When the tail wags the dog

-Boycott? Nah, curb extravagance

Oh  me. What am I doing, eight days before Christmas Day, exploring the post-election day goings on still?

Well even though I’m no longer a December 25 “Christmas Day” person, to the max, and even though I am definitely near saturated by a surfeit of electoral/political exchanges, there are a few points to be made even as I offer my own frank “wrap-up.”

Firstly, I can’t help but keep considering the new-found prominence of a re-branded PNC. My old People’s National Congress,  as it leads a Corbin–inspired “Partnership” of pretenders and hopefuls with Corbin’s constituency now bequeathed to a gentleman Brigadier/Politician and a pair of re-incarnated WPA academics.

The political analysts and scholars amongst us may pity me and might want to teach me the (historical) principles and dynamics which this young generation of an electorate is experiencing – the metamorphosis of those with (desirable) short memories of hate embracing a common cause and enemy, which decision their assassinated hero-leader would allegedly now approve. Oh, and the marvellous attempted transposing of electoral engineering/rigging – virtually invented by the PNC – onto the backs of the PPP – the People’s Progressive Party.
But spare me, good intellectuals. I suspect it might be all too much for me. I understand the Partnership’s success is for savouring. Even exploiting. So instead allow me my brief excursion into my tail-and-dog comment.

Majority tail,
minority dog…

The expression  about “the tail wagging the dog” is picturesque in imagery  as it refers to the supposedly “lesser” or subordinate entity or component virtually controlling the more senior or powerful authority.

In the imminent Tenth Parliament of Guyana, the opposition’s 33 seats and votes outnumber the government by one. Suddenly that one, that “tail”, is a most powerful number. The opposition tail in the house can now (try to) wag the government dog. A few other parliaments exist like this in the world. The American executive and the two branches of congress represent this legislative phenomenon.

It is therefore not that unique. Only unprecedented and challenging for Guyana.

I am one of those concerned, but expectant, Guyanese looking forward to how the dog and tail will coordinate their movements in the National Assembly. I am also one who begs the members of Parliament to wag in the interest of the electorate and the other thousands of young citizens. The APNU/AFC “tail” has already hinted on a type of menu of parliamentary measures they are likely to introduce with their powerful majority of one seat and vote.

And I have alerted folks, thanks in part to Stabroek News, that in this new parliamentary configuration, the makeup of the now powerful parliamentary sub-committees will be most challenging, then pivotal, to the more public workings of the Assembly. Look out for these committees!

Now the old “dog”, the government side is not without its status and authority. And I’m not referring only to what the President can do with legislation sent to him. There are other parliamentary “skills” the government side can employ if it deems the opposition’s positions untenable. If it is reluctant to compromise in the people’s interest.

The Working People’s Alliance think-tank with many bright boys but few followers is now a sudden, unexpected APNU tail which sounds like it wags that dog, from time to time. A die-hard WPA faithful explained on Wednesday, in this paper, all that the government side can do even now that it’s outnumbered in the house. That’s not for me to repeat.

All that I request is that the enthusiastic opposition be realistic, constructive and responsible on their parliamentary aggression. The government has won the right to govern. “Business – not as – usual” shouldn’t mean usurping the government’s authority. Who should fashion the national budget? You know who, APNU. Inclusiveness and sharing should not mean bullying.

To the government I say: Consider how important the tail is to the dog. And tail, don’t feel that you are the whole dog!

Better restraint
than boycott

The new “elections organization”, a “youth group” connected to the APNU, certainly captured the attention of the businessmen, the politicians and the public last week.

However they try to disguise it, they suggested that their supporters boycott businesses deemed to be friendly to the PPP/C government. That’s a tough task of the typical Guyanese at Christmas time. Many of APNU’s young and typical supporters are like me. They are not in the market for high-priced vehicles. They would go for KFC chicken though.

After the 1997 Elections PNC people were told to boycott certain markets on the lower East Coast. That failed instantly. The lesson is: have your own alternative to turn to when even thinking boycott., (You know me and my jibe: In this year of People of African Descent name five big Afro-Guyanese rice millers, saw-millers, pharmacies or auto-dealership! Get my point?)

That said, I must record my own support for the group’s call for a little sobriety of approach this season: Ease up on the decorations and the partying. Put those funds in an envelope for the future, instead. Eschew “lavish spending” and extravagance. Even the Baby Jesus won’t approve of the celebrations in his name.

Ponder well…

Surujbally says all seven commissioners signed the Poll Statements.

Who is GECOM? Assignment for young journalists: find out who are senior managers of Mr Boodoo’s GECOM-and just how GECOM’s chairmen are chosen.

Why did the AFC not call for the statements of poll held by GECOM? What? They knew their results by the Tuesday morning?

So what!? Naughty but nice people are “enlightening” me – that President Ramotar is “mixed” – Indo, Amerindo and Afro! Is that really so? So what?

Catch A.A. Fenty’s “Creole Christmas” on VOG Radio, Mondays, Wednesday, Fridays (8.30 am)

‘Til next week!
(Comments allanafenty@yahoo.com)

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