Granger runs a classical elitist government

Dear Editor,

The citizens of Guyana have had over two years to analyze and critically assess the performance of the Granger-led administration. At every stratum of this society, there are ongoing cries and complaints from committed Guyanese, who believe that their aspirations and goals have been shattered. This evidence suggests that the People’s National Congress Reform dominated coalition government has failed on its promise of a good life. It is now very clear to the citizens throughout the length and breadth this nation, that we are dealing with an unfit administration which is unapologetic about its overwhelming use of improper practices. President Granger has made it clear to the citizens of Guyana, in both explicit and implicit terms, that he is running an elitist government, where he employs an autocratic leadership style.

The President’s leadership directs the people of Guyana to the root cause of the nation’s rapid economic decline and social decay post May 2015. Citizens have now witnessed the underwhelming performance of this administration through 2 budgetary cycles, and are convinced that economic growth and development are of little significance to this administration, as it seeks only to consolidate power.

With its actions, the People’s Progressive Party Civic seems to show daily that it is listening keenly to the voices of the people of Guyana and is sympathetic toward the citizens, since the hardship and despair being faced is not a result of their lack of drive, but rather a lack of opportunities.  It is now vital that each citizen hold onto the democratic values and culture to which we have now become accustomed. This will allow us as a collective, to help mitigate the undemocratic governance being espoused by the administration by strengthening participation in the political and decision-making processes. The good life in a green economy is a façade; it is nothing more than a loose tagline in form. There is no substance to the administration’s sales pitch, as is evident from their elitist view of governance.

From a theoretical perspective, elitism does not augur well for the advancement of this nation and the citizenry. President Granger’s leadership style suggests that he is a classical elitist, as articulated by leading philosophers such as Vilredo Pareto, Gaetano Mosca, and Robert Michels. Classical elites view democracy as no more than a foolish delusion, since they believe that political power is always exercised by a privileged minority. Mosca proclaimed that in every society there are two classes, a class that rules, and a class that is ruled. He further argued that “the resources and attributes that are necessary for rule are always unequally distributed, and, further, a cohesive minority will always be able to manipulate and control the masses, even in a parliamentary democracy”.  This administration’s elitist view, conflicts with the view we have as nation where we believe in equality for all the peoples. In reality, the elitist view has no place in Guyana’s future development. This coalition government ideally should have continued efforts in promoting democratic principles and values in a free and inclusive society.

It is clear now that President Granger through his actions is not committed to delivering on the good life promise, nor on promoting democratic principles in Guyana. The President’s elitist view does not permit a servant (elected representatives)-master (the citizenry) relationship, diversity of thought, equality, or national integration. Pointedly, the government continues to pursue national policies which are irrational, resulting in further job cuts within every industry and sector. This has further exacerbated the erosion of the socio-economic wellbeing of the people of Guyana.  We will continue to lose comparative advantage in our traditional and attractive sectors, while growth will be stymied in our emerging sectors. Productivity will wane further, due to the decline in competiveness of our industries and sectors. Moreover, Guyanese firms will find it increasingly hard to compete in regional and international markets. Altogether, our livelihoods will continue to worsen, with no prospects of a good life.

Civic minded Guyanese must continue to let their voices be heard, and remain informed. Our democratic rights are granted to us by our Constitution, and it remains our tool to hire and fire any government. The administration must be held accountable for the collapse of our economy. A ‘Good Life Commission’ would reveal, that a good life was a promise made by the President to himself and the privileged minority.

Yours faithfully,

Thomas Willams

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