By today we would have been expected to be starting back to the normal life. Silly season being over and the political antics now relegated to memory. The count however is still on and await the EBC recount of the marginals.
It is expected whichever party prevails, it would bring the members of the losing side some emotional turmoil. The hope, the effort, the finances spent would have drained many.
The build-up for the election with meetings, talk shows, picong, ethnic appeal, hyped-up music were all part of an elaborate show to reach into the minds of people to garner their votes. It was an appeal to the senses, a powerful psychological appeal in which citizens saw supporters trying to defend their respective leaders when the other side tried to sully them.
There is a sense of gloom and doom among some and even bitter unpatriotic talk at times but this is expected. Once we understand the psychological process we should not judge others too harshly.
Given time most will heal.
We know there are five psychological stages persons go through after a loss: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and then acceptance.
As a nation we are witnessing this.
For the past month, a whole spectrum of emotions were experienced, some having hope and anticipation, some getting worked up at times, feeling anger and disgust at dirty politics, and some people may not be able to handle electoral loss without some support.
People who openly backed the losing team may be fearful of political victimisation.
People may suffer from anxiety, some may want to migrate or turn about and support the winning side.
Those in Denial phase would say the lost was not true, it was a miscount, a mistake was made, the elections were stolen some may mount legal challenges.
Anger sets in after the denial phase and it is prudent to recognise the ranges of emotion that can be seen.
Some people have taken to Facebook to vent their feelings. There has been a surge of vitriolic comments and at times racists posts circulating on Facebook before and after the general election.
Some would blame family members for not voting, label members of their own race neemakharams or wanting to “eat ah food,” they would blame candidates and even turn on their leaders.
The Bargaining phase happens where appeals are made to other civic minded persons to ask for new elections, to ask the EBC to realise errors were made.
Depression is the other phase that can be seen, manifesting as problems to sleep, eat, feeling numb and sad.
If it lasts more than two weeks some emotional support may needed—be it from friends, family and political affiliates so that people can vent and plan for another day.
The losing side should keep their offices open for a little more than a month after the election in each area, where supporters can come in and talk or have decent social chat forum or plan how to revamp. This gives a sense of purpose, that all is not lost.
Some need to deal with the political fallout of losing.
Finally Acceptance sets in when they realise things cannot be changed and they return to their normal state of affairs.
We need to understand that COVID, global recession violent crime, unemployment and food prices are the real enemy.
We need to forget race and politics and need to unite to save our nation.
We would have great economic pain to bear for the few years.
God has given me this country as my space on earth I need it to be as safe and secure for my children.
I was so disappointed that race talk reared it ugly head.
Racial instinct are very powerful especially in people conditioned by years of ethnic voting.
Our leaders know this and would mobilise their tribe by painting the other side as racist, in an appeal to their base who may think of voting otherwise.
Political leaders are like demigods to some, they have great influence and power over the minds and actions of their supporters.
We need the prime minister and the leader of the Opposition to meet and shake hands publicly as such visual impact may help calm the waters.
The IRO may need to initiate this healing process.
The prime minister was on target when he appointed a Recovery Committee to deal with the COVID fallout. This committee had members of varying ethnic and political affiliation who came together to give a blueprint on recovery.
On Monday night, Dr Keith Rowley painted the opposition as carrying on a racial election campaign.
His statement of being the leader of all citizens and time for healing was welcomed but action speaks louder than words.
I wait to witness the composition of the state boards which would indicate the healing has in fact begun.