The results of the 2006 election do not prove the PPP’s cross-racial appeal

Dear Editor,

Neil Adams goes simplistic in his letter titled ‘Power sharing is not appeasement for those who will not accept defeat’ (SN, July 6). Adams unsophisticated argument states that Indians comprise 43% of the population and Africans 30%. Adams says the PPP states that the PPP “commands the confidence of the Guyanese people cutting across racial lines” because it got 54.6% of the overall vote in the 2006 election. Mr Adams’ point is that the PPP’s extra 11.6% of the total vote came from non-Indians. There is never a better example of tomfoolery masquerading as truth. Firstly, unless Mr Adams could provide clear proof with respect to which ethnic groups voted in 2006 and in what percentages, it is difficult to even attempt this ludicrous claim. Secondly, Mr Adams must tell us exactly which ethnic groups stayed home in the 69% turnout 2006 election. He must do this before we can start unwrapping this bizarre pronouncement about the PPP’s multiracial and cross-racial support.

Thirdly, even if one is to accept Mr Adams’ faulty assertion, does a supposed 11.6% non-Indian vote share really demonstrate cutting across racial lines? Using Mr Adams’ numbers, 57% of the country is non-Indian, yet the PPP only gets a paltry 11.6% of that vote. I guess that is ‘confidence’ to those with their heads in the sand. The PNC got 34% of the vote in 2006. Using Mr Adams’ simple maths, it would mean that the PNC is able to cut across racial lines with that 4% non-African vote. Further, Mr Adams must tell us what quantum of that 11.6% non-Indian vote was Indian-Mixed Race votes. Fourthly, 31% of the electorate stayed away in 2006. It is intellectually fraudulent to use the results of that election to prove multi-ethnic and cross-racial appeal. Fifthly, the PPP’s approach to the Amerindian is not out of a genuine concern of the Amerindian people and their plight as the most marginalised ethnic group in this country. It is a genuine attempt to buy the Amerindian vote using their (Amerindian) and other taxpayers’ money. Sixthly, the supporters of the two major parties, as expected, view the Amerindian vote from a narrow racial or cultural paradigm seeing the Amerindians as votes and nothing more.

No party has multiracial and cross-racial support in Guyana in any credible numbers. Further, such limited support from other ethnic groups for the PPP and PNC is not obtained by a genuine multiracial and cross-racial message but by using money and power to politically bribe voters with handouts that miraculously appear at election time. The bottom line is that this country transfixes everything within the paradigm of race.

The PPP and PNC ain’t fooling anybody. They have never been multiracial, are not multiracial and have demonstrated no inclination to be multiracial, and given their structure and their politics will never be multiracial. If people are waiting on the PPP or PNC to become multiracial, their children’s children will be waiting on their children’s children. If the PPP and PNC cannot fix themselves, supporters and voters have to fix them. You can’t change unless you change those who control your condition, so don’t complain. Freedom from fear is the greatest freedom.

Yours faithfully,
M Maxwell

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