IT appears that the PNC and APNU are heading for a historic meltdown. No one would be surprised when those little parties that are hanging on to APNU also begin to bolt. Political survival usually brings out the commonsense in people.
The PNC has been in a lot of trouble, with people of star quality exiting at a rapid pace. Weeks ago it was Patricia Chase-Green and Keith Ferrier, who bade them adieu. They were followed by Ronald Backer who recently followed suit. And now, in what must be described as a diastrophic moment, Barbara Pilgrim, a most trusted member, has jettisoned the party for the PPP. These crossovers are without doubt based on the rudderless leadership of the PNC and the APNU coalition.
Readers should know that while the PNC has been ridding itself of whatever little inclusionary members they have, the PPP/C is doing the opposite. President Ali and PPP General Secretary Jagdeo have insisted on diversifying not only party membership and support, but also its list of candidates. Take a look at the list below: Odayson Audwin Ashby, Jeremy Garrett, Quincy Anderson, Wilburn Lashley, Alana Persaud, Terry Albert Marques, Caeron Andrew Harte, Andre Dmitri Jackman, Arsenio Javon Beaton, Coleen A. Sampson, Alfonso Fidel De Armas-Archbold, Stephen Anthony Jacobs, Asha Wallace, Jewula Angela Cesar, Dion Yonge, Faye Andrea Matthews, Ronetta A. Small, Delroy N. Williams, Malcom Ferreira, Trichria Richards, (Georgetown) Forbes Moore, Ava Smith, Paul Tyndell, Rawlin Teitch, Shurdon Murray, Dwayne Charles, Oneika Williams, Ryan Richards, Audwin Rutherford, Erol Roethof, Melinda Fredericks, Renna Fredericks, Sharmella Solomon, Candacy Allicock, Nathoya Benn, Reycia Nedd Sherry Fyffe-James, Sancha Halley, Kenisha Dey-Venture, Nikita Roberts, Rufina Allicock, Akeba Richmond, Tanella Croal, Trevon Yaw, Warren Wintz, and Lorna Hall.
This is only a handful of the candidates brought into the PPP to broaden the base of the party, something that both President Ali and the PPP/C General Secretary committed to when they last spoke at Babu Jaan. I call on all PPP/C supporters to vote for the candidates above.
The PNC has three real problems. First, and foremost, is its myopic understanding of the ways in which rational actors behave. The PNC (and WPA) still believe that the figment of the imagination called race, can and will be their trump card forever. We know that human beings eventually become utility maximizers as society modernizes. The PNC is pushed by ethnic nationalists from New York, Arizona, and elsewhere to hold the line on race, the latter narrowly defined. Traditional supporters of the PNC are refusing to go along with the script. The same cannot be said for the WPA because they do not have any supporters. The AFC sold out a long time ago and lost its shirt!
Secondly, Mr. Norton is turning out to be an abysmal failure as Leader of the Opposition. “Turning out to be” might not be an accurate construction because a sizeable number of the PNC top-brass had warned about Norton’s lack of capacity for leadership. Some reports indicate that Annette Ferguson has predicted Mr. Norton’s days are numbered. The two of them will have to sort that out, but in the meantime, the LGEs will take place.
Finally, the PNC and APNU will enter rapid meltdown because of the positive energy generated by the PPP leadership. This is a party that has a solid list of achievements, a solid development plan, and an unremitting commitment to diversity and inclusion. It is regrettable that absentee observers like Nigel Westmaas have taken to accusing Afro-Guyanese supporters who join the PPP/C, as ‘this and that’ labels I do not care to repeat here.
Dr. Westmaas is like an absentee landlord who comes in occasionally to collect the rent, in this case as intimated by Freddie Kissoon, a little praise from the mulatto upper middle class which Westmaas seems to know by experience. Westmaas’ absentee race entrepreneurship will yield nothing because while Guyana is changing, he is stuck in the past. Those who are stuck in the past, are likely to remain in the past.
Guyana is on the move. To be more accurate, however, while the country is on the move, some of its historic institutions such as the People’s National Congress, are on a bridge to nowhere.
Dr Randolph Persaud