Trotman calls for National Debate on coalition approach to 2011 elections
While pointing out that the issues of shared governance and coalition governance are distinct and separate, leader of the Alliance for Change, Raphael Trotman, said that there is need for a public debate on an alliance to contest the 2011 elections.
Shared governance has to do more with the mechanism for governance while the other addresses an electoral arrangement for gaining government and if so between which opposition parties and personalities.
Trotman said that everyone is undoubtedly excited about the prospects for Guyana following the People’s Partnership victory in Trinidad and Tobago and the “Mega Alliance” in Suriname.
“I have no doubt that the power of two in an alliance is exponentially greater than one.”
Trotman said that his party will have to examine the pros and cons before saying that the same situation can or cannot be replicated here.
“For one, the ‘first past the post’ constituency system is inherently better geared for coalition government as against the party list system applied under a system of proportional representation.”
He pointed to the fact that history, both recent and long past, has shown that coalition governments are themselves prone to instability.
“Yet indeed the multiplying effect of many hands at work is obvious and cannot be wished away. I recall one of the more striking lines from the movie The Ten Commandments which says: The city is made of bricks….The strong make many, the starving make few, the dead make none”. The AFC leader said that there is no doubt that the government is on a targeted campaign to compromise, harass, and de-rail the opposition leaders one by one using every device at their disposal, including getting opposition leaders to attack others.
“We can decide whether we want to build a city of bricks together or find ourselves alone and separate and at the same time becoming weakened by the relentless onslaught we face from the government, and eventually dead.”
Trotman pointed to recent writings by Dr. Cheddi Jagan which suggest that any “alliance of opposition forces should exclude AFC, GAP and ROAR because we behaved dishonourably somehow.”
Trotman said that the people are ultimately the best judge of that. “We will not respond since to do so would be to play straight into the hands of the PPP/C.”
The AFC leader did stress that the AFC is in effect an alliance and is always looking for ways to expand its base and to be of greater effect and influence but not at the same time sacrificing its principles just, “so we can be in a political bed with everyone else…More is not always best.”
The AFC leader said that he is very interested in a national debate on the matter and to have the citizens voice their opinions on whether there should be an alliance and if so between which opposition parties and personalities.
“Personally, I strongly favour the presence of a strong civic society component being included in any mega alliance that is being considered…The AFC is not against alliances in principle but we are against an alliance for convenience sake if it is not carefully and strategically thought through.”