Sigmund Freud explained that in the functionalism of humans, action and motive are intricately connected. You can judge if a human has lost his or her mind when action becomes divorced from motive. Perhaps an example from the supermarket should clarify how the interconnection works and how it breaks down.
You go up to the cashier and offer her a sum of money. That action has to be backed by a motive. The reason for the action is you are buying food to eat. You go up to the cashier, offer money, but you don’t know why you did that. You have no purchase in your hand, thus there is no motive for your action.
When you vote for a politician or a party, the action in the ballot station has to fit into a motive. Let’s look at some of the rationalities behind people’s choices. Boris Johnson was chosen over Jeremy Corbyn in the UK, because people knew where Johnson stood on the UK’s exit from the EU. They didn’t know where Corbyn stood. Johnson won a landslide, because voters had a motive.
Trump won because his supporters were motivated by his appeal to chase the Washington DC clique that ruled the US for centuries, out of office. A man who doesn’t like non-white people knows what motivates him when he is giving his ballot to a white supremacist candidate.
A far-right neo-Nazi knows why he is voting for a fascist, because the fascist promises to chase immigrants out of his country and he wants that. Israel keeps on holding indecisive national elections, because the voters have their own parties which they will not switch from, because they know what their parties stand for, and that is their motive to vote.
Guyana is in the midst of a general election in which logic and rationality are missing. There aren’t relevant words to describe what is actually happening. Terms like bizarre and macabre, do not convey accurately what is taking place. It is an election in which a large number of voters will make Freud turn in his grave. It is an election in which people will go into a ballot station, and action and motive will be neatly separated. Perhaps evil is the correct description for this potpourri of miasmic politics that underscores what a dystopian society modern Guyana has become.
Let us describe the actual separation of action and motive in a vast amount of Guyanese.
Exactly five years ago today, the PNC and the AFC signed a pre-election covenant named the Cummingsburg Accord. It was unveiled in front of supporters and the media at the Georgetown Club, in which copies were shared out. In December last year, the same actors met at State House (it should not have been held at a governmental place) and renewed the document with substantial changes.
Joe Harmon told the Stabroek News that not all the details in the new accord would be made public. Then Khemraj Ramjattan told the media two days ago that the reworked covenant is a secret document. Resorting to what can easily be termed asinine reasoning, he asked the reporters if they would like their business to be made public. The analogy was not only asinine, but depraved.
A secret document between lovers, between two businessmen, between employer and employee, cannot be likened to a secret document by two political parties that are asking the nation to entrust them with the power to administer the totality of the country’s public affairs for five years.
If politicians have an agreement among themselves, the contents of which they cannot explain to the people they are asking to vote for them, then how can a country’s population put these people into power when they will make secret agreements with foreign actors on behalf of the nation?
I am not inclined to use the word “jackass” in my commentaries, but there are times when the word becomes compellingly urgent. One has to be a jackass to vote for two parties that signed a coalition arrangement and refuse to tell their supporters and would-be voters what they have agreed on.
Do PNC members know if in the renewed document, the elected head of PNC if he wins, will step down after two years to let an APNU person rule? Do AFC members know that in the agreement that should APNU+AFC win in March, the AFC will then merge into APNU and there will no longer be the AFC? How do they know that is not what is agreed on? You have to be a jackass to vote for such a party. Maybe a jackass is more rational.
(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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