Guyana has to create the conditions for rapid economic growth without creating small groups of incalculably rich individuals and families, leaving even larger groups and whole communities behind trapped in lamentable poverty.
Lasting economic growth of the kind that will quickly lift all Guyanese out of poverty and despair, will require a well-judged blend of innovation and stability. The innovation will come through a broadening of the country’s government to incorporate all compatible political parties, civic organizations, individual Guyanese citizens and even the more progressive, modern thinkers in the established order. The Guyanese people want an end to confrontational politics of the kind that impedes progress and stunts growth. That said, a lodestar group has to reach out, motivate and encourage this innovation in an organized, energetic and effective way. APNU has taken on this challenge. Stability is best achieved within an inclusive framework shaped by consensus and compromise. Without a coalition of compatibles and the readiness to forge a government of national unity, it will be almost impossible to set Guyana on the right course for sustainable development with prosperity for all.
I support APNU and feel that at last Guyanese will have the opportunity to choose between what is effectively one-party government perpetuating the divisive and confrontational politics that has held us back for so long or a partnership for national unity. The strength of partnership coalition government is that it means open negotiation and open compromise. Negotiation at one level – between parties in government – encourages negotiation at other levels. Negotiations usually follow between the government and the main social interests, whose consent is desirable, and in some cases necessary.
The central strength of a government of national unity is that it fosters attitudes to the sharing of power that permeate government at every level. As an early advocate of shared governance it is fitting that I now involve myself wholeheartedly in shaping this new dispensation. It inculcates attitudes which spread out from politics into society so that power in the economy and in industry also comes to be more widely shared.
I sincerely believe that as we approach elections, people will begin to see that APNU is engaged in something more than merely replacing one of the main political partners. It aims to open up, decentralize and democratize our distorted, down-putting, opportunity-denying state. Without the new dispensation, we will remain divided and will continue our decline.
We will experience a further widening of the gap, with private affluence for the few and public squalor for the many. We will watch impotently as our values and standards shrink and disappear and our self-confidence seeps away. It is a grim but realistic prospect. I know it and I believe so do you. The alternative is to take the arguments for APNU directly to the people. We have to trust the people, in the belief that they will understand that APNU will unlock the energies, talents and essential decency of all those who want to see a united, prosperous and happy Guyana.
As we watch APNU build while gaining strength and momentum, many will feel compelled to stand up and be counted.
F Hamley Case