Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Unbelievable! Are UNC Candidates Paying For Votes?

NO, NOBODY is that stupid. Double negee?

Like Ripley's Believe it or not, you will not believe it. You have heard people talk about paying for votes but you still don't believe it.  

Personally, I could not believe that any genuine political party in a free country with a democratically elected government will allow paying for votes.  

Let's face it, some utterances on the TV, radio or read it in the newspaper are plain out lies or so unbelievable it makes you very skeptical .  

Well, now I can actually say I have experienced one that I have always doubted. .  

Believing it is one thing, understanding why is another.  

Why would a political party in a democracy attempt to pay for votes?

Well maybe it is from a bygone day when the conditions were not the way they are today.  The days when underhanded acts were accepted and with two words "smart man".  T&T as a country has too many educated "smart men". Have we grown beyond those days. We have good smart men and bad smart men. 

Today we have people who put themselves up for political office, people who are or should be inherently a representative of the people in words and deeds. Believe it or not, whoever they are, we are, don't judge them, let God do that. 

But in politics  it's wrong for a political aspirant to pay money under any pretext.  In any other democratic society it would be, and by the way in T&T it is, illegal to pay voters. 

Democratic thinking citizens expect a demonstration of integrity, decency, and tact.  Some do.  In fact, you would think that even if a politician had no scruples, at the very least, he would be careful of the people he approach with his offer.  

Why would a politician do something that immediately marks him as being of questionable character?   It does not make sense.

Talking about sense that reminds me of a letter making the social media rounds about T&T recently appointed Sports Minister and UNC candidate for Sangre Grande;  More questions than answers: read about it here. 

Back to the vote for money.  A good friend came to me a couple of days ago.  I know his political views, we grew up together, he is 100% PNM; he's not fanatical but a supporter.  He walks up to me and says in a way only a Trini could say.....

"I jess geh ah bag ah money”,  showing me a black bag.

I looked at the bag, I did not believe it.  The size of the bag was too big, if it was money it had to be a lot. 

“Yeah, how much is it? I asked.

He laughed. “Feel nah” he teased. Handing me the bag. 

I felt it, it felt like money, he really had my attention now.

“Lemme see it? where did you get it?” I shot him a double barrel question.  

He laughed again. with a toothy grin he let it out; “I geh it from the local UNC representative here, she tell me is the new candidate from __________ who send it for me”.

“No”, I muttered not knowing what to say.  It is as if I had walked into a room ans saw a man floating in air without any means of suspension.  It slaps your belief.  Is democracy is always democratic?

“Yes” he insisted, "He send it for me".

It never entered my imagination that a new candidate, one who has never been in government would attempt to subvert the law to such an extent to get into office.  Lord, put a hand here, and while I am thinking this, he added.

“Dey sey it eh political” 

“OK”, I responded recovering from the dope slap.  "How much is it?” I asked.

“Four hundred"

My next question to him was. “So who you voting for?”

“PNM, yuh think I go refuse hard cash, right now ef dey wont ah go wear ah yellow shut; if ah geh more cash.  Ah go do it, even if dey want to owe.  Dat eh enough money to get me to vote UNC boi, dem crazy”  Express Article on payment to wear jerseys.

Proof, buying votes DOES NOT work.  Maybe it would for short sighted, people who feel some sort of obligation to vote because they are paid.  It will work on people who don’t care about the future of the country and only see the quick dollar and nothing else.  It did not work in this case. 

The funny thing is, there are so many people who will vote for a party because they believe in the party, not in the performance, just the party.  The UNC has made too many, missteps for anyone not to notice.  This is just another one. 

No politician should ever think of buying votes.  The process is supposed to elect the most popular, let the process work.  

Here are the questions that come to my mind. 

How could someone who want to be perceived as a respectable politician do this?  

Why would his supporters help him do it without understanding what they are doing?  

And the final mystery, why was the money in all $100 bills?

But the most important question is, after this; who would you vote for?  

Yuh doh have to seh nuttin; just vote right. 

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