I had not taken much interest in the municipal election, its not particularly important and I was quite disgusted with how things turned out the last time around.
To recollect what happened; the UNP could not gets its candidate approved in time and it then went on to ask voters to vote for a proxy party. The voters gave the proxy an overwhelming majority, but the proxy then proceeded to renege on the agreement with the UNP and we had the spectacle of a trishaw driver in the mayor's office. I had resolved not to vote this time around until I became aware of Milinda Moragoda's campaign.
I don't think Milinda Moragoda is a bad character, he is not thug and has reasonable ability, on his own he would be a good candidate for mayor. The question is, how far will he be allowed to follow his instincts? Will Moragoda end up playing the role that Medvadev plays in Moscow? The velvet glove on the mailed fist?
Tisaranee Gunasekara, whose analysis is usually prescient, seems to think so and Harsha De Silva, a UNP MP seems to have a similar opinion.
Would the voters be best served by voting for some opposition candidate? There is no guarantee that the office of the mayor will not be reduced a ceremonial one in the event that the opposition wins, especially if the plan for the Colombo Metropolitan City Corporation comes to pass. As it stands the UDA seems to be overriding much of the authority of the CMC.
Nevertheless it would seem better to vote for some opposition candidate, who may provide some trivial resistance, in the event that unpopular measures are being contemplated. Better that than a yes man.
Who do we have in the opposition? I don't even know, I have been told there are hundreds of candidates, someone shoved a few pictures under the door the other day, god only knows who he is. I'm still confused as to what to do; vote for an opposition which may be marginalised by the UDA and a CMCC or for a government candidate who will execute what he asked to do?