The French have a saying that well describes what’s going on during this iteration of our “silly season”: “‘plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose’…the more things change, the more they remain the same”. One of the constants is the sprouting of new parties like “jumbie umbrellas”. You should not be surprised at this, dear reader, since you know they both flourish on dung heaps!!
But what is most pathetic about this periodic eruption is the rationale they offer the people of Guyana for their decision. None of them ever say they’re getting into politics for the money, or the perks, or the prestige, or the power. Naah! They’re all doing it for the PEOPLE of Guyana. More specifically, because the PPP and the PNC, which have consistently been getting almost 90% of the votes of those same people since 1957, have been fooling the people.
Yes, that’s right. Even though all these parties below said exactly the same thing: the National Labour Front, United Democratic Party, Guiana National Party and a host of “Independents” (1957) UF (1961), Justice Party, Guiana United Muslim Party, Peace, Equality and Prosperity Party; National Labour Front (1964) – forget between 1968-1985! – WPA, Democratic Labour Movement, United Republican Party, People’s Democratic Movement, Union of Guyanese International, National Republican Party, United Workers Party, National Democratic Front (1992), Working People’s Alliance–Guyana Labour Party, Guyana Democratic Party, Good and Green Guyana, Justice for All Party, God Bless Guyana, National Independent Party, National Democratic Front (1997) Rise Organise and Rebuild Guyana, National Front Alliance (2001), AFC (2006).
The question, of course, is why weren’t all these parties able to convince the Guyanese people that they were being “fooled”? Some may say the AFC had an impact in 2006 and 2011…but that’s just because of the PNC’s leadership weakness and the PPP’s long incumbency. And after the AFC’s decision in 2015…the people would now ask who the fool is!!
But seriously, dear reader, do these new fledgling parties take time to ask exactly why our people vote as they do? Are the PPP and PNC such Pied Pipers that they can lead our people on any old road they choose? Your Eyewitness says, they’re not and it’s more likely that our people divide themselves as they do for reasons that make sense to them. The politicians, operating in a milieu where they have to agglomerate numbers, like all rational actors, will send out the appropriate signals that address those reasons.
In other words, the PPP and PNC may be an effect of ethnic sentiments rather than its cause. And it’s for this reason the fledglings can’t ignore it and will inevitably disappear.
Or be absorbed in either of the two behemoths. Which is the same thing!!
…and old questions
Quite a number of the new parties, like the AFC and EVERY new party before them, are proposing “constitutional change” as their silver bullet to solve all our political problems. But they’re putting the cart before the horse. First of all, most changes in the Constitution demand 2/3 votes in the National Assembly or even a referendum to approve it. This means almost certainly they will need the support of BOTH the PPP and the PNC – even if they deny both of them a majority. But how will they achieve this if they’ve vowed “a pox on both houses”?? And if the two majors are as “power hungry” as the fledglings insist they are, why should they commit political hara kiri??
Wasn’t this what the AFC attempted when they insisted on including “constitutional change” in the Cummingsburg Accord with the PNC? And split Executive power among the President, PM and Cabinet??
Well, look what happened to THAT ‘agreement’!!
It seems most of the fledgling parties are “regionalists”. They pretend Caricom isn’t moribund because most Caribbean folks don’t give a hoot about regionalism. Excepting when it suits their economic interest.
Like now we have oil, T&T’s gonna allow in our peppers and pineapples!