THE EDITOR: Many citizens in our society have become politically numb to the advances of political parties. It seems as though people are so fed up of the noise and mamaguy that they have become more difficult to reach. This may be due to the many disappointments citizens have faced as politicians try to promise their way into government.
Another round of promises has already begun as elections draw closer. Those who are misguided into thinking the electorate is as gullible as 20 years ago are far from today’s political realities. A more educated and liberal society is rapidly emerging which is largely not impressed with the status quo.
The politics of hope and change are still alive but there is no room for false hope and cosmetic change. For example, the recent announcement by United National Congress (UNC) leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar about creating 50,000 jobs if voted into government sounds like nothing more than pie in the sky. No details on sectors, funding, types of jobs or time frame but just something that may sound good to say.
For political brands to create emotional brand attachment there must be credibility. Without facts, research and solid plans to substantiate political promises, how can citizens take politicians seriously? The electorate seems willing to listen and be informed but voters are no longer motivated by empty promises.
Most politicians are communicating the same way they did in the 1970s with long speeches and rhetoric from a platform. Digital communication now dictates that old-school communication techniques cannot be done in isolation and will not effectively reach the target audience where they spend most of their time. It must be noted that 73 per cent of TT citizens use the internet and 58 per cent of the population is actively on social media.
Formats and style of delivery have changed and those who are trying to sell messages meant to mamaguy will be fact-checked in seconds.
Those who are undecided or on-the-fence voters have a choice to make on election day. Political parties have the opportunity to present their cases to these citizens as they are considered a highly influential block of voters. The undecideds make statements like “I have heard it all before” and “All of them are the same.” They are as numb to the rhetoric but most of them still vote and exercise their civic duty.
To remedy the politically numb, there must be a sense of newness and freshness about the way political parties campaign, conduct business and carry their messaging. Addressing national issues of crime, corruption and the economy and genuinely presenting an all-inclusive national interest agenda are critical.
Competence, character, strategic thinking and practical, relevant solutions delivered with passion may help to create some responsiveness.
RONALD HUGGINS, St Joseph