Henry B Jeffrey is no stranger to the political landscape of our belittered homeland, having canvassed and served the emergent regimes of discredited Burnhamism and, with equal valiance, benevolent Jaganism. An inconvenient truth is his less than mutually flaccid separation from tenacious Jagdeoism. In the wilderness for a visibly uncomfortable period, he has reawakened his relevance and found solace in his evergreen hobbyhorse wearing the tattered colours of a “melting-pot” society with the cognomen of “shared governance”. Not unlike the Andy Capps of this world, this political punter cannot seem to place his bet upon a potential winner, using as well in the process, the readily accessible resources of social associates. ANUG appears to be his latest benefactor, an outfit whose membership count among itself a cadre of impressionable dillettants unfamiliar with the contents of his poisoned chalice.
This learned Doctor of Philosophy posits that one half of Guyana will be otherwise short-changed because our elections culminate into an “ethnic census”. Thus the “winner take all” is not an acceptable option.
Good try, Henry B. However, you have now publicly joined the celebrated few decision-makers whose arithmetic deficit has made Guyana the laughing stock of the Universe. The March 2 Elections demonstrate that the successful Party amassed the majority of votes in 6 Regions, not only in its reputed strong-holds where its ethnic supporters reside, but in Regions 1 and 9 (Amerindian), and 5 (Mixed). There was a noticeable increase in numerical strength in Region 4, where the ethnic base is pro-PNC whose agnomen, APNU, claims traditional exclusivity.
Henry’s ANUG, unapologetically, sought the approbation of the Electorate for its “shared governance” electoral pro-position but its unchallenged results speak volumes about our democratic choices. Unlike the current Covid-19 pandemic, there is nothing neoteric in the virus of “shared governance” as the voice of the people is the approved vaccine against its enforced spread. Philosophy rarely trumps reality, if at all, and recitation by Henry B of the lofty iterations of the philosophical realties of his illustrious writers, even if granted some meaningful existence, continue to resonate only in their embryonic babble. It is fair to say that these results expose the fragility of the under-belly of this opportunistic concept, given its ready resurrection whenever the PPP/C succeeds in its eligibility to assume, or resume, the reins of democratic government. Speaking for myself, as a democratic socialist with provable pedigree to a conservative alignment, I am not persuaded that its adoption in Guyana would advance the criteria for free, fair, transparent, and credible elections. The successful Party must be allowed to form the next Government with the option to give effect to the constitutional mandate and provenance of inclusivity.
Perhaps, the root of Henry B’s dilemma is reflected, subliminally, in Frank Birbalsingh’s 2007 book “The PPP 1950-1992: an Oral History”:
“… Burnham was an ideal champion to redress the imbalance of numerical displacement suffered by his largely city-bred African-Guyanese countrymen who regarded themselves, by virtue of their historic, Anglicised, or creolised culture, as the rightful inheritors of British rule in Guyana.”
Democracy has since put this aspirational lamentation to rest and the Mendelian Laws of heredity embraced irreversibly by the PNC have scuttled the experiments of 1964 and 2015!
Justice C. R. Ramson S.C., O.R