Saturday, March 29, 2008

There is no effective opposition to curtail the excesses of government

In a functioning democracy, the lack of a credible opposition is a considerable hindrance to keep the party in power from abusing that power. The govt. in all the speeches its ministers give, is constantly attacking the opposition on all fronts, even though the opposition is not rising to the bait and replying to it, in a sense giving a smug, its not worth it type reply.

I am not saying that there is no opposition, but it requires effective opposition, giving a cohesive framework that is both clear, and also focused, so the message is real and credible. The problem with the UNP is that it is playing cheap politics attacking policies without giving clear cut solutions which maybe harder to elaborate, and easier to attack. Nevertheless a well thought out campaign with clear objectives in mind can easily be set up as the way the country is heading is ripe for counter action.

In order to get a clear message, the internecine warfare must stop, and a united front established. It is easier said than done and requires considerable leadership skills. People have now got into the habit of jockeying for power, to dethrone the current leader of the opposition and therefore various camps are being set up with divided loyalties. It seems almost that there is palace intrigue to get rid of the leader by all means possible. This infighting should be tackled by the leader and a consensus agreed upon in the interim to speak with one voice in a united manner to get the message across.

The media unit should work in tandem with the message. There does not appear to be a strong message or strong media unit to deliver it. It appears that the media unit if there is one is in disarray, with no one putting it in order. The opposition is just going about their daily business, attending funerals but not addressing the concerns of the electorate that is desperate for a voice.

The JVP is doing a better job accusing the government of being corrupt, incompetent and duplicitous, than the UNP. This is not good in the eyes of the public who are now not represented. The people are desperately looking for someone to represent them in the midst of an unprecedented period of high inflation and falling purchasing power.

It is in the interests of the future of the UNP that they act quickly to seize the void created by their inaction, and present their case with a united message.

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