Focus on issues, not the circus
THE EDITOR, Sir:
It's on. The next four weeks will be replete with promises, boasts, finger-pointing, and recriminations. And while we enjoy all of the above for the entertainment value added and embrace same as part of our vibrant, colourful culture, we cannot afford to ignore the stark reality of where we are today.
We may not have time for national debates. We may not be able to have those putting themselves up for public service to make their case in a coherent fashion sans the buffoonery typical of the campaign stage.
Here is where the news media can and must play their part. Push the real issues, please. By all means, cover the campaigning in all its glory, but explore, push, interrogate, needle, remind, nag, and keep alive all that is really important: hospital conditions (dead babies scandal), fuel regulations (bad gas scandal), crime fighting, economic growth, governance, and corruption.
Do not allow the Opposition to get away with mere finger-pointing. Force them to articulate a vision, to paint the possibilities supported by a plan. Force the ruling party to account for their stewardship and give them an opportunity to outline specific plans for the future.
We don't want promises. We want goals underscored by plans. We want a vision that causes us to hope. We need you to be our mouthpiece. We need you to fact-check.
Please do more than simply give air time and column inches to the hot rhetoric that has yielded nothing in the past.