Learning a new political language

Different things come to different people’s minds when they think about the 2011 general elections. Some people were just longing to say “ex-President Jagdeo.” Other people were hoping to say “His Excellency David Arthur Granger.” Others believe they have earned the right to say “GECOM screw up!”

Other people have other things on their minds and one particular phrase that has quickly become popular is “hung parliament.” The phrase has been populating the media and infusing itself into public consciousness ever since Gocool Boodoo announced that one seat, one single seat, now separates the PPP/C from control of the National Assembly.

People are going to have to learn what the term “hung parliament” means. One perhaps oversimplified explanation is that Parliament is literally hanging by a thread. With the two opposition parties having between them just a single seat more than the opposition anything can happen.

“Horse-trading!” Now there’s another phrase that comes to mind. For the uninitiated this does not mean that henceforth we’ll be selling horses in the forecourt of the National Assembly. “Horse trading” is about switching sides. Think about it! If the government wants to pass a piece of legislation in the National Assembly it will need that extra vote and the only place that vote can come from is either APNU or the AFC. “Vote-buying.” The practice of utilizing  one means or another to entice an MP from the opposing side to go along with the governing party. And in a society such as ours who knows what those enticements might be.

Here’s another phrase: “Recall legislation.” What this means is that if you are caught sleeping with the enemy your party can boot you out of the National Assembly.

All of this might well completely overwhelm a population that has only just been battered by the emotional strain of  general and regional elections. That, it would seem, is our lot in life. The politicians move heaven and earth to get our votes then they cast us to the winds. It’s all about power and we are mere pawns.

Still, we would do well to learn these phrases since some, maybe all of them will be popping up pretty regularly in the process of the political grind. Ah so it guh!

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