‘EXPECTATIONS NOT MET’: Hugh Howard
‘Results wake-up call for politicians’
Joel Julien email@example.com
THE results of Monday’s local government elections have highlighted the fact that if the population does not feel its expectations are being satisfied they have no qualms about voting out the incumbent.
So said Hugh Howard, president of the American Chamber of Commerce, on Tuesday as the Express sought to get the view of various sectors of the business community to the local government election results.
Howard said this is a situation that all political parties should take note of.
On Monday the People’s Partnership secured victory in five out of 14 municipal corporations up for grabs.
In 2010 the People’s Partnership won 11 out of the 14 corporations.
Howard said he feels this dramatic change in voting within three years was the electorate expressing its concern about expectations not being satisfied.
“It seems to us that what the voters are saying is that they are not satisfied with the way thing have gone within the past few years. It may also be signal as to how they perceive the incumbent and its governance,” Howard said.
“I think it is something all political parties need to take a look at and to read into it the fact that there are expectations from the electorate and if those expectations are not satisfied they are going to try somebody else,” he said.
“People vote for expectations. They would want to know that if they have changed an incumbent government that the new government is going to be sensitive and responsive to their expectations and if they perceive that that is not the case then they will say let’s make another change,” Howard said.
He said the only hope now is that the decision of the electorate would “redound to the benefit of the country as a whole”.
Howard said the People’s National Movement (PNM) has shown some kind of resurgence since only winning three municipal corporations in 2010 “where they were almost wiped out of the local government institutions”.
The PNM secured victory in eight of the 14 corporations.
Abrahim Ali, head of the San Juan Business Association, said he felt the electorate “reverted” to “traditional tribal party politics”.
Ali said the election showed that the Congress of the People (COP) had lost its support base.
“Now we have seen what has happened with the COP. The COP base was a base of integrity, transparency and that kind of inclination. The supporters probably felt the party moved away from its mooring and they (COP) have lost a great part of their traditional base,” Ali said.
Ali said the result showed that politicians need to listen to the rumblings on the ground.
“Politicians keep saying they have to start listening to the grounded but it is evident in this election that they not listened to the ground and have not moved on what the ground has suggested,” Ali said.
Howard said he believed the results of the St Joseph by-election carded for November 4 may follow the trend of the local government elections.