By Anthony G. Stewart, PhD
Did “IWhy” transfer from the Southern Grenadines to North Leeward to provide that one crucial vote for the winner? How many other voters were transferred to marginal constituencies to facilitate other winners? Times used to be that opinion polls were published, but in recent times, because the polls may be used for devious purposes, some are kept under wraps. Apparently, the polls are used to determine the number of voters to transfer to facilitate the winner. Who were the people transferred on the heels of the last elections? Are they, like IWhy, still living in their original constituencies? Is it possible to obtain from the Electoral Office the names of all those who were transferred close to the last elections so that we can determine their prior and current place of residence? Is this illegal action likely to be repeated since its architect has reduced his activities due to illness? Will someone else take over his role?
Housing projects placed in marginal constituencies and filled with supporters should influence the outcome of the elections in that area. Preferential treatment resulting in the hiring of party supporters for available jobs from road work to the highest white-collar jobs, shows that supporters will survive and be loyal.
In the current economic climate of extreme poverty, the jobless opposition workers will migrate and reduce their majority, the weak may die from starvation, and the ill will succumb to disease because they cannot afford healing treatment. The list on Public Assistance grows not according to the neediest but according to the need of the politician to retain voters.
Farmers came from the hills to put their party in power but have since been betrayed, having their crop hijacked by the medicinal marijuana industry while their members are still being jailed. Retiring some farmers, burdening the pension fund to which they have not contributed resulted in disenfranchising the genuine contributors. Abandoned green houses at Montreal Gardens and the food insecurity project, and the quarry project apparently will not win over farmers’ support.
Depleting the pension fund to give $500 to successful college students and the few who against all odds pass Maths together with English and three other subjects, will not satisfy the craving of the young for meaningful employment. Finding work without any skill and without the capacity to employ oneself is an impossible task. The school is failing too many students.
Scholarship recipients and those joining armies overseas are unlikely to be home during the election period, but they may influence their family members to vote in a particular way. Citizens living overseas may come home to vote, but their numbers are not significant.
With the increase in illiteracy and the decline in reading, listening and speaking have taken on a greater role in influencing public opinion. Consequently, talk show hosts have risen in their impact, shaping public opinion.
Some value alcohol and expect politicians to provide free drinks during the election season. Increasingly, some expect cash. Others expect lumber, galvanize and cement.
Diehard party supporters are unlikely to change their support. So, who holds the trump card in determining the outcome of the next general elections? Will it be the transfer voter, poor and needy, the farmer, the rum drinker, the unskilled and unemployed youth, the pensioner, the campaigner with the most money, or the talk show host?
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