THE EDITOR: ’Tis the season for elections it seems. The COP recently elected a leader who managed just over 400 votes out of a possible 40,000 members, considering their electoral victory as the NAR previously. But there is an irony in the disproportion in these numbers.
Quoting a biblical reference in part, “Where two or three are gathered…” for a good cause, such is a worthy effort, for the COP in its philosophy of ethnic inclusiveness seems a worthwhile endeavour.
Sadly, such inclusiveness seems to exist basically at the level of idea for this country is so steeped in racial divisiveness in the politics, it is difficult to see any organisation succeeding in trying to bring the two main groups together as a political objective.
It is true that the NAR did bring the races together and also the Partnership in 2015, although such unity in the case of the latter seemed more a marriage of convenience.
But the thing to note is that the common denominator for success in both instances is a nation driven together when partisan politics had reached its nadir in mismanagement, crime and corruption.
But such “unity” was only temporary for after a while there was compelling reversion to the age-old adage of “we against them.”
Racial divisiveness is rooted in the two main races, historically so, as the seeds of antipathy were sown with the arrival of the indentures who were seen as a threat to the bargaining power of the then freed blacks, and has since been exacerbated by the politics from independence as manifested in the African-based PNM on the one hand and the East Indian-based DLP/UNC on the other.
The main players in this racial politics are the respective tribes looking for handouts and their leaders exploiting this intrinsic greed to hold on to power.
It’s an inextricable relationship involving two entities needing each other to satisfy their base interests which may help to explain to the informed the brazen illogic of the tribes returning leaders to power who are perceived as guilty of the worst kind of arrogance, mismanagement, manipulation and nepotism.
The tribes never question their leaders for fear of losing their patronage and leaders in turn, knowing this, exploit this to the hilt, knowing that they will never be questioned or held accountable for their stewardship.
Which is why in the case of the second election involving the UNC leader there would have been a reported 18,000-vote victory for the incumbent, for none of the tribe will dare ask a question about her stewardship, despite her perceived political baggage from the previous administration nor for her lack of vision for a united people as with the COP.
The perks and the patronage must never be lost for any misplaced notion involving the best choice for leader, and that greed is the fodder on which leaders feed.
The elections for the other party will come soon and they will be no different, with the tribe waiting for handouts and the leaders exploiting this to the fullest.
Can we hope for change when the basic human instinct is greed whatever the cost and politics is the path to power?
I leave that to your better judgment.
DR ERROL BENJAMIN, docbenj742