Facing reality is not always easy. Many may agree with the position of some, that both the recent versions of the PNM and UNC have failed to meet the standards necessary for stability, security, and growth. Many of the loyal supporters of both parties feel some level of betrayal. Many would like to vote for a new party but being so deeply invested into the racial version of politics, they fear that failure to support their sect would not only be seen as betrayal but may cause the other sect to prevail.
On the other hand, there are those who see the failures of the two major parties as their opportunity to rise. For a third political party to emerge victorious at the next general election, that journey must start now. These are the fundamentals required for success:
· A political Leader capable of attracting votes from both sides of the aisle.
· A realistic, pragmatic road map for the future, covering economic growth, security, education for modern times and a model of governance that allows for business growth and community management.
A successful drive is very costly. In the short term there must be a minimum of four offices, one in Port of Spain, San Fernando, Sangre Grande and Tobago. These must be fully staffed with computer literate persons that are constantly sharing the vision on every media facility available.
As it gets closer to election, there must be foot soldiers in every constituency, every electoral district. The vision for tomorrow must be made clear to every level of society. There must be sub offices in every voting district.
Considering the cost of rent for the initial four offices at a low eight thousand per unit monthly, utility costs, staff costs, stationery, transportation, internet services and misc. consumables, one is looking at a minimum of seventy to eight thousand dollars monthly for the next three years. As election day approaches the expenses increase exponentially, jerseys, advertising and the many open air meetings takes the cost into hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Those in power knows that. They are not tasked with those costs as many of their supporter’s loyalty is based on race. The third party’s base will have to come from love for country and the dream of a better tomorrow for one’s family. The challenge is getting the message out.
Given the reality of the situation I fail to understand the position of those opposed to both major parties that they can embark on this journey alone. The challenge is enormous and requires a concerted effort from all our patriots. That journey must start with a leader chosen by the people through a national debate and an effort of business and the general population to invest in hope.
Alternatively, we will be like the animals in the story of the hummingbird by Wangari Maathai watching the forest burn while we do nothing.
God Bless Our Nation.