Voting for Jokers in Guyana

Voting for Jokers in Guyana

Photo : Prof. Henry Jeffrey

Prof. Henry Jeffrey's commentary captioned "Still gat to vote fu these jokers" (SN Dec 20) is apt title for how people feel about their political leaders in Guyana. Jeffrey was referring to how Blacks are committed to vote for the PNC (APNU) led coalition. But the same caption is applicable for the other side (Indians and PPP) as well as  I have found in my travels throughout Guyana last December and again now.

 Dr. Jeffrey alluded to the fact, as he found from his movement in African villages, that although PNC supporters are most disheartened with what passes for governance under the PNC-led coalition administration,  broken promises, failures, etc., they will still vote for the coalition. As Jeffrey noted, the opposition PPP is not even in the mind set of traditional PNC supporters in spite of all the failures and blunders. Analogously, and sadly, the same holds true for those who traditionally vote PPP as I found in my travels in Indian villages. That is the nature of ethnic politics -- people tend to stick to their own.

As Jeffrey noted, African elders complained about their political representatives, that they have grown too big for their britches, so too have Indian elders about their representatives- both sides are two peas in the same pod. They are not much different from one another when it comes to self-interest. They don't care about their supporters. For our politicians, it seems, government is not about people and their problems. It is about themselves - how much they can enrich themselves. And although several have tried to change the politics, the people are not interested as they consistently rebuffed others.

Photo :Dr. Vishnu Bisram

Like PNC supporters, traditional PPP supporters complain they can't critique their leaders for fear of being ostracized and marginalized. The people must be yes men and yes women to political leadership. They are not allowed to hold their representatives accountable or to offer advice or views.  They must do what is handed down to them even if it is a failed policy or a strategy that will lead to failure. The leadership in both parties should be more flexible and welcome critiques and the people to vent their anger and frustration and undertake reforms. And the people should dump the hardliners.

Unfortunately, the coalition has been alienating and driving away PPP supporters; and PNC supporters never voted for PPP not even during the heydays of the oppressive dictatorship. So traditional supporters have no choice but to continue to vote for these jokers on both sides.