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THE NEXT HALF Print E-mail
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Written by By Jamil Matar   
Thursday, 01 February 2018 00:00

Now yes, the campaign mode is in full swing in OWT. Last week Wednesday I went to San Pedro to check  on something and noted how that municipality was  decorated all over with signs and flags  which left me   wondering if  Sugar City  was being left behind, but in one week, things changed dramatically. There are banners and flags all over town, brightening up the place. And now some taxis are being outfitted like the cabs in Chetumal with mobile political marketing. Who says the PUP broke?

One thing I learnt to appreciate in my town, when an individual is a street survivor the public will quickly jam him with a nickname. For example, I heard people calling a man who likes to hang out at the Queen Elizabeth Park “Third World”. I asked a friend who has a business in that area why the name and he said that probably because the guy was underdeveloped “upstairs”.  Another fellow is called “Gaza” not because he thought of himself as dangerous, but because he was always bombed out on Red Top rum. In my neighborhood, one of these street survivors is called “Rogers” because of his thick white beard like the famous Country and Western singer.  Rogers stopped by my little shop the other day and gave me some lessons in street Intel. He said that the PUP should distribute to the poor all the food they had ordered in preparation for the so-called “tsunami” convention that was to take place in Belize City this Sunday past.  This food, he said, will not last for the new tsunami date set for February 11.

The same gentleman also opined that the PUP’s TV propaganda accusing the UDP of having created several millionaires of its supporters was off base since the PUP by its own admission had created many more millionaires in its last Administration.  Rogers then said that during election time he always ate well, including having ham in his beans. He shared with me that last week the PUP went to his house and asked to install flags in his yard, he said yes if they paid the $170 he owed in back rent. The lead campaigner told him they could put half and Rogers was to put the other half. Rogers responded that on Election Day he would put half of the X, and then the PUP could then put the other half.  They quickly covered his full house rent.

Coming back to electioneering, my buddy Phillip is stepping up his campaign and becoming more visible; he can even be heard on the airwaves, something he has always been squeamish about. I heard that he is trying to get back the once-solid UDP support in Otro Benque which was wavering. These 1000 voters could make a big difference.  Recall that there has been a major effort by the PUP to target Hon. Vega even though this election is not for national constituencies.  The old man Rogers had an opinion on that issue too. He told me that in the village he came from, there was a story about one Allan Barton who, when thieves broke into his house through his front door, decided to spite the thieves by taking his door to work the next day to prevent another break-in that way again. The PUP strategy in OW North is focusing on the wrong objective and on the wrong timing.   That said, this contest in OW is so intense that opinions change from week to week which only March 7 will put finality to.  The last election resulted in a 5/2 split in favor of the PUP. The present PUP Town Council is pointing to its infrastructural projects to claim job well done, even as the national anti-UDP campaign has been that people “can’t eat streets”. So duplicitous and disjointed! Someone told me that the PUP is badly split internally and Johnny has vowed that if he wins in 2020, his Administration will not involve any Musa or Fonseca; it will be a Briceño/Courtnay Administration.

I have in the past been directly involved with elections as a greeting agent and counting agent at the San Francisco School polling area but this year due to my condition I cannot assist in any meaningful way. I will miss all the fun. I just spoke with a UDP official five minutes ago and gave him some names of other volunteers who used to help in the polling areas as counters and greeters. It will be an interesting election here in OW as well as in Dangriga I hear. Let’s see what happens.

Last Updated on Thursday, 01 February 2018 12:47