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. Yet, for most of seven decades, we have consistently indulged in the opposite, largely because of an overreliance on tradition to guide our enterprises.  True, we need to change the current semi-presidential system, which has placed the heads of ethnic political parties in control of both law-making and the executive for long periods, giving to the incumbents massive leverage over those who adjudicate. But I am usually astonished when some of the fiercest critics of this caustic relationship support reversion to our pre-independence Westminster-type system – which birthed this incestuous relationship – for salvation. None other than Lord Hailsham, a former Lord Chancellor of the United Kingdom, declared the British system of government, the mother of all Westminster-type parliamentary systems, an ‘electoral dictatorship’. Indeed, I venture to say that had it not been for the conventions, acquired gradually after much bloodshed over centuries, which underpin its architecture, the present arrangement would not work even in the United Kingdom.

However, I referred to Montesquieu not mainly to question our previous efforts but because, mistaken as he was at the ….


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.

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).

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.

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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