Home / View Point / Mistah Shak: Why I’m not fully satisfied despite PNM’s electoral victory…

Mistah Shak: Why I’m not fully satisfied despite PNM’s electoral victory…

PHEW! FINALLY JAH! This period of electoral campaigning, which most certainly overstayed its welcome, has finally reached its conclusion!

So we will now have a new Government which will be formed by Dr Keith Rowley and the PNM, having defeated the UNC/PP 23-18.

Photo: Whaddap, cocoyea! A PNM supporter celebrates at Balisier House after the election results on September 7, 2015. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Whaddap, cocoyea! A PNM supporter celebrates at Balisier House after the election results on September 7, 2015.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

This is a victory and a change that I very willingly accept and welcome because—whether you were an advocate of the PNM and Dr Rowley or not—I think it would be difficult to find any right-thinking, civic-minded Trinbagonian that would’ve disagreed with the fact that the outgoing UNC/PP administration needed to do just that: Get out and go!

However, I for one still doh feel the total sense of relief and renewal I had hoped might’ve come from this outcome.

Don’t get me wrong, I am elated to see the backs of the UNC/PP government. But I still haven’t fully exhaled for a couple of reasons.

First off, the fact that the UNC/PP was still able to command enough votes to win 18 seats, have mih lil bummy. Because it certainly indicates that we are even more polarised a society than in 2010.

It’s also an indication of something I’ve always commented on and lamented about: our levels of hypocrisy and fickleness and our increasingly shifting—and seemingly diminishing—sets of value systems.

According to most of the national community—politicians and civilians, rich and poor, young and old, African, Indian, Dougla, Asian, Syrian, Nowhere-ian, everybody alike—de last PNM administration under Mr Patrick Manning was voted out 29-12, mainly for allegations and perceptions of corruption.

Photo: Former Prime Minister Patrick Manning.
Photo: Former Prime Minister Patrick Manning.

So de fact that this outgoing UNC/PP Government—which again I think any right-thinking, rational, honest citizen would agree, was associated in some way, shape or form, with ah whole heap more instances of either proven or suspected acts and situations of corruption—was still able to claim 18 whole seats, seems to be an indication from a large cross-section of the electorate that:

“We eh tolerating NO corruption at all!… EXCEPT if de party we supportin’ doing it (*wink wink*). In which case, dey go get ah bligh and we vote.”

Or is it that tribalism and racial considerations continue to overwhelmingly trump nationalistic concerns and even logic?

Whether either one or both those dynamics are true, it is an indication to me that, just like the state of the economy at present, the mindset of large cross-sections of this society may be in a less than desirable place from a nationalistic perspective. And, like the economy, this mindset will be an uphill challenge to overcome and further, to rectify.

However, I am confident that if sober, equitable and rational governance is applied—as is the stated intent of the incoming administration—we can see positive effects over time.

Beside that, I am also of the view that everything about the UNC/PP’s conduct over that last five years is more than enough indication that, with that many seats in hand, they would very likely attempt to make the job of governing the country an even more difficult prospect—in some instances even unnecessarily so—simply for the sake of frustrating processes and being able to fully flex dey “opposition muscle.”

Photo: Outgoing Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar (left) and former Leader of Government Business Roodal Moonilal. (Courtesy Baltimore Post)
Photo: Outgoing Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar (left) and former Leader of Government Business Roodal Moonilal.
(Courtesy Baltimore Post)

I continue to hope against all odds that they prove me wrong in this respect. However their “leader’s” concession speech, makes that an even more likely eventuality.

Dat speech was woefully devoid of any nationalistic perspective or outlook, any humility and, according to mih pardner Jason Arthur: Jus like primary school on ah Sunday, it had no class!

All the things one would hope that an outgoing PM would at least try to feign, even if not genuinely represent, was totally absent from that excuse fuh ah speech.

Such was her disdain for the defeat—and, I’m sure, her opponents—that she couldn’t even bring herself to congratulate the PNM, far more Dr Rowley. She was more concerned with highlighting their ability to command the “popular vote.”

It was very reminiscent of Mr Basdeo Panday’s “look in de mirror” speech.

Such was her struggle to maintain grace under fire, that she didn’t even see it fit to respect the presence of her own supporters at Rienzi Complex enough to make herself present to formally address them, as their “leader.”

Photo: UNC political leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar celebrates victory at the 2010 General Elections. (Copyright Frederic Dubray/AFP 2015)
Photo: UNC political leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar celebrates victory at the 2010 General Elections.
(Copyright Frederic Dubray/AFP 2015)

Me eh even see none ah she “cabalist deputies” make any formal address or acknowledgement there either. That is an indication that even their own support base, is dealt with from a point of convenience.

So what a poetic and symbolic twist of fate it was when de official Prime Ministerial vehicle, PM1, couldn’t start when the new Opposition Leader was ready to make her departure and had to be towed away. And the lady had to be given a lift to wherever her destination was.

Ah couldn’t make dat sh*t up even if ah tried. LOL!

Dat seem like more karma than Nisha and Ravi B together dey yes!

So for these reasons/observations I’ve stated, my satisfaction about the removal of the UNC/PP administration is tempered and reserved.

My reservations are however not oblivious to the hope and pride that was provided in the starkly contrasting victory speech by the PNM leader and new Prime Minister, Dr Rowley.

Photo: PNM political leader Dr Keith Rowley (centre) gives his victory speech at Balisier House flanked by his wife Sharon Rowley (right) and daughter Sonel. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: PNM political leader Dr Keith Rowley (centre) gives his victory speech at Balisier House flanked by his wife Sharon Rowley (right) and daughter Sonel.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

His speech inspired the hope of shared national pride and purpose, faith in our ability to overcome challenges and even more respect for Dr Rowley himself as a true statesman. He managed to remain focused on the task at hand while staying humble and appropriate in the face of his and his party’s victory.

In conclusion, de one thing ah could count on to lighten my present angst, is the very unique sense of humour and biting sarcasm of Trinbagonians in almost every situation.

The following picture is, in my opinion, one of de most hilarious in what had to be thousands of memes attached to dis election. Dis is my pick-hit here.

Photo: COP political leader Prakash Ramadhar celebrates taking a solitary seat for his party.
Photo: COP political leader Prakash Ramadhar celebrates taking a solitary seat for his party.

Allyuh Trini eh easy nah! LMAO!

About Mistah Shak

Mistah Shak
Mistah Shak is a Trinbagonian singer/songwriter/musician/performer from the modest but culturally vibrant southern town of Siparia. He considers himself to be an intelligent lyricist, thought provoking songwriter, competent musician and an unwavering and purposeful musical soldier.

Check Also

NOT CONDEMNING… Do the PM and the GoRTT see men as more equal than women?

When there is no law against sexual harassment, those engaged in such activities are in …

19 comments

  1. Well said Mr. Shak it is time people say the right things let others wake up and see the vileness in their ways, time to stop the tribal voting and vote for country

  2. “Beside that, I am also of the view that everything about the UNC/PP’s conduct over that last five years is more than enough indication that, with that many seats in hand, they would very likely attempt to make the job of governing the country an even more difficult prospect—in some instances even unnecessarily so—simply for the sake of frustrating processes and being able to fully flex dey “opposition muscle.””
    Nine days’ country though we may be, we certainly cannot afford to forget what Mr Panday reminded of many years ago, to wit, that it is not the job of the Opposition to make the government look good. It is to Dr Rowley’s eternal credit, I think, that, under his leadership, the PNM Opposition often put country first. Where did it get us? Take Section 34 in allyuh rukunkertungkung!
    Where did it get him? “Haul yuh stinkin Tobago, rapist-family tail and get outta we parliament!”
    So those who are expecting these demonstrably mean-spirited, self-centred, ‘eat-a-feast’ people who will now form the official opposition to think Trinidad and Tobago and cooperate with Dr Rowley’s government have clearly been living under a rock for the past five years and did not even wake up in time to hear the ex-prime minister’s obsession, oops, concession speech.
    But I suppose hope springs eternal…

  3. Of course, Shak just says it just more eloquent than I ever could. 🙂

    • “According to most of the national community—politicians and civilians, rich and poor, young and old, African, Indian, Dougla, Asian, Syrian, Nowhere-ian, everybody alike—de last PNM administration under Mr Patrick Manning was voted out 29-12, mainly for allegations and perceptions of corruption. So de fact that this outgoing UNC/PP Government—which again I think any right-thinking, rational, honest citizen would agree, was associated in some way, shape or form, with ah whole heap more instances of either proven or suspected acts and situations of corruption—was still able to claim 18 whole seats, seems to be an indication from a large cross-section of the electorate that:
      “We eh tolerating NO corruption at all!… EXCEPT if de party we supportin’ doing it (*wink wink*). In which case, dey go get ah bligh and we vote.””
      Shak, you beat me to it. I was hoping to make the time today to organize my thoughts and respond – albeit rather less eloquently, I suspect, – to the 23-18 result. Like you, I was hoping for a wider margin as evidence that the entire electorate – and not just the “right-thinking, rational, honest citizen” you have repeatedly pointed to herein – has rejected out-of-hand the blatant corruption on which we ostensibly turned our backs five years ago. Alas! The closeness of the contest and the narrowness of the margin leave little doubt that it is still too early to say, borrowing Mr Live Wire’s recent felicitous turn of phrase, apathy done!

  4. I hear yuh,the reason them other members of the cabal wasn’t present with their outgoing pm was probably because they were busy shredding documents,ha ha

  5. my sentiments exactly!!! except that it would take me great effort to convey them so eloquently. worth sharing.

  6. I’m going to be looking on to see how many countrymen/women are in the opposition. Hopefully they’ll sober up.

  7. “Beside that, I am also of the view that everything about the UNC/PP’s conduct over that last five years is more than enough indication that, with that many seats in hand, they would very likely attempt to make the job of governing the country an even more difficult prospect—in some instances even unnecessarily so—simply for the sake of frustrating processes and being able to fully flex dey “opposition muscle.””…and I think as soon as they ketch their collective breaths again, this is what will happen. It will be interesting to see what issues/legislation they will try to block and on what grounds. This will certainly be an interesting session.

  8. I’m embarrassed for us as a nation. After ALL the numerous misdeeds- note that I didn’t say missteps- of the KPB gov’t I was initially confuffled by the election results. However, it is clear that we seem to be losing our way. Many have become encapsulated in the “eat ah food” mentality and the notion that if it’s not illegal then it’s ok. We are bordering on moral bankruptcy. Hopefully we can turn the tide and we can begin to see people begin to put nation first.

  9. How on earth the UNC could still win 18 seats is beyond me

  10. “Its welcome and its conclusion”.

  11. Difficult choice for Indo-Trinis: corruption and incompetence with the UNC, but fear of collective punishment and physical insecurity under the PNM.

  12. I could not have said this better….even up to the Congress Of the Person.

  13. Mr. Shak you spot on there. I could see just how calypsonians like you could write their own lyrics.

  14. I too was apalled at the 18 seats won. I still STRONGLY believe that the PNM won San Juan/Barataria!
    I too am relieved but I feel a sense if uneasiness… Then I remind myself that the No Rowley campaign did make some inroads in the PP’s favour. It really worked in scarrjng Dr. Rowley and scaring people.
    Well written though Mistah Shak!

  15. I feel a mix of hope and cynicism. We need to work together to build a culture of accountability lest this new administration go the way of so many others- arrogance, secrecy and corruption. That has far more to do with the PNM membership than the sour grapes opposition.