I am neither proud nor ashamed to say that I am one of the persons who did not vote at the last elections in Guyana. As fate would have it, I was out of the country on that day, but I was also happy to have that excuse and made no effort to exercise my right via whatever other means the system provides for.
Such was my position because I saw no party that I felt comfortable supporting or was convinced I should support. Sadly, while much time has passed, and while based on my observations I see some promise, if elections day were tomorrow, I would stay home and sleep. But, I listen to the advertisements that have begun, and started having a few discussions with friends, and I am still neither comfortable nor convinced that I should disturb my rest to brave the weather (whatever it may be) and the long lines to vote for any of the competing groups.
I perhaps should clear up something I know many may be thinking before I go further.
Despite my name (surname that is) I have always been apolitical, and I am happy to remain that way. To me, it means I can speak freely without thought of loyalty to anything but my country.
So this is my challenge to all political parties contesting the upcoming national elections: tell me, why should I vote for their particular party and candidate?
Now before they rush to it, they should consider the following:
1. I am not interested in them telling me about the past. I am 34 years old and I studied history in school.
2. Telling me not to vote for the other guys is not a valid argument.
3. Appealing to any biases they may think I have, will be contemptuous and insulting.
4. They should not lie to me; I think I am smart enough to figure them out. I have been watching them all for years.
I have friends who are involved in various political parties, and who will see this and (hopefully), pass it on to their colleagues. I beg them all to respond through whatever means they find most useful. I will be looking out for the responses. If I get no responses I might also see it as contemptuous and be tempted to use the little means at my disposal to start a campaign like that of Mr Montgomery Brewster in ‘Brewster’s Millions’ and encourage persons in my position to vote ‘none of the above.‘
If anyone has read this and is in the same position as I am in, please do not simply keep it to yourself; take some time and let it be known.
C R Bernard