Apart from some rudimentary commitments to rule better, from a political standpoint the PPP manifesto, Guyana Version 2.0, only promises more of the same and perhaps worse.
After former president Bharrat Jagdeo launched his extremist ethnic salvoes at Babu John, I had occasion to predict in this column that worse was yet to come.
Important elements of the wider strategy that finally brought down the PPP were: internal subversion to discredit the regime; various forms of economic pressure which, contrary to PPP propaganda, at best led to economic stagnation; more electoral manipulation, this time in the form of the imposition of proportional representation which favoured the opposition forces and the resuscitation of the long concluded Guyana/Venezuela border dispute as a backstop in the event that the PPP was still able to prevail.
I am not one of those who believe that for us to make progress as a nation our politicians could or should forget the past.
If the APNU/AFC coalition can seek succour in the failed Jagan/Burnham attempt to form a national movement, it would well be reminded that it also has much in common with the 1950s alliance between Forbes Burnham and Dr.
The APNU/AFC coalition seeks to draw some inspiration from the earlier attempt by Cheddi and Janet Jagan to establish a nationalist/socialist-orientated political organisation in the mid/late 1940s.
Even those of us who are not particularly religious have been socialised into putting great store upon the notion of individual responsibility, based essentially upon a belief in “good” and “evil”.
To increase the certainty of defeating the PPP/C, one has to shift the paradigm of elections and electioneering in Guyana.
It appears to me that the political parties that were involved in the APNU/AFC coalition formation proceeded as if the PPP is so broken and discarded that its responses would not matter or would be worth very little.
I have suggested before that for me, although getting rid of the PPP from government is a necessity at this stage, in our condition it is not a sufficient cause.
Last week I argued that to be successful, the opposition coalition must be bolstered by a creative strategy in which the first order of business must be the establishment of a comprehensive and properly focused programmatic platform.
Readers of this column will know that it has continuously advocated coalition between the opposition forces as a possible and necessary condition for the removal of the PPP from government, and the institutionalisation of a more adequate national governance arrangement.
After the opposition won the majority of seats in the National Assembly in the 2011 general elections, I was left bemused by the notion that had it taken the advice of those of my ilk and formed a pre-election arrangement with a single list, the PPP/C would have lost government.
Double jeopardy? Most of us adhere to some basic moral principles that we take for granted and which, if we are observed violating, can result in all manner of moral, legal, conceptual and practical difficulties and confusion.
When a seasoned and combative politician such as Minister Clement Rohee, who is always on the lookout for public kudos, took off at the speed he did in denying any involvement of himself and his ministry in the promotion of two of their employees, it is a sure sign that he suspects that all may not be well with the promotions and that he sees no advantage in being associated with the process.
“Governments, political parties and civil society are responsible for upholding and promoting democratic culture and practices and are accountable to the public in this regard.
An article “Sri Lanka one of the most corrupt nations in the world:” (http://www.lankastandard.
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 ….