I am delighted to read so many positive comments about Barack Obama’s election and swearing in as America’s President in the Guyana papers. People express faith and hope in President Obama viewing him as a new kind of politician who means what he says. Even our politicians join in the act cheering Obama, forgetting that they are politicians who have failed to live up to the Obama standards. Let us ask ourselves how many of our politicians really mean what they say in Guyana, and how many truly believe in the rhetoric of Obama?
Voters view Obama as someone who will not lie to voters. They see him as having the interest of the nation at heart, not his own self-interest. How many Guy-anese politicians are viewed as having Obama-like qualities?
I seriously doubt many Guyanese (especially politicians and others aspiring for office) really believe in Obama’s election campaign slogan of ‘Change Yes We Can.’
Let us look at some of the quick actions of Obama since he was sworn in and compare/contrast with Guyana. Obama froze salary increases for his staff.
How many Guyanese politicians and bureaucrats would forego salary increases? Obama banned lobbyists from around him. Which Guyanese politician would take such drastic action? Obama announced transparency, honesty and accountability. How long would a Guyanese politician last in office with that kind of policy?
Obama said, let us put aside our ethnic prejudices. Could an Obama, campaigning on the above slogans, garner enough votes to win a seat in a parliamentary election in Guyana?
I wonder if this positive feeling about Obama among Guyanese is not just because most people are simply caught up in the Obama hysteria that has been sweeping the world. Do we really believe in change, yes we can, to inform a new form of governing? The Guyanese President has called for a declaration of assets among MPs. How many will comply?