Does anybody know whatever happened to the Civic group?
I’d like to respond to Peeping Tom’s column, “Is the PNCR willing to cede leadership of APNU?” (KN, July 8), and V.V. Puran’s letter, “Mr.Ramkarran should be given a free hand to seek patriots to lead a Government of National Unity.” (KN, July 8).
Peeping Tom is asking a question that can best be answered by the parties that comprise APNU, but from a logical perspective, we all know the answer will be no, and for the same reason the PPP will never cede leadership of its so-called arrangement with Civic. Didn’t the PPP say that any arrangement involving Civic would require the presidency go to the PPP? The PPP will never allow the Civic arm to field a person to lead the PPP or its government.
The writer pontificated on points that s/he thinks the PNC should do, since it is the largest party in the coalition if it wants to lead the next government or be part of any shared governance or unity government arrangement. It was a purely academic exercise that could have been applied to the PPP.
For example, the writer says, “If the PNCR hopes to have any chances of being part of a government, it would need to invest in building APNU into a more broad-based alliance of parties, with the PNCR reducing the amount of influence that it wields within the grouping.” So what exactly does the PPP, for its part, need to do to regain lost support/votes?
Second, ever since Cheddi Jagan picked Mr. Sam Hinds as his running mate on the Civic component of the PPP ticket, there has not been another candidate from Civic who replaced Mr. Hinds.
The PPP had four Presidents in the last twenty years, but the same Prime Minister. Is this man the only person fit and capable of doing this job from within civic society, or is he being used as a political token to enable the PPP to engage in its political theatrics? And of all the persons originally identified as members of the Civic component of the government, just how many are left today?
In fact, does anybody know whatever happened to the Civic group – GUARD – from which Mr. Hinds was drawn? This group – featuring Messrs. Hinds, Yesu Persaud, Clairmont Lye and (if I am not mistaken) Ron Robinson among others – was launched to help usher in change via free and fair elections, but now we are facing a fresh crisis – pervasive corruption, but the group refuses to be revived. Just what gives here?
Don’t get me wrong, Mr. Editor, there is a lot that is wrong with the PNCR that needs to be fixed, and until it is fixed it will continue to adversely impact the image and effectiveness of APNU in rising above ethnic support and votes. I won’t pontificate at this time on whether Mr. David Granger or Mr. Carl Greenidge will be ideal replacements for Mr. Robert Corbin to fix the PNCR and positively influence APNU, but how much worse can either man do than Mr. Corbin in redeeming and reviving the PNCR?
Finally, on Mr. Puran’s personality-based political letter seeking to promote Mr. Ramkarran as a candidate around whom a National Unity Government can be built, let me just say this smacks of desperation and is capable of being destructive.
We cannot separate a politician’s personality from his or her politics, but we also cannot run the risk of promoting a politician for a Herculean job of leading a unity government if that politician has not even proven that he has a definite set of followers. He has to provide leadership outside his columns.
Also, we have to be wary of personality politics. Look at what happened to the PNC under Forbes Burnham and the PPP under Cheddi and Janet Jagan. Parties have to be built around ideas or principles, not political personalities. It is dangerous and destructive.
And while I am on the national unity government concept, just how exactly will it work? We have so many unity or shared governance advocates, yet they all seem more enamored of the ideal than they are of helping define how the concept will work.
Of course it is a system of governance, which means it has to have an operating framework, guiding principles to gauge performance in relation to goals/objectives, and referees in event there is an impasse among the key players. We can’t leave this Herculean task to any one man, and that’s why there has to be a system that is greater than any one player in a unity or shared governance system.
Until then, let Mr. Ramkarran emerge from the shadows and demonstrate he is an advocate and agent of change and let us see where that will lead him and others who latch on to his message, methods and mission!