The partisan polarization is a given.
But the impulse by the larger arm of the Opposition to routinely snatch every falling word from the PPP, regurgitate them in a litany of inflammatory sensationalism then peddle that as some sort of forewarning, is the kind of confessed unpreparedness that continues to embolden the Party of repurposed crooks.
It’s not that racism is the problem- having been cited as the cleft of the “unhappy country” way back in 1963, by Britain’s Colonial Affairs Minister.
It’s that 59 years later, it remains unbudgeable, institutionalized as a governing tactic mostly because the counteraction has not evolved but thrives in a counterpunch offensive “the Africans” have settled in to as their strategy of politicking and largely after the departure of their founding leaders.
We agree that this has pathology in the ‘unhappy country’ tale the previous colonizer explained to his Parliament in 1963, especially because the ‘unhappiness’ is a result of a social structure of their making and was encouraged when the Party with the longest tenure in the governing seat- the PPP– was invited to sit at international tables – violations of democracy be damned.
But we’re tired of the ongoing persecution complex, the attack strategy of pointing to oppression and discrimination, then dressing in some victimhood armor to pelt pebbles instead of stones.
For every successive Opposition held by “the Africans”, this has been their political platform and it seeps into our communities, under informing its members, preparing our youth for political disenfranchisement instead of giving them the tools to build a different vision; some populist hope to move beyond the race baiting and the name calling that are the main attractions of the media that appeals to their demographic.
The performance theater in Parliament has become a must see… coming attractions…where people tune in to absorb the profanities, the back handed commentaries, the clap backs at the incivilities coming from the rogues gallery across from them and the return salvo of wincing coarseness … as is evidenced by media in its various forms.
And when there is a report about the substance of Parliamentary session from the Opposition, it is typically to say how unfair it is, in a recap of PPP conduct that force western saviors to don their imperialist capes to save the democracy the primitives do not understand..and right there in their backyard.
There was a time when rules in Parliament mattered, when dress codes were not flouted, when decorum was upheld by the public servants who represented us with the pride that attends serving at the heights of government; on our behalf and not for their social media clicks.
Why?… because, comparatively, leaders understood the importance of imagery to the outside world and the value of observing order when it was enforced by penalty…to preserve its legitimacy.
But getting back to Parliament…where boycotting has become a feature of its existence.
The governing Party’s history of ballooning budgets with little returns to nation building must be mentioned at this point.
Recorded as a poor nation AGAIN in 2020, with 43.4% living on USD 5.50 per day, a budget for GYD 383 billion was passed in 2021. We underscore ‘again’- because it is a PPP tactic to say the Coalition could have fixed all that they pillaged for the 23 years prior to 2015 in 5 years -for clarity- but emphasis is on the size of the budget.
Inescapable in their history is the current finance minister, a creative accounting legend with the guaranteed signature of his auditor general wife, his charges for fraud, the dropping of those charges by government under his Party and his reinstatement to his money job as a Budget Czar, creating the need for billions every year and even in between.
His resume, indeed, is inconvenient for the Party that has a history of ballooning budgets to request trust, so when the last tranche of billions was deemed necessary we were hoping for some robust representation by the governing Opposition.
The 44.8 billion around August 9th as a supplement to the ‘historic and transformational’ GYD552 billion was passed by the leading Party and with the absence of the other arm of government, the constitutional Opposition, which chose to protest the suspension of 8 COALITION members after an incident involving a tussle for Parliament’s symbolic Mace…over having their concerns about the supplement recorded on the floor.
We’ve already addressed parliamentary decorum and general conduct unbecoming above and will add that failure to address and penalize contrary behaviors made way for parliamentarians to think that removing the mace would stall a session.
But boycotting parliament to register protest falls under dereliction of duty and national irresponsibility…in our opinion.
Not having the numbers to win a decision is not reason for the arm of government that bears 50% of its weight to, essentially, pout and stomp out. The fiduciary responsibility inherent in representing the electorate demands the duty of the public servant to do the utmost and in best interest and is not excused in a boycott of parliament.
The political boycott is just not an act of absence…it is a constructed act of protest which highlights the political transgression and educates constituents on why paid politicians are not in working from the office (Parliament) that day. The Opposition leader does not get to cite frustration with answers that insufficiently address the questions he has posed, as a reason why he’s not going to the office. That wasn’t in the job interview when he ran and promised to represent the people, especially those without a voice.
And above all, he wasn’t drafted for the job, he volunteered for it, got it and now owes every citizen his best…even in its unglamorous parts.
The band of brigands that comprise the ruling arm of Government has to be checked and balanced –and effectively.
We know the odds- the pretense of the foreign community in its support of the bandits that lead government which they’ve rebranded for their singular benefit… but it’s in the face of these odds that the Opposition must show resolve and change its unproductive strategy.
Maybe the plenipotentiary Madam shared some reassuring niceties with the Opposition leader when she made her perfunctory visit to his office but we’re willing to bet that she didn’t discuss America’s position on “what it means to have a responsible Opposition”.
We came across the written address her counterpart made to Kososvo’s Parliament and recognize it as format that is tweaked for country.
America supports an Opposition that “scrutinize government actions, not for its own self-interest, but for the for the good of the country. It should support and strengthen a country’s institutions. It has an obligation to participate constructively in parliamentary life and hold the government to account. The opposition need not support every government proposal, surely, but neither must it reflexively reject or obstruct every idea”.
And “For this to work, the governing party or coalition must also demonstrate sincerity in its engagement with opposition parties – listen to their ideas, and accept them as partners who share responsibility for governance….”
We are submitting that this is the Madam’s template and the foundation upon which the Opposition must build out its strategy, to have its propositions and oppositions recorded for preservation and posterity on the floor of Parliament and at every opportunity.
We’re sure that this KOSOVO message is not meant only for governments of whiter hue, which do not share borders with western political interests or have oil burgeoning at its seams…not from these impartial champions of democracy now….
POLITICS IS NOT WAR and a sampling from a discussion we spnsored sadly reveals that this is the take away of the average supporter of the current Opposition.
It becomes the burden of the Opposition, we’re thinking, to reorient its supporters into understanding that national politics is a system of governance for an entire country, thus will have different ideological approaches which require reason not rancor. This should underscore the difference between a 1 Party system that transforms the country into a dictatorship because a COALITION, for example, loses every time it threatens to boycott; every time it stays away from major votes – knowing that its absence has no leverage to change an outcome.
Maybe if cooler tempers could prevail some compromise can be negotiated even as the Opposition advises the nation that it is not a supporter of ALL of the ruling Party’s deeds.
Walking Out is lazy indignation….and as the other arm of government in a job you were not drafted but got elected for because of what you represented to voters, you have an obligation to do it according to the dictates of national constitution, ethical principles and not personal or partisan gain – and with compromise always being a bargaining chip for the good of country. There’s much to be addressed, Opposition, from your side of the aisle that is immersed in fact.
Especially amongst the demographic that the current government has systemically denied the social benefits promised in the Constitution, unemployment remains insurmountable and the work force remains a barrier by diabolical political design. If there’s a proposed economic plan to counter these effects, it would be informative to share with the country showing, in broad but understandable strokes, how the Opposition intends to ensure the budget benefits every Guyanese of every stripe and in every facet of the emerging society.
This is a function of Parliament and of Government.
It’s time to retire the politics of persecution.
Every day the Opposition makes this what it does in Parliament, the country is losing and specifically the demographic that does not enjoy the favor of the ruling band of brigands or the embrace of a plenipotentiary Madam whose job may just be to create a firewall of impunity for the brigands, in return for access through the country’s back gates to that path to regional power.
Its a perpetual spiral to failure and convenient camouflage for strategic short comings and tactical ineptitude…this constant claim of victim hood.
What’s the remedy? Where’s the strategic defense?
Our pledge is to keep calling it out because nothing is changing…for the better.
And as if the gods are in agreement, as a bookend to all this, and while the Opposition was pouting, creative Ashni secured a loan of USD 44 million from the world bank for human capital…on the credit of the nation’s treasury…with no comment from the Opposition on if the demographics of human capital that historically recieve the least -per documentation -will benefit from this additional infusion of cash.