Sunday, April 25, 2010

Election Primer A - Z: 'D' is for 'd Issues, duh!

Parliament may have been dissolved three weeks ago, but to date and as they have done for the past two and half years, the ruling party has chosen to ignore the issues that really matter at this time. Instead of trying to validate the faith and trust placed in the likes of Calder Hart - the PNM has chosen instead to focus on faulty lessons on the history of coalition governments.

Instead of trying to explain why it is that it appears unable to provide basic services for anyone beyond the rank and file of the party's inner circle (now did you think that Colm has to worry about water? Hazel about traffic? Martin about his personal security? Or Marlene about her health issues?) the party chooses to attempt to invoke fear in the minds of the electorate by falsely advising that any other party would do away with its social programmes.

Instead of apologizing for the runaway horse that is crime, we have Marlene critquing Kamla's fashion choices and Christine, Amery et al talking of bad marriages, frankenstein monsters, and disasters in waiting.

And instead of communicating its vision and its plans for the next parliamentary term, the PNM has chosen instead to devolve to desparate and unfounded personal attacks.

In spite of its own internal issues (the Rowley factor, the diminishing support of the Arab community, the disatisfaction of several contituency groups and the fact that Patrick Manning remains their biggest liability) the PNM has chosen to stray from a line rooted in accomplishment and forward planning and instead has chosen to go on the 'offensive' and has been quite offensive in what can only be termed baseless and deperate personal attacks on the leading members of the coalition.

Whereas the picong may be to the satisfaction of its own support base, the lack of issues and ideas being voiced on the campaign trail, will not result in the winning over of the hearts and minds of the swing voters and of the COP voters as Colm Imbert has asserted. And the truth remains that without such voters, the PNM stands little chance of winning any of the marginals on May 24.

What is equally offensive is the fact that the party continues to routinely skirt such issues as Rowley, Hart, Crime, Economic sustainability, Property Tax and Over-spending. And instead had relied heavily on baseless fears. "Take away what the PNM has given you"? What a crock of sh$#! Free healthcare and education were still here in 2001. Social programmes such as URP as well. Dollar for Dollar provided education opportunities for thousands between 1995 and 2001.

And as for the question marks being thrown up against the value of our currency and the gas subsidy consider this: The majority of the value of our currency has been lost during PNM adminsitrations, and the last Government to interfere with gas prices was the PNM two budgets ago.

I for one am curious as to how is it that Rowley could be deemed inapporpriate for Mr Manning's Cabinet and has endured allegations of his wajang behaviour as well as of financial inpropriety from Cleaver Woods to Cayman Islands, but has been found to appropriate and good enough for the people of Diego Martin West. Arent voters there the least bit concerned that they are in effect voting for a parliamentary back-bencher should the party be returned to power? Why hasnt the party moved to dispel / retract / spin all the allegations that have been made against Dr Rowley?

I have two things to say to Dr Rowley on this issue: Firstly, the Party needs you more than you need it at this time. Secondly, from where I sit, it is obvious that they are attmpting to ride you like the town jacka$$ only to cut you loose once the journey is over.

But I get ahead of myself. Even on the list of priorities this remains a small issue - dwarfed by wha people really want to hear about at this time: the Economy, Crime, Employment, Quality of living, Property Tax, Accountabilty in Public life, Education, Public Transport and the list goes on. Take note Mr PM, nobody gives rat's a$$ about your opinion on coalition governments or all your specualtive hearsay as to what is happening in the Opposition camp. And certainly even less about the history of crude prices and coalitions, and about the sweaters that Kamla is wearing. Get this in your head: this election is about D issues, duh!

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