Maxwell should focus on the PNC’s failure to reform itself
In genuine democracies, the baton of power passes to another party every two or three election cycles. It is a natural law. In genuine democracies the same party does not win every time, even if the party is Indo-ethnic and Indians are in the majority.
While it is true that the majority of an ethnic group will tend to vote for its ethnic party, a band of that group comprising of the liberal/progressive and more educated and numbering 10 to 20 percent will always vote on issues. This band commonly referred to as ‘swing voters’ holds the ‘balance of power’ and will cause the baton of power to pass from one party to another every few election cycles.
This natural law does not hold true in Guyana. Political scientists and sociologists should study this phenomenon.
I posit the following: liberal and progressives comprising at least 10 percent do exist among the Indian group – and are disenchanted with the ruling Indian party which has won the last four elections. So we must ask: Why aren’t they voting for an alternative to the Indian party?
The answer is very simple, very logical and very credible. The alternative is a party which has an abominable 28-year-long record, which refuses to change its ethnic identity and apologize for its oppressive rule. This same group which holds the balance of power will not vote for the PNC, nor will it vote for the second alternative, the AFC. Voting for this latter alternative can be referred to as vote-splitting and is considered not a practical choice because it possibly could lead to the PNC returning to power.
The key to obtaining a change of government in Guyana is for the PNC to become extinct or to reform itself. Dr. Rupert Roopnarine and Malcolm Harripaul are campaigning vigorously for the PNC. Their efforts will amount to nought. You see the real problem is for the PNC to undergo serious reform. Railing against the corrupt PPP will not win a single vote.
Roopnarine’s and Harripaul’s campaign efforts in and of themselves do not represent a winning strategy. These two gentlemen should use their energies to reform the party. Create a new image and also apologize for the 28-year oppressive rule. These two gentlemen should ask themselves: Who is the target constituency and what is the best campaign strategy to win their support?
Also its campaign style needs to change. Adopt a retail-canvassing method rather than public square meetings. Roopnarine may deliver the best public stump speech – but does it win a single vote? Nobody gives a prize for the best stump speech.
Maxwell is a tremendous, energetic and gifted writer – and must be commended. But he has to focus on the PNC for its failure to understand how democracy works and how to obtain a change of government.
Democracy is all about designing a winning platform, winning strategies, winning-over votes, a campaign style that appeals to targeted constituencies. Roopnarine’s and Harripaul’s campaign style are of no use.