It was Edmund Burke who wrote that the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. Implicit in this statement is that every so often nations end up with leaders who are at best mediocre and at worst lacking in vision.
And, as the saying goes, where a nation lacks vision, a nation perishes.
What is critically needed at this juncture in our political life is visionary and transformational leadership.
Our politics has become over the years too hardened mainly along ethno-political lines to a point where policy-making and articulation are influenced not by the greater good of the society as a whole but by what is perceived to generate maximum political capital by the ruling elite.
We have to be honest with ourselves and admit that we have a broken political system that has failed to realize our full development potential.
We are rich in resources, both human and material, but we remain on the margins of global and regional development. We are still regarded as one of the poorest countries in the Western hemisphere despite the fact that we attained political independence over half a century ago.
October 9 will mark sixty-four years since our constitution was suspended by the British government and the popularly elected PPP government under the leadership of the charismatic Dr Cheddi Jagan was ejected from office after a mere six months.
An interim government was installed by the British but for all practical purposes nothing significant happened from a developmental perspective.
The country marked time for the entire four years of the interim government until new elections were held which saw the PPP returned to power, but in a new political dispensation marred by political divisiveness and a hostile environment.
After the suspension of the constitution and the split of the PPP in 1955, the country continued to limp along until this day with deep scars remaining in the body politic.
It is time for a new beginning in our politics. We owe it to this generation to find innovative ways to address this debilitating schism in our body politic.
It is time for good people to become involved. Sitting on the fence is not the solution.
In the words of our late and celebrated poet, “all are involved, all are consumed.”