Surviving Guyana’s Political Madness

[8 mins read]

Be warned, the following contains mature language and could produce volatile emotions if you suffer from blind loyalty.

For some people, it’s been a fucking nightmare waking up every day in a country which seems to have gone politically mad. Many Guyanese of African and Indian ancestry spew their hate for each other daily by any means possible. Any African or Indian who dares to openly oppose their respective tribe is othered in a vile manner. As for Guyanese of “minor” ethnicities, the black and brown tribes don’t really give a shit about them. But the worst attacks are directed at those who attempt to provide a voice of reason, to analyze the propaganda and offer some clarity amidst the seemingly endless manipulation of the People.

But where else was Guyana headed if not to this familiar chaotic state? By now, it should be a truth universally accepted that Guyana’s political system is polarized and the political class gains and maintains power by using race-based strategies. Did we really expect the same political system which created the violence of the 1960s to give birth to anything other than the chaotic electoral mess we find ourselves in today? We have had decades to get our shit together and yet, political leaders have been less focused on nation building and have pursued power by any means necessary. This is the “gamesmanship” to which Caribbean Community Chair Mia Motley referred in her statement today. It is a constant part of our past and present.

Many people are frustrated that almost half the nation seems to have their heads buried deeply in their anal cavities. Even as some of these people see the truth and speak in favour of it, this does not necessarily mean that they suddenly support any of the major political parties. In fact, those of us with a sound mind and functioning memory are fucking terrified of having either major party in power. I have coped with the madness by viewing it as a necessary part of Guyana’s political evolution and growth. While most people are focused on the issues before us right now, I am more concerned with the shit we’ll have to deal with after the elections.

The way I see it, the political war taking place within the Court is out of my control. Eventually, Guyana will have a government and will have to move forward from the current standstill. When we do, we’ll find the familiar myriad of political, environmental, social and economic problems waiting for us. Public confidence in the Guyana Elections Commission is at an all-time low and we’ve seen firsthand the weaknesses of our electoral legislation. I hope that by now we understand that depending on the integrity of elected leaders is a poor game plan. Reforming the political system is the only way to ensure a positive outcome in future elections.

What do I think of the ongoing electoral issues? Well, my perception is completely irrelevant. There are only two perceptions which are very relevant to Guyana’s future right now:

  1. A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) supporters believe that the Opposition (East Indian Party) has attempted to rig the elections.
  2. Peoples’ Progressive Party/Civic supporters believe that the APNU+ AFC (African Party) has attempted to rig the elections.

This is the perfect recipe for far more chaos and disaster than we’ve experienced to date. The 2020 election has been well observed and documented in and out of the courts and there is enough information available to anyone who truly wishes to pursue the truth of the matter. As a result, answering “who is the rigger” is one of the easier questions. A more important question to our growth as a nation is – what could motivate a group of people to risk their reputations and careers by repeatedly attempting to alter the results of an election? Greed has been the most popular answer to this, but I believe it goes much deeper.

What scares the hell out of Indian and African Guyanese? Each other. Generally, Indians are afraid of an African led government and Africans are afraid of an Indian led government. Each tribe believes that if the other gets into power then they will be oppressed, abused and denied opportunities. These fears are not unfounded and make it very easy for politicians to manipulate their supporters. It is this fear which the riggers have likely used to justify having the moral grounds for such actions and of course, the rest of their motivation comes from the unwillingness to release power in a time of oil wealth (greed). Prepare yourselves for more nastiness and absurd theatrics. The gamesmanship is far from the end. Also, try to remember that growth is a painful thing.

❤ Sara

PS – I encourage you to be highly creative in your assassination of my character. I refuse to be the victim of sloppy bad talk.

Disclaimer:

This article contains the personal views of the author and is in no way connected with any institution or group with which she may be affiliated.

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, June 24, 2020

One thought on “Surviving Guyana’s Political Madness

  1. A sober analysis of the current political madness in Guyana. Power and greed corrupt the minds and hearts of men. They become blind to their folly. Growth is, indeed, a painful process. I hold onto the hope that your generation will rise above this madness and one day lead Guyana to a better future.

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