I ran out of time - not reasons - and as a consequence, the Election Primer was left incomplete. Fortunately and in spite of my predicament, reason won (on this rare occassion) and the People's Partnership won the election on May 24 (or Patrick Manning lost - depending on how you wish to look at it). Still here are the remaining reasons as to why you should have voted this General Election and why you should have cast your ballot for anyone but the PNM:
S is for SUMMIT OF THE AMERICAS & CHOGM
$1.5B spent and no real benefit to speak of - except perhaps the pleasure of putting 'I met the Queen and President Obama' on your resume. *sigh* Even the international news coverage that was promised was less than enthusiastic. While many of us stayed indoors rather than to have to deal with ridiculous traffic restrictions, the rest of the world virtually ignored the fact that we were playing hosts to one of the underwhelming actvities on the press calendar. While Manning et al hobnobbed, the press ventured into Beetham Gardens and commented on the blatant show of banana republic excess. At least we had our five minutes of fame courtesy of the Daily Show and the Colbert Report - even if it painted us as a spanish speaking banana republic - at least they got it half right.
T is for TAROUBA STADIUMNo one can tell you what has been spent on this white elephant to date. And they certainly have made little attempt to say just what it will cost at its completion. In any event, four years is far too much time to have been spent on this project and anything over $400M is nothing but gravy. At its completion we will no doubt have the most expensive Tsunami shelter in this hemisphere.
U is for University of Trinidad & TobagoOnly the PNM would spend copious amounts of money to start up a fledgling tertiary institution while starving the regional, recognised university of much needed funds. This while all the while preaching the gospel of regional integration. yet another one of those pesky mixed messages that was conveniently ignored so that certain people could walk around with honorary titles and unchecked entertainment allowances. Sweet!
V is for VictimizationLike it or not, the PNM systematically ignored the needs of the East Indian population. Be it scholarships through the Ministry of Culture, use of national facilities, disbursements for cultural events, National Awards, positions at State-run companies, or just the delievry of basi necessities such as water and paved roads, the PNM did a piss-poor job by indians. At least the PM was a self-proclaimed roti fanatic. A fact that is more than enough to disprove any accusation of racism that could be levelled against him or his Government.
W is for WASAWASA has been one of those perpetual problems, not unlike Herpes, that has been the bane of all Governments for the past fifty years. This time around, there were more jobs for the boys, more leaks and more reason for worry and bother than ever. In the end was this Government done in by the worst drought in a century? And the almost laughable attempts to conserve water (and expense) that has resulted in WASA becoming one of the most indebted enterprises in T&T.
X is for XENOPHILIAFor years, the people of this country have had an uncertain relationship with foreigners. They both loved them and despised them. Distrusted and relied solely upon them. Alternately Married them and raped and murdered them. Thanks to the Manning Administration however, ny sentiments of Xenophobia have been replaced by a LOVE for all things foreign - particularly if it came from China via Canada. We've had hallmark projects paid for with your tax dollars but designed, managed and constructed by foreigners. We've had foreign culture given preference over the local ones. Jobs to foreigners. Aid to foreigners. Etc. I am certain that once an audit is completed the Government would have export more dollars and opportunities for sustainable development than any other government in this country's history - including under colonial rule. Naturally, aAs the holder of a canadian passport I feel as though I missed out on the rush while it was happening. Damn you morals and ethics!
Y is for YES MENThere has been no shortage of 'yes men' in this Government. We've had sycophants of all kinds in the past eight years as the PM has systematically purged the dissent out of his party and surrounded himself with outstrectched hands. They would probably agree to any suggestion that the PM might bring to the table. Like lemmings - they will all follow their leader to certain death.
Z is for ZZZZZZZZZZI have no doubt that the sound of the PM'svoice was for many a source of comfort and joy. For many more more however, it was a signal to switch channels. Yes, his voice may have bored and frustrated you to tears in the last eight years - but to me, it worked better than that white noise between radio stations. Thanks for the many nights of sound sleep Mr PM. I now understand how Hazel has remained married to you for so long.