President Granger demonstrates an immaturity in several of his decisions that appears designed to impose his “one-man-will” on a “750,000-person” nation. The last time I checked, President Granger at his political peak secured 4,506 votes more than the PPP/C’s candidate. So why is he operating like he won 78% of the votes similar to the numbers the PNC declared for itself in 1985. Can you imagine in 1985 the PNC gifted the PPP with 45,926 votes? But the important point remains that Granger is not getting more popular, but actually, is losing political support by the minute. So his political strategy is a sub-optimal one unless his plan is a return to 1985.
As for starters, that 10% in the rational middle have now totally abandoned the AFC (let us ignore the WPA because, since 1992, they have always been a fringe party). In 2015 Granger benefited from most of that 10%, plus about 5% of the PPP supporters, who crossed the floor.
In an economy that is crumbling today, his entire organization has been pushed behind the 8-ball. Therefore he cannot automatically count on the commitment of 207,200 voters that voted for him in 2015. Actually, any astute political mind will tell you that it is now a foregone conclusion that if Granger stands for office in 2020, he will not get more than 200,000 votes. Two reasons – that 5% from the PPP is now well entrenched back in the PPP fold thanks to the superb grassroots political work of President Jagdeo. Secondly, although that 10% called the rational middle might not automatically vote for the PPP, they have totally abandoned the AFC and have little interest in the ideas coming from the PNC (Coalition, call it what you want, it is the PNC). Actually today the PNC is right back where it was in 2006 at its natural strength of 35% of the population.
So listening to Granger’s comments while he was in Atlanta is a stark reminder that the PNC is out of political options, save and except for compromised elections.
It is important that all Guyanese reject this 1970/1980’s line of thinking from Mr. Granger. Guyana was fortunate in the past to have a President Hoyte who was wise enough to put an end to all the selfish political opportunism practices by a few that were nothing else but antiquated and antedated.
I am not here giving the PPP a free pass. We all know the PPP did much wrong in their style of governance, but there is a fundamental difference I am seeing between Mr. Granger’s term and the PPP’s term – the PNC appears willing to tamper with the electoral process, they are grossly incompetent at growing the economy and they are unprepared to seek help, and most worrisome is that the PNC seems very willing to engage in ethnic discrimination.
For a country like Guyana to grow economically, it needs ethnic calm. Unfortunately, the Ministry of the Presidency appears to be one of the lead perpetrators of this instability. As a retired politician, I find myself asking how have we arrived at this point and what can we do to stop it.
First off we must all call for a time-out and it must be led by Mr. Granger. He must rule the country like a leader, not a tribalist. He must trust all the Guyanese people and engage and collaborate more. If he does good, the people will embrace him but so far the people are judging him by his actions and he comes across as aloft and misguided.
Yes, he may lose at free and fair elections, but he must be the bigger man and recognise what is at stake here – Guyana, not the PNC or PPP. For 50 years this nation has suffered economically and politically so much so that we have more Guyanese outside of Guyana rather than inside, so why would you want to rule the country in such a manner to continue to push our brightest and best out of the country every day?