September 25, 2016

Making a mockery of the system

Dear Editor,
Mark Benschop is running a politically dishonest campaign. His logo says, “Team Benschop for Mayor,” when he is actually running as a Councillor. Any how you parse the logo it amounts to intellectual dishonesty. Benschop cannot run in the Local Government Elections (LGE) for Mayor, neither can any in his team run for mayor. Benschop and all his team members must first contest as councillors and win as councillors and then the different councillors from all the constituencies, collectively (all 30 of them), will vote for a person to be Mayor. So when Benschop continues to use his misleading logo, he is behaving in the way the average politician behaves; which behaviour has caused many to reject politicians as liars and tricksters.
Benschop is single handedly responsible for the misnomer that the voters in the LEG will determine the Mayor, yet he continues to perpetuate that lie despite the clarion call for him to cease.
If team Benschop wants to be honest, all they have to do is replace the word ‘Mayor’ in their logo with the correct word ‘Councillor’ and the logo would then be both politically and ethically correct. But Team Benschop will never make that timely and conscionable correction, because it is obvious that they are more interested in winning than in being honest. And to think that I admired Benschop who fought so hard to remove a government that he claimed was dishonest in their dealings.
Further, Benschop thinks that the current Mayor and City Council is behaving in shady ways and he is even calling for accountability and transparency. Yet he continues to run a campaign that is steeped in deceit and misinformation.
The reason Team Benschop is using that logo with the word Mayor in it, is because when a person goes into the voting booth in any constituency they will think that they are voting for Benschop, as Mayor and not the local representative per se. So rather than the competence of the individual, local, councillors being scrutinised, Team Benschop is getting a free ride on the popularity of Mark Benschop.
Let me hasten to say that what Benschop and his team are doing by falsifying their campaign, is political genius. No doubt this twisted strategy was designed to win Mark many votes and it might even get him close to the Mayoral position. But what it also shows is that Benschop is the consummate politician who has surrounded himself with like-minded thinkers.
It also shows what kind of a person Benschop is and what tactics he will employ to govern, should he win as Councillor and get the Mayorship. I also saw that Sherrod Duncan of the APNU/AFC has decided to challenge Nigel Hughes on a statement the latter made. Huge has stated emphatically that the central Government should not contest in the LGE. One needs to be reminded that Hughes forms an integral part of the AFC party and is well respected as an objective and critical thinker.
One would correctly surmise that when he noted his objections to the coalition participating in the LGE, Nigel Hughes was not being trite or flippant. He would have first examined the realities and objectives of the Local Government and its purpose and he would have spoken out of concern for the maintenance of its integrity.
Like Hughes, I too think that it is a blatant conflict of interest for the central government to want to lead the local government. Notwithstanding that it was this current government who instituted and passed a bill decentralising the management of the Local Government. So I am very surprised that Duncan would want to challenge Huges for making a candid and noteworthy observation.
It is very obvious that Duncan is hoping that the prevailing popularity of the APNU/AFC coalition will catapult him into the Councillor’s seat. However, the real test of his personal popularity would have been realised if he had been man enough to contest, like me, as an independent. Duncan’s missive against Nigel is a desperate shot across the bow. He knows full well that Nigel is correct in his call for the central government to pull out of the LGE.
Editor, what is coincidental about both Benschop and Duncan is that they are both vying for the same Councillor’s seat in District 14. The word on the street is that one of them is likely to win. The M&CC will therefore have as a Councillor from that District, one who has no problem with falsifying the truth to win at all cost, or one who’s allegiance is to the central government and not his constituents.   Either way, the system is being played and made a mockery of.

Wendell Jeffrey,

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