Targeting the Constituencies

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Though the Local Government Elections are due this year and well before the 2020 General Elections, it seems the tempo is being set for heated debate over constituency seats in the latter election, even from now.

Last weekend, the PNM opened a regional office in Chaguanas, as the Political Leader called on residents of Central Trinidad to give his party a chance. In our culture of tribal politics, it would be careless to suggest that these UNC strongholds will turn red next year, but the battle rages on for the main political parties to gain ground in their opponents’ backyards.

One would think that its election time and the politicians’ handshakes and smiles are coming in abundance. How do we sift out the potential empty promises from the genuine concern these politicians may have for a population in need?

Couva North MP knocked the PNM back this weekend, stating that just weeks ago, the government failed to visit the families of the slain fishermen in Central Trinidad. Does she have a valid point?

One of the first candidates to be approved by the PNM for the 2020 polls is Clarence Rambharat in Chaguanas East, and another was chosen for the San Juan/Barataria seat, currently held by the UNC. Some would say it’s too early, but the UNC has also opened up nominations for all constituencies, as it too, aims to battle from very early on.

But, in the culture and society that we live in here in T&T, how can one’s politics be swayed, especially when the tribalism is embedded into their veins?

Should the parties target the youth vote, which was recently highlighted in the Netflix documentary on Cambridge Analytica ‘The Great Hack’? By no means do we want to be experimented on again, as had been claimed in the documentary, but the youth vote we feel, remains the major swing factor.

The challenge is now for the political parties to convince the younger, first time voters to go their way…and how do they do that? That’s the ultimate question.

But, these politicians must come to the reality that the youngsters these days are smarter now than they have ever been, and cannot be deceived so easily. We know 2020 is going to be an intense year of politicking…and the ‘madness now start’.