Western intellectual tradition is said to consist of the sometimes uneasy coexistence of two essential elements: one from Jerusalem and the other from the philosophical tradition of Athens.
Last week’s column showed how similar our constitution is to that of the United States of America when it comes to the power relations between the institutions that we call “supreme organs of democratic power” (in my view this phrase is nothing but archaic socialist hyperbole).
In his presentation to the last biannual congress of the AFC, Chairperson Mr.
“…. APNU and the AFC should lead a movement aimed at making significant constitutional changes …..
“Questioned on if he would seek to advocate the punishment of those who committed alleged wrongdoings during the PPP elected period, an animated Granger… said ‘Of course!
A chief characteristic of globalization is time-space compression, one expression of which is a generalized CNN effect, namely the capacity of news media, nationally or internationally, to report in real time and pressure policy makers to make quick decisions in a particular direction.
Delivering his contribution to a PPP congress about a decade ago, Mr. Clinton Collymore, executive member of the PPP, was rewarded with much applause when he said that the PPP would be in office for a thousand years.
Not so long ago, the PPP envisaged mayhem if the PNC was out of the National Assembly, but it now feels sufficiently confident to chase them out of that chamber.
Born in questionable democratic circumstances in 1992 but with seemingly reckless abandon since the 2011 national and regional elections, the PPP/C regime has proceeded to dangerously reduce the scope of its legitimacy to a point where many more people now believe it to be an illegitimate government.
What is taking place in Fiji should alert Guyanese to pay greater attention to the natural structure of their political context.
“The real question is whether Fiji could handle a genuine democracy with a free press, or if the country needs an ultra-authoritarian strongman like Bainimarama to keep control.
The Guyana Police Force cannot seriously believe that by publishing piece-meal quarterly statistics it is proving anything.
Perhaps because he was a lawyer, when President Forbes Burnham was suspected of using all kinds of machinations, including peoples’ tax records, to gain their compliance, he loved to – improperly I believe – import the clean hands doctrine into politics: he who sought to criticize and challenge him or the state must come with clean hands.
It is good that more people, including letter writers and bloggers, are demanding that those who are calling for the formation of a national unity government give more details of what it is they intend.
It appears that circumstances have finally got the better of Mr David Granger and pushed him towards radical action.
“[P]ublic arguments over policy often reflect the instinctive worldviews of the antagonists rather than honest dialogue to find the best possible solutions” (“What really happened in Bangladesh”, Foreign Affairs, July/August, 2014) Nowhere is this clearer than in the present discourse about constitutional reform.
“You choose a member, indeed; but when you have chosen him, he is not member of Bristol, but he is a member of Parliament” (Edmund Burke – 1777 – Letter To The Sheriffs Of Bristol).
The general direction of my last two columns has been that as things stand, the most likely outcome of the coming general election – whenever it happens and if the major political parties go to the polls individually – is that the PPP/C will obtain sufficient votes to be returned to government, i.e.
Forbes Burnham did not become an autocrat after he ascended to the presidency of Guyana.
From all indications we will soon have national and regional elections, and all those who wish to see Guyana actually fulfilling its potential rather than its resources being drained away to far off places (the Bai Shan Lin affair) for the benefit of others, must now concentrate all their efforts on developing a strategy that would relieve the PPP/C of government at the next elections.
The PNCR congress has come and gone, but the major issues that faced the party, some of which arose at the congress itself, will have repercussions for years to come.
Last week, in response to the Alliance for Change (AFC) letter stating its intent to move a motion of no-confidence in his government under article 106 of the Constitution, President Donald Ramotar stated that he and his party were ready for any eventual elections, and then he did a very strange thing, which suggests the opposite.
No one vaguely familiar with liberal foreign policy analysis could fail to ponder the possibility of an expanding liberal zone of peace.
The aim of sound diplomacy … is the maintenance of amicable relations between sovereign states.
Arguably the most important issue raised in Mr. David Granger’s independence sojourn in New York was his statement of the kind of governance he would like to see developed in Guyana, and in my view, unless we want to unwittingly end up in an autocracy worse than any we have had so far, the Leader of the Opposition had better make his position much clearer and we had better pay attention to it.
Nothing exemplifies more clearly the difficulties of doing politics in Guyana and the need for clear strategic thinking than Mr.
The demand by some PPP supporters for the PNC to apologise for its misdeeds, or to at least admit that it made mistakes, demonstrates more of a triumph for PPP propaganda than for reality.
According to Prime Minister Hinds, Cheddi Jagan believed that national unity between the races and classes was so important to nation building that throughout his political life he attempted “new, bold and courageous alternatives to bring our people together” but died without his goal being realised.
Last week, I came upon the prime minister’s 2014 Cheddi Jagan Lecture “Dr Cheddi Jagan’s commitment to National Unity and National Development” (Office of the Prime Minister, April 2014) and immediately felt depressed.
Underlying the political culture of all countries is the view that morality is different in private life and politics.
“Advances for human rights and democracy depend first and foremost on the courage and the commitment of men and women working for reform in their own countries.
A few weeks ago, after reading the press release “GHRA [Guyana Human Rights Association] not convinced about purpose or process of Commission of Inquiry into death of Dr.
“The finance minister in a Third World country should have the ability to present his annual budget as a package that cannot be amended, only approved or denied as a whole ….
When the PPP decided to proceed along its current course of political dominance, it did not know that it would lead it to having to deny important aspects of its “glorious struggle” against PNC authoritarianism, for which so many of its supporters have suffered.
The records of the Ministry of Education will show that in 2003/4, when I was the minister, it began “discussions with the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Ministry of Labour, Human Services and Social Security (MLHSS) to discuss areas of possible collaboration, e.g.
The major political quarrels in Guyana are reflective of a fundamental structural distributive difficulty: our society, founded as it is in an entrenched racial division that frustrates regime change, does not and will not allow any single political party to be perceived as fairly distributing the results of our collective national endeavours.
In Guyana politicians on all sides proclaim their concern for the poor and commitment to ease their condition, but over the years, knowingly or unknowingly, many of their proposals have undermined their professed concern.
The PPP/C could not for one moment have thought that it would have been politically where it is today when it took the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) (Amendment) Bill to parliament on 7th May 2013.
The leaderships of the political parties in Guyana talk a good democratic game but do very little to enhance the democratic processes in their own parties; give local people more control over their own lives and over those who claim to represent them nationally.
On 27th February, the People’s Progressive Party, A Partnership for National Unity and the Alliance for Change without the permission of the Guyana Trades Union Congress divvied-up the latter’s property and processes.
The regime may feel that the sovereignty of the Guyanese people can only be violated by foreigners, but in this it is mistaken, and no one will take its cry of national sovereignty seriously if it is itself seen as a violator of the sovereignty of its own people.
Since Dr. Roger Luncheon invoked political sovereignty in response to the United States’ refusal to discontinue the leadership and democracy project, I began to pay a keener interest to this concept and my observations should be of interest, particularly as we celebrate our Republican status.
Although it was something of a challenge trying to decipher precisely what Justice Charles R Ramson (“A focus on the facts;” SN: 28/01/2014) was attempting to convey, lest it be considered bad form not to consider his contributions, which are never without substance, I have given it a shot in the hope that I have not totally missed what he was attempting to say.
“The court acting as guardian of the Constitution cannot be accused of seeking to fetter the work of the Assembly since it must be recognised that what fetters the Assembly is not the court but the Constitution itself or the law itself as interpreted by the courts.
The Leadership and Democracy (LEAD) project proposed by the United States government has sufficiently broad support among the Guyanese people for the Guyana Government to have second thoughts about it.
If the report in Stabroek News (`Jeffrey way off the mark on APNU ‘posturing’ – Granger:’ SN: 11/01/2014) is anything to go by, the situation in APNU regarding the way forward may be even worse than I thought.
There can be no doubt that public confidence in the opposition in general has plummeted since the 2011 national elections.
Unfortunately, we cannot cherry-pick the vicissitudes of fortune. Thus, when the PPP came to government in 1992, it inherited both Desmond Hoyte’s Economic Recovery Programme (ERP) and the industrial relations environment it had helped to create to obstruct the ERP’s establishment.
By 1988/89, President Desmond Hoyte was already committed to his Economic Recovery Programme (ERP) and was not to be given an easy ride.
The most important problem in the present relationship between the public servants and the government is not whether the former should be paid a 5%, 10% or 100% increase; it is about the government following established collective bargaining procedures; meeting the union at the negotiation table and if that fails proceeding to binding arbitration.