Kaieteur News – The Opposition PNC/R leadership is being accused of not showing enough militancy and of not grounding sufficiently with its grassroots supporters. Both propositions –lack of militancy and grassroots groundings – are not tenable and amount to an unfair criticism of the leadership of the Opposition
The PNC/R does not need to be militant against the PPP/C. Nothing will change as a result of any militancy. The PPP/C has not changed; it is the same PPP/C of the post 2015 period in which decision-making is centralised and concentrated in the hands of a few individuals. It is impervious to suggestions and internal agitation. It matters not how much the PNC/R organisers or protests, it will not change the PPP/C’s attitude towards governance. The PPP/C will do what it wants to do and how it wants to do it.
Militant opposition action is an inefficient instrument to bring about change. The Opposition is going to burn itself out. Its militancy will require financial resources which the PNC/R does not have at this time. And greater militancy will engender further internal resentment and divisions within the PNC/R because when its supporters do not see the desired outcomes, they will become frustrated and turn against their leaders.
Also, if the Opposition becomes more militant, the PPP/C supporters and its shoestrings within the private sector and other parts of civil society are going to rally behind the PPP/C. But if the PPP/C is left to its own designs, it will self-destruct on its own. The more rope the Opposition gives the PPP/C, the more the ruling party will hand itself.
Between 2006 and 2015 the PNC/R proved the effectiveness of leaving the PPP/C to become its own worst enemy. During that period, the PNC/R was not as militant as it was between 1997 and 2006. And what happened was that the PPP/C had its own way and ended up becoming mired in corruption and all manner of scandals.
As crazy as it may sound, all the Opposition has to do is to leave the PPP/C to self-destruct. The less militant is the PNC/R, the more the PPP/C will engage in excesses and become unpopular.
This is exactly what happened between 2001 and 2006. The PPP/C was wracked by a serious of corruption scandals because it behaved as if it had a license to do as it pleased. Streets protests between 1997 and 2006 had led to violence and destruction which allowed for the PPP/C to galvanise its support base. But no sooner was street militancy abandoned that the PPP/C behaved as it had a transport over public assets. It became entangled in acts of alleged corruption.
As a consequence, the Opposition parties, the PNC/R and the AFC gained greater traction. In the 2011 polls, the PPP/C lost its majority in the National Assembly and in 2015 it lost political office. Doing little is therefore an effective Opposition strategy to weaken the PPP/C.
The PNC/R has no need for grassroots campaigning. The idea of grassroots politics is dead and buried. Things have improved so much in Guyana that citizens now have a greater access to information. They listen to the radio, watch television, read the newspapers and interface with social media. Political campaigning today is no longer about grassroots groundings. It is about the use of public communication to get your message across.
The majority of Guyanese have learnt about what came out of the Vice News feature on Guyana. They did not learn it through the Opposition hitting the ground and running around the communities of Guyana or by holding roadside political meetings. They learnt about Su through social media and the mass media.
Today social media is being used to the hilt by both the PPP/C and the Opposition. No sooner does a politician scratch his head that the image finds its way onto social media and is transmitted to hundreds of thousands of persons. Social media is also being used by activists to reach ordinary supporters.
Social media allows for far greater reach than could ever be achieved by grassroots politics. And social media allows grassroots citizens to be able to express their opinions. Even the smallest child now has a smart phone.
Grassroots politics is on its deathbed. Social media and the mass media are combining to euthanise grassroots politics.
The notion, therefore, that the leadership of the PNC/R is becoming alienated from the party’s grassroots is not accurate. Indeed, given the dismal performance of the APNU+AFC when in Government, without social media, the main Opposition party would have suffered a more severe fallout.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
Oct 03, 2022Rebels Tennis Club Junior Tournament… Kaieteur News – The finals of the Rebel Junior Tennis Championships were held at the GBTI Court in Diamond on the East Bank of Demerara yesterday and...
Oct 03, 2022
Oct 03, 2022
Oct 03, 2022
Oct 02, 2022
Oct 02, 2022
Kaieteur News – This column here is not a comment on the Postmaster-General, Ms. Karen Brown. Ms Brown returned my... more
Kaieteur News – One of the ways in which political and social leaders control the masses is by feeding them the idea... 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]