What is unfolding currently at the political level could reverse the poise and stability with which the country has been governed since independence. As events have proved, the MMM takes no chances once it is in power (or even out of power).
It will consolidate divisions it has carefully nurtured in the past, throw mud on those it will identify as obstacles to its ambitions and go it alone, having no regard to whatever powers would have been vested in the President. Worse, it will make it quasi-impossible to undo the Constitutional changes that would have been effected already.
As for Labour, it has barely paid attention to its constituency of voters to the degree it should have. It has hardly given them the attention they were calling for when facing economic distress, let alone given them the means to rise above their station. It is the resulting sentiment of alienation felt by some of its traditional supporters that appears to be throwing it into the arms of the MMM.
But this feeling of estrangement can be overcome by making those tearing apart the fabric of unity understand the much bigger stakes – after nearly a hundred years of patient consolidation of slow social and economic emancipation – underlying a heavily risk-ridden superficial power sharing arrangement threatening to crumble any time thereafter. They have to realize that the feelings of communal hostility that were aroused in 1967 and before may have intensified, not died down, with the passage of time in favour of a so-called national unity. The target of recriminations is polarised and still the same.
The kind of major overhaul of our electoral system contemplated should be put to the people for approval before implementing. The people will surely spurn any artificial construct meant solely for short-term interests and give back to the country a serenity it has painfully constructed that might otherwise be lost for good.
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