Another week has ended and still no solution to the impasse that resulted from the elections of March 2. Everyone, it seems, wants it to end so that they can go on with their lives. Or so they say. The thing is that everyone wants it to end in favour of their side—their political side. Even those who did not vote for a side want it to end for their side.
As I reflected this past week on what’s next for Guyana, I cannot bring myself to believe that anything would drastically change. I actually want things to change, for our political leaders to see the good light and act accordingly, but the rational side of me warns against believing that we have what it takes to move past our historical and self-imposed shackles.
We have, I think, willed ourselves to remain wedded to our insecurities and fears. But what’s worse is that we don’t have the courage to even admit the origins of those insecurities and fears.
Many on the PPP side are asking why I am not speaking out against elections rigging. Others who have gone along with the rigging narrative are also asking the same question. As always, they invoke the Walter Rodney they have created—the Walter Rodney that did nothing else with his activism other than oppose the PNC. That’s their Walter Rodney – not mine.
The Walter Rodney I supported and followed was much more nuanced than that and embraced an activism that was more profound than mere opposition to a single party. The Walter Rodney they see turning in his grave is a figment of their twisted imagination.
So, I am not getting into their rigging nonsense, because I know it’s a game, a scheme to seize Guyana from Guyanese in order to reconstruct their citadel of domination. As calypsonian, Chalkdust, chanted: “I in town too long.” I have been around too long to be conned by empty slogans. All this talk about rigging is not aimed at ending rigging, but at something big and sinister.
Mr. Jagdeo, for example, says to his supporters that our problem is not racial, its about what he calls fairness—his sense and definition of fairness. He makes this declaration as part of his rejection of an ethno-political solution that guarantees the security of all races. He wants a solution that guarantees the security of one ethnic group. I am then forced to ask the very simple, straightforward question—what about the other groups? Or is it that simple and straightforward?
Jagdeo’s comrade, Dr. Ramsammy wrote this about me this past week: “David Hinds is nothing but a racist. His position is that Afro-Guyanese interest can only be protected by the PNC and that this justifies rigging the election. His position is that he sees the rigging but can accept it because the PPP has no right to govern Guyana, even if the people chooses the PPP.”
That quotation sums up the madness that has taken hold of the PPP’s leadership. I can get past what he says about me, because I don’t elevate myself to such lofty heights. That he places me as a supporter of rigging is of little importance. But it is the not so hidden message that is of interest to me. His scant concern for African-Guyanese interest is obvious. He doesn’t see any problem with the fact that the “people” who choose the PPP are of one ethnic group and that the PPP’s “right to govern” is a clear statement of racial domination. He doesn’t see the notion of the PPP’s right to govern is the worst form of rigging imaginable.
This is where I part company with the PPP and all those who support one-party rule, including many in the PNC. I don’t elevate any party’s right to govern. I prefer to fight for all racial and social groups to be represented in the halls of power. It is the people, all the people, who have a right to be represented, Mr. Ramsammy. And often it is the parties that stand in the way of people’s representation in government.
When Jagdeo and Ramsammy talk about the PPP’s right to govern, they undercut the rights of all ethnic groups to be represented. They try to hide behind platitudes about democracy. They racialize democracy and then try to foist it upon the nation as some neutral construct. Well no, I am not going for that.
We have a disputed election that is working itself through the mess we have created. That to me is clear. The disputed election is part of a wider dispute that we conveniently close our eyes to. I am not joining that bandwagon that reduces the impasse before us to “rigging.” I know better than that, and others who allow themselves to be played ought to know better. That is why I have stayed far from the rigging talk. Not because I condone rigging, but because in this instance, the rigging narrative is being used to impose one-party domination, which I strenuously oppose.
I am not shutting my eyes to the fact that riggers are accusing their opponents of rigging, because their rigging has gone undetected. That is the elephant in the room that the PPP does not want to talk about. I am not joining any crusade against rigging that would end up rigging power away from all the people in Guyana.
If we are serious about ending rigging, let us end the rigged winner-takes-all system. And let us construct a system that makes it difficult for riggers of all stripes and from all parties to go out of business.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper)
More of Dr. Hinds’ writings and commentaries can be found on his YouTube Channel Hinds’ Sight: Dr. David Hinds’ Guyana-Caribbean Politics and on his website www.guyanacaribbeanpolitics.news. Send comments to [email protected]
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