Friday, November 13, 2009

Opposition Unity

An unquestionably desirable goal for all those persons opposed to the PNM and yearning for a change of government, because, let's face it, in the first-past-the post system that we have here in good old T&T there is no way that either of the divided camps of the UNC and the COP will see the corridors of power before snow falls in Trinidad if they don’t unite.

But, unity is a long way off. You hear both sides saying “we will unite if that’s what the people want!” Well, I have news for them: that is EXACTLY what the people want. The truth, though, is that the leadership in both camps are the ones who do not want unity and they are only paying lip service to the concept because they realise that any opposition politician who comes out frankly (and honestly) and says “I don’t want to unite with them!” (whoever “them” might be) will be punished by the electorate which understands full well that the PNM cannot be defeated by a divided opposition. So, the opposition leaders (Panday, Dookeran and their respective followers) speak in code. They say things like “we want unity “from the ground up” when what they really mean is that “I have no problem with unity provided always that I am in charge and the rest of you will follow under my leadership.” Once you understand that you will understand why there can be no unity. Neither Dookeran nor Panday is prepared to step down. And what happened to the people’s interests and what is best for the people? Do they really care? Forget their words; look at their actions. What has either leader done specifically in the last twelve months to convince you that he cares about you?

Perhaps you will understand the point if you look at it another way: a person joins or supports a political party because he/she agrees with its philosophies and policies. (At least, that’s what is supposed to happen when you take the racial agenda out of the mix.) So, what are the philosophies and policies that the UNC and the COP agree on? What are the philosophies and policies that they disagree on? Can’t tell me? Not surprised. I don’t know the answer to that either, and when I asked this question on the radio of a COP deputy political leader he couldn’t say either. Conclusion? It’s all about who will be King Rat, and nothing else.

Don’t you think that we should demand more honesty from all of our politicians? Until we wake up and smell the coffee those who would be our leaders will continue to mouth platitudes and treat us like idiots.

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