May 30, 2023 Editorial
Kaieteur News – We face this fact: both the PPPC Government and the main PNCR Opposition pay lip service to campaign financing reform. This is because both parties have traditionally received heavy funding from the big money people in Guyana and overseas. Both major political groups say in public that campaign financing transparency is a good thing, and how it is needed, and so on and so forth. But there is always some new element that houses a big but. When there is that, ‘but’ it means that the issue is not going anywhere, but will get stalled and stuck.
Big donors use political contributions like an investment. They invest in a political party, and they expect a handsome return from the winner. Like elsewhere, the players with deep pockets hedge their bets by backing more than one political horse. In razor-thin electoral Guyana, no donor desires to be left in the rewards wilderness, through failure to make a timely and hefty contribution to leading groups. This standard prevails even in advanced societies like America, where lavish givers ensure that they give to both the Republican and Democratic parties. For sure, it is not equal donations, but the amounts given are determined by which party is in power, and which looks more likely to triumph in the next electoral contest. It is a given that financial backers would more favour with their money those helpful to their prosperity. Meaning, which party would be more favourable to helpful regulations, or with lucrative business delivered.
The bottom line is that it is the big financial givers who count, and these are the ones who work tirelessly to ensure that their identities remain hidden. When they are on international law enforcement radars for troubling reasons, or their business is shadowy and casts doubts about legitimacy, then there is more doggedness for identities to stay undercover. Considering all these embedded factors in the local environment, it exposes the hand of the PPPC Government, when its leaders insist that the group is for campaign financing legislation, but it is concerned about the identity of donors being made public through some register of donors. The PPPC Government wants to collect any amount of party donations, but it resists knitting together the kind of laws that inform the people who are giving so much money that they considerably influence not the elections themselves, but how the economic pie is distributed afterwards by the government of the day. It could be most uneven, with large campaign donors being the biggest beneficiaries of government’s generosity.
No political party, particularly the major ones, and no government should be allowed to pick and choose what ought to be about the fullest transparency, and what gives legitimacy to our processes. Who is giving and how much? What is the source of their funds, and how much taint the really big givers have attached to their names? Should such kind of suspicious sources even be permitted to be part of the democratic process? What about oil company’s proxies infusing their money into Guyanese elections, and determining the destiny of all the peoples of this country?
The PPP’s General Secretary, Bharat Jagdeo, is on record expressing his uneasiness about businesses being unfairly boycotted, if the identity of political donors were to be made available through some legally mandated requirement. The question is whether the General Secretary is so nervous about the identity of donors open to public scrutiny, or if he is more agitated about the type of donors, and the volumes of cash that are channeled to his party. From all indications, it is as if the General Secretary is more focused on leaving things the way they are, than to bring about the necessary and reasonable changes that could upset the whole electoral equation in Guyana. He may be confident of the tacit backing of the PNCR opposition since it would not wish to tamper with its own funding sources. What is strange is the defensive lengths to which the PPPC Government would go to maintain campaign financing as it is, while carrying on in the same shaded way with governing Guyana. What could be so damaging to campaign financing reform, for accountable, law-abiding Guyanese?
DECEPTION & CORRUPTION getting WORSE by the minute in GUYANA.
Sep 22, 2023Kaieteur Sports – A formidable team of fitness athletes arrived in Aruba yesterday to represent Guyana at the 50th edition of the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Bodybuilding and Fitness...
Sep 22, 2023
Sep 22, 2023
Sep 22, 2023
Sep 22, 2023
Sep 22, 2023
By Sir Ronald Sanders (The writer is Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the United States and the Organization of American... 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.