Kaietuer News – There has been an advocacy in some quarters that the ruling party needs to have dialogue with the Opposition. As a precondition, the leadership of the PPP wants open recognition of the government’s legitimacy frameworked in the March 2020 election results.
From my research, these quarters consists of the editorial position of the Stabroek News, some civil society groups who dislike the PPP, and the PNC and their surrogates. The rejection of the PPP putting a condition for dialogue is not without its intellectual and political strengths.
The political factor first. At the recent conference of the British Conservative Party, the Prime Minister and his ministers discussed more government business than party matters. I think all the highlighted issues were the British Government’s attitudes and positions on crucial developments in the country.
Such party affairs constitute democratic accountability. If you are going in front of the party delegates that were responsible for electing you to govern then, you have to tell them about your work as a government. There can be no alternative arrangement. At all such conferences, delegates speak on what they want or don’t want their government to do.
The party in office derives its strength from the staying power of its members. Its members must be consulted on political strategies and high policies. A ruling party cannot pursue directions if its members are dead set against those pathways.
Modern politics is about elections and once elections are won, you have to seek party support for your policies. You may not have liked him, but Donald Trump did exactly that. He sought support from Republican Party loyalists throughout the US.
The demand on the PPP to have dialogue with the Opposition contextually is not simple politics. There exist in Guyana memories of brutish politics that occurred just one year ago. Not only was there five months of election rigging but deadly attacks on PPP supporters in Region Five using the pretext of the murder of two African youths.
The question and the point are, do PPP members throughout Guyana endorse inclusivity talks between their party and the PNC? Does the PPP have an obligation to canvas the views of its members? The answer is obviously yes. Now for the factor of intellectual strength.
The PPP is saying that we will not talk to you if you do not recognise that we won a free and fair electoral contest. Detractors of the PPP are saying it has power, it is the government therefore that has to use that power to reach out to the Opposition.
That argument is flawed. Political power cannot be equated with state power. They are two distinct spheres. The Biden presidency has state power. The Republican Party through its state governors and state legislatures and federal lawmakers has political power.
You cannot ask the Biden presidency to reach out to the Republican Party as if that party is helpless. It is not. Therefore, it has to use political power responsibly. It is the same with the PNC. It has 31 MPs. It controls important municipalities and local authorities. It holds the chairmanship of a very crucial parliamentary committee – Public Accounts Committee (PAC). It then has to act responsibly to allay fears of the ruling party.
The situation in the PAC is yet another manifestation of the PNC wanting to have its cake and yet eat it. The ruling party is making accusations of unruly and undemocratic conduct by the PNC in the PAC. The ground therefore is not being laid for talks on inclusivity.
It takes two to tango. How can demands be made on the ruling party to birth dialogue on inclusive governance because it has state power when political power by the PNC is being used recklessly? One then is making unfair demands on the party in power.
There is another dimension of intellectual strength that ties in with the factor of political strength which the PPP has in its favour, as mentioned at the beginning of this column. The PPP can argue that there is a credibility game being played out in which if it does not strategize competently, it can lose the embrace among its supporters and members.
If you have a reluctant opposition that behaves undemocratically as in the case of the PAC, then to put no requirements for a series of confabulations on inclusive governance obviously makes the PPP looks weak. In actual fact, what will happen is that one party stands to enhance its credibility while the other loses credibility. The loser has to be the PPP. The latest tyranny of the PNC inside the PAC indicates that it is still in self-destructive mode.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
Dec 06, 2021ExxonMobil National Indoor Hockey Championships… Kaieteur News- The Guyana 40s and 50 Not Out proved that they belonged in the men’s senior division by both securing a semi-final berth as the...
Dec 06, 2021
Dec 05, 2021
Dec 05, 2021
Dec 05, 2021
Dec 05, 2021
Kaieteur News – My hair is grey. In the Kaieteur Radio studio, James Bond looked at me and commented on my grey hair.... more
Kaieteur News- The bulk of the masquerade bands which are parading the streets are a disgrace. They are doing a grave injustice... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]