GUYANA MANY CANDIDATES LITTLE CHOICE

0
2334

Two is a coincidence but three is a trend, says statisticians and now the three Political Parties that have taken advantage of the No Confidence Motion is a trend,  that may be even more alarming than the Charrandass vote itself.

By normalizing the consequences of MisGovernment all through its Post-Independence, politics in Guyana has become the producer of the nation’s leading product – moral hazard.

And if there is any hope that the upcoming snap elections will usher in some divine rectification, one need only look at the members of the Parties throwing their hats into the arena, to get the picture.

After multiples of decades of staunch membership in the PPP

– a Party that boasts of its foundation on the country’s ethnic majority, whose former leader, Janet, notoriously threw the Court Order, that would have prevented her heist of the Presidency, over her shoulder, who then parked the Presidency with Sam Hinds for safe keeping for the anointed Bharat whose propensity for leadership by division- Janet’s diabolical brain child- gave her hope for a twisted legacy of racial suppression

Ralph Ramkarran left;

not because of its ideology, that was then and remains now, interwoven with the above and its perennial lack of a national component but because he was accused of being untrustworthy (oh the trauma) as he details in his article “The Day I Resigned From The PPP”, having cut his political umbilical cord there, all in the footsteps of his family’s patriarch. The thing is, his was never a glancing engagement with Party’s doctrine. It was always s reprogramming that colored his view of the ingredients of Guyana’s politics.

Henry Jeffrey, more a byproduct of the PPP, is that fatuous pretend- politician who ascended only because the assembly line kept moving.

The WikiLeaks characterization of his tenure in his acting role: “A Minister since 1992, Jeffrey has not proven terribly effective in any of his assignments” though defining, stopped well short of all the ways this deftly incompetent political functionary was a mere placeholder, who checked the boxes of inclusion in the PPP government. 

And Guyanese can never forget his legacy; that of the Memorandum of Understanding spree that he engaged in with China; signing away much of the country’s patrimony in leases and loans to the predator China because he was more enamored with looking like a politician than being one.

There’s hardly more one can add to a political appointee’s declaration of his own intellectual incuriosity and preference for operating by political rote as Jeffrey’s own artless statement,  “Indeed, apart from providing good photo opportunities, MOUs are not legally binding and in themselves are neither good nor bad: it depends on how effectively they are managed”, which is a political epitaph, if there ever was one.

Jeffery and effective management were never coexistent and the result of 23 years of PPP giving China parts of Guyana in exchange for things that have not improved economic growth and fundamental social needs, in any sustained manner, remain stark evidence of the pawn shop practice engaged in by Government and China, a shop which Jeffrey, boastfully, operated.

That he could now contest for public office, after signing acres of the country away, without being forced to reveal the terms of contracts that are deleterious, is testament to the grotesque democracy that is Guyana’s.

We expected him to give full throated explanation in Forensic Audits… and the failure of the Coalition to depose him on his MOU spree should not be accepted as permission for him to run for leadership.

Not that we’re highlighting the obvious flaws in these two but Jeffery and Ramkarran, currently ambitious candidates, were part of an Administration in which dishonesty and indiscipline were the fly wheels of Government apparatus.

So much for choice.

The consequences of such vices, though, cannot be quarantined, so those who have joined with them as co leaders of a political entity may, unfortunately, sully their political characters by associating with these men of doubtful repute…long before elections are held.

In other words, because they’re now feeding at the same trough with Henry and Ralph, the chances of them suffering from that strain of contagion may give many pause, since it may be a more virulent strain of PPPism. 

Got to look at their supplementary launch announcement too…the one that came the day after its official launch in a separate press statement, an obvious after thought … ANUG “hopes to attract female members”…cladding it in its political coat of  misogyny, unwittingly reminding us of the Shirley Field Ridley’s and Winifred Gaskin’s who were included for their value and not their gender.

But back then our Parliament and Government Cabinet were part of the pride of the nation.

Now.

It may be superfluous to say that the Coalition failed the expectations of many who felt a hybrid would have brought some success to governance in Guyana but it is impossible not to cite that, as we look at the new formations touting national unity via hybrid parts, even as they trivialize the mechanics.

We’ve found FEDUP (Federal United Party, with a cheap play on its acronym) to be a hastily thrown together set of statements that suggest anything but orderly Government.

Dividing the country into three regions in semi autonomy would require dividing of the national budget into these regions. How would we decide which regions go together when there are some that are clearly more blessed with natural and other resources than some?

And how would we decide how to apportion money to a less productive area like say, Hosororo, versus, say, Georgetown which is more of an economic powerhouse?

Their whole idea, too, of breaking the country into 65 regions, each with its own Parliamentarian, is inherently, a recipe for constituency loss.  Where’s the leverage if, say, Constituency 64 wants to build a bridge to constituency 65 and everyone says no? Who’re you going to caucus with to help you bring your case to the floor— whatever that would be since there will be 65 sides??

The Independent and Decentralized and Individual Constituency proposal is a nonstarter, too because each Constituency would not only have to be able to stand on its own economically but would need its own government.

See, the current system of elected officials selecting MP’s is not undemocratic – as is idly suggested – but practical within the UNICAMERAL HOUSE that Guyana has.

Restructuring the governing machine is not a feat that can be accomplished by 3 men with leadership ambitions in a compact space of time.

When Guyana’s Political Parents were fighting for Independence, the restructuring from Colonialism to an Independent Constitution took all of a decade, leading to the period Burnham was named Premier and very subsequently Prime Minister.

And amongst the primary concerns was the proportion of the races and the weaponizing of those numbers to own Government. Their design was minimally effective, as the past 52 years would show, so this talk about restructuring should be seen as more than just an attractive talking point by some rambunctious men who would be king…

And apart from theirs being an overambitious campaign
promise/suggestion/whatever, haphazardly thought out statements like “…we need to take control of Berbice as a first step and merge with Regions 5 and 6…” sound frighteningly secessionist with a potential militant fall out. Even if you ran on this platform and won, recreating Guyana into FED UP’s image in 5 years will be a national geopolitical morass.

By now Guyanese are aware that a significant ingredient in its politics is race, that sits right under ideology and party identification. The successful government will be one that elevates national interest above those three debilitating elements.  

Lots of talk of race, they say but that’s the discomfiting truth, the inalienable fact that threads the fabric of the nation.

Those who are looking to improve this facet of national existence will have to be honest about this by calling it by its name and then sell the electorate a governing plan that will not be run or overrun by racial prevalence or ideological imposition – which remains the country’s Albatross, Post Independence.

And there’s more.

Comes now Liberty and Justice Party with Lennox Shuman its troubled Toshoa (maybe  former) who has thrown his grip into the ring, with its accusations of a pregnant minor, molestation charges, all while on transitory visits from his home in Canada where he has a Canadian family with wife, from whom he received that valuable Canadian passport.  

With more known about his social than political life, he jettisoned to more national prominence, this time with flaccid, anemic ‘Shaping Guyana’s Future’, as his Party’s slogan.

They may have been a more attractive collection of words if there were more depth in them, like in some peripheral how’s.

Would he, for example, disclose to the public the number of contracts China has with Guyana, the outstanding financial debt with their aid packages that have strains of loans and usurious repayment tenets, the number of acres of land they have on supposed lease for periods that extend beyond the life of the average Guyanese?

All that would add a little more pointed perspective to the assembly of words that are his slogan. 

And him announcing that he will be giving up his Canadian citizenship –  notably an act to be completed in the future was contradictory to the principle he implied…

Says Shuman, “As a parliamentarian, who swears to uphold the constitution of Guyana, my first act cannot be to break the law. It is with this that I have a firm commitment and obviously principle that I will be giving up my Canadian citizenship status”….

…and we, who were listening, replied una voce … that should have been your first move…declare your candidacy as a Guyanese not as a Canadian of Guyanese nationality.

The irony, getting an opportunity to run for leadership partially because an MP broke the law of singular citizenship and here you come with your projected promises…complete with all the pompasetting of meeting with the Canadians to reverse his citizenship …

…while he has a Canadian wife which would allow him easy passage back to the place if ever did need urgent refuge.

Nuff nuff laugh.

Charrandass’ defection lays bare a political machine that is inherently defective.

Operationally, it collides at odd angles, revealing no coherent pattern other than division and along racial fault lines.

Proportional Representation and a Unicameral House was the panacea offered by the exiting colonists, aware of the problem. But with East Indians outnumbering every other race in British Guiana and Janet Rosenberg Jagan, a Marxist/Communist , who finally found some proletariat she could control while unleashing the Negro segregation orientation she brought from Chicago, racial division became the path to political leadership and Cheddi Jagan’s vehicle to the fantastic ‘New India’ ,the goal that  Jung Bahadur Singh had established British Guiana to become for its East Indian occupants…and remains their journey.

It is this destination that is tattooed in their minds and to which they march with cultish militancy, with a destructive nativism that is anathema to the motto, One People, One Nation and One Destiny.

And the omnipresence of the fatalistic Jagdeo is the omen.

The PNC was forged as the counter to this, by Britain and the USA, more for the West’s political stability than for the prosperity of Afro Guyanese, who were its core members and that, too, was branded with its own nativism which spills in to today’s APNU…complete with with the marginal prosperity levels that still contain Afro Guyanese.

1957 began the two party reign.

Sixty two years later, the country is right where it started, aggravated by twenty three years of Government that had more of a partisan than national agenda that systemically went after its African population by underfunding its school districts, incarcerating and commissioning the extrajudicial murders of its men, making it harder for their employment.

The change of leadership in 2015 continued that aggravation by a Coalition that took the reins of an errant government and continued a culture of not holding miscreants accountable, opulent Government spending on non-essential items, spending taxpayers’ dollars in cavalier fashion, deferring the fixing of problems, particularly the Constitution that was initially flawed for purpose and remained the tool of politicians who became addicted to its specific contra benefits.

We’re now at the point of reckoning.

Guyanese Voters will return to the polls now with many candidates but with very little choice.

What are the messages of the competing Parties?

Jagdeo’s freshly minted promise to reopen Sugar Factories, all of which are operationally defunct and economically impractical or his extension of a red carpet to Afro Guyanese in an act of inclusion which he is too calloused to see as freakin insulting?

Are these  the ways he proposes to wash away his copiously documented matriculation in mismanagement and questionably appropriated funds that may have fallen off the lorry on the way to the treasury?

Or is he betting on his Presidential candidate, now internationally known as an academic fraudster, with fingers so sticky, he is disallowed from entering countries that respect the purpose and reverence of Government?

What is the APNU’s Message ?

We can’t have the PPP win because they will continue their decimation of Afro Guyanese?

That may be true and will resonate with that demographic but does it impact the other five races and sound like a path to racial repair?

Does that offer a way forward for the people, especially since in a mere three years the Coalition headed by APNU managed to stomp on the clamor for change by voters who stepped out of apathy to hang their support on the Coalition’s neck only to be woefully disappointed in them repeating the same cavalier disregard that had become PPP governance?

What about AFC?

Trotman’s reason for retaining Nagamootoo as PM Candidate because doing otherwise would look like an acceptance by government that it failed and that the No Confidence Motion was justified?

Really Mr. Trotman, what is your Party’s message to the people, other than choosing to be defiant because defiance is some form of twisted strength?

And the other Parties we looked at above, running messages that are contradicted by virtue of the presence of very tarnished messengers, untenable by the mechanics of intent like secession, or just a nice fluffy set of puffery like shaping future, all amount to more sloganeering, more posturing and simply more people running for an office than an ideology for the nation’s future.

Seems nothing has changed…politics as usual… a deluge of words with a drizzle of thought because politics remains a primitive practice of tribalism since the tone set by politicians is division along existing fault lines.

Look.

If the health of the nation’s politics were determined by the number of Political Parties vying for office in this current crisis, the diagnosis would be health with extended length of years.

But that determination should lie with those who go to the polls.

The election gods have remained with them, providing opportunity to return to the polls, in comparatively short order.

The pickings are slim but the choices are clear.

There’s a rhythm to these things, you see.

But then, again, spirits are broken and the price of votes, the story goes, can reach as high as USD 250 where deep pockets are deployed as inducement and morals are matched against needs.

If a Party, so engrossed in self-entitlement, so averse to inclusivity and national agenda, with an extensive existing record of unaccountability and treasury malpractice, would go so far as to bridge the one -vote margin by preying on the lesser parts of the overflowing immorality of an Opposing politician, I would see that Party and it’s Leader as the thing to run from.

Politics has become such a game, such a sport of entitlement, that the defecting politician didn’t care that he was selected because his Party was elected by the majority of the voters; which meant his actions should not have been self-serving but for the people who, by proxy, selected him.

It has become such a cliquish endeavour that members wage war between parties, as if politics were for their aggrandizement and not for the provision of fundamental needs to the population which are guaranteed by the Constitution (40:1) ” Every person in Guyana is entitled to the basic right to a happy, creative and productive life, free from hunger, disease, ignorance and want”.

Indeed, these are perilous times in the Kingdom.

Let’s hope that the Political Fairy Godfather remains on duty, though, to override all the plots and conspiracies with some potent political fairy dust and spells to ward off the chartered flights of overseas voters and the dead and underaged who make it on to the polling list.

Let’s hope that Fairy Godfather breaks into a Pied Piper tune to entice the younger, more progressive, more futuristic voter on whom transformation depends, almost implicitly because life, for them, extends beyond coloring between the lines.

Let’s hope that every eligible voter realizes that this election, just by how it came about- the machinations of politicians whose pockets are swollen beyond their legal salaries and the defection of one on whom so many voters depended to support their positions – may be the most pivotal of their lifetime.

This should not be seen as just a snap election, caused by some politician who was so concerned about the people who elected/selected him to office that he boarded a plane for Canada within hours of jabbing his middle digit into their collective corresponding orifice.

This should be seen as an election of a Party that could solve the bigger issues, particularly in the near future and with a practical and comprehensive plan to be inherited by any successor…and not the first block in the beginning of another dynasty….

…which means not engaging the process now, not understanding the ramifications of this trip to the polls, not turning up to cast a vote, is not an option.

And in this I place my hope.










Come on and Comment.....