Home / View Point / Martin Daly / Winners and losers at the polls: Daly picks his favourite cut-tails

Winners and losers at the polls: Daly picks his favourite cut-tails

There were some enjoyable electoral cut tails on Monday last. Send me your favourite. Mine is Garvin Nicholas.

Photo: Former Trinidad and Tobago Attorney General Garvin Nicholas.
Photo: Former Trinidad and Tobago Attorney General Garvin Nicholas.

Tell me too who or what is the new Government’s biggest problem after Jwala Rambarran, sitting like a Reshmi in the Central Bank.

Following the 23-18 outcome of the general election in favour of the PNM against the UNC, thinly disguised as a partnership, I declare some other winners and losers.

First and foremost our country was a winner.  Trinidad and Tobago has again risen to the big occasion of conducting general elections efficiently and changing a government peacefully.

Sadly, a bunch of sore losers began to attach the label “minority Government” to the new Government which has a clear Parliamentary majority and is not dependent on the support of any other party either to form a Government or to pass simple majority legislation.

These persons are purveying the phrase in order to suggest that a Government that does have a clear majority of its own in the House of Representatives may lack some degree of legitimacy because it may not have won a majority of the total nationwide votes. It has since turned out that the PNM has the majority of the total votes.

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)

A genuine example of a minority government can be found in our recent history. Such a Government arose out of the 17-17-2 situation, which was the result of the 1995 election. On that occasion the UNC 17 was dependent on the 2 NAR Tobago seats to form the Government.

The current result of 23-18 is quite different.

I make this point because labelling the newly elected Government as a “minority Government” was a backhanded way of suggesting that the result of Monday’s General Election should not be accepted.  Such a backhanded suggestion is sour grapes and not consistent with our enviable track record of graceful transitions from one elected Government to another.

Shamfa Cudjoe, now MP for Tobago West, is a huge winner.

Having been an effective Opposition member in the last Senate, she matured into a formidable public speaker during the course of the just completed camp. Her distinctive style may not be to the taste of some purists but she delivered unforgettable lines with searing self-confidence and had crowds cheering on her side without needing to deploy mauvais langue. She is a rising star.

Photo: Former Tobago East MP and Minister of the People and Social Development, Vernella Alleyne-Toppin.
Photo: Former Tobago East MP and Minister of the People and Social Development, Vernella Alleyne-Toppin.

The top loser was Vernella Alleyne Toppin, who flung the first dung of the campaign, even before the so-called silly season officially opened. I have already condemned her attack on Dr Rowley and the abject weakness of the then Speaker, Mr Wade Mark, who permitted it to run uninterrupted.

A collateral benefit of Shamfa Cudjoe’s sterling performance is that it diluted the shame that Vernella Alleyne Toppin left on Tobago’s face.

Another loser was the COP. I have dealt with those castrati, but at least Prakash Ramadhar had the guts to keep on his white jersey and offer himself as a COP candidate unlike Bhoe Tewarie, whose apparent insecurity caused him to take off his white jersey and put on the yellow jersey of the UNC.

Of course it is possible that Tewarie’s change of colour was more than insecurity. Perhaps he is positioning himself in case the UNC has a “night of the long knives”, an expression made famous when a British Conservative Prime Minister carried out a brutal cabinet reshuffle involving seven ministers.

Now that Kamla has lost her aura of invincibility, several fallen Partnership ministers may have their eyes on her throne and the machinations to overthrow her may be equally brutal.

Photo: PNM supporters poke fun at the outgoing Prime Minister on September 7 at Balisier House. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: PNM supporters poke fun at the outgoing Prime Minister on September 7 at Balisier House.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

NOTA, that is, the wish to put None Of The Above as an option on the ballot paper, was also a loser because it was impossible to separate the messenger from the message.

Credibility was severely stretched when former Senate President Timothy Hamel Smith, who had enjoyed the highest benefits of the existing system, then attacked it.

Hamel-Smith had tried to be a third force after the former Prime Minister fired him. The Third Force immediately melted like shave ice in the sun and the NOTA media frolic followed the immediate melting of the Third Force.

I suspect that all of this was an attempt to put off the betrayed COP adherents from taking their votes to the PNM.

Let’s not forget the collapsed Debates Commission and the pollsters (Bertrand excepted) among the losers. Some pollsters may receive attention soon regarding the interests they may need to declare.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago President Anthony Carmona (left) and his wife Reema Harrysingh-Carmona (centre) arrive in Argentina for a high profile international friendly in June 2014. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/TTFA)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago President Anthony Carmona (left) and his wife Reema Harrysingh-Carmona (centre) arrive in Argentina for a high profile international friendly in June 2014.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/TTFA)

Last but by no means least, in the immediate aftermath of the election, the office of the President let the country down by botching the swearing in of the new Attorney General and the new Minister of National Security by the President, when the President administered their oaths before that of the new Prime Minister.

“Sequential error” would better describe the months for which the controversial housing allowance was paid.  Is it still being paid?

About Martin Daly

Martin Daly
Martin G Daly SC is a prominent attorney-at-law. He is a former Independent Senator and past president of the Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago. He is chairman of the Pat Bishop Foundation, a board member of The Little Carib Theatre and Folkhouse and a steelpan music enthusiast.

Check Also

Hush and respect the Court! Thema’s legal team warns TTGF president Gomez-Burke

Thema Williams’ legal team has warned Trinidad and Tobago Gymnastics Federation (TTGF) president Andy Gomez-Burke …

46 comments

  1. Again, who cares what Martin Daly has too say.

  2. My favorite cut-tail is Vasant Bharath. Oh how I wish that the renowned conman and fraudster ( former chairman of the Clico board’s audit committee) ” Dr” Tewarie could have faced the same fate. The good “Dr” has again proved that Valmond Jones was not an aberration. Many thanks.

  3. i want to know who beat jackie wonder?

  4. Yeah Lasana Liburd, Gypsy is a good candidate for favourite cut-tail…ah mean person, not candidate, shux !

  5. Does Gypsy count? He got his licks before September 7.

  6. I think Tanty Kams. Her popular vote statement was aimless, and the crowning one was, “I going home to sleep !!!”

  7. How could we forget Wade Mark and Susshilla! Big big losers! Errol McLeod! Anand! Anil! Pastor Clive Dottin! So many who would have insinuated their way in still….!

  8. Vasant Bharath. I was on my knees watching that poll. The most relieving sigh of relief breathed in 5 years. Glad to see the back of him.

    • Finally Trinidadians have come to see and accept that he is a conman ala Vamond “fatman” Jones of Chubby Checker fame and that he is as straight as a cork screw.

  9. Gerald Vincent – contributor to the Jamaica Observer for such an inaccurate piece of nonsense he called an article.

  10. I’m posting again because the cut tail I was happy to see was Khadijah Ameen. All that talk and talk and noise and “This Girl is on Fire” and she lost bad to Jack!

    Even on the election night, Khadijah was boasting of victory! Man, I woulda pay to see her face when the PP camp was losing!

  11. Allyuh, we cyah forget Gypsy! Lol!

  12. Roger Samuel who forgot to pray and fast the week before the election so that he could be advised of his result.

  13. I yearned for and was gratified to see Sancho and Bharath get their respective asses washed, steam-pressed and bagged.

  14. No Rowley campaign was an abysmal failure

  15. Mine is Vasant Bharath, former Minister of Trade. I hope he is properly investigated

  16. Corbeaux sweat’s unveiling made him mine. But Kamla’s election night fit… And that bizarre clapping section behind her as she gave her “concession speech”… That was priceless!

  17. Corbeaux sweat’s unveiling made him mine. But Kamla’s election night fit… And that bizarre clapping section behind her as she gave her “concession speech”… That was priceless!

  18. Lol. And hopping a drop home to boot!

  19. I nominate PEA, all his shenanigans and protests about having to put out from his own pocket to pay his deposit (which he lost). His feeble attempts to ‘eat ah food’ with the previous govt, his brief stint in the Third Farce and his stamp of approval on NOTA are reasons which made his defeat so deserving (not that he would ever win). With P*****p what you see is unfortunately what you get, a sanctimonious glory seeking half made man.

  20. Kamla getting sent home and watching rienzi full of tear stained supporters

  21. Isaha’s song “Lets Do This” was definitely a winner.

  22. Mine was the overall loser, Kamla. And it was even sweeter to watch her public meltdown. She was never a stateswoman…and she showed it.

    • I’m with you there Rhoda. She is also my pick. I doubt she would ever be able to set foot as PM of this country ever again. To the sensible, fair and unbiased Trinbagonian, she will be remembered as the worst PM this country has seen thus far. It’s a shame that as the first woman PM she had a chance to show the men how it could have been done….and failed miserably. To go even further, there isn’t anyone in the current UNC team that can even be considered PM material with appeal (to ALL of Trinidad and Tobago.) Moonilal is a complete joke in my opinion and I’m beginning to question his doctorate now..his utterances are constantly nonsensical and very divisive. Rambachan? Well the less said the better. Tewarie has shown that when that ship is sinking he isn’t going to stay the course( the way he hopped out of COP when he realised that COP is like a zombie movie..walking dead shows that he cannot be trusted) And the person who, if they had some sort of foresight could have evolved on top ( and possibly be seen as someone to take the UNC forward) could have been Vasant, but after his involvement in the meeting with Gary Griffith in Ernie Ross’ office in an attempt to dissuade Gary from doing the right thing..or to put it more aptly…to persuade Gary to do the wrong thing? Many people started to see the real Vasant…and his teaming up with Rodney Charles in an attempt to demonise Rowley all over Trinidad and Tobago…I honestly thought he was smarter than that…shows that accents can’t hide the true characters of men. UNC has a lot of work to do. Because barring anything ridiculous from the current regime ( and I mean really ridiculous..section 34 kinda ridiculous) I can’t see this current bunch in the UNC appealing to any right thinking citizen..NONE!

  23. Hahaha. I have to nominate Sancho. I started off wishing him to do well and even wanted him to win his seat while the PP lost.
    But the revelations since he became Sport Minister and the fact that he did nothing for the Pro League… That makes him my pick.

  24. “…sitting like a Reshmi in the Central Bank” #ahwannafall

  25. Corbeau sweat …….. king of the skies

  26. Yea. Garvin was my favorite cut tail too! I can’t see how come they STILL haven’t learnt that huge spending does not win elections.

  27. My first winner would be PM Dr. Rowley rising like a phoenix from the troubled waters and high tides that almost consumed him (maliciously and deliberately constructed by the PP).

    My second winner. The East was forgotten like an outside chile by Aunty Kams during the five year tenure. However, the last month of election campaigning, there were goodies like Christmas Day. Those marginal seats which put the PP in power in 2010 went right back to where they belong! Can I say “cut arse”.

    Gosh, I have so much more eh! I have to sag Ian Alleyne was an enjoyable cut tail, after he aligned and realigned like wheels in a B14. Three days before the election the man was interviewing a woman claiming that Dr. Rowley touched her inappropriately.

    Another slew of my favourite cut tails, that disgraceful Garvin Nicholas, Kamla herseld, Vasant and finally, Sanko is a guilty pleasure to laugh at… I work in Grande and I was convinced Sanko was taking the seat home with the big hype and frenzy for Sanko.

    A notable cut tail was Jack Warner but I feel a lil sorry for him….

    Final Loser would be Kamla’s ultimate fail of announcing that she won the popular vote when that was proven to be wrong!

    Excellent post Mr. Daly, surely encourages alot of conversation!

  28. Without a doubt my favourite cut tail was Vasant Bharath.