Monday, July 1, 2013

CRAPAUD POLITICS



A long time ago at an election meeting in San Fernando Dr. Eric Williams who was then the Prime Minister, said words to the effect that if a crapaud (which for the benefit of my foreign readers is a toad) wore a balisier tie (the balisier is the symbol of the PNM) that he would be elected. Dr. Williams was expressing a certain frustration because he had wanted to get rid of certain PNM candidates (the then MP for Port of Spain South, Brinsley Barrow, was one) and had been forced by the Party Groups of those constituencies to accept them as PNM candidates. He was effectively calling these persons on the PNM slate crapauds. To say that he was annoyed was putting it mildly.

The electorate well understood what he meant and although Mr. Barrow and the others were re-elected their political careers were effectively over and they were all pushed out at the next elections.

The phrase came back to me this morning as I was going to work and listening to the popular talk show duo on the radio, Dale Enoch and Tony Lee, who, in commenting on the up-coming Chaguanas West (CW) by-election,  used the phrase 'crapaud politics'. They were high lighting Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar's exhortation to the CW electorate to vote party and not personality ... an obvious not-so-tacit admission that Jack Warner is a huge problem for the People's Partnership and the UNC in particular. Mr. Warner remains extremely popular in the CW seat and probably beyond. My information (which is usually very accurate) is that all 31 party groups in the constituency nominated Mr. Warner as their candidate. The fact that the UNC Party Leadership decided to ignore the wishes of the party groups and to impose their acting chairman, Khadijah Ameen, as the UNC candidate for the CW seat is going to spell huge trouble for both the Party as well as the Party's Leadership. The voice of the people, it seems, is no longer the voice of God!

People have noticed this obvious dichotomy and they are talking. There is a level of dissatisfaction that is rising now in the country that has to be disturbing to the UNC Leadership ... if they are listening! The problem is that the UNC Leadership appears to be "getting high on their own supply" and attempts to bring them down to earth by well meaning supporters who are worried about the looming crash,  are dismissed with a casualness that borders on arrogance.

Then too, the newspapers don't help by their continued inaccurate reporting. Take, for example, an article in yesterday's Sunday Guardian
that said that the UNC motorcade was met with a warm welcome in Felicity on Saturday. I was surprised by the article and decided to check it out by telephoning someone in that area who has always reported to me faithfully what has been going on down there. Her exact words were "dose newspapers could lie! If it had ten people from Felicity in dat motorcade it had plenty!"  So, why was the Guardian deliberately misleading it's readers? I can think of only two possible reasons: (a) the reporter is incompetent; or (b) the Guardian wants to mislead the UNC Leadership into a false sense of security because the newspaper is really against the Government and wants them to lose. I freely admit that there might be another reason for the inaccuracy, but for the life of me I can't think what it might be.

But that is a digression. The point here is that Jack Warner is going to upset the crapaud politics that has prevailed in this country for more than fifty years. When (and not "if") he wins he will be able to say convincingly that he is the new face of politics in this country. His victory will not only be a terrible blow for the UNC but also for the PNM whose seats the formidable Warner is bound to turn his attention to. The two major Parties in this country cannot be happy over the developing scenario. Both of them have played their respective hands very badly against Mr. Warner who is looking more and more like a winner with each passing day. And people love winners!

P.S.  The return of a triumphant Jack Warner to the House of Representatives is going to spell serious trouble for the Persad-Bissessar regime in more ways than one. One of the things that Mrs. Persad-Bissessar is going to have to pay close attention to is her seemingly invincible majority. At the moment she commands 28 of the 41 seats in Parliament. She will  no longer be able to count on CW when (and not "if") Jack Warner wins. No big thing you say? Well, it could become a big thing. There are several Parliamentarians on the PP side who are likely to go over to Jack, especially as all of their seats are vulnerable and could fall to the PNM in the next elections if they don't. There are 3 UNC seats, the occupants of which look as though they will throw in with Mr. Warner: these are Ortoire/Mayaro (Gypsy), St. Joseph (Volney) and San Juan/Barataria (Fuad Khan). Now Herbert Volney isn't the brightest bulb in the room and he ain't worth "diddley squat" in the polls but he does at present occupy a seat, and therein lies a huge problem for the Prime Minister. In addition, there are COP seats occupied by the likes of Anil Roberts, Lincoln Douglas and Winston DeCoteau that will likely go over to Jack. (If they don't, they will lose to the PNM in the next general election.)That's a total of seven seats including Jack's. The margin starts to get very uncomfortable. The PP will then be dependent on the two Tobago seats to remain in office until 2015. Interesting, eh? And we haven't yet begun to discuss what will happen when the next general election rolls around!!



22 comments:

  1. my thought exactly,people are too educated now , than long ago.

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  2. Crapaud politices go away and never come back again.

    nail on the head mr montano

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  3. After the 29th,the PP government will get a wake up call,and to top it off also the local election they will lose.

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  4. They walking themselves straight out of Parliament. But by then their pockets full for their next four generations.

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  5. Very accurate assessment Mr Montano. In a few months politics in T & T will experience a new and dynamic phase - WATCH OUT T & T

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  6. More than anyone else I would like Mr. Warner to go up as an independent and teach those fools a lesson in politics. However my humble advice this is what the cabal wants you to do this so they can expel you. Do not play into their hands let the people of CW be a bit patient NO Jack simply means no Vote , then Mr. Warner fight Kamla for the leadership of the party next year and change the politics forever. 2014 will see Mr. Warner as prime minister " he who command the majority in the house is PM we don't have to wait for a general election.

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  7. I agree with your assessment Mr. Montano, it is strange to realize that Mr. Warner resigned as MP to go back to the people for their confidence in him, to represent them, because of the rumors and perception of the FIFA issue, which i thought is fair to the people who voted for him, and it was not a move to get the confidence of the UNC executive, because he remained a UNC supported, but the executive of the UNC took the opportunity to express their personal thoughts on him. The UNC executive should show to their supporters the reason they did not think it was appropriate for Mr. Warner to represent the party, where did he fail in the interview. Yes I think Mr. Warner have the "guts" as we will say in local language to change the politics, it was sad that Penny did not have the same guts. Time for the new party to form.

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  8. I await the day when politics will represent the youth of this nation and not men and women who have lived and are hovering over life's exit door and while in such position fight for every inch of attention and power(Mr.Montano included). The day politics could represent the youths,the real future,then crapaud politics would be fit for princes and princesses.

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  9. Mr. Montano you should be commended for your candid and fair assessment of the situation that is developing in the country with Jack Warner and the UNC. The UNC big wigs are living in a fools paradise and need to get their heads out of the sand. The party is hiding behind its constitution which it is using selectively to portend its will. Jack will overcome and hopefully he goes on to create his own party which would be supported by a large and diverse group of people. A small but significant group of us, stationed in Canada, is looking closely at the situation that is developing. We also believe that Volney has it right as well. We would have no qualms in supporting Jack and throwing out some of the recycled, old school politicians who are choking the one person in Trinidad, the current Prime minister, from moving forward with the business of the country. There is still some time left to bring Jack on side, however, we believe that Jack should return only on the condition that the party sends some of the so called super ministers out the door. Jack we will stand with you so throw the fools out if the UNC keeps playing this charade.

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  10. Mackie SookermanyJuly 1, 2013 at 8:55 PM

    A man is innocent until proven guilty! Thank you so very much for your introduction to this "debate", Honourable gentleman, Mr Montano. I think you have open an opportunity to so many people in Trinidad and Tobago to voice their opinions when it would have been impossible otherwise, to have the opportunity to do so. I will follow in days to come, but I have only one observation at this point and time to mentioned. Prior to Mr Warner resigning his seat as Member of Parliament for Chaguanas West and Chairmanship of the UNC, we were bombarded with reports of corruptive allegations against him, regarding the FIFA affair. These allegations were coming from EVERYWHERE and were never ending, all requesting him to resign. The Media was the major distributors of these allegations. BUT, Honourable Gentleman, have you noticed that ever since Mr Warner resigned, WE HAVE NOT HEARD A SINGLE WORD OF ANY OF THESE ALLEGATIONS FROM THE MEDIA, UNC, PNM, COP and THA!!!! I leave it at that for now!

    I thank you yor the opportunity to contribute to the debate.

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    Replies
    1. Do we need a commission of inquiry to find out who was behind the reports on him?

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  11. WE NEED YOU AGAIN IN POLITICS MR. MONTANO

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  12. I think the voice of the people is no longer heard.

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  13. Slight correction: Brensley Barrow was MP for POS Central; Dr. Williams was MP for POS South.

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  14. Yes!! You are correct! Brinsley Barrow was Port of Spain Central!! My mistake!

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  15. This is an excellent assessment of the current political happenings in CW, Trinidad, and Tobago (don't forget us). As someone who followed the THA elections in Tobago in January (and I mean covered in detail as a journalist), this too has implications for Tobago. We all know that tribal politics has long existed in Trinidad and Tobago, the if Montano's assessments are correct (which I think its right on), it will forever change the face of politics in this diverse twin island republic. No current party should be comfortable heading in 2015, and rightfully so, to rally their ethnic bases.

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  16. If it's one thing Montano you've always been a raconteur given to taking yourself seriously. Just like the old breed of politicians, the old breed of pseudo political analysts like you just need to shut up now. You had your time ,just try now to slip past unnoticed.

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  17. A case of 'The blind leading the blind'......

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  18. What Montano has said is 100% accurate, "Diogenes". Instead of attacking the messenger, why don't you deal with the message?

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  19. Interesting analysis of the situation, I am wondering how Mr. Warner will be able to function as an M.P. if he wins. We all expect him to win because clearly he has overwhelming support on the ground. However, can he sustain the development he started in the area without government support?

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  20. kamla forget she motto... "d voice of d people is d voice of god" she have a new one now....
    "d voices of d cabal is d voice of god" kamla not everyone who laugh and skin with u in front uh face is ur friend....

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  21. thnx for the information..
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