Guyana’s political actors could learn much from sports

Dear Editor,
Many of life’s most important lessons are learned in a child’s formative years on sports fields. Among those lessons is how to handle winning and losing. While it is important to teach children to win and succeed, teaching them to lose is just as important. By showing them that losing is not the end of the world, children learn that life is full of second chances. It seems to be a lesson David Granger and the APNU/AFC membership have not learned. Faced with a loss, they have become intransigent and intractable, refusing to leave the field after the stumps have been shattered.
The question of whether adversity builds character or reveals it often arises in the fraternity of sports coaches but is also applicable to all spheres of life. Guyana’s political actors could learn much from the sporting arena.
The PPP/C under Ramotar fled from sure defeat from a No-Confidence Motion by the prorogation of Parliament for 71 days and then announcing a date for elections. They (PPP/C) lost those elections, accepted those results, and handed over the reins of Government administration within six days in 2015. They (PPP/C) did not do so without grumbles, but ‘cheated not defeated’ never gained widespread support and soon faded. This revealed a weakness in the character of leadership, from the avoidance of the motion to the faint-hearted accusations of cheating after the loss but also inherent respect for the rules of the game. The responses to the exact situations by APNU/AFC under Granger are worthy of analysis and comparison.
“Bring it on!” was the braggadocious cry from the APNU/AFC’s Chief Whip as they boldly faced their testing motion of No-Confidence; then came Charrandas’ emphatic “Yes! Yes! Yes!” and acceptance that the APNU/AFC Government had fallen. Then came the ‘suggestion’ that 33 was not the majority of 65 and the thin veneer of honesty, decency and sensibility was scorched away, the possibility of holding onto power overrode personal integrity and revealed mass venality; a susceptibility to whispers.
The adversity also exposed David Granger (who used a transparent three-card trick of Constitution, Courts, and Commission to delay elections by 347 days) as a man with no integrity or shame. Those cards are back in play and 91 days after the elections we are spending over a billion dollars on a recount to appease Granger’s ego. Granger’s constant subversion of the Constitution using feigned ignorance has worn thin and yet, no person within his team has stepped forward to condemn him (Granger).
Civil society organisations and actors have overwhelmingly condemned Granger and his cohorts to no avail; they are treated as hostile fans at a cricket game; background noise but not active participants in the game. I believe this mischaracterisation will haunt APNU/AFC or whatever form the PNC assumes in the foreseeable future. When your biggest proponent (GHK Lall) refers to you “like a sick addict and serial defrauder, its leading powers, higher circles, and broader followers just cannot help themselves; hence, the proverbial wisdom of the dog that returneth to its own vomit”, it is time for a serious soul-searching.
Granger has lost this game and is behaving like a petulant child; the other participants are displaying infinite patience with the histrionics employed. The PPP/C and other parties are all participating in a 10 region recount where there are no issues save and except the Fourth, where Mr Mingo’s fraud is now thoroughly exposed. It is the hope of all that the APNU/AFC can learn the valuable lesson of losing and returning to compete another day. As to following the rules and fair play, those are lessons for another day.

Robin Singh