Since 1953 we have been going to the polls and ticking a box against the name of a political party of our choice. This process is called elections.
Each party contesting the elections must present a list of candidates to GECOM. Voters have no say as to who comprise the list of each party or who gets chosen from the list to become members of parliament (MPs).
The compilation of the lists and the selection of MPs are done in accordance with the internal procedures of each party. It is no secret that this process is hardly competitive and mostly complies with the “principles” of loyalty and nepotism. Am not certain loyalty and nepotism can be deemed “principles” since the latter term is usually understood in the context of “values”, “truths” or “morals”, generally in a positive connotation.
In short, we, the voters, are short-changed. Our votes bestow upon current leaders of the main political parties extremely high levels of autonomy and authority, and no accountability. At the same time, these are leaders who suffer from very high levels of inferiority complex, which makes them autocratic, aggressive and excessively intolerant to alternative views.
The Guyanese people must elect their representatives, including their president and prime minister, directly. Individuals must be allowed to compete for any position of leadership. We must vote for people we know and trust and not for a list of names compiled by questionable and far-from-transparent processes.
Electoral reform is long overdue.