The winner of the general election 2020 must be able to navigate the political pitfalls of spite, envy, and,of course, being able to convince the electorate that you can supply every single whim and fancy, physically and emotionally possible. A tall order? Not really. True supporters will be satisfied with less than perfect, just being close will do.
The two major parties, the Peoples National Movement (PNM) and the United National Congress (UNC) will soon be tied in their usual five year mortal combat. I have no time to mince words. No time to stroke third party egos. With August 10, looming, all other small parties remain just window dressing. The truth hurts horribly. But the COVID-19 pandemic has theoretically emasculated third party politics. No coalition of small entities can presently offer the political comfort of being able to deal with the pandemic and the inescapable financial/economic devastation..
Both PNM/UNC, with thousands of supporters have to allegedly navigate gross internal issues of spite and envy. Which important member have you ignored in the previous five years? Who did you not choose to run again? Will these people encourage their personal support base to swing away? Who did you not include in the giving positions of envy in state corporations ? Who did you not allow within the inner circle? It is my personal, unpaid, unsolicited view that the PNM, more so than the UNC, has a history of being stabbed in the political back by previous members who wished for internal high recognition but got ignored. The UNC is more likely to forgive and forget the past. Across a PNM/UNC spectrum that includes previous finance ministers, ambassadors, political analysts, and prolific political letter writers, you can feel the perpetual angst. This palpable spite and envy is particularly corrosive to the PNM who steadfastly intend to win or lose alone.
Our T&T winner takes all Westminster style politics means just that. The 2020 polls show PNM/UNC statistically level. I disbelieve this poll. as a nation, we say whatever comes to our heads when questioned. The poll says a plethora of fence sitters and persons unwilling to even vote is being evidenced. Political Crapaud says pull the other leg.
The support bases of the PNM/UNC remain intact. Promise them anything reasonably believable and they will continue to love you.
And remember, image is everything in T&T politics and winner takes all, and sometimes more.