To halt our economic and social decline we must halt our political decline

Dear Editor,

A Partnership for National Unity advances an argument and poses a challenge. It explains why we in Guyana are so disunited and challenges the people to do what is necessary to create the country’s essential unity. The decline in Guyana’s legitimate economy has been accompanied and compounded by a political decline in which our capacity to respond to problems has become progressively weakened. Not only are we worse off, we are also less capable of doing anything about it.

The pattern of our predicament, with its intertwined economic and political dimensions, is now clear. Economic decline impoverishes the nation and destroys our ability to solve the problems of deprivation in our society. Deprivation deepens the divisions between us, exaggerates political differences and thus cripples our capacity to sustain policies for economic and social regeneration and recovery.

Our political structures at every level – from the omnipotent presidency to the centralized nature of the established order – encourage dissension and division and work against compromise and negotiation. Under the pressure of decline our politics has become increasingly unstable and polarized. The remedies produced in our divided society are partial and ineffectual. Our greatest weakness is the absence of a constitutional structure that creates and fosters the necessary consensus. To halt our economic and social decline we must halt our political decline. APNU can provide the key to building a new consensus. As a constitutional mechanism it ensures majority government, generally through coalition government. Consensus comes through working partnerships and this is on offer for the 2011 elections. Creating more wealth and wealth for all will take time. Meanwhile we will have to grapple with our present poverty. Combining the two tasks is possible, provided we are prepared to experiment with new mechanisms and techniques in social policy and to adopt new attitudes towards harnessing youth power and the vast untapped diaspora human resource. APNU can create new attitudes and put new heart into our democracy; its success at the upcoming elections will remake the bonds that will unite us as one country. Even the PPP will not be left out in the cold unless it wants to be.

Yours faithfully,
F H Case

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