Marginalization is a popular and fairly politically successful explanation for any problems facing the “Afro-Guyanese”. On the other hand their political leaders only marginalization problems seem to be getting cabinet posts. There may be a large number of Afro-Guyanese who do not fully subscribe to this belief. They see no concrete evidence of planned and widely executed actions to marginalize Africans.They do not believe either the government policies or the level of individual acts of discrimination encountered or charged, raises to the level of widespread African marginalization. Unfortunately, almost all of them find it expedient to remain silent on how much marginalization does exist, where and what can be done about it. It is a sad truth that a militant minority can silence a majority if one or more individuals do not take courage in hand and stand up and challenge those whose policies are more harmful than beneficial. Parties usually appoint party supporters to jobs, and if they are racially based so is the race of the appointees, until better multiracial parties exists.
Non-partisan and independently thinking Afro-Guyanese at home and abroad must help to educate and support a change in attitude and focus among all Guyanese towards self help and development, through education and community cooperation and support. Commerce and farming were the original strength of the African people and can be again. Public Service jobs provide a steady income, but it is commerce and farming that builds wealth and provides the things we envy others for. Time to get back to basics, better leadership and maximum use of existing resources and whatever support programs or policies are available to achieve greater individual and community development and progress.
Guyana faces three stumbling blocks to continued progress. The Parties, the NGO.s and the general public. The APNU have to find the courage to make its supporters and the AFC understand their primary responsibility is to do what is best for them and Guyana. That it is better to negotiate with the PPP/C and get half a loaf than wait for the whole loaf. APNU must be prepared to act without the AFC if necessary. Reason not revenge or resentment nor personalities over good policies must prevail. The PPP/C like the other parties must change their approach to issues, charges and demands from simply voicing outrage and indignation to providing reasoned and factual responses while suggesting or offering publicly a willingness to discuss any idea or support at anytime an idea that may have merit or say why it is not doable. The NGOs, including unions must become better informed of the arguments made and be actively involved with the political leaders on the issues that directly affect them. The same is true of the general public and the parties’ supporters as well as the media at large. There is too much misinformation or little information for many Guyanese to make informed decisions too many times.
The situation in Guyana could be very detrimental to the little progress it may have made so far. The opposition seems to suffer from a type of split personality, from demanding better answers and information on the various projects and actions of the government, then appearing to want to stop any thing the governent did or want to do. The latter seems more like a form of payback than making things better in the future. The APNU and AFC as a two party combo will tend to react differently at times, based on their individual histories with the PPP/C. leadership. Nevertheless, their first objective is to keep government going while seeking more transparency and accountability in new and ongoing projects and programs. They must make sure to have a full understranding of what they want to change and why. They apparently have more than one year to do every thing they want without overdoing anything. Some of the budget cuts like the LCDS may not be a good way to make a point. Others, can be resolved thru reasonable discussions and a solution found before the next budget. The image we project is seen both at home and abroad. The government and opposition must be seen to act responsibly and cooperatively in most cases, even if there are strong disagreements on many things.
Guyana finds itself somewhat in a three ring circus, that requires all rings performing together in the best interest of Guyana to succeed in giving Guyanese the best show possible. The politicians are in the first ring, the civil organizations in the second and the ordinary people in the third.
First, the PPP/C government must learn from their defeat and practice transparency & accountability and not just preach it. They made two good steps in this direction, first to release fuller information on projects. This prevents speculation and misinformation. Secondly, they went back to meeting and explaining their agenda to the Stakeholders Forum, possible hoping for their support in any parliamentary fights. Both actions must continue in the future. They need to become more proactive in investigating whether projects and programs are working properly. Better attention should be made to complaints by investigating, before saying that they are politically motivated, whether true or not. They must show that they are prepared to let the chips fall where they may, by admitting mistakes and taking action to hold individuals responsible and correct any problem, if proven true.
Second, the combined opposition must spend more time in helping to set and implement policies that addresses the present and future welfare of the country than in seeking to discredit past actions of the government. A satisfactory accounting for moneys spent on past and current projects must be addressed using facts and proper methods, and not by suspicions or innuendos. The primary role of the AFC must be to prevent this from happening whenever the nation will suffer. The opposition must play an important part in the great need for oversight on all projects, to prevent the wasting of taxpayers money thru corruption and incompetence.
Finally, the so called ordinary citizen must become more informed of the issues and arguments put forward by the parties. They must decide for themselves what is in their best interest and not that of a party or group or individual politicians. People need to be more involved in not only their own party’s policies but become more aware of all parties’ policies. The best informed people are those who read and listen to as many media sources as possible, hoping for more balanced and accurate information. The same should be true of the voter. This opinion may be limited due to space etc but hopefully its a start, of better and more extensive comments and discourse from the general public. Just saying.
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