Have you ever seen those coconut trees that lost all their leaves; couldn’t produce those bounteous “water” coconuts that quenched our thirst on brutally hot days, and then up and died? It didn’t happen “just like that”. They were invaded by coconut worms – locally known as “cockles” – that eat out the heart of the palm and eventually kill it. And there is something analogous that’s happening to our fledgling democracy – which had been suffocated by the PNC between 1964 and 1992, but was nurtured back to life by the PPP between 1992 and 2015.
In those long, dark, nightmarish 28 years, the PNC had infected our democratic system with the diseased “cockles” of “party paramountcy”, and then rigged all elections through the circular, insane logic that their paramount party was above the rules. They could do whatever they wanted – from nationalising the big companies for their “big ones” to run as their personal fiefdoms, to assassinating political opponents. The political framework that sustains democracy was inevitably eaten away, and we ended up precariously perched above Haiti – the signifier of how low a country could fall.
We saw the signs of this paramountcy mentality resurface when Burnham’s protégé, David Granger, (albeit now quite long in the tooth!) became President in 2015, after the PPP demitted office, even though they expressed concerns via the Courts. Even though he’d tried to convey a sanctimonious, unctuous demeanour, the “paramountcy” giveaway was his insistence on interpreting the Constitution any way he chose to. He never really conceded that he and his party were subject to the rules of a democracy.
It was this assumption that led to the blatant rigging attempt by GECOM Secretariat staff like Mingo, who were loyal to the PNC. And when this was headed off at the pass by the international community -including Caricom – they then launched a new but more insidious attack on our democracy, which will certainly destroy it like those coconut “cockles” do to coconut trees. This attack came in the form of outrageously claiming that the entire electoral system – which was introduced and fine-tuned since 1992 – has been subverted by the PPP from the Opposition benches!!
So we hear claims that the PNC (Let’s forget the nonsense about any “coalition”!) actually won the elections because the PPP had thousands and thousands of dead and emigrated people voting for them! Never mind it was the same Secretariat that gave us Mingo &Co., hired the thousands of polling station staff, and that there were reps of ALL the political parties – including the PNC – at every polling station!
This is now an article of faith with almost half of the country, who voted for the PNC. How could they be so gullible, you ask?
Well, let’s look right over to the US, where folks are supposed to be “educated” and “logical” and having all those qualities we were lacking, so we had to be tutored for centuries to bring us up to their level. There, a vast majority of the people who voted for Trump – almost 75% according to a Reuters Poll – believe he won. Never mind the Courts threw out more than a dozen petitions of one sort or another.
So how do the Americans explain this phenomenon – which might shed some light on our identical scenario? First, they pointed out the level of misinformation that was sent out by the Republicans. Sounds familiar? Another was the top leaders supporting this conspiracy line. Sounds familiar? Extreme partisanship was also touted. Sounds familiar?
So, let’s not expect our Courts’ throwing out the PNC’s petitions will change anything. We’ve seen that the present PNC leadership under Granger and Co. will not play by democratic rules. For democracy to live, they’ll have to go.
…a viable Georgetown
Another institution that needs to be cleaned up is the Georgetown City Council. Weren’t there several COIs held into the running of the runnings in that nest of vipers?
Either they be straightened out, or we get that new city.