Thursday, January 7, 2010

The rumor mill is rife Sri Lanka style – Presidential Election

As we all know SL does not lend itself to credible and independent opinion pollsters, due to the notorious double speak of the electorate, so the usual collection of drama queens are filling the vacuum in a way that the information is going all the way to the top. It is interesting that unquestionably there is a swing SF way however one would prefer it or not, but whether it will be enough to make a difference on election-day is anyone’s guess.
This basic fact is always inevitable, especially when one is the under-dog and the top dog is doing everything possible to ruin his chances. Analyse the Sinhala press and TV that the Government owns and the most die hard supporter will be embarrassed by the one-sided sycophantic praise heaped upon another human.
This fact does not seem to have gone completely unnoticed by the man himself, and this is a rumor from a supposed insider!! “I hear that he is frothing mad at a host of his ministers and advisors who are in the hasty make believe state of cockiness, and are spoiling his chances by making unpardonable bold face lies, hoping they are true. This has resulted in some of them being blasted in filth, and due to the patronage they enjoy and now with nowhere to go, have no self respect but to hang on even when the boss asks them to vamoose from power!!”
Of course this leaves the SF camp, who really have come up with no real concrete alternatives, plans or manifesto, a chance of gloating over the self-inflicted gunshot injuries, hoping that by some miracle the anti vote will push them over hill.
As you know all the above is pure conjecture, but both parties hold strong opinions which drive their followers to frenzy and irrational logic. All I can wish for from now on till election-day is to permit all our eligible voters the chance to cast their secret ballot as they wish, and not be coaxed by monetary or illegal acts to go against their true wishes. These ballots so cast, should be allowed to be counted correctly with no fraud, thereby permitting everyone to clearly say that the election was a free and fair one, and despite the overwhelming arrogance and misuse of power during the run up, that the citizenry on their own made up their minds on whether they wish the incumbent to be re-elected or not.
We must accept the outcome with dignity, knowing it reflects the will of the people and carry on developing the country and not individuals, so that its citizens of all ethnic background can live in peace and freedom, where as at the same time improving their prospects to enhance their lives and those of their children to fulfill their personal goals within this serendipitous country not having recourse to leave.


Anonymous said...

I believe the SF manifesto is due out today, so that should let people know exactly what he's planning on doing.

The repeated claims that SF has no vision will now have to go on the back burner till his manifesto is analysed with a fine tooth comb

sittingnut said...

fonseka is going to lose by a huge margin . there is no swing that way. every time the poor fool opens his mouth few thousand votes goes the other way

want to take a bet ?

Anonymous said...

what is the feeling in the rural area in which you conduct business? conventional wisdom is that MR rules in the rural areas and SF has colombo and the tamils which wont be nearly enough to give him a victory.

and i'm not sure the youth will ever not have recourse to leave in our lifetimes due to the severe inequalities of wage structures in the world and immigration opportunities which surround those jobs. Why would a nurse stay in Lanka when that person can earn 50 times as much doing the same job in the United States?

Rohan said...

The Country will elect a president in two weeks time and Colombo society's gut says the general will win. At almost very turn, people seem to be talking about a 'swing to SF' whatever that means. Although I am no statistician or political analyst I too found myself talking expertly about a ‘swing’ to SF to anyone who seemed as or less knowledgeable as I was about stats or politics, at numerous cocktail parties. To an outsider, I’m certain I could have come across as someone who ‘MR’ and ‘SF’ had played baseball with in my backyard very Tuesday for the last 8 years, apart from the first Tuesday of each month.
If SF does win, it would be the first time the country elects a battle harden military man to the most powerful executive office in the land. Sir John, a prime minister in the 50's though being in the army I doubt ever pointed a riffle at another human being even if it had been loaded with a mash mellow!
It was only the other day, that I decided to look at past election results in order not to parrot or should I say, swallow people's views and predictions, which though usually expressed confidently, I dare say, lacked any kind of scientific or mathematical basis, but instead are conjured with hearsay and more in hope.
By running through the figures, I was surprised that the UNP never polled over 52% at a national election in the Colombo District in the last 20 years, despite the popular misconception that if you throw a stone in any direction in the city that you will hit a person who will bleed green blood on impact. When I mentioned this fact in Colombo Circles, people usually thought I was either talking through my hat and/ or an under cover state official or at least someone who has benefitted from state patronage. Life would have been a lot easier if I had fallen in to anyone of those categories I suspect.
I soon realized that us Colombo folk are in fact a tad less researched than we ought to, especially on topics we talk so passionately and so much about. At the last Presidential election in 2005, the UNP candidate lost by 180,000. This was with hardly any votes coming from the north, which by general consensus Wickramasinghe should have had the lion’s share of, if not for the LTTE banning people from voting in the north and to a lesser extent in Batticaloa.
Despite losing most of the southern vote, the thin margin of defeat was purely due to the 150,000 vote victories in Nuwara Eliya and 92,000 in Batticaloa. Thus if not for these two districts, RW would have been beaten by (180k+150k+92K) 428,000 votes. This time around the UNP candidate has to compete against CWC in Nuwara Eliya and Karuna in Batticaloa. The incumbent president has also had a major setback by losing the support of its most ardent and vociferous ally, the JVP.
These trade offs makes it for a very interesting election next fortnight between two individuals who the country’s population credits for its greatest military victory ever. For SF, a higher vote in the north, JVP backing are definite pluses. For MR, Thondaman and Karuna throwing their lot behind him has been the biggest plus factors.
Whilst arithmetic alone suggests that MR should pull through with double the majority he obtained last time around, myself here in Colombo isn’t quite convinced yet as I quibble to grasp the ‘swing’ factor…