Monthly Archives: October 2013

Brief analysis of Trinidad Local Government Election 2013

In Monday’s elections the PNM received 188,393 votes, the UNC received 154,842 votes, the ILP received 102,918 votes, and the COP received 32,496 votes.

In terms of seats, the PNM won 85 of the total number of 136 seats, the UNC 44, the ILP three, and the COP four.

Let’s do some calculations:

PNM: 39.36%
UNC: 32.35%
ILP: 21.50%
COP: 6.79%
PNM: 62.50%
UNC: 32.35%
ILP: 2.21%
COP: 2.94%

We can see from the calculations done above that the number of votes is not reflected in the number of seats won (except for the UNC which is almost dead on target).

Proportional representation is supposed to “fix” this disparity by the assignment of aldermen.

Let’s see what happens when aldermen are added to the mix.

The PNM is expected to receive 36 aldermen, the UNC 14, the ILP five and the COP one. This means representatives (seats plus aldermen) in numbers will add up to the PNM 121, the UNC 58, the ILP 8, and the COP 5.

Let us do some more calculations:

PNM: 39.36%
UNC: 32.35%
ILP: 21.50%
COP: 6.79%

PNM: 63.02%
UNC: 30.21%
ILP: 4.17%
COP: 2.60%

There is still a huge disparity in the percentage of votes versus the percentage of representatives, even with the new Proportional Representation measures that were put in place.

The major winner here is the PNM, receiving just over 39% of the votes but retaining about 63% of the Local Government Representatives. The UNC got a little over 32% of the votes and now has about 30% of the assigned Local Government Representatives. The biggest loser here is the ILP, who won over 21% of the votes but only acquired about 4% of the the Local Government Representatives. The COP won just under 7% of the voting populace and got just under 3% of the Local Government Representatives.

This form of Proportional Representation has done very little to bridge the gap that currently exists in our Electoral System.

Divali/Diwali/Deepavali 2013 – the date researched

My previous post dealt with the contention in the official date of Divali 2013. An article in today’s Trinidad Express has sought to clear this up for the population and from this particular statement (quoted below) I did some searching and it does seem that the information given is real and that the date that Divali should be celebrated in Trinidad and Tobago is Saturday 2nd November 2013:

This year the Amawas starts at 10.45 a.m. on November 2 and ends at 8.50 a.m. on November 3.
“If we want to celebrate it during the Amawas period then we have to celebrate it on Saturday. If we were to celebrate it Sunday night we would be celebrating it out of the Amawas period,” he said.
Maharaj said deyas are lit at night and therefore it would make more sense to celebrate Divali on November 2.

The image below will be used to corroborate the explanation given in the article above. The information was gathered from


The tithis are the Lunar Days in the Hindu Calendar and can last anywhere between 19 and 26 hours. From the image above, it shows that the day before New Moon (Charturdashi) ends at approximately 10:44am on the 2nd of November, so the day of New Moon (Amavasya) begins at approximately 10:45am on the 2nd of November and it ends approximately 8:50am on the 3rd of November. As explained in the Trinidad Express article, it is then only logical to celebrate Divali on the night of the 2nd of November. This means that the declared day is in fact the correct day.


Divali/Diwali/Deepavali 2013 – the date and the controversy

There has been a discussion brewing among the Hindu Community regarding the date of Divali in Trinidad and Tobago. While the rest of the world is celebrating this auspicious day on the 3rd of November 2013, according to an article from the Trinidad Express, the holiday is being declared as the 2nd of November 2013:

The by-election will take place just two days after the Divali holiday, which will be observed on November 2.

From my limited knowledge of Divali, it should be celebrated on the darkest night of the year. According to, New Moon (which is the darkest night) falls on the 3rd of November:

Lunar phases in the Northern Hemisphere for November 2013

Lunar phases in the Northern Hemisphere for November 2013

Shouldn’t this be the day of Divali?