This alliterative flourish of the letter “M” in the title above might have well been instead of the letter “P” as, for instance, in Panday’s Political Palance—but since their intent are the same as in the expression, same difference, and since Mickela is the figurehead at the forefront of this party, she gets the nod for target practice here.
Dynastic politics have existed from ever—especially among royalty—and thus Basdeo Panday wishing to have his daughter follow in his footsteps into the corridors of prime ministerial power, is nothing unknown.
What is mystifying though is the fact that in this scenario the father doesn’t have the power—legal or conventional—to anoint the daughter to the throne he once occupied.
The fact that in 2010 he was jettisoned as of detritus from the leadership of the party he formed, clearly indicates even to those who have no eyes to see, that he nor his name, no longer has the currency value to be of any trading value on the political stock market.
So on what basis is the thinking that Mickela has the magic in 2020 what the father had for decades in the 70s and after right into the new millennium?
Basdeo Panday earned his exaltation as a master politician courtesy his eloquence, his Machiavellian craftiness, his melodramatic theatrics on the platform, acquiring a charisma that would be the template for all who follow in his footsteps and wish to emulate him.
So the question is, has Mickela manifested any of the father’s mythic political transcendence or is her CV powered by one word: Panday?
Has she been out in the field as he did fighting for the rights of sugar workers?
Has she been out among those who have been flooded out—just to offer her sympathy—if there are no trade union opportunities for her to champion?
The idea that entitlement (of having the name Panday) is all she needs to be pole-vaulted into power is so unreal that coming from the think-tank of Basdeo Panday— the ultimate strategist—moves it from unreal to surreal to stupid.
For years and years, one knew, suspected, that Mickela had political ambition—if only to fulfil her father’s sense of political immortality—but in those years she has chanted two words, constitutional reform, as if that is the mantra of this era and not one that is prefaced by Om Namah...as exists in Hinduism.
By entering the political equation now, most people see you as a spoiler, and since it has the essence of vindictiveness to flavour it, since nobody thinks you have a chance in hell to save your deposit money, the once esteemed name of Panday is being eroded to something really ugly.
Personally, I don’t think you could split the vote to hand victory to the PNM; if Kamla Persad-Bissessar puts up the right candidates—even at this 11th hour—your father’s party, the UNC, could regain power, and by staying out of the fight you could vicariously claim victory yourself.
So long live the UNC, Ma’am?
L Siddhartha Orie