Well, we’re just a tad over a month away from what’s being billed as “the mother of all elections” in the history of Guyana. Is this because it’ll be the biggest turnout ever? But Granger’s been calling for an 80 per cent turnout…so that means he’s expecting it to be lower than that. What to do?? He knows if there’s a low turnout, it would mean he and the PNC are in some serious trouble.
Traditionally, it’s his PNC constituency that has proven to be reluctant to come out on Election Day – -contraposed to an always more efficient PPP mobilisational machinery and committed supporters.
While in 2011 and 2015 the numbers improved because of exploiting dissatisfaction with the PPP’s long incumbency, that has waned precipitously over the last five years. The PNC has been unable to match the PPP’s stimulation of business – especially at the grassroot level – which puts money into the hands of those same PNC supporters. No matter how they bob and weave, the PNC can’t dislodge that experienced truth of deprivation from that critical demographic.
But as a historian, Granger would know that in 1964, the turnout was 97 per cent and it wasn’t because of any good times delivered by either the PPP or PNC. The reason for that phenomenal figure was because of the extreme polarisation in the populace after the violent ethnic “disturbances” between 1962 and 1964. In fact, Granger constantly evokes that sordid period of our history and refers to it as “the troubles”.
And now we can begin to understand the method behind the madness of the PNC campaign as they single-mindedly evoke the purported “killing of 400 black youths” not DURING the PPP regime, but BY the PPP regime!! So, who cares that this number has been conclusively disproved? Didn’t you read that SN disaggregation of the actual data?? Or that these were tit-for-tat reprisals precipitated by bandits taking on the Guyanese State? So, who cares that innocent civilians’ lives were snuffed out like flies?
So, using the anger generated by evoking their outrageous claims of the PNC constituency being under threat of returning to that violent period if the PPP were voted back into office, they use coded dog whistling language – a la Volda Lawrence’s “strong young men nightshift” call – to prepare for violence!! And of course, a larger turnout of their base! It doesn’t get more cynical and callous than that – but then, it’s the PNC we’re dealing with!
This tactic serves two purposes – apart from getting out the PNC vote: it intimidates PPP supporters by scaring them away from showing up at polling stations, and secondly, allows ballot boxes to be stuffed during the storming of the Polling Stations by Volda’s “night shift””!
…rallies and class
Thanks to the miracle of social media, your Eyewitness has seen all the PPP Rallies. He’s chuffed they’ve been treating Guyanese with the respect they deserve. After all, they’re the ones who’ve been facing the heat during the last five years under the PNC, and they certainly don’t need anyone pandering to them. That would make a mockery of their angst!
Unlike the PNC, they haven’t been throwing bacchanalian fetes with imported SOCA artistes under the guise of “political rallies” which are supposedly meant to inform voters as to their plans for the country. It’s clear the PNC is contemptuous of their base and see them incapable of rising above “wine, women and song”!! On the PPP stage also, they’ve stuck to explaining their vision for the country, buttressed by the “how” and “when”!
Sadly, their record was marred by a painfully vulgar, misogynistic and illiterate outing at a street meeting by Clement Rohee.
Get him off!!
…and small parties
The “joined-up” small parties must’ve figured they’d have a built-in crowd of commuters, touts, and riff-raff when they scheduled their meeting at the Big Market on a Saturday afternoon.
Sadly, their 11 members were an (absolute) majority of the “crowd”!