My support and liking for the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) has gradually deteriorated over the past years. It was not anything I anticipated or even wanted to happen. I became eligible for the first time to vote during the 2006 elections and my vote helped put them in office.
I take everything I do very seriously. I voted for the PPP/C, not because my entire family had been loyal to this party for decades, but because I had faith and trust, and they and their policies had a strong appeal. I was a very young voter and I wanted to give them another chance to make Guyana a better place.
It was very hard for me to not have attended the PPP/C rally at Albion. But I could not be a hypocrite and attend the event of a political party for which my support has wavered and declined; declined because of their inability to take criticism and their retaliation through victimization; declined because of the lies too numerous to mention.
The current PPP/C is not the PPP/C I voted for in 2006. I do not know what it has become, for it has become something other than the party in which I saw Guyana’s future for all times to come. I can hardly recognize it any more and I feel deeply hurt that things have turned out the way they have.
I can remember that I once wrote in these columns that the PPP/C was the only party that could govern Guyana. I referred to the PPP/C as the “lesser of two evils” (other than the PNC), and that Guyana could not progress into the 21st century any further without this party. I was and am still being made to eat my words.
I have felt the wrath of an administration that does not appreciate or tolerate criticism, or even take them lightly. I have become the enemy of the Region 6 administration. Two years ago, if I had not recanted certain words in these columns, I might have had to appear before the courts and answered libel charges, just as a newspaper columnist is going through at present.
Since I have become a part-time reporter with a newspaper not favoured by the administration, I have become the target for many of those same persons I placed there with my vote in 2006.
Those persons do not answer their phones any more, since they perceive my reporting to be negative for the Region 6 area. For weeks now, I have been trying to solicit comments from the Regional Chairman of Region 6 for various articles, including the recent overtopping of the sea defences in New Amsterdam, but Mr Mustapha has repeatedly refused to answer my calls. This is how our elected officials operate when they see you as the “opposition.” But I was not always seen as the “opposition” by them. I was once making them look good in these newspapers, but those days have come to an end, and I can be of no use any more to them, so I become the enemy. I think I am a fair and balanced reporter. But these leaders want you to be all for them and on their side. The minute you stand up to challenge their actions, that is when you have to part company.
How can we challenge our leaders if we cannot be critical of their policies? You highlight the need for furniture so that the children of New Amsterdam can be more comfortable in the classroom, and then you’re the bad one; you’re chastised by those in authority.
But the PPP/C has lost many of its supporters over the years, supporters who hold deep hurts within them for a party that has put very arrogant and self-centred individuals to manage and operate some regions in Guyana, individuals that really give the party a bad name.
Can Mr Donald Ramotar bring a change to the actions and policies of the PPP/C after he is elected President? Would he too metamorphose into another uncaring leader for this country? Time will tell. Will the power get to his head too? Can Mr Ramotar bring healing to disenfranchised supporters of this party for an election that will be the most crucial and important elections this country has ever known?
Will Guyanese, especially the young people, put aside their ‘loyalist’ emotions in which their families have been entrenched over the decades and vote on the issues that matter? Can the Guyanese electorate vote sensibly?
I think the majority of the population does not conscientiously think about the issues and what they are voting for prior to casting their ballots. If they did, Guyana would have been a different place today, with perhaps a different administration.
Look at the Americans. No election is easy to call. There is hardly any predictability in the US elections. It is because Americans have more sense than any of us will have when it comes to voting. And because of this, the politicians cannot bring any cheap tricks to them. The people, not the politicians are in control, something that can never happen in Guyana.
Here in Guyana, the (ruling) politicians run things and woe be unto you if you’re not on their side.