The political world of Donald Ramotar
The more Donald Ramotar stumbles, the further we move from a solution to our enduring crisis. With each passing day as Mr. Ramotar self-effaces, the opposition will sit back and slow down their activities. APNU and the AFC (and there may be more opposition entities coming up) will say that they will wait until the next election because with Ramotar’s attitudes to politics and government, there is no way the PPP can win another poll.
The PPP has never practiced internal democracy, so Ramotar is quite likely to be its 2016 presidential candidate if he wants it. My opinion is that the PPP will lose. With his kind of approach to governance, Ramotar will get a severe mauling on the campaign. There is still talk out there that Nagamootoo or Ramkarran or even one of the younger PPP breed would have done better in the national elections, because Ramotar didn’t come across looking good. In other words, Ramotar caused the PPP to lose Parliament.
Given the nature of the PPP, Ramotar, if he chooses to run, will get the nod, but that will not prevent others from arguing inside the PPP that they stand a better chance than Ramotar. Humans are complex organisms. Ramotar can break away from traditional patterns and become another Desmond Hoyte. My bet is that he will not; he doesn’t have the chemistry to do so. This means that there will be a rivalry inside the PPP when the next election draws closer.
The latest outpourings from Ramotar tell the story of a too-ordinary President that is going nowhere fast. At his last press conference, Mr. Ramotar must have surprised the entire Guyanese world, both inside and outside of the country, when he reduced governance to the fashion world. He says that he is not interested in a Ramotar brand. Even the gods of ancient Greece can’t explain what this means.
Most, if not all leaders throughout history, desired to stamp their own vision of what they wanted for their country. Most, if not all leaders at the moment, want to do just that. No two persons are alike. Mr. Ramotar refers to it as a brand. It is known philosophically as vision.
I thought that when Mr. Ramotar asked me to explain what the “poetic essence of history” was, he was interested in knowing the content of history and how it is shaped by the role of the individual (Ramotar is a devout Marxist who worked for eight years as a Marxist theoretician on a communist magazine in Czechoslovakia, so he must be aware of Sartre’s work on the role of the individual in the working out of the dialectic). It appears he wasn’t when you read about his rejection of vision that he calls a “Ramotar brand”.
While Mr. Ramotar has given up on the “Ramotar brand”, others in his party who he has given over control to are in a hurry to stamp their brand, and they are stamping it. What it will lead to and how it will end up is the guess of most Guyanese, but one thing is bright as a tropical day in the Arab desert – by his own confession at his recent press conference Mr. Ramotar is not interested in coining his vision.
At that very press conference we got the answer as to why there will be no Ramotar vision. Mr. Ramotar has embraced all that went on under Mr. Jagdeo as the will of his party and said that Mr. Jagdeo was merely carrying out the will of the PPP. And that he Ramotar is supportive of what Jagdeo pursued and would not depart from that direction. This would put further pressure on the PPP when the next election comes around. If Ramotar keeps speaking like this there may be a move to gag him. First, Mr. Jagdeo’s tenure was characterized by blinding corruption that caused the daughter of the Jagans to feel nauseated and drove Mr. Ramkarran to speak out.
Secondly, that the creation of a super-rich class was the policy of the PPP that Mr. Ramotar embraced as General Secretary of the PPP is bound to hurt the PPP in the sugar belt. Thirdly, Mr. Ramotar’s continued existence in the shadow of Mr. Jagdeo is going to further weaken the PPP as local government elections draw near.
On the question of local government elections, one wonders what Mr. Ramotar will do if his glorious PPP is devastated at the polls. He will say what Robert Persaud uttered – they thought we would win anyway so they didn’t bother to vote. Funny, eh?