I saw Mr Granger, the PNC candidate for President, on TV a couple of days ago and the answers he gave to the problems we face in this country were circumspect, clear and informed. It is obvious to anyone with common sense that this gentleman should play an important role in the future development of Guyana. Whatever the forthcoming elections bring to Guyana, the principles of a new dispensation for some kind of coalition shared governance is surely applicable if Mr Granger loses, for he is a serious leader who would bring progress to any government formed after the election, and his leadership and vision in fields such as education, crime, unemployment and protecting the wealth of this country could be unparalleled.
Mr Granger shows calmness, common sense and a definite grasp of the issues affecting our country, but his comments about socialism/communism which was experimented with in this country over the last 45 years, I happen to disagree with. Socialism/communism was an unmitigated disaster and those ideas are of the past and have absolutely no place in our future.
We have to reject such worn-out ideas and move on. The only piece of advice I would humbly like to submit to Mr Granger is that he should smile more on camera as I am sure he possesses a winning smile; the people need the smiles for the times we live in.
Any government formed after this election should include Mr Granger and some of his comrades if he loses. Shared coalition governance is the only way to share the ‘pie’ in developing our dear country; recruiting the best and the brightest minds available, regardless of party affiliation or ethnic origins, regardless of religious or political beliefs and regardless of being in Guyana or living in the diaspora. Editor, as a born Guyanese who has lived in North America for 32 years (Canada for 4 years and USA for 28 years-Brooklyn, NY for 17 years) and in Guyana for 30 years, I can say, with certainty, that when we talk of unity and purpose, we must include the diaspora and make real room for their presence in the future of this country in every way one can conjure. So, Editor, shared governance has to be a coalition of unity and purpose to include all those dedicated to a better Guyana, burying egos and mistakes from the past, to create a better society.
Editor, the National Development Strategy agreed to by most of the political parties and civil society years ago has been buried under narrow political considerations of majoritarian rule.
This developmental strategy encompassed broad sections of our society in building a better Guyana and stressing the needs of every section of our country, but its very nature calls for political changes in the way we are involving the citizens in their own self-governance and their means to get things accomplished. Editor, after all these years of independence, where the political boundaries are defined by race and ethnicity, is it not time to try something new, a new dispensation, a real sharing of the political and economic ‘pie’ to produce a united country ready to exploit God’s gifts of limitless gold, diamonds, high grade bauxite, high grade manganese, forests, powerful rivers with bountiful water, uranium, oil, snow white sand, herbs and medicines from our diverse plants, human resources willing to learn and work with decent wages and many other resources , which, properly exploited can increase our wealth.
Editor, imagine a vision of – with the proper approach – the first ‘Jungle Disney’ in South America, right here in Guyana, or the first NASA blast-off centre for outer space. Martin Luther King’s famous words were in his ‘I have a dream’ speech, and today his dreams have been realized by the elevation of Barack Obama and the human and civil rights of King’s ‘children.’ President Obama, when he was elected, chose to keep as his Secretary of Defence, Mr Gates, an unprecedented move, since no other President had ever kept on an opposition party personage in such an important position in US history.
We in Guyana have to dream of a country where all of our citizens have a stake in success and every section of our population feels part and parcel of development and ultimate success. An experiment in shared coalition governance is really the only way to go for a concerted effort at real development and a better future for our children.
Cheddi (Joey) Jagan (Jr)