Mainstream politicos forge ahead to ignominy

Nadim Majeed

A grim reality appears to be sinking in among the political classes in Sri Lanka that the time that they could spin anything to the people of this country and expect to maintain their support, is coming to an end.

This was evidenced in a shrewd observation by veteran journalist Victor Ivan over the weekend – the fact that there may not be any viable candidates from the political mainstream for the 2020 presidential election. While Ivan is an astute political commentator, does his observation come as a surprise to anyone? Has not the relentless scourge of corruption to which the political class has collectively failed to respond cast the pall of disillusion over the collective conscience of the people?

Perhaps it may also be prudent at this juncture to go one step further, could we, for instance, proclaim that for the first time in the history of the presidency, the lack of popular support for any one candidate could lead to the contest being decided in a runoff?

What would be the implications of such a situation and are we as a nation that is already struggling with division, anywhere close to dealing with the fallout that such polarisation would produce?

To quote the consummate statesman Abraham Lincoln, “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time” – Have the Sri Lankan people finally had it with being fooled? Will they finally consign the political deadwood to the dustbin and forge ahead together as one nation towards progress and prosperity, or will they in the chaos, fall victim to the violent rhetoric of the fringe?