28 Mar 2010


I’ve observed that a lot of things come in cycles... There is a recession roughly every 30 years, and then a period of prosperity during which the financial ‘gurus’ engage in wanton and selfish bleeding of assets they’re in charge of.

Then too, I noticed a pattern, a cycle, of a political nature in Trinidad and Tobago.

The PNM has been in power for most of the time that the country has been Independent of British rule. In this time they have lost elections when the public was disgusted with the piddling away of State resources to cronies. Unfortunately, the next administration found out that the cupboards were bare and had to take hard-line decisions to bring the country back on an even keel.

These decision, while necessary at the time, brought in a wave of public disgruntlement, especially from the die-hard PNM supporters. Thus, after the other administration filled the treasury, the PNM was voted back in to loot and pilfer as is its wont.

Now once more the treasury appears to be empty, and the cunning P**rick appears to see the writing on the wall. He signals a general election is in the air

This actually has several advantages to the PNM.

The first is that the Opposition would be caught on a weaker, off balance footing. A quick election will not give the two main Opposition parties time to unite and trash out a deal that would unite them, and it is almost a given that neither can win alone. Even if the opposition united in time and wins, the chances of a division shortly after is high.

The second is that the opposition, after a win, would have to take a strong stance and be conservative to preserve the economy. This will make them unpopular (as seen before). Chances of a second win will be minimal. Keeping the country afloat financially will be the priority and another administration may well find itself unable to keep the electoral promises it makes.

Third, P**rick knows that an unpopular administration after his own will see his party back in power after only a few years, to remain there for 2 to 3 terms. Whether P**rick personally lives to see this is another matter altogether. As far as I see there is no succession planning in the PNM so it may well be that he plans to return like the prodigal son.

The unpopularity of a succeeding administration is already almost a forgone conclusion. P**rick’s administration had tied the government into several expensive contractual obligations. Take the Rapid Rail project, the smelter, those expensive (and useless) stadia among others.

How long could another administration point out that crime spiralled out of control under the PNM, or that cronies benefitted from the largesse, or that useless spending was the day to create massive structural white elephants? Surely the citizens will expect to see progression regardless of the state of affairs it comes into after the PNM.

The issue of Hart will be washed over by the time another government forms. So too will many other issues.

P**rick has an advantage in calling elections now, and he knows it. Let’s see what this cycle brings.