why did racist party tamil national alliance(tna) openly endorse maithripala sirisena instead of tacitly supporting him as they have done so far? they intended to continue with tacit support from beginning to end, given the obvious backslash their overt support it will have on sirisena's southern support.
answer is, tna knew there was a high chance of voter indifference to both candidates, and thus low voter turnout in north. whole election campaign calculation of so called common opposition candidate is based on garnering maximum number of votes from variety of fringe and marginal groups with contradictory ideologies, goals, and aspirations. fatal problem with this strategy is that, while in order to pander to such disparate groups the candidate has to be a vague nebulous object (natural role for cipher sirisena), such marginal groups care a great deal about what they want and demand concrete details, clarity, and trust, to participate in any meaningful way.
in case of tamil racists, sirisena is not offering anything to them openly that will motivate them to vote for him. in fact he is rejecting even alleged secret understandings and agreements. with only tna's tacit support and no open campaigning or organizational clout before, and on day of, election, there was real possibility that mahinda will actually win in north with low turnout of tna voters. remember that tamil parties supporting mahinda got 25%+ support even when tna was going all out against him and tna was much more popular with tamils.
so in order to organize, and get out their supporters to vote, and even to provide observers for sirisena in polling booths on election day, tna had to drop its mask.
however, whether open support at party leadership level will translate into actual grass root organizing and votes is yet to be seen. especially given the rejection and denial of actual open written agreements required for actual work.
in contrast, as a result of tna's open endorsement, there is no doubt about the reduction in support from variety of groups for sirisena; centrists who reject racist parties gaining power, sinhala buddhist racist fundamentalists, victims of tna's former masters tiger terrorist pussies, etc, etc. some people in these groups who may have thought sirisena a viable pragmatic democratic alternative to mahinda before tna endorsement have changed their minds.
imo, with racist tna support, sirisena will probably win in north, but with much smaller margins in smaller vote turnouts (in places with comparatively smaller populations to begin with ) than he would require in order to offset the big margins of victory mahinda will post in more populous south.
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