Our traffic light parties
Whether by design or chance the three most significant political parties in Trinidad and Tobago have aligned themselves with the colours of traffic lights. Ironically, the colour associated with each entity appears to be in sync with the modus operandi of the group it represents.
Red, the unmistakable colour of a PNM supporter at election time, is one often related to danger and on a traffic light it signals drivers to stop. Indeed, thousands of citizens will testify to the “Red Party’s” history of wanton corruption, neglect, and squandering of public funds right up to 2010 when they were rejected by a disgruntled electorate. So it appears that for most level-headed Trinis, a vote for the PNM is a dangerous act. In the same way drivers must stop at a red light, we are reminded to stop before we vote for the Red Party, lest we be put in harm’s way.
Amber or yellow is a colour that overwhelms every People’s Partnership assembly since the sprinkling of COP and NJAC supporters look like baking powder and raisins in a sponge cake batter. So I dub this entity, the Yellow Party. This group forms the present Government — a “Partnership” that has splintered and made too many blunders/missteps in its three-year reign. Ministers are perceived to be corrupt, obnoxious and self-serving.
The crime scourge is more rampant than ever and no hope appears forthcoming despite the frequent changing of the national security ministers. Many people liken the governing style of the Yellow Party to that of the Red — the only difference being the core supporters for each group. Like the traffic light colour that represents the People’s Partnership, thousands will approach voting for this group with great caution.
Then we come to Jack Warner and his newly formed “Green Party”, the Independent Liberal Party or ILP. Mr Warner may have many allegations of impropriety stacked against him but he does a great job in offsetting those negatives by caring for people. This was evident by the huge success in winning the Chaguanas West seat in the UNC’s heartland. Call him what you may, Warner is the most dynamic politician this land has ever seen.
Although we are promised a green light here, is it really safe to proceed?
Red, Yellow and Green groups are all promising the populace better representation, better governance and a better life by extension. But the electorate is politically mature enough to know that liars come in different colours. So we must keep our politicians in check by letting them know that no Government, political party, minister or leader is indispensable.