Election 2012; Forgiveness or Trust?
The decision for the 2012 elections is a breath away. In less than twelve hours the polls will open for voting in these critical elections. There are seventy candidates vying for thirty-one seats in the general elections and one hundred and seventy for the municipal elections. Both major political parties released their manifestos two weeks ago; they speak of growing the economy and keeping the utilities as government owned. But the political advertising in this early election has been relentless and ruthless. The U.D.P. campaign attack is focused on the opposition leader, Francis Fonseca, who is portrayed as a puppet while the P.U.P. depicts the Prime Minister as King; his family as royalty, so that a vote for Dean Barrow would be a vote for nepotism. But there are relevant issues that are weighing on the collective minds of the politicians. The Oceana mock referendum last week Wednesday dubbed “The Peoples Referendum” is a reaction to the government’s outright rejection to a petition by the Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage to have the offshore drilling agenda tabled during the March seventh elections. Oceana garnered the vote of over twenty-nine thousand electors from across the country. Ninety-six percent voted no to offshore drilling. Is that likely to impact Wednesday’s general election? Time will tell.
A phenomenon in the campaign has been about polls. Some have been discredited or ignored them, but one that politicians can’t dismiss was recently commissioned by a former U.D.P. Campaign Manager and conducted by Yasmine Andrews. Most politicians rely on the traditionally older die-hard party supporters but in the survey, the majority of the voters polled were in the range of eighteen to thirty-seven years while most participants were at a high school graduate level of education. The survey tested many areas including voting intention at a margin of error of plus or minus five percent. Gender and age have different persuasions for Wednesday’s election. According to the sample, fifty seven point nine percent of males intend to vote for the U.D.P. while twenty-five point eight intend to vote for the PUP. And for women, only eight percent intended to vote for the U.D.P. while ninety-one percent intended to vote for the P.U.P. So it appears that the PUP has more charm with women and the UDP has more camaraderie with men. The PUP has three female candidates and the UDP has only male candidates, which could explain some of the preferences based on sex. The Andrews’ poll also gives the blue party the edge in the elections. So on Wednesday, Channel Five and Love FM will bring you the first vote at the open of the polls and the announcement of the next government live as the drama unfolds; all starting at seven a.m.