Splitting the “Indian” Vote?

In response to my post dated Nov 9th 2007 at 3:38 pm (see previous mangoandmosquitoblog entry), as trini in the Comments section of an entry entitled Update:Trinidad Election Watch, November 05, 2007~Will The Trend Continue? [click on link to read the full thread], on the blog Barbados Underground, David, another commentator wrote:

  • David // Nov 9th 2007 at 3:52 pm

    trini we must confess that we are somewhat confused. To many looking in from outside it is generally accepted that voting in T&T takes place along racial lines. We even got this admission from Patrick Manning during the campaign. Why would you and the 100,000 Trinigonians who voted for COP not have anticipated that it would have split the Indian vote? The result therefore is what you have gotten.

My response:

  • trini // Nov 9th 2007 at 5:43 pm

    A great deal of Trini politics is about race. Yet, the realities of Trini life are largely not. Regardless of race, we are all plagued by the similar woes, be it crime, poor health care, unreliable water and electricity supply…

    Class, of course, is another issue altogether.

    You can never predict what happens when people wake up on the morning of elections, what takes place in the solace of the voting booth.

    There were so many people on the voter’s list who were undecided up to the day before / day of elections.

    Those people could have made a difference if apathy did not get the better of them (the campaign to encourage Trinis to just come out and vote was incredibly weak).

    The COP support base (at least from my own observations) was not Indian in nature, but crossed race and class lines. I cannot see how people can deny the role that a party like this can play in bridging the divide.

    To answer your question simply (and to stick some cool non-regional poetry in):

    “Hope is the thing with feathers
    That perches in the soul,
    And sings the tune without the words,
    And never stops at all”

    (E. Dickinson)

    Hope when Barbados has its turn at elections, that you may have learned something from the Trini experience: focus on the important issues – national not personal, do not let race and class dominate, overcome voter apathy.

    Think this is the end of my commentary on Trinbago Elections 2007. What is done, is done. Trinis just have to wait, watch, listen, speak up.



~ by mangoandmosquitoblog on November 12, 2007.

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