The PPP and PNC ‘ah wan’

Dear Editor,

In 2006, the AFC obtained a lot of support from African-Guyanese. PPP propagandists went berserk with that reality. They immediately started the PPP and PNC are one (‘ah wan’ in the creolese version) firestorm.

It is political buffoonery devoid of logic and infused with ethnocentric simplicity. Firstly, it forgets, and conveniently so, that Indians also voted for the AFC in 2006. Secondly, it forgets that Indians have been the AFC’s fastest growing ethnic supporters since 2006. Thirdly, it insults the brave choices of those who once voted PPP or PNC to vote for an entirely new party.

Fourthly, it dismisses the fact that those who vote for the AFC are mostly voting on interests and not dominantly on race, as they do for the PPP and PNC. Fifthly, this shallow argument misconceives racial support for interest-based and positional support. If mostly Indians vote for the AFC in 2011, should we deem the AFC and PPP ‘ah wan’? Sixthly, the argument fails to recognize that there are Indian-Guyanese who never vote PPP and African-Guyanese who never vote PNC, who decide to vote for the AFC. It insults Amerindians and other groups who voted for the AFC with this frighteningly elementary argument.

Seventh, how does one categorize two parties are the same when their ideological positions are vastly different? Eight, if this equation is as simple as any party other than the PNC that gets African votes is the same as the PNC, then Rodney’s WPA and the PNC were one and the same. Then ROAR and the PPP are one and the same.

The reprehensibility of this false notion becomes clearer with these striking examples.

Ninth, since when does a voter breaking from voting for a race-based party to a party that is multi-ethnic should be categorized as the same as those he/she left behind in the quagmire of the race-based party and race-based voting? Tenth, how does the AFC led by an Indian presidential candidate become categorized as one and the same as the PNC that has never attempted this gutsy feat? Eleventh, how exactly is the AFC with its substantial African support the same as the PNC when the AFC’s African-Guyanese leader stepped aside to allow an Indian-Guyanese to lead this supposedly African party as its presidential candidate? On the verge of its biggest breakthrough politically, the African leader of the AFC gracefully stepped aside to allow the Indian leader to lead a party that obtained votes from mostly Africans in the last election.

Will Donald Ramotar as the presidential candidate of the PPP which has a majority Indian support base ever consider stepping aside to allow Roger Luncheon to run for the presidency on the PPP slate? The AFC and the PPP are never ‘wan’ in that regard.

It is really the PPP and PNC that ‘ah wan.’ They are one and the same. Same nonsense, different party. Should PNC propagandists shout that the PPP and AFC ‘ah wan’ if the AFC gets a plurality of Indian voters in 2011? What this absurd gimmickry shows is that if the puerile condition of race is the only barometer of a party then the AFC can be equally accused of being one and the same with the PPP and PNC, as it draws from both ethnic groups.

These are the despicable fallacies that are propagated in the hope that by mere repetition they will stick with the weak, willing, easily bought, lazy and the ignorant. We have a lot of those in this country. But in 2011, there is a tide turning. I believe Indian-Guyanese have graduated to the psychological comfort zone necessary to break with the past and are not going to fall that easily for simplistic appeals to ethnic insecurity such as ‘the PNC and AFC ah wan.’ The PPP has taken Indian-Guyanese for granted for too long. The AFC should remind this country that the PPP and PNC ‘ah wan.’

Yours faithfully,
M Maxwell

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