THE EDITOR: Do we have a race problem in TT? Yes, we do and we do not. According to those who want to water down the strength of the two main political parties, we do.
The People’s National Movement’s (PNM) base support reflects the predominantly African descendants of the slave trade.
The United National Congress’ (UNC) base support reflects mainly the descendants of indentured labourers brought from India to replace the emancipated slaves.
So what? This racial base support is the reason why third-party politics may never be entirely successful without coalitions. You could jump high, you could jump low. You could say this, you could say that. It is being real, not being racial.
The PNM and the UNC no longer reflect total racial anything. What we are dealing with is racial jealousy based on political and private achievements. Any semblance of racial hate has to be removed from the equation.
The small political parties must literally start from scratch. We are only 1.4 million people. Once the impenetrable support base kicks in third parties have very little to choose from or even attract to themselves. Recruitment of suitable candidates to face a discerning electorate is dead in the water.
All successful First World and even a few Third World countries have two main political parties. The others are mere window dressing. Think UK, US, Russia, India, France, Germany, Canada, South Africa.
Without a firm support base in a very small Third World society, without a firm coalition, political success remains a mirage.