Ending ethnic political conflict

I have repeatedly argued that the attempts to establish ethnic dominance of various sorts by different means are unnecessary and cannot solve the ethnic security problem that exists in Guyana and I have often been asked to outline what form of government best suits our condition. Some of this has already been outlined in Future Notes 15/6/ to 20/7/2011; 16/11/2011; 25/1/2012; 22/2/2012; 4/4/2012 and 7/8/2012, but my views have evolved somewhat, so I will try my hand again. However, the conceptual justifications contained in the above articles still, for the most part, form the foundation of the suggestions I now present.

I wish everyone a prosperous New Year, and since our incapacity to properly grapple with issues of governance has for decades left us in our relatively poor condition, as the new year beckons  I invite you to begin pondering and where necessary acting upon such efforts as seek to establish a more progressive form of governance. I believe that while many of our arguments for or against one side or the other usually express concerns about how we are governed, the fulcrum of our political disputes is as much about who governs. So I will as briefly as possible begin this effort by presenting the basic building blocks of what I consider a more appropriate political executive. I have adopted a barebones approach, i.e., putting forward the basic structure with only basic explanations. Later, as I consider other levels of governance, e.g., the legislature and its relation to the executive, etc., and deal with some of the criticisms that are sure to follow this presentation, more relevant and detailed arguments will emerge.

History and culture can be quite tyrannical, placing upon us numerous uncalled for limitations. So we should proceed in the belief that in constitution-making, much more is possible than we think. What is important is for us to adopt existing ideas and practices and where necessary devise new approaches that are in sync with our needs and will enable us to live in security, cooperation and prosperity. I am positing that our central problem is ethnic insecurity, which results in the leadership of our major ethnic groups being able to convince us, and possibly themselves, that ethnic dominance by way of numerical superiority or electoral manipulation is the answer. I reject these positions and am here attempting to devise a system that will substantially reduce ethnic political conflict…..

Comments  

Democratising political parties

‘Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past.

Actually separating political power

‘Government should be set up so that no man need be afraid of another.’ Charles-Louis Baron de Montesquieu I can say without fear of contradiction that the vast majority of us would accept the above as a useful general rule.

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Disrupting local politics

The ancient Greeks, considered the progenitors of modern democracy, referred to the rule of one person as ‘tyranny’ and particularly in countries with weak institutions, modern presidentialism and prime ministership quickly morph into one-man autocracies in which the single leader, to whom access is limited, surrounds himself with a retinue of fawning, usually self-seeking, followers (Foley, Michael (2000) The British Presidency,  Manchester University Press, and Poguntke, Thomas and Paul Webb (2005) The Presidentialization of Politics,  Oxford University Press).

Still gat to vote fu these jokers

Two Saturdays ago, in keeping with a rural African tradition, my cousin found a local pig and cattle rearer from whom we went to purchase pork for the holidays.

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Sad but not at all surprising

One must have to be a dolt to believe that the treatment at present being meted out to the sugar workers is because the country cannot afford to keep them at work.

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