IN a day or two, we'll know when we'll be called upon to cast our votes. After the PM's short announcement on national television yesterday, we now wait for the Election Commission to fix the dates for Nomination and Polling. Everyone (almost) predict that it won't go beyong the first week of March.
THE EC people already know the dates but they'll go through the motion and make a show of finding suitable dates. It has always been like this, and it's not going to change. Expect the media to be called on short notice for a Press Conference any day now.
And some key members of the media would probably have got more than a hint of when that PC is going to be, and those in the PM's inner circle would even have been given a clear indication of when polling is to be held.
The prediction game doesn't end with the dissolution of Dewan Rakyat. The game now takes on a more personal nature - who's going to be dropped, who's going to contest etc. The lobbying which has been going on in the last few months will intensify in the coming week.
The BN chairman's grip on the coalition is never more strong than in the run-up to Nomination Day in as far as wanna-be candidates are concerned. There'll be casualties, that's for sure. There'll be new faces too, and some may have been told much earlier.
But what's in it for us the RAKYAT? Will we be voting for change or will we be rooting for continuity of the current regime? Are we happy with the present set of leaders? Do we vote them out? And who do we have as alternatives? This is also the time when rationale minds grapple with sentiments, and the mind does not necessarily always emerge victorious.
We'll be voting under a different environment. We've gone past the euphoria of 2004. Much has happened since then. Much has also not happened since then, and some promises have not been kept. By the ruling coalition as well as the Opposition, I might add.
We can all expect more promises, and like before, we all know that some of the promises can't be kept, for one reason or another. In fact, some promises are meant to serve as baits for votes, nothing more than that. It's up to us whether to believe them or not, really. Let's vote and have a say in our future.