Jan 12, 2020 Editorial
The frenzies of Nomination Day are over, but there is still almost a week to the next draw on Friday coming, as to who will be doing what with whom for the looming elections.
The official word is that those contesting the March 2 elections have until Friday, to decide where they stand. That is, to go alone, if they got past January 10, Nomination Day or, if they will join forces with another political group, or umbrella body of groups.
In essence, matters come to this: to be a part of a coalition or not to be a part of any such political convenience.
After some false starts, stops and restarts a baker’s dozen remains. In many respects, more than a few of them qualify easily to be the dirty segment of a round dozen, given their checkered histories. Who can they lead? Who will consent to governance by them? How will they endure, given they struggled to get past Nomination Day? The word swirling around is that they have to blend into coalitions.
In recent times, with an eye on local political history relative to coalitions, such a move has suddenly transformed into the dirtiest word in Guyana’s political dictionary. It is now found more disturbing than corruption or racism.
Hats are doffed and congratulations offered to those swearing publicly of sticking faithfully to a ‘No coalition’ mantra, come whatever may. And just as quickly, this being Guyana, there should be replacing of headgear for fear of catching pneumonia from the political viruses that flourish around here. This is said, because coalition is enjoying a rebirth.
As catchy lines go, ‘no coalition’ had a certain ring to it. It can only be appreciated, given what we have had, and with more of the same promised from those ill-fated partnerships. What is disconcerting is the narrowness of the scope of the no coalition commitment. Because there now come realities that prompt to the point of the first uncomfortable truth.
To a large extent, the newcomers have nicely articulated intentions and nice (sometimes) contexts. But they are new to the politics and need a helping hand to get off the ground; many helping hands are required to keep each new group going.
As is well known, politics is an expensive undertaking. Their funding is going to have to come from somewhere. From somewhere means someone; and those very generous hands open the door to mischief. It does not bode well for the electorate and larger citizenry of this society.
When cash is accepted directly-or indirectly through a merged group-then it is the usual story of the goose of Guyana cooked, to the loss of the populace.
Look around and there is no self-funding Ross Perot from way back, or a Michael Bloomberg, of current US presidential aspirations. Therefore, it is believed that political funding, for whatever purpose in whatever amounts, will have to come from strangers and unknowns, among others.
The catch is that those who give cash in support of political hopefuls are not about charity. This holds true, whether the donations are to ruling governors, promising challengers, or aspiring acolytes. The donors are looking for something down the line. The bigger the contribution, the bigger the expectation, through what is the political physics and mathematics of financial support. Groups that are short of cash must compromise.
So, though no coalition resonates, it can be undermined and rendered moot by the many nefarious forces that operate best in the shroud and secrecy of darkness. For the doubtful, we suggest reacquainting with those political cum financial arrangements that left Guyanese holding the bag.
There is that hotel by the ocean; that bridge all the way out there, sometimes out of sight, but with locals always left empty handed. And if those are tough to swallow, there are those other questionable deals that were finalized under the NICIL umbrella.
The point is those who benefited handsomely were owed; those were the paybacks for their prior generosities to involved political partners and conspirators. The beneficiaries were not poor people, who do not count, but powerful movers and shakers who matter.
Aside from financing, there is the second issue of counting, as in the numbers. Other than for two or three of the smaller groups, the numbers to extend presence are just not there. They may rail and rant impressively, but very few voters are biting or buying, most of them are going nowhere. Hence, the sudden talk about coalescing regains life.
It was encouraging, while it lasted, to have heard those fashionable declarations of ‘no coalition’ under any circumstances.
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