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THE AL GILKES COLUMN: Taking bets on election

Al Gilkes

THE AL GILKES COLUMN: Taking bets on election

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Christmas come and gone.
Old Year’s Night coming and will also soon be gone. Come Tuesday, at one second after midnight, it will be New Year’s Day, the first day of the New Year 2013.
And by Wednesday when the hangovers and effects of other overindulgences finally wear off and clarity returns to our minds, we will realize that one and only one thing will be occupying the attention of the entire island – elections.
The days of saying I don’t know or haven’t thought of a date will be all over because a date will have to be announced in order to meet the constitutional requirements for electing a government.
With that I hereby announce that I am opening my wallet wide for bets. I am a gambling man and I hear a lot of people mouth-betting on who is going to win and who is going to lose, but I want them to come to me and put their Grantleys where they mouths are. Please, no cheques, please.
I am not only taking even bets, like $5 000 I win to $5 000 you lose. I am also prepared to go with odds where I am 100 per cent confident that I cannot and will not lose. That’s right. For example, I will be willing to put up $10 000 against your $5 000 where I am relatively confident but as much as $20 000 to your $5 000 or even higher in cases where I am supremely confident.
Now don’t get carried away by those dollar amounts. I am only using them to illustrate the extent to which I am willing to back up my convictions about what will be the outcome of the coming elections at both the level of the two parties and of the individual candidates on both sides of the fence.
The biggest odds I am willing to offer will be on which party will form the next Government when all is said and done. I have been hearing all the arguments for and against both sides, for and against both leaders, for and against both slates of candidate and for and against who or which is better equipped and suited to steer Barbados safely through the still very choppy waters of the unrelenting global economic recession.
But I am not being guided in my decisions by the propagandizing on call-in programmes, the newspaper columns, party blogs, Facebook pages, political meetings, cartoons, town hall meetings or any other forms of persuasion being employed by either side. My ears are only to the ground and I am picking up vibrations that will shock many people when the ballot papers are all counted and the champagne corks start to explode.
Those shocks will relate to quite a few candidates who are currently assumed by their respective parties to be sitting on very safe seats in very safe constituencies. The vibrations are indicating that the wood ants have silently done their job and those seats are ready to collapse, and I will be offering very attractive odds on those as well.
So, if you are so certain about who will win or who will not and you want to lose your money by backing your conviction with a bet, give me a shout after the Prime Minister rings the bell.
Happy New Year to everybody.
• Al Gilkes heads a public relations firm.