Right next to the AFC’s head office, is the house of Raymond and Dawn Persaud, two very good friends of mine. They have a snackette in front of their house and with other friends, I spend many hours liming there. I would watch as many of the AFC people; I campaigned with come and go.
As I watched, these souls come and go, I would reflect on the nature of people.
Freud once wrote that he never understood the human being. If Freud could say that, who are we lesser mortals to begin to think we could understand people. Surely, after four years in power, what is it that these AFC supporters from 2006 cannot see about the degeneracy of the AFC. Where is this multi-racial, independent third force that would transform Guyana and eventually dissolve the perennial ethnic animosities that the PNC and PPP engendered in Guyana over seventy years ago?
Many times, some of them would come over to the snackette and I would engage them. My inevitable question is why you are still with this party when this is not the AFC that once enchanted you. Always they would smile, avoid an answer, and leave with the expected reaction, which always goes like this – “I like reading your column.”
When I read that the Italian coalition is on the verge of breaking up and Italy will soon have another general election, I thought of what a fraud the AFC has been all along. Two right-wing parties with vastly different outlooks on life came together in a covenant of convenience. The League Party and the Five Star Movement have different agendas, and their government has been rocked by disagreements, which last week boiled over.
Coalition regimes are inevitably characterised by harmful confrontations over respective agendas. The reason is simple to understand. If Party BB wants a man on the moon, and Party GG wants a man on Mars, if BB rejects the man on Mars, GG is going to reject the man on the moon. What happens then is that the nature of coalition administrations is about compromise, with each unit agreeing to accept some of the policies of the other units, while insisting that their policies must be accommodated too.
Why parties in a coalition insist on the recognition of their agenda is because periodically you have to return to the electorate. Therefore, if BB gets its man on the moon and GG didn’t get its man on Mars, the people who voted for GG to be in government will reject them at the next election. This is the fear that Israeli political parties live with at the moment.
In April, Israel went to the poll, but there was no clear majority. Forming a government became impossible, because one party wants a section of young people to be exempted from compulsory military rule, while another party is insisting that it will not be part of a government that will allow for that exemption. They all return to another election in September. Why they failed to form a government in April? Because they are thinking of survival in the future. If they are part of a government that messes up, they are afraid the electorate will punish them.
This is the fate awaiting the AFC. My opinion is that APNU+AFC will not achieve a majority in the December poll, because there is colossal disappointment with the AFC, by the people who voted for them in the 2015 elections. Those votes are lost to APNU+AFC. This columnist is one of those AFC voters in 2015 that will be jumping so far away from the AFC that I may jump over the moon. I am not for a fraction of a second thinking of voting the way I did in 2015.
When you see how different entities are defending their agendas in coalition governments around the world, then it is easy to see that the AFC is a fraud. They have not had their agenda translated into policy, because they abandoned the very functionalism of coalition governance. From the time the AFC got into power, they described the Cabinet as a unified feature, of which loyalty was paramount.
This asininity the AFC wears on its shirt-sleeve. You cannot have a unified Cabinet in a Coalition Government. There is no such living contradiction. It is a psychological and political contradiction that is impossible to see in reality. From the time the Coalition Government was formed, a marriage of convenience is born, and each party says to each other – “this is what we want, what we agreed on.” The AFC didn’t do that, but they said they did. They lied.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper)
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