The election carnival is about to begin and everyone running for President and Parliament are already basing their chances on different racial and ethnic configurations in order to cast the fishnet and haul in a majority of ‘hassa,’ and if a few ‘houri‘ or ‘bangamary‘ enter the cast net, then ok, because then they can claim cross-over voting.
Here we go again, spending lots of money for a lacklustre campaign which will leave our citizens with the feeling, once it’s all over, that nothing will ever change for the better, regardless of what our great ‘statesmen‘ tell us. All of them out there campaigning believe in more and more government intervention in our lives and our fragile economy, knowing full well that for over 50 years, governmental dominance of our economy has wrecked our country. All of them think they have the answers to our problems and our dear country’s problems when, in fact, they are really devoid of solutions to our backwardness, our poverty, our welfare, our children’s future and our general well-being. All of them like to blame the other for our problems, when in fact all are to be blamed for a lack of unity to make Guyana a bedrock of democracy and equal opportunity. All of them tell us of the great things they will do for us, but we know better because of our collective understanding of what our politics has come to represent – greed, self-satisfaction, nepotism, cronyism and power-drunkenness. Not one of them can relate to the great incantation of Mahatma Gandhi when he asserts that no government can be successful without incorporating the Kingdom of Heaven in its daily intercourse.
The days of real dedicated politics have gone for good, and instead of my godfather, President Forbes Burnham’s incantation of a great destiny to mould by co-operatives and feeding, housing and clothing all our citizens, what we have are the things President Cheddi, my father, fought all his life against: hair-splitting, disunity, corruption, winner-take-all mentality, the rich getting richer while the poor get poorer, exploitation of Guyana’s workers, foreigners taking over our valuable resources, mismanagement and squandermania. Burnham and Jagan would look down at these upcoming elections and just shake their heads at what the Guyanese people have as choices.
Jagan and Burnham brought a vitality and electric shocks to our politics and now, what we have leaves us bored and frustrated. Jagan and Burnham made us think and imagine what could be, but what we have now leaves us bewildered and confused about the future. Jagan and Burnham gave us fire in our belly and opened our minds to debate, to think things out and voice our politics at every street corner; but what we have now are a bunch of politicians who just debate and argue among themselves while we, the citizens, have become automated, near-sighted voters. We are headed straight for trouble.
Cheddi (Joey) Jagan (Jr)