weedledum and Tweedledee are toilet-trained to share a common loo as newly weds in an era of same sex marriage. A streak that runs in a national government predominantly stuffed with members of the UNP and SLFP, which appear stable and strong: mathematically and theoretically, alas -- superficially.
During bondage of two years -- no major issue will surface as UNP and SLFP can live and let live in brotherhood, thankfully, due to the perquisites provided at state expense; the endearing characteristic of governing. Take it away, ex - parliamentarians are lost – victim’s of a long day’s night.
Ideological issues are the bane of national governments. Not so, for a government without any fixed ideology or a hoot for it - provided Alsatian-like loyalty is shown to their leaders. More principled Ranil Wickremesinghe would smile (or wince) and bear it for the sake of maintaining a government in office mindful of the period in the wilderness hibernating in the opposition. Don’t rock the boat too much as the occupants from the SLFP are nervy being on waters wavy.
It’s startling when defeated candidates become cabinet ministers after being rejected by the people at an election where a government came to the front on good governance. It is like when the Supreme Court appointed the defeated candidate for Bandaragama as the MP on an election petition without the holding of a bye-election!It is justified on a ‘conspiracy theory’ hatched by a section of the government, that the UPFA/SLFP alliance had candidates targeted for defeat at the general elections? That’s a lame excuse to include the defeated as the picked from a national list!
That theory falls flat at its origin: it’s the people that voted tactically at a free and fair election to send the rejected politicians packing home – can it be called a conspiracy by the people to keep the discarded away from politics by exercising their vote? If the propounded theory is to be is justified then the elections cannot not be declared free and fair!
Problems will arise for the SLFP politicians supporting the government when the people are called upon to exercise their vote again 5 years hence. Bulk vote comes from those that voted for the party in 2015. Did those that delivered the bulk of the votes for the SLFP/UPFA, in their wildest dreams expect their votes be added to a government of President Sirisena/ Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe especially if they were voting for Mahinda Rajapaksa, as most did! He lost: the loser has no place in our unjust society for services rendered. In 2020 there will be no Mahinda Rajapaksa; yet the voters will carry old wounds on being cheated and would blame most, those that sat on government benches! Numbers in the SLFP/UPFA do so. Yet they need the opposition vote to become parliamentarians again and to compete with the UNP to attract the vote to form, if possible, the next government. Double jeopardy awaits those that play a double game!
Twin contradictory stances taken by some SLFP/UPFA parliamentarians can expect to face a fate similar to the destiny Liberal Democrats (UK) met at the elections 2015 where they were routed after entering into a national government with the Conservatives. It’s the lesser party that looses: reduced further by appointing defeated candidates as ministers. President Sirisena, there would be much you would have to answer for the destruction of the SLFP.
The UNP, like the Conservatives can sit pretty asking their voters to give the UNP a comprehensive working majority without the participation of other parties to form a government at the next elections, provided the economy looks good. Cameron’s Conservatives did it that way. The UNP can lay blame on President Sirisena for introducing defeated candidates to parliament and the cabinet and mucking the administration. Yet, a weird constitution stipulates a four and half year reign without elections.
Meanwhile during the two year term specified by the SLFP/UPFA combine, they are likely to get further divided, towards the end, between those that would like to sail into the future with the UNP and those that would not/could not and would loose their perks of minister-ship dreaming of wider MP-ship. Obviously Ranil Wickremesinghe won’t take the entire gang on board and those that will not get the nod may commit acts of near treachery to enter the good books of the opposition voter. Nevertheless the bottom line is perks and privileges-a never-ending greed for it.
This will activate the opposition to seek a new division presently divided into forces pro Mahinda and pro Sirisena. Those aligned with Mahinda Rajapaksa MP lured him into contesting ensuring a triumph for their personal advancement since most who could not stand alone: needed a stilt to stand on and stepped on Mahinda Rajapaksa. They miscalculated the mood of the people for a once beaten Mahinda Rajapaksa who was going to be twice beaten within a short space. People after offering prolonged gratitude that was improperly reciprocated, reacted by seeking to reject. MR read too much of the crowds that were arranged for him to witness. SLFP MP’s were prepared to jump any bus that will carry them in quick time to parliament.
Worrying question for the parliamentarians of the SLFP/UNP combine in facing the next election - will the opposition voters cast their votes again for a candidate who combined with ‘in – their – minds, the evil force of the enemy’ - to form a government leaving the voters in the cold? The name board SLFP is tarnished as unbecomingly unreliable that it cannot endure for too long as it had it good for too long.
Is cohabiting with the UNP tolerable for the opposition voters? Majority did not think at the time of voting- they were making a contribution to the formation of a government led by the UNP and were providing the UNP with the icing that made Ministers and MPs. How much of trust and faith will be placed on those, who they think, cheated them of their votes? A betrayal was in the making at least to the majority.
SLFP/UPFA rebels have to realign with their traditional voters for a comeback. To do so effectively they need perform an overt act of treachery against the UNP government towards the last days of this national government. Will it be a force within the government that will unsettle the government after the mid-term mark? They need foul the UNP administration to come into the reckoning of the traditional SLFP voter –destabilization will come from within as it did in 2015. President Sirisena is learned of the tricks in the trade having performed to perfection.
Would President Sirisena join the tide or follow the ebb? UNP will watch gleefully the emergence of a new party of those repulsed of the SLFP in dividing a divided opposition or watch in alarm a movement of a new force of youthful spirit emerging encompassing their own smart kids to take the country away from the politicians of our generation. Time is ideal for the making of a new party with new faces at the helm
The rebels in the government will suffer more than their partners in the UNP. Mind you some are defeated candidates in 2015! The UNP need nudge their voters to help establish a government of the ‘pure UNP’, which may or may not become a reality while the rebels have to offer a credible explanation for cohabiting with the forces of the UNP and enjoyed the perks of office as government ministers. How well the government handles the issue of foreign intervention through a hybrid legal system will matter and the role the US plays in drafting the resolution will show it’s degree of conduciveness to the new administration or the extent the new administration prostrates itself to alien influence.
Fortunately for the people an early peep into the minds of the new leadership will become possible in the UNHRC issue that can create many divisions.