Guyana is a land of several ‘truths.’ There is a APNU+AFC ‘truth’. There is a PPP/C ‘truth’. And there is also a Civil Society ‘truth’ that is markedly different from the APNU+AFC and the PPP/C ‘truths.’
Nothing brings out this multiplicity of ‘truths’ as in the case of the recent assessments by opinion leaders of our economic performance since the assumption to office of the current APNU+AFC administration three years ago.
For those in the ruling party, the good life promised by the APNU+AFC during the elections campaign may not be fully evident, but it is certainly on the horizon, something that is sure to happen ‘in the fullness of time’ according to President Granger.
For the political opposition, the government is deserving of nothing better than a ‘Fail” Grade, particularly with respect to the economy and on corruption. Civil society representatives, on the other hand, view the situation, not exactly in black and white terms but in a somewhat less nuanced and non-partisan manner, giving credit where it is due while at the same time critical of governmental excesses and shortcomings.
These are some of the challenges we face in politically and ethnically polarized societies such as ours. People, depending on where they stand on the political and ethnic divide, tend to view reality and arrive at conclusions on fundamental issues of governance through their own political and cultural lens which could be very much at odds with objective reality.
The challenge facing us as a nation is how to integrate these several ‘truths’ within the framework of a broader national ‘truth’ which can be embraced by all Guyanese regardless of political affiliation or ethnic origin.
This is perhaps wishful thinking and admittedly much easier said than done but not outside the realm of possibility especially with higher levels of political maturity and innovative political and constitutional engineering.
The longer we take to come up with a new governance construct that is people friendly and acceptable to the vast majority of people, the longer we are condemned to suffer the ravages of a polarized society.