Dec 23, 2013 Letters
I rarely ever agree with the views propounded by my very good friend . Freddie Kissoon in his columns and letters. But I largely agree with his conclusion (KN Dec 20) that the PPP is deluding itself into thinking it will walk away with the next general elections.
As he intoned, and many of the party’s supporters agree, PPP will not get multi-racial support even if it gives huge raises to public service workers. Such pay increases did not work in 2011 to earn PPP multi-racial support and a parliamentary majority and I don’t think it will not work now.
As people told me, appeasement and tokenism do not work. This, coupled with the fact that many Indians will abstain from voting because of their disappointment with PPP’s neglect over the years, will spell trouble for the incumbent party in the next election.
As PPP’s own supporters related to me, the party does not understand the ground reality of how much people are angry with it because of the errors of some of its officials. Freddie is right that many Indians boycotted the polls in 2011 not because they thought the PPP would win and that their votes did not really mattter.
They stayed away from the polling booths because they were vexed with the PPP – for its lewd campaign style, for their marginalization and neglect, and for the arrogance of some PPP officials, among other reasons. Some PPP officials were extremely unpopular during the last term of governance and did not want to go into hiding to save the party from defeat.
And the party leadership did not want to take actions against them even though the party leadership knew they were albatrosses around the neck of the party. Had the party removed them early from their positions, the party may have been able to save itself from the debacle it suffered in the elections. Not much changes have been made since the loss of its majority in November 2011.
In fact, some of those who cost the party its victory have been promoted, an illustration of arrogance. Virtually no one was or is being held accountable for mistakes. The party is losing its moorings and is not very close to its supporters as was the case under Dr. Jagan’s leadership. If the PPP returns to the Jagan mode of campaigning, it will do much better – wine and dance does not bring votes and in fact turns away voters as happened in 2011.
The PNC (APNU) must be applauded for its campaign style – quiet and focused and was successful at pulling back the support it lost in 2006. There was no hype and the PNC did not delude itself into thinking it could win multi-racial support. It fished where there were schools of fish.
The PPP, on the other hand, fished where here were no fish, wasting bait and losing its castnet. The PNC organizers have been on the ground among its supporters for the last three years. Volunteers from North America have been doing an outstanding job retaining or winning over support giving the PNC a very good chance of capturing power. One must admire PNC volunteers for their commitment and dedication to their party and their hard work in conving people to vote PNC. It is paying dividends as the PPP is osing ground.
The AFC has been losing support because of mistakes it made during the last two years. The AFC will not recover because it is not reading the politics right. But the AFC will retain sufficient support to hurt the PPP in its stronghold and possibly enable PNC to win a plurality, even a majority, especially if a lot of PPP supporters stay away from the polls. As Freddie states, the opposition ought to be grateful for the PPP for its self delusion that it has the next election wrapped up. That thinking will cost it dearly in the next election.
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