I am returning to the topic of governance in Guyana, because within the last month or so, important political figures in Guyana have revised expressions on this topic.
During the Jagdeo era, the call was for shared governance, but those (as expected) did not go very far, because several diplomatic and intellectual excuses were advanced for their non- implementation. The Jagdeo administration could have claimed that it had no obligation to grant the then oolitical opposition any share in the administration of Guyana, because it had won elections in an outright manner.
However, the current Ramotar administration is not so fortunate, because it would not be offering a handout or favour in relation to shared governance to the joint opposition parties, as the latter won a larger percentage of the popular vote at the last elections than the government, and they have a one-seat majority in Guyana’s parliament. Hence, the joint opposition parties have a right to be consulted. In any case, when Guyanese voters went to the polls in November 2011, they did not vote for single party governance. Once the elections were over they wanted the competing political parties to surrender competition for cooperation, and jointly tackle the social and economic ills that continue to plague the society.
As a reminder, the major ills facing Guyana are unemployment; deteriorating educational achievement; increasing reports of white- and blue-collar crime and corruption; non-liveable wages and conditions of employment; racial and class divisions and inequalities; garbage crises in the city, towns and rural environment; public health concerns; and budgetary challenges.
I am not advocating that consultative governance be limited to conversations between PPP/C officials and operatives from the joint opposition, rather they should be extended to include traditional institutions like the church, the trade union movement, and other relevant advocacy and interest groups.
In essence, Guyana is too small (population-wise) to continue practices of political polarization, which is why I am calling for compromise and unity that will seek to find answers to the day-by-day obstacles and barriers that are confronting the larger masses of Guyana’s inhabitants.