The position taken by the Granger administration on the issue of a centenary stamp for the late Dr Cheddi Jagan leaves much to be desired, but at a more fundamental level it speaks to a much bigger issue, namely, that of national consensus and social cohesion.
It is clear that the administration is unwilling to pursue politics of accommodation and national reconciliation despite the fact that these were major planks in its manifesto promises. Instead there are indications of a return to authoritarian rule and party paramountcy which had characterized much of the 1968-1992 period when the PNC was in government.
That the APNU+AFC is now retreating from its stated commitment to national reconciliation could also be seen from its failure to advance the process of constitutional reform along the lines of inclusive governance and power-sharing. It was Dr Jagan who way back in the early 1960s advocated a governance formula of ‘winner does not take all’ and was even prepared in the interest of national unity and political stability to share half of the Cabinet with the PNC. All of that is now water under the bridge, but the political value of such an approach in the context of our plurality continues to have relevance.
The sociology and political economy of the country is likely to experience fundamental political and sociological transformation, especially in view of our emerging oil and gas economy. It is therefore imperative that we put in place a new constitutional algorithm that will allow for a fair and equitable distribution of our national patrimony.