This is the fourth article (taking the form of an open letter) in a five (5) part series – Parliament: It’s not about Politics, it’s about People. The series was inspired by a string of occurrences during the 74th to 82nd sittings of the Eleventh Parliament of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana. It offers brief commentary and analysis in simple language to anyone interested in learning, and thinking more deeply about the types of solutions needed to address the issues arising from Guyana’s current state.
Dear Government and Opposition Members of Parliament,
In the 2015 General Elections and again in the 2018 Local Government Elections the ballot had nothing to offer a voter like me. I was tired of the blatant corruption and while I did not believe the promise of change in 2015, I recognized that a change in government was necessary for the natural evolution of our political culture. It is why, unlike many of my peers, I am not disillusioned today.
After witnessing the fiasco in Parliament, at the Georgetown Mayor and City Council and in my own Neighbourhood Democratic Council, I was not moved to even step into my polling station earlier this week. There was no independent candidate in my constituency and the one so called “independent” group was a vote-splitting-decoy. I was not the only one who was not moved. There were thousands like me on November 12, 2018.
Many people will say that if I don’t vote then I should haul my ass. I have a different perspective of the matter. Beyond the fact that I am a tax paying citizen, if the ballot does not offer me a viable, confidence-inspiring option then it is my democratic right to choose none. I refuse to be bullied into choosing between the lesser of two evils. I am not the only one. There were thousands like me. There will be thousands more like us if you continue on the current path. Traditional voters are fast losing their power to deliver power to you. Swing voters and middle ground voters like me are the ones who will hand you power in 2020.
There are many of you, both from government and opposition, with great potential to secure Guyana’s future. Unfortunately, unless you learn to put the interests of Guyana above the interests of your respective political party, you will waste your potential and the years you’ve already invested in attempting to do what you thought was right, what you thought you had to do for the greater good of our country. The hardest thing to do is not to stand against an enemy, but to stand against our own people in our own house.
There are thousands like me. Some are members of your political parties who silently allow the will of a few senior leaders to drown out their voices and good sense. Some are non-partisan young professionals and not so young leaders in business and we are tired of poor governance and divisive politics. We are tired of leadership which does not put Guyana first.
Guyana is at an important moment in its history. Since the struggle for independence, we have not had anything worth fighting for so we have settled for fighting each other. Today, we have a window of wealth, the oil money that will begin to flow sooner than many people think, which we must protect from external and internal opportunists and invest wisely to secure our future. If our future is not worth fighting for then nothing is.
This is my plea to all of you, Coalition and People’s Progressive Party alike, please put Guyana first. For the next two elections we should be less focused on fighting each other and more focused on working together to address our challenges and securing the future of this nation for generations to come. Please. I beg you. Put our country first.
For people and country,
Featured Image: Copyright Stabroek News
Other articles in this Series:
- Parliament: It’s not about Politics, it’s about People
- The most important question Guyanese will ever ask themselves
- A question every successful leader should be able to answer: “Who is replacing you?”
This article, like all others in the series Parliament: It’s not about Politics, it’s about People, is not meant to advance any position on behalf of any political party or any other entity or group. It is part of a collection of political commentary and analysis – expressed in simple language by a young Guyanese – made available for anyone interested in learning and thinking more deeply about the types of solutions needed to address the issues arising from Guyana’s current political state.
A note from the Author:
Given the custom by party loyalists to misrepresent and misuse any type of political commentary to support their own positions, I feel that it is necessary to borrow the following from Thomas Paine (an English-born American political activist, philosopher, political theorist, and revolutionary) with whose work I became acquainted as a student of History at the University of Guyana:
Who the Author of this Production is, is wholly unnecessary to the Public, as the Object for Attention is the Doctrine itself, not the Woman. Yet it may not be unnecessary to say, That she is unconnected with any Party, and under no sort of Influence public or private, but the influence of reason and principle.
Craig Village, East Bank Demerara, November 16, 2018
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