By Malinda Seneviratne –
Meanwhile in a parallel universe
In all elections people talk of the floating vote. The undecided. Those who may be swayed one way or another. In some elections the floating vote can decide an election. Naturally, come election time all kinds of theories are floated about the floating vote. Some say it has expanded and some say it has contracted. Some say ‘won’t count this time’ too. No one seems to have succeeded in putting a finger on the floating vote. But in a parallel universe, the floating voter has a voice. Let us listen.
I am an intangible. I am talked of as though I am someone’s playing. A commodity. A bargain. No one wants to listen to me. No one wants to acknowledge that I have grievances too. In fact I have aspirations as well.
Right now I am in a bit of a quandary. Things are moving back and forth at such a speed that it is hard to figure out whether someone else is moving, whether I am being jostled this way and that by the traffic or if I am standing still while the political world does its usual election-time somersaults.
I am supposed to be sitting on the fence. I am supposed to be right there in the middle. Neither here nor there. I am supposed to be up for grabs. My problem is that the fence is not staying in one place. If this side is identified by who is located there and that side by who is on the other side, it’s gotten really confusing of late. Here today, gone tomorrow: that’s how things have been the past few days. ‘I won’t budge,’ someone says and the next moment he’s jumped and keeping jumping up and down in glee with his new found friends jumping with him too. Makes me dizzy to watch these things.
And then there’s the line. Forget politicians and who-what they may represent. There’s also track record. Then there’s the package, promises that is. I’ve been looking this way and that and I am totally confused. I can’t believe that some people can stand with some other people, considering what they’ve said about one another. I can’t believe the promises made when there’s the past is littered with broken pledges, mandates re-interpreted for personal benefit and manifestos turned into toilet paper.
The one good thing about being a floating voter is the ‘floating’ part of it. Our people can fly. We can rise above the gooey stuff that is made of periodically auctioning off non-existent resources, promising the undeliverable and solemn-faced acknowledgment of error and begging forgiveness for crimes of omission and commission. From up here I can see a bunch of nitwits bickering at each other. From up here I can see there’s blue and green on one side and blue and green on the other side too. From up here I can see rogues and sycophants on both sides of the shifting, vaguely-demarcated political divide.
From up here I ask myself, ‘do either of these jokers deserve my vote?’ From up here I can see that one of the biggest lies in these situations is the claim ‘lesser evil’ for EVIL is a word embossed on the membership card one gets the moment one assumes that despicable identity ‘politician’.
I concur with my brother who said ‘I’m fed up of seeing the same bullshit over and over being quoted, re-quoted, edited, re-edited, mixed, re-mixed, compared, contrasted and conflated until none of it makes any sense at all.’
So here’s to you Mrs Robinson: ‘anyway you look at it you lose’.
Going to sleep. Wake me up sometime in late January 2015, ok?
*Malinda Seneviratne is the Chief Editor of ‘The Nation’ and his articles can be found at www.malindawords.blogspot.com