Guyana’s politics seem to have discovered what soft drink manufacturers have known for years… the power of a brand …
All we need do is look back down the line of politicians and note their recurring names – not because they were on an honor roll of any sort, now.
They were just the crew that discovered branding before it was a thing and realized that it was an easy road to prominence if it could become a family business.
And few times there was a strengthening of the genetics of this politics when widows filled the term of their ‘expired’ spouses then placed the scepter of approval on the shoulder of a chosen one to execute on behalf of that family; creating a royalty for commoners branch, if you will.
Neither the first Constitution – that of 1966 built on its 1961 predecessor – and the Guyana Independence Act of 1966 say anything about the passage of nobility to any Guyanese politician but after decades of inculcation there’s now an expectation, almost an anticipation for the political ticket to comprise of elements of the bloodline of that strain of assumed royalty.
Who can forget the 2015 submission of the PPP’s Candidates list that read : Thandi Luncheon daughter of Roger Luncheon, Rabindranauth Chandapaul son of Minister Indranie Chandapual, Colleen Texiera daughter of Gail Teixeira, Robeson Benn and sister Vanessa Benn, Alexei Ramotar son of incumbent President Ramotar in such a shameless and defiant show of birth right – since none of these candidates was singularly known for their contribution to politics – underscoring how insular the both political class and the voters responsible for keeping them there have become to this egregious practice of funneling select jobs in the direction select people at the monetary and social expense of taxpayers.
And so… the great experimental dirigible called Democracy found somewhere in this thing called Cooperative Social Republicanism stands dutifully by, every general election season, to undergo the institutional vandalism that comes with partisan unilateralism as governments feign the exercise of democratic etiquette.
Comes now Charles Ramson Jr., foretelling that there was a senior, a Charles Rishiram Ramson, a PPP journey man rewarded for his journey with every iconic legal appointment; not the least of which was Attorney General.
It was from this launch pad that young Charles jettisoned into politics with his father’s accomplishments as his propellers, as the cycle of nepotism goes … substituting experience with rabid showmanship, hurling epithets to replace substance and just when he rose to the top of the Parliament Entertainment Charts, having entered with the class of 2015, he won a scholarship to England and had to resign his first real encounter with politics- as in through his own eyes and not that of the preceding Ramson – as the cycle of nepotism goes. He’d gotten his experience. Seventeen months worth of it.
Now he’s had an epiphany, this Charles Jr. ; one that is fortuitous enough to meld his PPP persona with his vaulting ambitions to pursue the seat of the nation’s Presidency based on a political background that can best be described as oblique….often hilarious but glancing enough to remind us that he sat in the halls of justice in the strain of those who flow in as nepotic residue.
But this , this Presidency, is to be hoped for more than expected.
There’s now a confounding variable in this once predictable political equation upending the continuous variable of just being part of the pot.
Thanks to social media the compass of the larger voting block- the youth- campaign promises and lofty goals are taken with glasses of skepticism and seldom ingested at all, avoiding the anticipated run with the rest of the herd, sort of returning our voter’s rationale to equipoise…
So, young Charles Ramson, claiming sudden manifestation of the ills of tit for tat, touting an acquisition of ‘respect’, albeit for his party and its members and crescendoing with a Churchillian “I fear no man” makeover comes across as theatrically potent as his derision of the ‘geriatric Apnu ’…another voting block not historically kind to bumptious upstarts.
Ramson can renounce every devil he knows, including Jagdeo and he still won’t convince the voting majority that he’s more than just a nepotic horse jockeyed in by privilege.
Think it was a President named James Madison who said “Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place.”
Young Charles won’t survive the counteracting ambition of the youth who are not afraid to call him an opportunistic interloper nor will they be shy about juxtaposing his self-interested adventure to the Presidency with his knowledge of the Constitution of the place.
That he has aspired to a seat in the Presidential pantheon is more a political reflex than constructive ambition and should his name appear on the ballot, it will do so as another reminder that elections in Guyana remain a requiem to what was supposed to be the blood of its democracy.