I read of men and groups manoeuvring for leading positions. I read more of those same involved Guyanese dividing and bonding, and negotiating and signalling first amongst themselves, and then to the nation in this elaborate election mating dance. I find all of this bizarre if not disconcerting, and so I call upon these political strivers to engage the electorate with things different, things vastly more meaningful, and closer to the heart.
Thus, I challenge these same vociferous, adrenaline-charged frontrunners and stalking horses to make the following public commitments:
To commit themselves and party to delivering substantive constitutional reform within two years of assuming office. To commit to the highest standards of personal and professional conduct on the part of both political and upper echelon public service people. To commit to transparency and accountability from all those individuals, including themselves. To commit to zero tolerance toward the appearance and actuality of corrupt activities. No exceptions. To commit to ending the obscenity of out-of-court settlements; to getting serious about drunk driving; and to dealing effectively with the declaration of hidden assets and illegal asset accumulation. To commit to meaningful, measurable inclusion. To commit to real police reform, starting from day one.
Editor, these commitments – personal, party, and public – represent a trajectory of definitive priorities and hard, implacable intentions, but they are only a beginning.
Cumulatively, it is what this society needs to hear, as opposed to who will be what, and which group gets what. The spoils (structure and hierarchy) can be worked out behind the scenes, and unveiled to the public as a finished product. But stop this insane, counterproductive jockeying. Tell the people about the sensitive, controversial, roiling areas that will be addressed and how, come hell or high water. Tell them in straight unequivocal language. Say the words, make the promises, and then get ready to honour them all, come what may.
I commit to these things in word and in spirit, through the doing and the living of them all. Now who is going to step forward and lay it all on the line for the sake of this country? Who? Which one? I wait.