The Burning Deck

By the time you read this, general election results would be known and I have no way of knowing the results as I am writing on the day after...

By the time you read this, general election results would be known and I have no way of knowing the results as I am writing on the day after the final political debate between the two leaders of the major parties, five days before E-Day.

It is important that we look at the three sets of debates as it is the first time that those interactions have been seen without the usual intervention of the mass meetings. They were orderly, mainly respectful, except for innuendos, and not interrupted by the intermittent blasts from the sound systems or the vuvuzelas, together providing momentary euphoria.

I was personally disappointed by the first two, but I found the third and final with the two leaders quite instructive. The campaigns were not just noise, but substance was introduced and the public could see and hear above the din. Marked differences in leadership styles emerged and would have provided insight for the electorate.

The outcome at party celebrations will further enhance victory or defeat madness and further spread COVID-19. The proof of true leadership would come at both party headquarters on Thursday night when results were announced and feelings bust loose. We will either see calm, or a return to COVID-19 spreading. Already we are finding the detected cases growing each day and threatening all gains previously made through distancing. May God protect all of us and in particular those who worked on Election Day.

Interestingly, I would be very surprised if there was a large voter turnout. This I expect to be a result of hopelessness; apathy; no new alternatives or directions; and the same old promises made before but largely unfulfilled; inclement weather; and little faith in the COVID-19 safety measures for elections, many of which have not been completed.

What will a winning party claim if elected by less than 30% of registered voters? Will that be a landslide or a mudslide? Will that be seen as a clear mandate or require a rebate? Like a troublemaker at my school wrote in his essay on cricket: “Rain no play”.

I am hopeful that these events will push the need for constitutional and electoral reform, which would pressure the two parties towards a meaningful referendum before this Independence gets to 60 years in 2022.

The poem Casabianca by Felicia Hemans in 1826 encapsulates my fears and I will quote two Stanzas:

“The boy stood on the burning deck,

Whence all but he had fled,

The flame that lit the battle’s deck,

Shone round him o’er the dead.

With mast, and helm, and pennan fair,

That well had borne their part,

But the only thing which perished there,

Was that young faithful heart.”

Take care and preserve the future for succeeding generations.

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