Wednesday, November 19, 2008

UPP Set to Call Election?

The Big Blue Wave is coming tomorrow night and today's Observer noted that "all indicators point to an early poll." Does this mean we're like to see an election call - or at least a hint - tomorrow night? It's possible. If the UPP feels that it's ready, an early election call could surprise the ALP who, according to our sources, is still gearing up it's machine.

Regardless of when the poll is called, the UPP is going to have to deal with voter apathy. One disenchanted voter writes, "Your performance, whether it is the ruling administration or the opposition, has been in the least, dismal. I suggest that how I feel today is the way that many of my young peers feel. We are simply not going out to vote. Vote for what? The lesser of two evils?"

I strongly disagree with this sentiment. If you don't vote, you forfeit the right to complain. The ALP and the UPP represent two very different records and very different agendas. And, there are sure to be independent candidates running in a number of constituencies.

You should size up all of the candidates in your constituency. They are not just party labels, they are living, breathing people who want to listen to you and your concerns. If you don't like the direction our country is taking, tell them how you feel. Tell them that you want change. Tell them that you are not satisfied. Closing your door and ignoring them does NOTHING to bring about change. If you want change, you need to fight for it, and part of fighting for it is speaking your mind and letting the people in power know how you feel.

Challenge the candidates to listen to you. Yell at them if you must. Make them EARN your vote. But, don't shut them out. If you shut them out they will shut you out and do nothing to help you or listen to your concerns. If you engage in a discussion with them and study them, only then can you decide who is the best INDIVIDUAL (not party) to represent you.

If you don't participate in the process, you have no right to complain. If you want change, you're going to need to organise your community, speak out to those in power and then hold them accountable for fulfilling the promises they make to you. Tuning out and turning off is a first class ticket to more of the same. Organising, speaking out and fighting is the only way to achieve real change. Just ask Barack Obama. He didn't tune out, he spoke out and he finally changed the United States. We can do the same right here in Antigua and Barbuda. But, inaction won't change nothing.

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