Looking into the future is never perfect vision, but an attempt has to be made in some place, and this first day of a brand-new year is as good a place to start. At the very least, the torrid rollercoaster that was 2019 should be avoided.
This society does not have the stamina or the depth to absorb another one like 2019, with all of its massed turbulences ranging from naming a chair to repeated forays before the courts to house-to-house registration to dissolving parliament.
But those are behind us; the new year must be started with a fresher outlook and a cleaner vision of how we must be. It hinges on the Guyanese barbarism named elections. We talk endlessly about democracy, when we are nowhere close to a passing notion of such. But talk we do and there will be a lot of talking, between now and March 2.
The concern is that the talking does not promise to end when March 2, 2020 passes. In fact, the floodgates of dispute and upheaval look high on the cards, given how we have been all along. This is said rather guardedly, as there is some sense that something is in the air, may be well along in the works.
Because let this much be faced: the oil would be useless to us, if we can’t get our political acts together. Because if one side, or one set, is determined to hog it all for themselves, with the pittance and paternalisation of paltry portions here and there, that will not work, will be found unacceptable, even will rise to the insulting. There is a stirring toward a strange and different pathway.
It may be that the ABC & E people (especially the A) have found a way to insist upon, coerce towards, appeal for, and dangle this or that incentive to moving local political leaders towards a different summit; the alphabet soup of powerbrokers is quiet, which speaks.
It is early days yet, but this much is now beyond debate: no one group can run this country, no one side would be allowed to be the decision-makers alone. This much is obvious, this much is now undeniable, because even if they believe that they can, they just cannot.
As posited earlier, this paper detects the slightest of creeps and crawls, the anglings that point to some place else.
There is such a saying in Guyanese parlance of losing corn and husk, and nobody wishes to be placed in that most undesirable position. This is said because nobody wants to be on the outside when the prize is to be overseen.
Some have made a living here by tendering that it is better to be on the inside, where there is better placement to influence the outcome of events.
To some extent, some of this is what those learned jurists at the CCJ were pointing to and insisting upon, in the subtle judicial verbiage. It was sitting down, drawing up a chair, gathering around the table, and let there be hammering out of the issues through the compromises that lead to consensus.
Because there is this next truth, things cannot go on like before. Matters are that untenable, that grim. Stated differently, one has to be in it to win it.
It is better to take the measure of the land and come out with half a loaf than no loaf. The new people mean well, but they are still too insignificant to be any kind of difference makers at this hour.
Only in this manner can there be meaningful constitutional reform, meaningful reform of all the other public institutions that have degraded to scurrilously low depths. This would include, necessarily, judicial reform, police reform, prison reform, and public service reform, among the many reforms that have been allowed to languish through official neglect and political abuse.
There is much work to do, which prompts the question: what is it going to be? We shall see.
Wishes for a healthy and progressive New Year!
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