A changing political culture is indeed with us. This new political culture is influencing our politicians to act and think differently so as to reach out to the population and their constituency. President Donald Ramotar—and my heartiest congratulations to him ascending to the presidency—at the end of every day, shares the past day’s activities on his Facebook page.
A first for any president of Guyana, this practice opens up a whole new breed of politics as I mentioned in my opening sentences. Allow me to share some of what the President has shared on the social media:
December 6, 9.49pm: “Today I attended the funeral of an old party stalwart, Manpersaud. It was a sad occasion but his life was not spent in vain. I also had a meeting with Ramjattan, Patterson and Ramsaroop of the AFC with discussion focused on cooperative work between the Government and the AFC to continue growing Guyana. As part of the process to energize the local governments I met with a delegation from the Region 2 RDC. Meetings with other RDC delegation will proceed throughout the week.”
December 7, 10.05pm: “Good evening. Most of today was spent with the Party executive discussing Local Government issues. I also met with a delegation from the TUF with discussions focused on the political situation in Guyana. I also had a meeting with the head of the Climate Change division, Shyam Nokta, on various environmental issues. The work evening ended with my attendance of the Russian Christmas Event held by Rusal. I am now watching some local political programs and will be switching to the BBC in a few minutes.“
December 8, 10.05pm: “Good Evening. I began the day with a light exercise in the National Park. The day was then dominated by local government meetings. I met RDC representatives of Regions 3, 5, 6 and 10. Other meetings included meeting with Guyana’s ambassador to Cuba, Ambassador Ally, where we discussed various issues including our scholarship students, and the political situation in Cuba. I also met with officials of the Ministry of Finance where I was briefed on various issues but special focus on the Government’s capital projects.“
And while it is good to know that our government leaders understand the need for information and that there can be ways to channel this information so that it reaches a wider audience, this is also a demonstration of awareness of being accountable to the electorate and the Guyanese people. I know just a few ministers (very few) have social media accounts like Facebook.
It gives citizens a little assurance to be informed of some of the activities and initiatives their elected officials have been engaged in during the past day, and many other politicians could impress the Guyanese people with such tech-savvy actions in a world where information can travel faster than you’ll ever know.