Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Put the blame on we

As I type, the UNC is having a political meeting somewhere in my neighbourhood. The first I knew of it was the soundcheck earlier this evening; out of nowhere, a deep, excited male voice boomed through the house, making the windows rattle. "Yes. Yes. Yes, yes, yes. Yes!" It could have been the soundtrack to a porn movie. Then they started playing the annoying UNC campaign jingle. Now they've switched to what sounds like a parody of Akon's "Put the Blame on Me". Exactly how is this supposed to convince me to vote? It puts a definite end to my plans for a quiet night working away at my desk.


At least it's a change from the even more annoying PNM campaign jingle, which has been blaring from cars equipped with loudspeakers every afternoon this week. The chorus is a despairing voice bleating the name of the political leader and aspiring dictator: PATREHHHK! Then something about going down the road together. Down the road to where? National migraine?


In today's Express, Selwyn Ryan claims the PNM and the COP are running "neck and neck". But everyone I talk to seems morosely convinced that on 5 November the PNM will be back with a bigger majority. I don't know what would be worse: that, or a UNC government with Jack Warner and Ramesh Maharaj in high office. I wish I could believe the COP had a real chance of forming a government. I can't say I've been impressed by their campaign, or most of their candidates; but, if I'm certain of anything in Trinidad and Tobago politics, it's that Winston Dookeran is not a wicked man. Leave his real flaws aside--for now, that alone is enough.

My best realistic hope: an unstable COP-UNC coalition that collapses in a year or so and triggers fresh elections.

But I fear that on the morning of 6 November, we'll wake up and find that we're only just starting to realise what a mess we're in. Maybe we'll also finally grasp that it's our fault, not the politicians'--they're just preying on our prejudices and political immaturity. Then the real work will begin.

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