…SNAFU build rigging
Anyone with the slightest familiarity with Guyanese elections – starting from the one that led to independence in 1964 – would know that even so-called “rational” changes in elections arrangements can be Trojan Horses for gaming the said elections. The 1961 elections had been supposed to deliver independence, but the winning PPP wasn’t approved by the West. So, the FORM of the elections was changed from “first-past-the-post” to “Proportional Representation” to ensure the latter’s ouster!!
Changes to accommodate a national register and the overseas vote in 1968 led to the first PNC rigged election, setting the pattern till 1992. So, after witnessing the series of unfortunate SNAFUs: selecting a GECOM Chair – who holds the casting vote in that institution; the compilation of the Official List of Electors and now with the locations for voters to cast their ballots, Guyanese would have to be absolutely bonkers not to figure out that the PNC-led caretaker government is returning to form. They’re busy “cocking” the works to get back into power.
Even the most fervent PNC supporter knows this, but as Burnham convinced them back in the day, if they “allowed” the PPP back into office, they’d never be able to get back in. And the PPP was their mortal enemy!! Allowing for the specific reasons as to why the PPP weren’t to be ‘allowed’ back in today, Granger’s and the PNC’s rationale for messing with the voting arrangements remains the same.
So, Granger was excused for unilaterally appointing Patterson as GECOM Chair. He was excused for claiming that 33 wasn’t a majority of 65 – and all those who snicker about “voodoo mathematics” should remember that it allowed the PNC to remain at the helm for another year. Patterson also served his purpose to secretly order a “House-to-House” registration, which offered a host of new variables to not only delay the elections, but also to introduce a residency requirement for voting.
The incredulous decision by the then new Chairwoman to truncate the H2H but yet integrate the data created a cascade of SNAFUs in the PLE, the RLE and finally the OLE, which were never completely straightened out and will certainly work to disenfranchise some voters. And we arrive at the latest SNAFU – drastically reducing the number of Polling Places – especially in Opposition strongholds – and creating hardships that may dissuade their supporters from exercising their franchise.
After each SNAFU was brought to the Chairwoman’s notice, efforts are promised to rectify – but NEVER returning the status quo ante. Based on what we’ve experienced, we can expect at least one new SNAFU.
We mightn’t know “how”, but we know it’ll be to tilt the scale for the PNC!!
…meeting builds friendship
President Donald Trump – from the pioneering democracy of the USA – is on his first visit to India – the most populous democracy on planet earth. The two countries themselves have a lot more in common – having both been former British colonies – but for most of the 20th Century they’d been estranged because of Nehru’s Congress party’s leftist tilt.
Modi and his BJP, however, are a horse of another colour and have already carved out a new relationship with the superpower. Their common concern about China is, of course, one factor, but there are also the ideological commonalities in the integration of nationalist sentiments into the Liberal paradigm.
Trump has received a welcome such as he’d never seen before because of the widespread sentiment that he has not accepted the almost reflexive disdain for India from his predecessors. Then again, there is the Indian fundamental stance that a “guest must be treated as a god”!!
But most of all, there is the chemistry between Trump and Modi.
It demonstrates the importance of the human factor in international affairs!!
…reward for anti-democrats
After the Mash 5 prison escapees branded themselves as “Liberation Fighters” based in Buxton, Eusi Kwayana wrote about the “political sophisticates” who taught them “race hate”.
One of them just received a national award.