The PPP's model of governance has failed
Stabroek News
September 6, 2001

Dear Editor,

I have seen the Stabroek News editorial (30.8.01) [ please note: links provided by LOSP web site ] and a letter from former Go Invest Head, Deochand Narine (1.9.01).

The truth is that we are in a quagmire and the Jagdeo government does not have the requisite intellectual armamentarium to take us out of the morass. While it is true that a few will continue to enrich themselves, for the vast majority the tyranny of poverty will continue.

The hallmark of this administration is its incompetence and its indecisiveness. A party that has not attracted a single scholar since the departure of Balram Singh Rai should do a great deal of introspection. They have an uncanny ability of transforming the simplest of issues into federal dimensions and have a philosophy that time and amnesia will ameliorate their lamentable inadequacies. In reality they are unfit to be village elders. As a result of their shallowness we are faced with myriad problems of their own creation - Alcoa/Reynolds, GPL, Toolsie, street vendors, extra-judicial killings, New Global Consults' Inc, to name a few. Their victims are faced with poor health services, poor education, expensive electricity, water rationing, poor housing, expensive transportation, underemployment, low salaries, a legal system that has collapsed, poor police protection and a litany of woes.

I will not comment on the suitability of the President for the post of president. Posterity will determine that. What I can say without fear of contradiction is that the Burnham constitution on which his party somersaulted and embraced after October 1992 makes him omnipotent. Unhappily, constitutions do not make leaders omniscient.

The model of governance adopted by the PPP has all the prerequisites of failure. In the first place the proprietor or proprietrix of the party chooses the presidential candidate and that mechanism in itself means that a president can be president in form but never in substance.

The president on the advice of individuals ill-equipped for governance chooses a number of ministers who are essentially clerks. The very fact that they are chosen to do clerical work rather than for their ability to conceptualise and ensure implementation indicates that they really have little if any market value.

The recruitment of the prime minister is an attempted exercise in massive public deception. They search for a pliant Afro-Guyanese feeling that such contortionism would heal the racial divide.

There is a team of presidential advisers who without exception are unwholly unfit for their task. They feel that obfuscation is a sign of intellect.

The remedy is for him to seek to extricate himself from his handlers at Freedom House.

He should then have dialogue with Mr Hoyte with a view to reversing his ill-advised reduction of technocrats. This having been achieved, he should search the country and the diaspora for twelve technocrats with no linkages to Freedom House to run the government.

His current presidential advisers should be sent on protracted unpaid vacation as he seeks the assistance of British/American and Canadian governments in obtaining six or more presidential advisers - men and women who are educated in the true sense of that much abused word.

Ms Gail Teixeira could perform the ceremonial functions of prime minister while many of the former ministers could be shunted by the President into the nouveaux riches enterprises that have burgeoned since October 1992. If they are too hopeless for accommodation there then the Burnham/Mingo formula can be borrowed - they can be made 'advisers on democracy' provided they understand that their advice will never be sought.

The apologists who write in the newspapers on their behalf should be sent for training in Logic and Literature.

I have been asked what benefit accrues to the PPP were they to abandon the spoils system. Although there will be less inexplicable enrichment the nation as a whole would benefit and the numbers game gives the PPP a numerical advantage in tribal elections.

Yours faithfully,

Walter Ramsahoye