I am informed that sports journalists do not always write on the conduct and outcomes of the particular sport of their interest. On occasions they present to their readers views on issues related to the sport. What they produce are referred to as “sidebars”.
Were that concept to be applied to Politics, our recent elections and the campaigning for them, would provide a very fertile field for sidebar comment. Donning momentarily the garb of a political journalist, my sidebar addresses three issues.
The first concerns APNU. There were commentators who saw APNU as the PNC in a different form, a kind of reincarnation.
They regarded many of the other members of the Partnership as being of little or no consequence. Indeed some people seemed perplexed by APNU’s reality and unheeding of its personality. As an example, former President Jagdeo in a TV broadcast kept referring to the PNC (instead of APNU) as if it was the political entity participating in the elections and cited APNU only in connection with a text message he received.
In my view, despite its late entry on the political landscape as an electoral entity, APNU’s impact on the electorate and the electoral process was remarkable and quite significant. People attended its rallies in large numbers without, I was told, being facilitated by centrally organised transport arrangements. It provided a Promethean spark and energised people prominently the youth – activists, volunteers, electors – in a way not seen in the last two decades; and it appeared to have delivered a message and given leadership which restored people’s pride and gave them a renewed sense of hope for the future. APNU’s appeal seemed to have been more widespread than the aggregate which its constituent parties operating separately could muster.
To my mind what was in evidence was a manifestation of the mathematical proposition that “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. It is a proposition that political analysts would do well to remember.
The second issue centres on the defection of persons from one party to another. What was noticeable was that only one party from which people defected publicly commented on its defectors. Its spokesperson vilified the defectors using uncomplimentary epithets: traitor, ungrateful, disloyal. What was the view of that party of the defectors who joined its ranks?
The third issue concerns the view expressed by a candidate that were Jesus Christ to be in Guyana at the time of the elections he would have voted for the candidate’s party. While reflecting on the novelty of this view my mind turned to Martin Carter’s poem “I come from the nigger yard” and the line in it which reads “priests and gods fooling gods with words”. No mention of bishops.
Rashleigh E. Jackson
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