It is distressing to watch Parliament

Dear Editor,

Parliament is the most distressing thing to look at, with the potential to give you immediate ulcers if you listen for too long. This is behaviour that keeps the population on edge as the politicians rally their respective parties as they would in a gang rivalry.

Walking out of parliament, impersonating ‘Alison in Paris’, dog whistling and attacks to settle personal scores, are all indicators that parliament is a place for cuss-outs devoid of anything  constructive.  It is a sad reality that has been this way since our independence; we have come to accept it as tradition, as we have with many things, such as racism.

Walter Rodney had made the point that after independence, our government system had transformed into a mechanism to keep the wealth within a small group of petty rich people who grandstand with the promise that they are helping the poor.  This idea is not limited to race; rich Indians and Africans have found ways to maintain this status quo while fighting each other in public.

The fish market mentality from our MPs has confirmed in many ways the perception that first world countries have about us: that we are unable to manage our affairs in a professional manner and are unable to be progressive. This of course is what creates the environment for foreign entities to manipulate us, thus the resource curse.

We can safely say that the major racial groups have doubled down in their respective corners, waiting to go at each other’s throats as soon as election time comes, while the politicians sharpen their vocabularies to dog whistle at their best.

Guyana needs a clearing of politicians who are unable to let go of the bitterness of the past and look for an optimistic future. They are completely oblivious to the idea that they can actually form a better future, but instead they choose to feed their egos and insecurity by securing themselves with taxpayers’ money.

The sittings of Parliament, like the recent budget debate, give a small window into the mindset of these elected officials. And that view is terrible in every way, for there is no sign of progressive thinkers. Some are there to cuss out, some to make themselves look smart, others are covering up corruption and some are just plain foolish to not even realize how to behave in Parliament.

In the end, it all comes down to the people to completely dismiss these kinds of behaviour and demand through the ballot that we deserve better. It is time we stop accepting lip service as value.

Yours faithfully,

Malcolm Watkins

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