With less than a week to go to the special PNC Congress to elect new leaders, real politik is beginning to take over from the early platitudes about “democracy in action” within the PNC!! Even though about seven persons received nominations for the LEADER spot – just three are considered to be in the race. Norton, Van West Charles and Harmon. While Basil “Mustache” Williams wants to also play ball, no one – including your Eyewitness – thinks he’s got even a snowball chance in hell so no time will be wasted on him!!
From the number of groups that nominated Norton is seen as the popular choice. But this is Guyana and popularity has little to do with electability when it comes to the PNC!! For 28 years the PPP was conceded by one and all – inside and outside the country – but fat lot of good THAT did for them after elections. The reason for this anomaly was revealed recently by the Central Executive Committee (CEC) of the party demanding that three members of the Accreditation Committee resign immediately. Seems they were campaigning for horses in the race – some of whom had indicated big positions for them!! It didn’t cross their minds that such a situation represented a conflict of interest!!
Now this is just an example of how the votes at Congress could be “cocked” by people in strategic positions in the party! Isn’t this how it was that Granger was nosed ahead of Carl Greenidge back in 2011?? And why Carl isn’t even in the race – even though he did receive a nomination. At this time then, the 64-million-dollar question is which of the candidate has the institutional edge. The popular money is on Norton but the smart money is on Harmon!! Charles is seen as too much of a long shot – Burnham’s son-in-law is good PNC pedigree, but he was away too long and hop scotched a bit too much after he returned!!.
This PNC leadership elections is like the three-card-game we see played on street corners. All the patter and movement of the cards are just distractions for you if you take them seriously. So all the campaign stops and speeches are just the candidates going though the motions – they know that the fix is in. Each is just hoping THEY’LL be the anointed one. The main criterion even the most unbiased PNC power-behind-the-throne will invoke is – “Who’ll attract the big bucks necessary for modern elections?” You, dear reader, can answer that question yourself!! Norton or Harmon?
And sadly, the day after the elections there will be some “swell mouth”. But like Norton and Greenidge in previous leadership iterations they’ll go along without exposing the charade!!
As yesterday’s editorial of this newspaper declared, while the media has always influenced politics, the development of social media is taking politics to places it’s never gone before. The traditional media, starting with newspapers, were owned by persons who were generally from the moneyed classes. Whatever their personal perspectives at least they weren’t willing to bring down the entire edifice in which they were living, on their heads.
Social media has thrown out this premise on its heads. Today any radical can get on his smart phone, buy some data and start broadcasting to the world out there. These persons are free to say whatever – in and out of the world – they want to say! From threatening persons with bodily harm the least of our worries. How about boycotting fellow citizens and overthrowing the government? These folks speak into an echo chamber and when some politicians go onto these platforms they’e drawn into the radical posture and rhetoric by the unanimity of views heard.
Never mind they’re ghettoizing their base!!
Ghana can teach us a thing or two not only about oil but about ethnic conflict and its management. Firstly even thought they’re all “racially” African, they’re divided ethnically.
So enough of all this “race talk”!!