RESULTS COMING FROM A STAGGERED ELECTION
Posted on August 26th, 2012
By Gomin Dayasri
Scheduling elections prematurely on a staggered run is a strategic device to hold an early Presidential Election–provinces are artfully selected to declare a winner enabling the early bird to pick worms on the ground, as the serial unfolds.Results are infectious, sufficient to spread its impact to neighboring provinces in a game where the winner finally takes all. Then goes on to bag the precious Presidential Prize comfortably.
Buy one, buy two that’s easy; and get the problematic cheaper. Gentle way to kill an opponent softly with a sincere smile at a free and fair election. Opposition obediently falls in line, without bitterly complaining. It’s legitimate and carries precedence to gain credence making the Election Commissioner a mere counting agent with the result foretold. The precedent sought had justification when security was a concern. No more but all is fair in politics. At the Presidential and General Elections, in difficult times, an island-wide poll was held on a single day.
President picks Sabaragamuwa (safest with unemployed males gainfully self employed in the gem trade) North-Central (enjoying tranquility after living in the shadow of terrorism) where defeat is possible only if a tidal wave of bitterness develops against the government for its many wrong doings. Unlikely as the opposition is iffy.
To enter the designed state of play, pocket boroughs are a prime necessity.Under different circumstances, if the UNP is given the option, may have to look at a space more restricted than a district or province – probablysettle for the Colombo Municipal Council!Elections of any form should be a dreamsought by the Opposition. Not so in Sri Lanka where the Opposition abhors it.
Picking Eastern Province is trial run to test the minority vote before a Northern poll. Till the memories of terrorism fade, government enjoys access to a vote stream. It’s a creek that can suddenly run dry.
Life is hard and Times are difficult but money jingles in the pockets of the newly emerging lower middle-income majoritywith their entrepreneurial skills. We are living amidst thousands ofbloomingbazaars where ice cream bars, telecom booths, beauty culture parlors, photo studios, pharmacies and vivid stalls generates easy money that circulates fast around many pockets. The mushrooming markets are extending to the villagers to make economists look aghast and provide studies for sociologists.
Those akin topurana villages exist only in the former terrorist held territory-the rest of the country has moved fast forward. Without the culture of inspiring the self-earned home economy developed by the individual- Sri Lanka’s success story-North and East lags behind.Terrorism stunted the growth with its destructive power of keeping individuality gagged.
Any function –from a girl attaining age to a funeral, wedding to a pirith ceremony lets out a spirited genie in moving the wheels of the local economy in motion. Women are gainfully self-employed at home in updated cottage industries as a supplementary source of income. A vehicle purchased often becomes carrier of school children for gain or a roaming taxi at large. It’s easy with leasing at the doorstep and banks round the corner with an active pawn- brokering counter.Like the Greeks in contemporary history our society is living on credit facilities but fortunately the debtors are still in the performing column in a society of spenders instead of savers.
Economy is not an issue the Opposition can peddle a distance with an indiscernible microeconomy alight to keep the home fires burning assisted by mid-eastern money transfers and land prices rocketing in the suburbs. Life has become distinctly more comfortable on leaving the city and moving into a more comfortable countryside: migration to cities is on the reverse.Colombian chatterboxes yap misreading the Sri Lankan stoic character and misleading those they associate.
If the Opposition glitches are short term the Government is carrying a load of crap that is fatally long term. They are committing suicide by shooting at their support gallery.Those at the police barricades are their own cheerleaders.
Trade unions are making it a mad max country being hypocritical as well as hysterical: they contributed heavily to bring the government into power and are trying now to dispatch it to the woods. Law and order situation is a poor reflection but a government cannot afford to antagonize a police force for the latent damage they can do is unlimited especially at an election.Police is becoming a soft toy for the opposition to play with.
The Ministers dealing with education have alienated the emerging newly registered new vote for a generation.Health is free in name but not in reality most hospitals are in short supply of medicine. Prices are reaching for the uncontrolled skies and hurting votes that counted for the government.
Big Foot is still holding the votes but the Small Feet around him are fast loosing goodwill with graft and slush, sleaze and lies. The opposition is unable to exploit it to their advantage being over occupied with domestic infighting.
It’s the majorities that need a peep at the coming election. Government held North-Central with a 56% to 37% and Sabaragamuwa with 55%-40% majorities in the Provincial Council elections in 2008. These leads are insurmountable at a Presidential Election; MahindaRajapakse after the war increased his vote bank in 2009. If the opposition can make a sufficient dent in the majorities to reach a single digit, a trend can develop to lead to an avalanche with government’s ministers contributing to the downfall.
It depends not on the Opposition vote but more on those who voted for the government staying at home in protest on polling day at the provincial election. East will show the trend among the minorities. Yet, they are likely to do the trek to the booth at a Presidential election to vote. For who will depend on the results flowing from the Provincial Council election farce?