Tuesday, May 1, 2012


It is difficult not to come to the conclusion that the People's Partnership
Government is in serious trouble. The on going 'brouhaha'  between the COP
and its senior partner, the UNC, over the Marlene Coudray affair has now
escalated out of all proportion to the original sin of poaching the COP's
San Fernando mayor. The truth is that the defection of Marlene Coudray from
the COP to the UNC was simply another nail in the coffin of the terminally ill
COP which has been whithering on the political vine long before the UNC gave
them a wiff of oxygen in the 2010 general elections, for without the UNC's
helping hand the COP would have lost any and every seat that the Party would
have contested. Frankly, it must be difficult to be in such a position where you
are part of a team that didn't really need you to win. Oh! Undoubtedly, the COP
coming together with the UNC helped the UNC win even bigger, but the truth is
that in 2010 the UNC would have won without the COP's help.

Fast forward two years later and we now have a completely different scenario.
Prakash Ramadar has allowed himself to be boxed in on an issue that of itself
really ought not to have been allowed to blow up into such a big mess ... but it has!
Now he is in a such a position that if he climbs down from the limb that he has
found himself on he will look ridiculous, but if he doesn't then his days in the
Cabinet are clearly numbered. He is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't!
The Prime Minister cannot (and will not) take his threat to vote independently of
decisions taken in Cabinet that the COP does not agree with lightly. Talk about
principles!? The whole principle of Cabinet Government is that if you are a
member of a Cabinet that takes a decision that you do not agree with, then you
have a simple choice: resign or shut up. It's a little like being half pregnant: a
physical impossibility!

So the erstwhile Mr. Ramadar will either get his marching orders fairly soon, or
he will march out of the Cabinet before they come down. Either way he is dead
meat, for he can't hope to win that St. Augustine seat again. That seat is a solid
UNC seat and if Mr. Ramadar holds on to it until the next general election (and
my bet is that he will) he will be ignominiously routed at the polls. To make
matters worse for him, many of his constituents have been complaining that
they don't see him ... a complaint made about his colleague, Carolyn Seepersad-
Bachan, the member of Parliament for San Fernando West, and the real reason
why the COP is so upset about Ms. Coudray's defection. (The plan was for the
UNC to run Ms. Coudray in San Fernando West in the next elections).

But while the COP has gratuitously shot itself in the head with this very stupid
quarrel it has also managed to damage the UNC horribly. All indications are
that the UNC "honchos" haven't yet understood the damage that has been inflicted
on them, but they will find out soon enough. The country is rapidly coming to the
conclusion that they don't know how to govern and that good governance is
not high on the UNC's list of priorities. To a large extent this perception is being
caused by the stagnating economy which the COP's Finance Minister has failed
to fix. (Whether it is Mr. Dookeran's fault that the economy is in the doldrums or
not the point is that he has to take responsibility for it.) Add to this fact the
very public infighting over the Coudray matter and you have a mix that is causing
a great sense of unease in the population.

Now I know that quite a few of the UNC boys (and girls) have done the maths and
realise that if all the COP MP's walk out that they will still be left with twenty-one
seats ... a working majority. But, (and it is a big'but') they will find out soon
enough that having a majority in Parliament means nothing if you don't have a
majority in the country behind you. If the COP walk out or are fired (and the truth
is that it won't really matter which) the UNC are going to be severely damaged.
A lot of people who used to support them will "park" and will wait to see what
will happen next. Unfortunately for the country, Keith Rowley's PNM is neither
an attractive nor a viable option. You might say that the PNM has gone to sleep.
But all that could change if (and it is a big"if") the PNM were to get a new
leader in the morning. If the PNM choose the right leader then Kamla will be in
very serious trouble. If they don't ... well, the UNC  could prove the old saying
accredited to Winston Churchill: Politics is much more dangerous than war; in
politics you can get killed many times ... in war you can get killed only once! In
other words, the UNC could live again! But for now, they have a really big


  1. Why in your opinion is Rowley not a viable option? Do you believe the PNM base and undecideds feel the same way? Also who do you think would pose a better challenge given your PNM wake up in the morning scenario?

  2. Thank you Robin Montano. Very pertinent observations.
    Even if it is brought up in the COE, we all know that there will be no jail time for anyone. But facts are facts and all those high and mighty ones who were in authority and who had the wherewithal to safeguard the policyholders sat idly by.

    1. sorry my comments are on the wrong post