New party must select candidates committed to their mission
January 28, 2004
The formation of a political party with a mission statement to address the issues of all Guyanese regardless of race and ethnicity is welcome news to the ears of all interested in genuine democracy in Guyana. I only hope that the leaders of this new political organization are sincere in their stated objectives, and have the patience to stay the course for more than one electoral cycle.
The political landscape today in Guyana is one in which "awee pon top" and not conscience makes the call for what is said and done. And this applies to both major parties and the bulk of their respective ethnic constituents. No amount of cunning art can conceal the facts that politics and Government in Guyana is based on race, and that either party is driven by the narrow and egotistical cravings of its supporters. If they hope to win, then they must indicate that voting them into power will yield exclusive benefits for their ethnic constituents, and scraps for those who supported the other side.
For the All Races Congress (ARC) to become a viable player in Guyana Politics and maybe turn our country away from a system of apartheid, there are many things they will have to do:
(1) They must select candidates committed to their mission statement, and not on a quota system based on race.
(2) They must use all the modern technological means to get their message out, both locally and internationally.
(3) They must be in this race for the long haul, and define success not by merely winning an election, but by the positive changes in attitudes their message brings about.
(4) They must address the genuine concerns of all Guyanese without favour or affection, malice or ill-will.
(5) And they should not be intimidated by powers comfortable with the status quo who feed from the trough of racial politics.
This is not the sum total of what is required from ARC in pursuit of political viability, but merely highlights what has historically been absent from the policies of Guyana's two political dinosaurs. They follow a course that is anachronistic and divisive, and evidently have no intention of changing for the better. It is time for children of Guyana of all hues and stripes to be able to look forward to a future unencumbered by the politics of "winner takes all", and damnation of the other side.