Thursday, November 21, 2002

Kevin Baldeosingh suggests in his Express column today that the abortion debate could play a decisive role in T&T's next general election:

"Legalising abortion, if done now, would also strengthen the PNM’s grip on its grassroots supporters come the next election, since such a measure benefits poor women and by 2007 the Government would have the figures to prove it. Whether the party needs its grip strengthened is a moot question, but our electoral situation is now one where every little bit counts. Perhaps more importantly, though, the party would also win liberals’ approval: and, by and large, the liberal vote is also the swing vote."

The great assumption here is that a serious social issue could actually influence how a significant part of the T&T electorate decides to vote; will we grow up that much by 2007? And I'm very curious to know how Baldeosingh arrived at the idea that "the liberal vote is also the swing vote". One could make a case, as Raymond Ramcharitar has (here, here, & here), that October's election proved the opposite. I personally suspect that much of the "liberal vote", such as it is, stayed home, voting with its silence.

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