May 17, 2018
I continue from yesterday’s column on the assessment of three years of APNU+AFC in office. My analysis is that the coalition has been a colossal disappointment with a huge unimpressive balance-sheet.
If I were to use philosophical reasoning, I would classify it as not having even an ounce of capacity to attempt transformation in Guyana now or after 2020. That character to transform the country and innovate as power-holders is not there. I don’t see it coming after 2020 but in life anything can happen.
If I were to speak emotionally, my classification would be failure. My emotional opinion is that APNU+AFC has not performed. Its record is one that any government after 2015 would have achieved simply because it is an ordinary record. The foregoing begs the question; how come the coalition won in 2015. Let’s go to Greece, the USA and stop at France.
The reason for the election victory of Tsipras, Trump and Macron is not similar but identical. Greece was devastated by conditions for debt relief. We here in Guyana, far away from Greece, cannot imagine the hardship that Greece went through from 2010. Because of devaluation, people’s savings in the bank were reduced to nothing. All the traditional parties were seen as failure so people decided to give Tsipras’s party a chance. It was simple as that.
Tsipras was seen as a saviour. He came to power and has performed the same way his predecessors did. He did not and cannot offer an alternative to the decapitating debt relief that he criticized his predecessors for. But he won the elections because his opponents were discredited. The identical situation benefitted Trump and Macron in France. Both Trump and Macron have not done better than their predecessors and in fact, are doing worse.
President Granger got elected five months before Tsipras so he, Granger was the first of the four leaders to benefit from the fate of their unpopular opponents. In Guyana, there was only one opposition to a 23-year-old ruling party in the 2015 elections.
Given the Augean stables of corruption, inhuman mistreatment of poor people, morbid racial bias, arrogant leadership and runaway crime during the Jagdeo/Ramotar, people wanted change. They didn’t vote for the nature of the leadership that opposed the PPP regime. They voted to give an opportunity to a man they felt, just as in Greece, the US and France, would bring changes. In Guyana, Greece, the US and France, it has not happened.
The above analysis, I hope explains the 2015 victory of the APNU+AFC. The electorate did not think of or debate the leadership qualities of those in the hierarchy of the PNC and AFC. That was never their concern. Their preoccupation was to give a new player a chance to bring improvement.
When the APNU+AFC got in then the absence of those leadership qualities began to unfold like a gargantuan banner workers hold in front of them during a May Day march.
So what happens now that the nation has seen three years of mediocre continuation from APNU+AFC? They will give those who were never in a power a chance and the cycle will continue. Come 2019 when the campaign begins, the talk will be, “give others an opportunity to rule.”
There will be no consideration as to whether these new leaders have any political character or embody even an ounce of philosophical value. Being fed up with the traditional big guns – the PPP and the PNC (AFC and the other groups in the APNU formation will be seen as PNC appendages), they will send the newcomers to parliament.
I thought that the name Ramon Gaskin is the best example of this sad situation, a situation that gave us Trump. Gaskin has formed a new political party he said is based on a working class agenda. When I read about, I thought of Trump’s declaration of cleaning the swamp. Trump didn’t clean the swamp, he made it muddier.
Gaskin has been the financial consultant for one of the richest men in Guyana – Brian Tiwarie. This columnist got countless complaints about labour practices of Tiwarie. I called Tiwarie myself on behalf of workers.
The Labour Department has lots of complaints about this gentleman’s approach to labour. But Gaskin has been his consultant for more than twenty five years. But don’t rule out Gaskin. His party will not win but he may win a seat in Parliament. Names like Chris Ram and Lincoln Lewis will campaign for him. A Third party is being formed. It will win seats. The voters will be fed up with the two big guns.