The PNC cannot win an election

Dear Editor,
I heard a new one recently. Here is how it goes: things are getting hard under the PPP but it will go from bad to worse under the PNC. I almost died laughing when I heard it. Not only does it reveal the backward thinking that bad is better than worse, but it makes the mistake of believing the PNC is the only alternative to the PPP and mistakenly makes the PNC out to be a bigger threat than it really is. It also makes the mistake of somehow believing that the PNC can ever return to power. Let me be absolutely clear: the PNC cannot ever win a free and fair election or ever return to power in the current dynamics of Guyana. The PNC can’t win anything. The PNC (or APNU or APNA or BABNA or whatever its name really is) is a rice eater that has lost its bark after losing its bite in 1992.

For those PPP supporters thinking long and hard about changing their vote, the PNC cannot ever win an election again in Guyana whether traditional PPP supporters vote for the PPP or not. For that decent-sized minority of PPP supporters thinking of trying a new political party, the fear of vote-splitting is overblown and is a fear tactic. For the PNC cannot ever return to power. The fact of the matter is that it is only about 10% to 15% of PPP supporters who will ever seriously think of leaving the PPP and voting for another party or not voting at all in the upcoming election. The truth is that only that percentage is brave enough and politically knowledgeable enough to change their vote. The rest psychologically can’t and that is just a case of political reality. This would put the PPP at 40% to 45% of the overall vote. The PNC cannot ever get there.

The PNC got 34% in the last election. All the polls in recent months show beyond the shadow of a doubt that the PNC will fall badly from that number in this election. These polls show the PNC is unlikely to get 30% of the overall vote and will take a hammering. Any way you slice it, the PNC cannot beat the PPP even if 10% to 15% of PPP supporters vote for another party. That 10% to 15%  have incredible freedom. They comprise the progressive minded PPP supporters who are truly fed up with the nonsense, scandals, wrongdoing, corruption and criminality of life under the PPP. These are people who desperately want change in Guyana.

If you want to look at this purely from the point of view of race voting, Africans comprise around 30% of the population while Indians comprise around 43%. If people vote purely on race, the PNC cannot win. But while both the PPP and the PNC get the overwhelming majority of their votes from ethnic voting, Africans have shown they will try new things. People will not back a losing party and they tried the AFC in 2006. The PNC also gets significantly fewer non-traditional (meaning Indian or African) votes than does the PPP. So, the PNC is stuck in a losing trend. Plus, the leadership of the PNC is a big problem for its supporters. A bunch of dinosaurs led by proven failures like Corbin, Granger, Alexander and Greenidge control the party. No wonder the youth movement in Linden broke away. The PPP suffers the same problem with its cabal of incompetents.

The fear of the PNC returning to power is nothing but a PPP-created jumbie and Anancy story to trap those PPP voters who are too fed up with the PPP and want to try something different in this election. Winning an election in Guyana occurs in two ways. One, a party wins 50% or more of the overall votes. Two, a party does not win a majority (50% or more of the overall vote) but it wins the most votes out of all the parties. Those are the two kinds of winning. My calculations show that a party can win power with only 40% to 45% of the overall vote in Guyana. That is all a party should really get because it creates minority government. Minority government is good for Guyana. What this means is that that percentage of PPP voters who want to vote for another party can do exactly that; they can vote for another party. PPP voters who want to change can change their vote and vote for who they really want to vote for knowing fully well that the PNC could never return to power.
Yours faithfully,
M Maxwell

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