I am responding to Lurlene Nestor’s missive captioned ‘Granger, PNCR and APNU took a principled position on Amaila’ (SN, Aug 19). On what scientific basis has she made this determination? The PNC and APNU may have adopted a principled position on the matter from the point of view of the leadership, but that position is not very popular among their supporters and Ms Nestor and both parties can test my hypothesis through their own opinion poll.
The AFC consulted grass root supporters on the issue after its MPs initially voted against the project. The views on the ground may have played a significant role in the AFC reversing its position on Amaila. The AFC’s supporters were not pleased with its initial position.
In general, people believe that Amaila will provide them with cheaper electricity than currently obtains. People all over the coast feel they should get subsidized cheap electricity as enjoyed by the residents of Linden and are convinced that Amaila is the answer to lower cost energy.
I support Ms Nestor’s recommendation that the Amaila project be thoroughly examined and a feasibility study be done to ascertain its value to the nation and whether in fact it is the best available alternative for the generation of non-fossil fuel.
But it would be foolhardy to conclude that the PNC supporters back their leadership’s “principled position” on Amalia unless some kind of similar study is also conducted among them for their views. Parties must not take decisions unless they consult with their supporters ‒ that is grass roots democracy. Enough of top down leadership! Let us move towards bottom up leadership!