The PPP knows what sort of country it inherited in 1992. There are still persons who can recall what things looked like, the state of the physical infrastructure and the conditions of most homes.
The PPP knows what sort of economy it has bequeathed to the new government. It knows that Guyana has been the best performing economy in the Caribbean and Latin America for the last ten years.
Guyana is still poor and will remain poor because it fell behind the rest of the Region for too long a period during the 1970s and 1980s. But there is a solid foundation from which the new government should be able to continue the growth engineered by the PPP over the last ten years.
The leaders of the PPP should put on their sneakers and take a walk around the city. They should take a look at the transformation of Georgetown in terms of buildings and take pride in what was achieved by the business community under their rule.
They should take a ride into the new housing schemes and see how small persons, especially young people, now have a better chance in life than the older generation because of the policies the PPP put in place. They should walk with their cameras and take pictures for posterity. They should take a good look at the country they built and pat themselves on the back because for all the good that they did, and for all the problems that the new government will face, the PPP is not going to get back in power for a very long, long time.
Guyanese have voted for change and they will want to give the new government at the minimum two terms. One thing about Guyanese is that they have patience. They will not judge the new government by what it does over the next five years. The new government virtually has a mandate for the next ten years because a number of excuses will be found as to why certain things could not have been done by the new government.
The PPP will be in the opposition for a very long time. It should use that period to understand why despite the development it brought to this country, it was rejected – albeit by a razor-slim narrowness by the electorate.
The PPP should use the period in the political opposition to think and think hard as to why it lost its commanding majority that it had held since 2006. Why did it lose this majority?
For one, the demographics of Guyana changed, but the PPP did not change. The PPP continued to rely on a support base that no longer delivers a majority of the votes. The demographics of Guyana changed and the PPP made no attempt to reach out to other groupings in Guyana.
The PPP lost the elections because people were fed up with the charges of corruption, favouritism and cronyism. The PPP unashamedly refused to be responsive to the criticisms. In fact, it made the fatal error of confronting the Fourth Estate, which was exposing these faults in the administration of the country.
The PPP lost the elections because of the attitude of its leaders. Many of them were too arrogant and dismissive of people. Instead of trying to help people, they were arrogant and haughty. They assumed they had the support of the majority of the people and could do as they pleased for as long as they pleased.
The PPP lost the elections because they forgot that the people of Guyana have this strange tendency. The people of Guyana somehow believe that those who work for government should not end up better off when they are in office than before they entered office. Therefore the people do not wish to read about leaders living a better lifestyle than the people. They look down on leaders who become rich and flaunt their riches. The PPP lost the elections because some of their leaders flaunted their wealth.
The PPP in opposition should become more humble. The shoe is now on the other foot. The PPP will now understand how the other side feels when it was treated dismissively by the PPP.
The PPP should use its period of being in opposition to become more humble and to win over the confidence of the people, especially the supporters of the opposition.
The problem with the PPP is that is showing no intention of changing. It is pursuing the same old self-destructive tactics that caused its electoral demise. Perhaps, it is Pavlovian. Perhaps it cannot change.
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