The recent rise of pessimism
It must have been heartbreaking for the average Guyanese citizen to see what is taking place in the land of optimism, an optimism born out of the results of the November 28 national elections.
The 10th Parliament is about to go into recess. When it comes back into session, it will be close to a year since the opposition parties won more votes than the PPP in those elections.
There can be no doubt that as we head into the recess, Guyanese will reflect on what the 10th Parliament brought in terms of democracy and the lessening of the excesses of the PPP regime.
A paradox so large is staring at Guyana that it may be bigger than a million elephants put together. People are saying that the PPP is afraid to hold a snap poll because it may lose further ground. With the Ramkarran larva spreading over Freedom House, some feel that is the end to any thought of another contest.
There isn’t any higher ground in the opposition parties. Who says the AFC and APNU may increase their standing in the eyes of the electorate? Voters are a very cruel species. When you lift their expectations to the skies and you then disappoint them in painful ways, they become insanely uncompromising. This is the reason for the electoral birth of extreme right-wing parties in Europe. Once European mainstream parties fail to deliver, people turn to the extremists.
The possibility is a strong one that in a snap poll the dents to the combined opposition may be so devastating that the PPP could achieve a majority parliament. It has to do with the unforgiving nature of voters who expected promises to become reality but they were not delivered.
As we go into the holiday season for parliamentarians, the opposition has not lived up to expectations. It is this columnist’s view that more votes for the opposition may turn out to be mythical if another general election is called this or next year.
The Opposition campaign will be hard pressed to get voters to believe in them again. The major casualty will be APNU. Nothing is going APNU’s way. The Linden electricity controversy has damaged APNU badly.
Lindeners will either stay home or vote AFC if there is an election today or next year. Mr. Granger did not become what PNC supporters wanted him to be.
With Corbin out of the way, and the PNC hibernating to a new formation named APNU, PNC constituencies, though not knowing much of Granger, were looking for a dynamic leader with characteristics of an alternating radicalism and buoyancy.
The integrity and decency of Mr. Granger can never be debated, but it is doubtful he can acquire the Hoyte confrontationist style or that he wants to. It is the only available option open to APNU in a country that has a dictatorship. But it is doubtful that Mr. Granger will ever become for PNC supporters the man to rally the troops.
Again, APNU voters throughout Guyana will either stay home or vote AFC if a poll is planned for the near future.
The AFC itself may take some vicious blows to the body if Guyanese vote again. This is simply because there are dashed hopes out there. Voters may punish the AFC because they will say whether it is AFC or APNU, they are opposition politicians and they didn’t perform.
As we move closer to a year since the historic election, both the AFC and APNU have failed to build on the optimism that was born on the GECOM table after the votes were counted.
Take away the budget cuts and there is nothing to be elated about. One national stakeholder, the University staff went out last week to Parliament to direct their picket against the opposition. Their explanation is that seven months after the elections, nothing has been done for them by the opposition since the industrial dispute in January.
Dr. Roopnaraine promised them to table a motion on UG, but with August around the corner that will not happen.
On the other hand, with August fast approaching it was the PPP that got a few goodies from the 10th Parliament.
A few Bills from the Government benches were passed and the Finance Minister’s wife and eleven other staff at the audit office got their confirmation from the Public Accounts Committee because an AFC MP was absent, and according to Moses Nagamootoo, Mr. Carl Greenidge erroneously accepted the PPP’s advice that he, Greeenidge couldn’t vote.
In the meantime, Jagdeo-type governance continues. The PPP may get a majority in another election.