We heard some throat-clearing noise from the census undertaken last year! While in many countries censuses are just another bureaucratic bean-counting exercise, in Guyana its results are awaited with bated breaths!! And no, Dear Reader…it’s not because we are a nation of bean-counters. Nah…it’s because – with good reason – our election used to be called “ethnic censuses”!! – since we voted according to our ethnic identities!
But if it’s one thing we should know by now is that “change” is the only constant in history. So, if our politics was influenced by our ethnic breakdown, we gotta assume if the ethnic breakdown changes, then the political strategies would change, right?? Well, that’d be true in a universe where political leaders made decisions according to reason and common sense! Unfortunately, some Opposition Guyanese politicians live in an alternate universe. Or in a metaverse of their making that they’ve convinced themselves is real!!
Now let’s look at some past censuses to illustrate what we mean. In 1960, Indians were 48% so Burnham didn’t need the results of the 1964 elections to tell him if he wanted to dump the UF, he had to rig to win!! And in the 1980 census (there were no 1970 census) – which Burnham couldn’t rig because his government didn’t conduct it!! – with Indian Guyanese now over 50% of the population, he had to rig again! Hoyte took a chance – with not a little arm twisting by the Yanks!! – not to rig the 1992 elections even though the 1991 census showed Indian Guyanese were only a whisker below 50%!! And he lost!!
Well in 2002, Indian Guyanese had dropped to 43% so it meant that the incumbent PPP couldn’t count on their base to get them across the line on their own. And we saw them intensifying a strategy to court Amerindian votes through a welter of initiatives to help their situation. Land Titling was a big one!! The 2012 census showed the Indian Guyanese dropping below 40% for the first time in a century and we shouldn’t have been surprised that in the 2011 elections the PPP was outvoted by the PNC and AFC combined!!
The PNC had looked at the census numbers and rationally concluded they needed some votes from across the ethnic divide. So, for the 2015 elections, they courted and then hitched up with the AFC that had garnered some Indian Guyanese votes. And voila!!…they formed the government!! It was only because of some sorta death wish by David Granger when he kicked those voters in the groin by throwing some 7000 mostly Indian sugar workers into breadlines!!, that they lost in 2020.
So we now hear there’s been “significant population shifts” in our demographics from “preliminary” numbers.
New Opposition political strategies??

…political (suicide) strategy
There’s this political party, which  — in the context of the above-described changing demographics – have folks scratching their heads. But if you think about their history, there’s a method to their apparent madness!! Now, what has been their history?? A rather ignominious one when it comes to garnering votes. This isn’t very surprising because in a bi-communal society when the “other side” have greater numbers than yours, even folks who like you ain’t gonna “split the votes”. So what to do?? Well, one strategy is to take extreme positions for “your side” which MAY wean away some votes, but WILL push the big party in the extreme direction!! Win-win, no??
But in the changed demographics, an extreme position guarantees no cross-over votes – and remaining in the Opposition wilderness!! So why does the fringe party persist when they know they and their constituency’re gonna suffer?  It’s called the Strategy of “Gambling for Resurrection”.
Back-to-back, belly to belly ah doan give a damn, a done dead a’ready!!

The “Obstreperous 8” –  Opposition MPs who’d violated the hallowed Chamber of Parliament – lost their resort to the Courts to protest the Privileges Committee’s imposed suspension. So not receiving their monthly salaries, they gotta pay $350,000 costs!! Ouch!!