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Written by By Jamil Matar   
Thursday, 15 February 2018 00:00

I can still recall the PUP’s “People’s Assemblies” and their “Freedom Train” of 1998, when the Blue Party could amass tens of thousands of supporters at the drop of a hat in every district just by announcing the pending visit of the “Train” with the “Caliente Girls”.   These were rallies to truly behold in size and enthusiasm. I have never seen such mass political gatherings since, except maybe the UDP’S protest rally against the UHS loan at a House sitting.  That said, the so-called “Blue Tsunami” of Sunday past at the ITVET compound in Belize City was trifling in comparison to their former assemblies and this fact should lend for consternation within the PUP hierarchy.

On Sunday, all we heard on the TV Screen were loud voices and saw scattered gatherings of disjointed groups nursing their own sentiments. The once mighty PUP is struggling to remain a relevant alternative. Sure they will garner not less than 40% of the popular votes on March 7, but the vaunted seeds of enthusiasm and optimism that they were expecting to see germinate at the ITVET on Sunday and then sweep across the country seem to have been  sown on infertile soil.  What, then, is missing for the PUP?  Is their lack of a popular cause?  Or is it their overt embrace of the British Lord? Personally I think it’s the issue of the same old same faces in the Party which keep reappearing; faces and those nasal voices which their own supporters have become disenchanted with. The Party needs to reboot and revamp their leadership with young new blood.

And even in this time of low enthusiasm, the vultures among them keep feeding from the trough. I heard a story this very Wednesday morning that a strong PUP campaigner had a birthday bash on February 10 and claimed to have invited only UDP supporters with the rationale to ” convert” them. He later presented Johnny with a bill for the said bash and the latter is said to have reimbursed the man! Those types of smarty pants you don’t need in either Party.

From this standpoint, the risk  in planning for a big rally like Sunday’s is that if it flops then morale within the ranks fall even lower.  I have heard some very PUP supporters opine that all the resources wasted on Sunday could have been invested in the municipal campaigns to “encourage” people to vote Blue. But with those tired advisors in the PUP, only the old strategies keep resurfacing. Rally on top of rally is their mantra.  Old school thinking. Thing is, the PUP’s apparent weakness only strengthens the ruling Party, which is putting its efforts on the ground and covering bases with the voters. Two more weeks from today we will see which tactic paid off. My bet is still hedged on the Red getting a sizeable majority nationally.   Let us see how it plays out.