The major force in Gambian politics that should have swayed the masses is PDOIS. This party has principles and a good out look for the Gambia. from their early days, things didn't go well with them. One strategy i find puzzling was their non-association with villagers they encounter during campaign trials. I first came across PDOIS in the 1987 election. They won me over instantly, even though at that time i was under the legal age of voting. Their message hit home smoothly. I can still remember Honourable Sedia's comments about a frog in the well, enjoying whilst the well is full with food and goodies.
The big problem of PDOIS which they didn't realise was their refusal to stay with folks in the Provence's. they don't stay with people, they don't drink from others home, neither do they eat from villagers. This i believe was a major culture shock to the local masses. yes PDOIS was doing its best to change the culture of wastage and partying. But they have gone over the top in that process of being independent from local people's food and water. But our culture encourages sharing and communal socialising. this affect PDOIS very much because people show that attitude as an arrogance, and a bunch of people who don't have much respect for the people, so the people blinded themselves to the messages of the party.
Another down side of PDOIS is their insistence on having a close hierarchy. It has only being the same people saying the same thing within the party, there has been very few new faces within the party that has any serious authority to speak on their own behalf. The party should allow other members to speak on issues of human rights, religion, education etc. each important social institution should be handle by an expert not one person doing all the talking. This makes the party unattractive. also succession issue should be made such that the grass root are involve and are in the know.
In general, the party is the most viable party worth our time and energy. They have in place a program, an ideology that people can analyse and study and even criticise, whilst other parties lack this vital element. Politics is about ideas and leaders, African leaders seems to be good at one thing, that is locking up people and making life hard for their opponents, yet even God leave us alone to do as we like until we met him. Why can't our leaders be soft in less critical matters? why can't they over-look trivial matters? They should concentrate of building ideas and being in tune with modern politics. They should labour to Africanise issues that will bolster our identity and respect. They should build on uniting the people regardless of political affiliation. True peace is hard to achieve, but creating a good cordial environment helps.
Finally the shock of last election was a big assault on PDOIS and the Gambia. The failure of Hon. Halifa to win back his Serrekunda seat is a shock to all lovers of democracy. Halifa is force to be recon with whether one likes him or not. He is good for the Gambian politics, it is a big blow to him and the people of the Gambia. The epitome of daily political discussion is the national assembly, an effective national assembly should have men like Halifa, he has the charisma and eloquence to deliver critical messages. And lovers of politics will always be interested in his analysis.
There is still hope, lets hope for the best.