promote and cajole racial division will soon be exposed as self-servers and burnt in effigy, so why begrudge them this "temporal sway."
I don't know the consensus, but my sister's opinion on why Trinidad and Tobago for the most part, was spared Ivan's wrath, is that we remain the only nation that actually, can and will help our neighbors in a time of crisis. After reading Shah's essay about the overwhelming response of common trini-folk, to the cry for help from our neighbors my belief in the basic good of our people has been reinforced, regardless of God's nationality, ethnicity or existence.
Like I have posted before, I have yet to be subjected to negative comments on the behavior and character of fellow Trinbagonians abroad. Also, I have yet to meet a Trinbagonian abroad who will not voluntarily, and at the first opportunity, choose to return home.
All T&T seems to be lacking is a good dose of self-esteem. There should be no fear of this ever going to our heads as critics abound, relishing every opportunity to put us back in our place with their censure,and disparagement.
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