The word from all around, every powerful and influential source is this: don’t think of it! Don’t dare do it! Do not engage in any type of material electoral fraud. The outsiders mean business; they are serious, and they will not hesitate to deliver on hints and promises (they are no longer veiled warnings, but borderline threats) that they will look most critically and negatively on attempts to cheat in this year’s elections.
Our leaders and their frenzied supporters from both sides of the divide and from wherever else should straighten up and take notice.
It would appear that our leaders are listening, but only as they can manoeuvre through the thicket. There they are, the only ones of significance left standing, who are saying all the right things, striking the right notes, before the right people, and with hand over their hearts.
There they are striving to convey the right attitudes in this time that has been characterised by anything and everything, other than what is right and uplifting and sustaining for the many peoples of the ruptured, animated society.
The media coverage is laced with postures of the men and groups that matter, who speak of respect for process and what is lawful in the public forums before those who come to stabilise us and restore us to some level of sanity, some degree of self-respect and dignity.
We at this paper hope and insist that the words that they hone and perfect are not merely for public consumption purposes, as having gone down in the record in saying the right things. There has to be more: it is in the doing that the proof is delivered. That has not been forthcoming cleanly.
It is in the delivering that there is final and irrefutable confirmation that the words were not of shallow postures intended to mislead, but that they are of serious intents, and unswerving commitment, to do what is unsullied before all and unchallengeable by any. We are not getting there at all.
This is our hope, but we are sensible enough and realistic enough to recognise that this does not stand on the firmest of grounds, but that this hope and demand of ours run into the realities that now saturate the political, racial, social, and electoral environment.
The four are as indivisible and untouchable as the most sacred of teachings and beliefs. They are inseparable as they are unapproachable in that they stand impenetrably against any hopes and appeals that come for something, anything, that is different, and which may offer a way out of the warped road traveled to bring us here.
And this is the sum of what prevails here and dominates man and mind, attitudes and atmosphere, and child and country.
A snapshot of story headlines from the Kaieteur News edition of Friday, March 13 (a superstitious and feared day still for many) tells the sorry story, the sordid saga, of what this society is and where this country stands immovably.
First, “Granger tells Caricom, OAS that elections were lawful.” Then, there was the opposition throwing down the gauntlet: “PPP want Region 4 ballot boxes opened.” And third, “Coalition accuses Jagdeo of racial incitement, submits videos to ERC.”
There are firm assertions on one side, settled doubt on the other and, finally, the matter about incitements and videos fill the last remaining gaps, the public gaps.
We make this point unambiguously and responsibly: the incitements and racial hates and racial shudders can be traced quickly, and quite easily, to both sides in the turbulent divide. The evidence is in the streets and villages, and the chain is long and strong and clangs with its own sinister promises and terrors.
This is what has taken firm hold in our communities and proliferates all over, while leaving few spots untouched by the barbarities amidst all the sweet talk and noble postures.
This is what is out there among our peoples, our brethren, as looked upon once upon a time that is now forever lost to the memory. There are no brothers now, no neighbours now, only competitors to the death and adversaries to live with in some manner for many a lifetime to come.
It is amidst these individual anxieties and societal tempests and national torments that we pontificate about democracy and process and the wisdom in (or lack of) of court decisions and tabulations. It is obvious, and inarguably so, that democracy cannot hold in such a raging milieu that predominates here.
Words and postures, intended to project visions of democracy are, when peered at and probed thoroughly through, about the triumph and dictatorship of the divide, the tribal and racial mindsets that overpower at the personal, communal, and national levels.
Our voting patterns of yore did confirm this, and this still unfinished and unsolvable elections season of 2020 now furnish the final and fateful proof as to the way we are, and the way we want things to be. But still we talk about process and democracy. Still, we are comforted by the helping presence of outsiders from the region and continuing pointed and sharper cautions from those farther beyond who are not people and places whose wrath should be incurred, whose blessings are to be rejected.
Let us get real: when we succeed in finalising this hardest of business about process and methodology and count, then to where and what? The pains of democracy, for which we are unready and unfamiliar and unwelcoming? Or for the delivery of the dictatorship that drives the divide even deeper and more dangerously?
Only the peoples of this nation can decide to sober up and own up to what we are today. Only the leaders can deliver on what it is that we really desire for government and rulership going forward.
Apr 05, 2020This year-one review is based on the 10 Point ‘Cricket First Plan’ that was the foundation of the Ricky Skerritt-Dr Kishore Shallow 2019 election campaign. In March 2019, he was elected as the...
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