A dedicated son of the soil, Dr. Yesu Persaud, asked whether this country needs politicians. It is neither an improper nor an untimely question. Thought-stirring to be sure, and one that tables several other questions.
Does this country need elections? Does it have any use for elections campaigns? Does it have regard for political advertisements? This is getting monotonous, even boring. And what about all the rushing about, the frenzy, and the ballooning hysteria?
The record of history is very illuminating, sure not to be liked; and worse, to be scorned for the places to which it leads. The answers tell a lot about what and how this country is, and why together they represent futility, frustration, and failure.
Elections in this country have been, at different times and by different people, dismissed as census, selection, mere statistical collection. They solve nothing; lead nowhere.
The minds of the electorate, with near flawlessness, and with few exceptions, are written in stone, and encased in the hardest plaster. It is a two-layered sheath of the unreachable and the unbreachable. Shut. Final. Irreversible.
The behaviour and mindsets of the eligible are that predictable and closed. Contests are tighter now because of changing demographics brought about by emigration, two-income families, and smaller family sizes, to name the more significant factors.
But the underlying passions and decisions are as unchanging as the doldrums. Very few, if any, from the ranks of experts, commentators, or analysts, even man-in-the-street observer, would raise a voice to disagree.
With this as history and concrete context, the next question is: is there any use for elections campaigns? Those fevered and ferocious forays into the ugly, the dirty and the mangy? The short answer is: No! People’s minds are made up and not open to either discussion, appeal, even intimidation. The latter only makes matters worse, by solidifying intents.
Despite all the debating and complaining and condemning, no voter has the interest or courage or intellect to go anywhere, or do anything, other than what has driven into them before, and through which foregone outcomes are based.
The records will show, fraud and skullduggery aside, that the primary and sole determinant of male or female voter choice for the high obligation and sacred responsibility of governance can be compressed to a single word: race.
After all the analyses and arguments, matters boil down to this: racial loyalty. Come what may; this is regardless of who is alleged to have done what, and is even strongly believed (by loyalists) to have been heavily involved in that putridity.
So, why campaigns? These are to wave the party flag, to whip up enthusiasms, to make promises that, to a great degree, there is no intention to honour, which cannot be honored, and with one more crucial objective in mind. That would be to shore up the waffling by rekindling any weakening spirits.
For certainty, waffling should never be misconstrued as any voter considering the treachery of voter adventure through voter crossing to the other side. Simply not done. In Guyana’s elections, waffling means targeting those so disillusioned and disgusted that there is the thinking of staying away from the polls.
Too much of that can be costly, where the tussles are so razor thin, as evidenced in the last elections cycles. Too much of that waffling has the embedded risk of gaining traction and developing into a small bushfire of absenteeism.
The same answers should suffice for elections advertisements: no voter’s mind and preset decision is influenced by written encouragements on road, colors on lampposts, and symbols bandied about through various media channels.
Not a single vote is gained by engaging in such effort. More and more are articulating that they will never vote again here.
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