One political pundit who conducted a poll suggested that the Peoples’ Partnership might win tomorrow’s election based on “leanings” shown in that particular poll. Another poll three days ago reported the Partnership “on track” to win” but the marginals could go either way.
Despite those ‘leanings’ and the meanderings of the Nigel Henry polls, the pollsters are equivocal about which of the two parties will win tomorrow’s election, the PNM or the incumbent Peoples’ Partnership—a coalition, now unlike 2010, visibly dominated by the UNC to whom the COP abjectly surrendered.
Some of the COP castrati are still singing for suppers already eaten and for well-rewarded acquiescence but Michael Williams and Conrad Aleong have given sound advice to those COP who did not eat UNC food.
The pollsters have said that the election is too tight to call, telling us the numbers of undecided are high, hence their equivocation.
If there is a winner by a majority of more than two seats, then the polling methodologies used will be shown up as unsuitable for use in a polling environment with characteristics very different from countries in which polling is taught.
First, the parties cannot be distinguished by their position on the major issues of violent crime, daily road traffic chaos, the failing education system and economy, even at the current critical time of falling energy prices.
We also live in an economy in which the Government is dominant and all our Governments have shown vindictiveness. This situation compels persons to be secretive or to mislead about their likely voting choice.
By contrast to their evasion of the issues, the political parties are focused on “the politics of personal destruction.” This has been a nasty campaign and the nasties have extended their personal attacks to anyone who dissents about anything they say or do, thereby providing further reason for citizens to feel intimidated and fearful to disclose preferences.
In passing, it must be observed that our politicians participate in a very visible level of high living. They are surrounded by members of the ‘contractocracy’, including lawyers whose fees are in a stratosphere never reached by some of the greats of the legal profession. This questionably moneyed environment does fuel corruption accusations and personal attacks.
This election we have experienced a new phenomenon also calculated to make the electorate cagey. It is the act of confronting citizens directly through their personal communication devices where there is not the anonymity from a random call by a pollster.
For example, one day in mid-August, a young professional received, by What’s App, unsolicited directions how to find a political meeting nearby in the constituency in which he lives.
One week later this young person receives another message informing him of the regret that he had not attended the candidate’s meeting for which directions had been previously given. He was then given directions to another meeting.
This was not a random shot. It was sent to the mobile number of a resident living in close proximity to the two meetings.
Mobile numbers as far as I know do not indicate address or area. How was this young citizen’s personal information accessed? Assuming it was easily available, how was it linked to the area of residence? Who authorised its use for partisan political purposes?
Is this a threshold crossed towards more widespread political spying?
This chilling occurrence came to my attention liming during the Independence weekend. In fact as a result of the ole talk during that lime I had intended to write a light hearted column relating the kicks and quips in the liming conversations in which a wide range of ages were represented.
In the course of those kicks and quips, generations compared changes in courting. The older ones spoke of the lyrics, notes and flowers that made the heart go ‘bidip, budup.’
For the young ones the current emphasis on physical attributes and vanity has given rise to a trend in tight clothes better to attract a mate. In the men’s clothing department this was summarised as: “If it ain’t tight it ain’t right; if it ain’t squeezin’ it ain’t pleasing”.
It is from that trend that the headline of this column about tight polls emerged.
In 2007 and 2010, I made accurate predictions of the winner—and, in 2007, many weeks before the election date.
In order to win this 2015 election, the PNM must regain at least nine seats lost to the Partnership in the 2010 wave of ‘Kamla-mania.’ This is a difficult task.
We will see whether Kamla is still the incumbent’s trump card, able to make the Partnership palatable no matter what.
Personally, I am no longer undecided, but this time I make no prediction. The indications of my thought process and my concerns where the post-election dangers lie are contained in my columns.
May we preserve our precious electoral peace.