Our politicians should engage each other as social beings

Dear Editor,

Politics is described as the art of making deals. There is nothing inherently wrong with making deals, especially when such deals are done with the national interest in mind.

Making deals is not an uncommon practice in several countries, including the United States. President Donald Trump has only recently concluded a deal with key Democrats which has not gone down well with several members of his Republican Party, but at the very least he managed to get a compromise on the debt ceiling and government spending for an additional three months. Democrats, for their part, are hopeful that President Trump will soften his position on the revocation of the Dreamers Act which will allow for hundreds of thousands of undocumented people to be spared from being deported.

The culture of deal-making in Guyana has not been elevated to an art as in the United States, where members from both sides of the political divide participate in dinners and social gatherings and even poke fun at each other. We take our politics far too seriously, to the point where we fear being seen in each other’s company at social events in case we are seen as ‘soft’ or a ‘sell out.’

Our politics have become too hardened over the years, and it is perhaps time for our leaders to set a new tone in which leaders from opposing sides of the political camp engage each other, not as political rivals but as social beings. President Donald Trump has only recently extended an invitation to a few top Democrats including Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer for dinner.

Can anyone calculate statistically the probability of President David Granger extending an invitation to Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo to join him at a private dinner to discuss matters of mutual interest?

Yours faithfully,

Hydar Ally

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