The fanfare that came with Jack Warner’s Independent Liberal Party continues to die down from what can be seen as members leave one by one, the latest, Lyndira Oudit. The exact reasons for Oudit’s departure is unknown and her relations with whatever is left of the ILP going forward are also unknown. Nevertheless, the ILP has lost political steam and if there was a possibility of coalition with the PNM, it seems highly unlikely, but was it ever possible. Consider the marriage of such bedfellows.
While one can assume there was much disappointment in the loss of Mr. Warner from the People’s Partnership in 2013, as a political event that was a lifetime ago. Despite the breakup and the eventual break away of Chaguanas West (CW) and some gains in local government elections, with several high profile resignations one must really question whether this party the ILP is quickly become a one-man show. A man who was considered a hardworking government minister and delivered to the people of CW and to the people of Trinidad and Tobago under the People’s Partnership Government has all but lost his political way.
Now aligned with the PNM Opposition forces, the same PNM Opposition who questioned and pressured the current to get rid of Mr. Warner. Given the FIFA baggage and an on investigation, one must continue to wonder about the dealings and desperation of the PNM leader Dr. Keith Rowley in his attempt to win the 2015 general elections. Once again the PNM is caught is an apparent tailspin and so many questions arise about the strength of a coalition if any that could have existed with between the ILP and the PNM.
First, it would have been a coalition built on spite and possibly hate. Given the on going dismantling of the ILP which began since the end of the Local Government Election in 2013, the actions of Mr. Warner who once held the Chairmanship of the UNC and given what one would call a “safe seat” has been nothing but spiteful efforts to malign the government. While the extent of Mr. Warner’s issues with the Honourable Prime Minister is unknown, if there is any, his constant talking points of the cabal and whether during Parliamentary contributions, in the Sunshine newspaper or party sponsored radio programmes he has demonstrated his intentions. This would have been the spite aspect of the coalition.
Second, many who turned away from Partnership and during the CW and St. Joseph by-elections and the local government elections are returning to the fold. While everything may not be perfect within the Partnership the possibility of a coalition with people who embraced the light of new politics when they voted overwhelmingly in 2010 for the Partnership to consider alignment with the PNM, the reality of such a coalition with PNM is now becoming evident. The evidence over the last four is present of never before historical people centered delivery and development of the Partnership government against an almost 30 plus record of governance and historical stewardship of the PNM. The people of CW should note the exodus of high officials from the ILP and consider the drifting of the party towards the right-winged political ideas and ideals of the PNM, some of which includes poor representation, underdeveloped constituencies and the now ignoring if not outright marginalization of their ground troops.
Third, as the PNM continues its screening process there is much speculation that current representative Nileung Hypolite will be booted for Fitzgerald Hind in Laventille West. How well with this settle with the party stalwarts is left to be seen? While some of this is left over party infighting since the internal elections, it shows the overall level of alienation the PNM under the leadership of Dr. Rowley has with the ground troops and base of the Red Army. The ground troops and base have had little input in the line up so far of those selected to compete for the PNM in 2015 and many are disconnected from the ground. The type of cloudy headed representation historically given to PNM constituencies is bound to continue.
What does the three points above have to do with the ILP and Oudit’s resignation?
Given that a leopard cannot change its spots, if any attempt at coalition between the PNM and ILP were to be the negotiation process would or should have began. It is expected that the PNM will contest all 41 seats a national party as have always been the case; but a coalition with the ILP the discussions would have already began, but just how would these discussions go.
After the political bashing and pressure unleashed by the PNM on Mr. Warner, those former Partnership supporters are now weighing the hypocrisy should they join forces with PNM against a government with a track record of delivery under responsive and decisive leadership including firing cabinet members when the public trust was breached. This is what ILP member must consider and not necessarily Dr. Rowley’s statement, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” This is has a striking parallel to a woman playing into the hands of a known abuser and falling in love with man who is going to neglect her and the children he fathers with her. This is representation PNM style.
On the flip side, there was a falling out between the Partnership and the people of CW. There were differences of opinions and the people choose to exercise their constitutional right an affiliate themselves with a party of their choosing. However, it appears that things are not panning out as planned and the people are left with two choices, political homelessness or representational abuse. The PNM’s track record and historical stewardship compounded by the nature of their behavior, especially that of their disconnected leadership is frightening enough to consider the possibility to such a coalition.
While some have returned we must be mindful that PNM is a threat to the future development of Trinidad and Tobago under the leadership of Dr. Rowley. The party remains visionless and daily it continues to alienate voters. A leopard cannot changes it spots and perhaps this is revelation that Lyndira Oudit got that make her decide to call it quits as Political Leader of the dismantling Independent Liberal Party.