The 2010-2015 period under the leadership of Kamla Persad-Bissessar and the UNC dominated People’s Partnership administration was extremely traumatic, to say the least. The Reshmi Ramnarine scandal and the chaos that ensued at Lifesport, which was a programme that spent over $250 million in taxpayers’ money with very little to show for it, is still fresh in the minds of many. The PNM was able to regain power because of a poorly led UNC administration.
Three years later, log onto Facebook or turn on the news to TV6, CNC3 or TTT any evening, but especially during an election, and you’re likely to see and hear confrontation between the People’s National Movement (PNM) and the United National Congress (UNC). News stories about stark disagreements in Parliament, statements by politicians that harshly criticize the other party, and commentary by political pundits all point in one direction: there is little hope that the PNM and UNC can ever agree on anything. The latest disagreement being about the shutting down of the oil refinery. Moreover, not only do they disagree, but it appears they are also very angry at each other.
Indeed, there is research in political science that demonstrates that the PNM party and the UNC party dislike each other more than they ever have in years past.
My own personal research has found that the consequence of negativity in politics will cause the rise of people who call themselves “political independents” who vote solely on the issues, do not suffer from political amnesia and will have a huge part to play in determining who gains power after the PNM’s five-year term is completed.