The time is now for some form of power shar­ing or na­tional front gov’t

Stabroek News Sunday - - LETTERS -

Dear Ed­i­tor,

One week af­ter that con­tro­ver­sial no-con­fi­dence mo­tion and vote, Guyana has as­sumed the solem­nity, hu­mil­ity, and sanc­tity of a coun­try­wide con­fes­sional. It might not be an ex­ag­ger­a­tion to state that al­most all Guyana is stricken with the alien be­hav­iours of self-ex­am­i­na­tion and soul-search­ing. From gov­ern­ment to com­men­ta­tors to in­sid­ers and out­siders and ad­ver­saries, it is the same hand-wring­ing, hair-pulling, and breast-beat­ing. The lo­cal mother tongue of the mo­ment has a Lati­nate ring and flavour: mea culpa.

My first thought is: per­haps we may get some­where. The sec­ond is: sez who? Count me among the com­pletely cyn­i­cal, the thor­oughly dis­be­liev­ing that this so­ci­ety pos­sesses the cal­i­bre of char­ac­ter, the iron will and purpose to ven­ture into the un­known through the per­son­ally and col­lec­tively self-sac­ri­fic­ing (so many times un­re­ward­ing). To the po­lit­i­cal new­com­ers, I say sorry; but this is the com­pre­hen­sive na­ture of the dis­quiet that im­bues. Crosshairs it may be; but this coun­try still is not at a par­tic­u­larly de­mand­ing fate­ful cross­roads. This is es­pe­cially rel­e­vant to all those lovelies-sud­denly loud, sud­denly brave, sud­denly pub­lic, and with many gov­ern­ment vot­ers num­bered among them-who de­nounce gov­ern­ment’s litany of fail­ures. In­deed, there were many of such: didn’t lis­ten, didn’t care, didn’t do home­work, they are right. Hav­ing said this, how many of these gov­ern­ment sup­port­ers and crit­ics will be go­ing any­where else on the bal­lot pa­per when­ever that time comes? Af­ter an ab­bre­vi­ated four years, I con­sider such un­rea­son­able; af­ter sixty years of me­chan­i­cal, racial, emo­tional vot­ing, who is go­ing to take a chance? Even with the ar­riv­ing as­pi­rants, and dis­ap­point­ment and all?

And af­ter nearly twenty years of pure un­mit­i­gated dis­as­ters at the hands of the prior gov­ern­ment, who is ready to jump ship? Which one out there (on that side) is about to aban­don that smelly leaky ves­sel plagued by two decades of the pro­gres­sively con­science­less? Which op­po­si­tion devo­tee is ready to turn away from that long dark night? I sub­mit that Guyanese vot­ing seg­ments and the Guyanese vot­ing na­tion lack the req­ui­site moral, eth­i­cal, and cere­bral fea­tures to weigh and de­cide to drive this so­ci­ety to a fresh new place and hori­zon. Re­gret­tably, but re­al­is­ti­cally, I do not

fore­see any change in the po­lit­i­cal land­scape; the re­sult would be the new peo­ple not at­tract­ing many to their ban­ner. Al­ready, the wood­work crack­les with naysay­ers and his­to­ri­ans re­mind­ing of the past. It is not what they of­fer; but what they were. Some­how, lo­cal voter mem­ory is shame­lessly se­lec­tive in this re­gard.

In view of the nu­mer­i­cally del­i­cately poised sit­u­a­tion, and per­ceived voter in­tran­si­gence, through in­sub­stan­tial de­par­tures to­ward the new, where does this leave matters? I as­sert that it is the old sad song and story. The more things change around here, the more they re­main im­mov­able and un­touched. De­plorable, too. I chalk this up to the na­ture-cul­ti­vated, set­tled, and rad­i­cal­ized-of the homegrown do­mes­tic mon­ster. Ergo, the same in­evitable re­sults that have bru­tal­ized. To be sure, one group may lose some votes, but not enough to make a dif­fer­ence. Vic­tory by de­fault, I term it. And the sis­ter group, even if it ekes out a hand­ful more than be­fore, will dis­cover that it needs more to clear the top. Thus, I res­ur­rect a for­mula from the early days of this cen­tury (and my writ­ings); I be­lieve that the time is now for some form of power shar­ing or na­tional front gov­ern­ing ap­pa­ra­tus. Ev­ery­body ought to be happy tem­po­rar­ily. In a sop to the elec­torate, and on the face of things, no seg­ment is cheated or marginal­ized. I can see the for­eign­ers re­joic­ing cau­tiously.

The two dom­i­nant shad­ows (spec­tres, re­ally) are able to fall in love pub­licly. Make clan­des­tine matters of­fi­cial. Ev­ery­one wins; even when the re­al­ity is an elec­toral draw. Now there is a catch to all of this: an­other un­palat­able sur­prise ly­ing in store in 2019 (or when­ever) for the ex­pec­tant: they know not what they ask for. They ain’t seen noth­ing yet. The history lived has been of the great de­cep­tion (23 years), and the great dis­ori­en­ta­tion (not quite 4 years). Go­ing for­ward, Guyanese now an­tic­i­pate this mirac­u­lous great trans­for­ma­tion. It is an es­capist world in which cit­i­zens thrive over here; a politi­cian’s dream come true. In all of this, I am re­minded of Phaeton’s char­iot: cit­i­zens are onboard; they think they con­trol the reins. Alas, they lack in­put and in­flu­ence as to ei­ther di­rec­tion or des­ti­na­tion, as well as se­cu­rity, too. It is the ul­ti­mate politi­cian’s dream come true, one lived and relived cy­cle af­ter cy­cle. Yours faith­fully, GHK lall

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