Feb 15, 2012 Letters Comments Off on PPP should heed Maxwell’s advice
Reference is made to M. Maxwell’s letter (KN Feb 14). While Maxwell is no lover of the PPP, his advice to those managing the affairs of the PPP should be taken seriously. Not everyone who makes critical comments or critiques of the PPP is an enemy. Constructive criticism is often more valued than laudatory praises.
The PPP’s electoral prospect is indeed dimming and the party needs to examine the reasons and take corrective measures. Otherwise, the party could very well see itself out of office come next election and its supporters without any protection as happened during the era of the dictatorship.
What is happening to the PPP is somewhat similar to what happened to the UNC in Trinidad. When the UNC got into office in November 1995, the party governed well, initially, but began drifting away from its base, ignoring supporters, alienating loyalists and hard working activists, embracing political entrepreneurs and shady investors, and eventually became immersed in corruption scandals.
The base did not like how Panday was managing the party and his embracing of the opportunists and choosing his successor while ignoring the membership who wanted the successor democratically. When Panday was asked to return to the base and put a stop to the corruption, he told the complainants to go to the police and those who don’t like how the party was being run to leave and form their own party. When the complainants went to the police, Panday found himself being charged for corruption.
And when those who were dissatisfied with how Panday managed party business left, Panday called them nimakharams. Instead of humbling himself and apologizing and paying heed to polls showing the anger of supporters, he gambled with elections to sideline his opponents within the party. He lost office in December 2001 never to return.
The PPP executives need to study the UNC example and learn from its lessons as well as from the advice being tendered by Maxwell. The party cannot afford to allow old enmity among former colleagues to linger. It is not in the party’s interest. Democratize party affairs and listen to supporters.
It will soon be three months after the elections. The PPP urgently needs to investigate why former supporters just abandoned the party for the AFC, why key activists and leaders left the party, and what can be done to bring them back. The party’s rural supporters are looking forward to meet with President Ramotar to air their grievances.
The elections showed that certain individuals in the PPP cannot be dismissed as nobodies. Clearly, Moses Nagamootoo showed himself to be worth a lot to the party in terms of voters. When he left, he took four seats with him plus the Speaker’s position. The PPP cannot afford that loss as has been shown since the elections. The party needs to have reconciliation with those who left or were thrown out or marginalized.
The PPP needs to reach out not reach in to expand its prospects otherwise it could see its support shrink further as Maxwell warned. The PPP should learn from the PNC that brought opponents together and sought reconciliation among former enemies causing the PNC to do quite well at the polls.
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