I have started this blog to add a new voice to the Guyanese national discourse. It is the intent of these blogs to challenge national and regional norms.
These are my views on how we should vote. Unfortunately, as a nation we have been socialized to vote based on a very narrow set of parameters. The most important one being our race. While our racial identity is important in being able to ground us individually, we need to be aware that in many ways our race does not usually determine how we share in the national pie. Generally, it is only a select few who get the greatest benefits of the national good. If we were to closely examine who benefits, it is really the ones who position themselves to ingratiate them to the political powers of the day who garner the most benefits. It has no connection to our race. There is no meaningful benefit for the average citizen.
The issue is more class related than race or political affiliation. We at the lower levels of the society are left to fight each other for the crumbs which fall from the table of the well connected. They then tell us that it is the other race that is causing us to get the stale crumbs while they share the lion’s feast amongst themselves regardless of race or politics. Have you ever seen a politician/high level supporter become poor when his/her party is out of power?
Our politicians across the entire national divide will try to tell us otherwise but generally this is just one of the many half-truths (or outright lies) they expect us to accept. As a people we need to challenge the information from our political leaders. For too long, we have looked at the messenger and not the message. We need to realize that many of our leaders are more interested in getting and maintaining power and the benefits derived therefrom and not improving the lot of the ordinary citizen. As such, even though we may support a particular political party/politician we should not blindly support a group/individual just because we think they will protect our individual interest.
Unfortunately, our history has shown that most politicians are more interested in self survival, not national survival/development. The last two election cycles provide very real examples of this self-interest of politicians. So how should we cast our vote? I have no great faith in our national political leadership. I believe that we should vote for the party that is most likely to respond to public pressure. We are now in a good position to review how the two major parties would have reacted to public pressure since we have now seen both in power over the last ten years. I believe that the party that is most responsive to social pressure should be supported. After that party is sworn in, we then need to bring sustained pressure, so they do what is beneficial to the general public. So, I say vote for the party we can mold by sustained pressure.