In my estimation, neither the PPP nor the PNC deserves to be part of the Government of Guyana. They have both had more than two decades in power and each have a sordid track record of poor governance and rampant corruption.
In the time of the PNC, the country experienced poor economic conditions, a height of suffering, social unrest and human indignation. The history of the PNC reign over Guyana is very well known; further remnants need not be mentioned. To drudge up the specifics would mean to relive the horror of a time passed. In the time of the PPP, consequent to the death of the honourable Cheddi Jagan, the country experienced great economic gains but at the same time created a vacuum of power through wealth accumulation of government officials and their cronies. These actions directly contravened the socialist vision of the party founder, Cheddi Jagan.
During the time of the PPP, the country saw a rapid pace of rising inequalities, a staggering income disparity, causing economic and social inequality; creating a small and powerful upper class and a vast impoverished populace. During the time of the PPP, the country embarked on a path of becoming a narcotic state by allowing Guyana to be established as a transit port for cocaine to the Northern hemisphere; some experts even say that the Drug Trade has evolved into a well cultivated capitalist empire. If one were to rate the two governments individual level of failure, I’d say the PNC failed the people at a rate of -90% whilst the PPP failed the people at a rate of -60%.
One may want to argue that the elements of the old PNC no longer exist within the political party and that they should be given another chance, but this just isn’t so. Senior members of the party like the former Finance Minister, Carl Greenwich, a man who was at the helm of the PNC’s tyrannical rule over Guyana, former Police Commissioner, Winston Felix and Brigadier David Granger, current political leader of the PNC are all iconic elements of the former regime (note specific mention of the term regime and not political party). So how can the political party ever be trusted again? Despite the new premise the PNC has adapted under the umbrella concept of inclusion of several other small political parties called the APNU (A Partnership for National Unity) which I believe is a grave mistake on the part of the smaller parties, the rogue elements and corrupt fascist mentality still exists within the party especially at the most senior level.
People still vote according to race. The foregoing statement may seem a sweeping generalization but it happens to be fact. Guyana consists of a predominant Indian population followed by Africans. The Indians vote for the PPP and the Africans vote for the PNC. It is as simple as that. The Indians are very afraid of the persecution they would’ve suffered during the PNC reign and are therefore easily fear mongered into voting for the PPP. The Africans are so brainwashed and absorbed by division and racism that they vote for the party that reflects their ethnicity, the PNC. The key to this racist politics being so successful is the lack of an educated/poorly educated/less informed population and the passing down of racist and fear mongering ideologies from parents.
Well informed/educated persons whom have been liberated from racist inclinations either don’t vote or lend their support to the fairly new comer party causing a stir, the AFC (Alliance for Change). Like any other political party, they present themselves to the people as promisors, as swearers; they propose to do well for the country if they’re elected and do all they can to convince you of that. But what sets them apart from the status quo? Unlike the PPP and PNC, who have both had a chance at governance and made a blithering blunder of their time in office, and are heavily influenced by the converse sides of the great world powers, this political party comes in with a clean slate. Psychologists say that future behaviour is best predicted when based on past behaviour; if this is true then it can be expected of both the PPP and PNC to lead a government characterized by the exact machinations of their former rule. But when it comes to the AFC, we’re on unchartered territory.
The plight of the Guyanese people remains with the fact that the majority of our population is either uneducated or poorly educated. This perpetuates the racist voting system which will continue to prevail unless the country becomes better informed or better educated. Given the current trajectory, this won’t happen anytime soon. This is the reason the AFC has not yet built the momentum it requires to win the presidency. Voters desirous of change are discouraged by this. This in turn causes them to rethink how to cast their votes and the point where fear mongering steps in, resulting in people resorting to the old scheme of voting. It is one thing to tolerate rampant corruption but it is another to tolerate rampant corruption coupled with human indignation and mass suffering. The people are therefore left with just two choices again and opt for the better of the two. This is the prominent reason for the PPP’s continued reign as the government.
An educated person would be able to perform this introspection I am in this very article themselves and thus decide that neither of the parties of old deserve their vote. In fact, most educated persons are inclined to not vote at all. The only ones that do are those with a vested interest in a party. They might be friends, relatives, associates or potential associates of the regime they desire to win the presidency. Every time I hear of an educated person showing their support for either of the two major political parties of Guyana, I rest assured that they’ve got a vested interest in that party or are still enslaved by racist ideologies.
It can be said that the entire political system is susceptible to corruption; that regardless of whom ascends to power; the result will always be the same. But what would you rather do? Vote for two political parties that have proven themselves unworthy or give the opportunity to another, whose virtues are yet to be proven? Not placing 100% confidence in the AFC, but as the only viable alternative to the two party racist paradigm, the AFC deserves a chance to rule;at least until new leadership, from our youth, which we so desperately need, emerges.