We’re just not that into you! Live Wire looks at 2016 local gov’t election results

The Trinidad and Tobago electorate, both major political parties agreed, sent a clear message to its politicians at the Local Government Elections yesterday. And that statement was: “Meh.”

November 28 was pretty nondescript, even for a Monday. There was no band launching or Soca Warriors match; nothing new from House of Cards or Game of Thrones; and MovieTowne’s feature film was starring Nicholas Cage. Even Donald Trump’s Twitter account was dormant!

In short, local voters had a choice between exercising their civic duty to pick one from two out-of-touch political parties; or do absolutely nothing. And the result was a voter turnout estimated at roughly 34 percent, which is the lowest in 37 years.

Photo: Whoop whoop! (Copyright Baltimore Rising)
Photo: Whoop whoop!
(Copyright Baltimore Rising)

Even Kenwyne Jones’ local fan club probably registered more activity yesterday!

Look no further than either political party’s response to the election results to understand the cause of the apathy.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley: “We in the PNM are very, very pleased with the results.”

Works Minister and deputy political leader, Rohan Sinanan: “Clearly, we got the popular vote.”

Popular as compared to what? A prostate exam?

Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar: “[It was] a victory for the people.”

Sure it was. Just like those emails that say I just won the lotto in Nigeria and only need to pass on my bank details to collect the winnings.

Or maybe. And this is just a theory. Maybe we’re just not that into you. Both of you!

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley (right) and Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar SC. (Copyright Stabroek News)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley (right) and Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar SC.
(Copyright Stabroek News)

We’re fed up of listening to explanations about invoices for roti and wedding parties. Or why it’s okay to give your boyfriend a government house or rude to take away illegally awarded land from millionaires.

And why we should be wary of the crooked contractors supping with one party but not the other. And, most of all, how it is our fault that the country is falling apart and we really shouldn’t expect more from salaried politicians beyond snickering, mamaguying or barking at us from time to time.

So what happens from here on?

Britain and the US showed how diminished faith in the political system can open the door for demagogues to climb to power. If you’re not going to do anything for us anyway, seemed to be the thinking, you might as well be entertaining.

No wonder Minister Two Pull is mulling over a comeback.

Mr Live Wire is fairly certain that if Anya Ayoung-Chee had put one of her knittings on the ballot paper, she could have won at least one district.

Photo: Former Project Runway winner, Trinidad and Tobago beauty pageant representative, model, designer... and home movie star, Anya Ayoung-Chee.
Photo: Former Project Runway winner, Trinidad and Tobago beauty pageant representative, model, designer… and home movie star, Anya Ayoung-Chee.

At least we know what Anya can do—by which, of course, we mean sew.

What the hell is Fitzgerald Hinds or Suruj Rambachan good for?


Editor’s Note: This column initially suggested that the voter turnout was roughly 23 percent, which is the lowest in 40 years. In fact, the official EBC report showed that the turnout stood at 34 percent, which is just the lowest in 37 years.

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About Mr. Live Wire

Mr. Live Wire
Mr. Live Wire is an avid news reader who translates media reports for persons who can handle the truth. And satire. Unlike Jack Nicholson, he rarely yells.

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    The perception is that the government controls local government so why go out and vote. Also the electorate clearly did not have a message to send since if they did, they would come out. Maybe messages and bigger turnouts are in the second LGE after a new party takes over.

    • Judy Ann – political scientists look very closely at non-appearance at the polls. People did send a message. The fact that less people voted this than voted since 1983 is significant. That cannot be ignored – 66% of the people did not vote.

    • What was the message? That KPB lost another election? That PNM made inroads in the UNC areas? That they couldn’t care less? That people continue to vote for ‘their party’ no matter what? None of the above?

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