by Stella Ramsaroop
(Originally published in the Kaieteur News on 05 Feb 2006)
It has been quite a while since I have had the chance to chat it up with my pals in the AFC and lately I have been missing the good ol' days full of shopping sprees with Khemraj and the hearty debates over the “seat issue” with Raphael.
As such, being the good friend that I am, I thought it high time to give my friends a ring to see how they are doing. Khemraj, Raphael and Sheila, have you heard that the GTF is caput? This is indeed a sad scenario and I am grievously saddened by this turn of events, although we have all seen it coming for over a month now thanks to Freddie's crystal ball.
I do hope the AFC is faring better than the GTF. I am quite sure the PPP and the PNC are both doing a silly little dance in celebration while they listen to that oldie, but goodie, “Another One Bites The Dust.” I don't mean to put any undue pressure on you all, but the people's third force alternative lies squarely on your shoulders now.
I am sure you are up to the job, but I do worry for you because this is a very precarious position given the inability of previous third force alternatives to gain more than a seat or two in Parliament. However, to be as effective as a third party needs to be in Guyana , the AFC needs to attain far more than a couple seats – so I hope you have set your goals high.
If you have indeed set your sights on acquiring a good number of seats (not the ones that Khemraj and Sheila are still holding hostage – new ones that rightfully belong to the AFC), then you have to be up for a good fight and, therefore, need to have all of your ducks in a row before the real campaigning begins.
Listen to me just rambling on. I haven't talked to all of you in such a long time and here I am wasting your precious time on advice that I am sure you have already afforded considerable attention. In fact, I am sure that by now you have a well-formed platform on which to base a solid and persuasive campaign.
I do think this could be the year of the third party, which is why I was so upset that the GTF couldn't put their differences aside long enough to think about what would be the best course of action for Guyana . They are yesterday's news though and the AFC is the reigning champion of the third force competition (Although I still think all of you should have been working together, but what do I know, eh?).
As I was saying champs, I think this could be the year of the third force alternative. I mentioned over a week ago that I believe the PPP to be operating with a Hobbesian approach to government. Of course I cannot be certain of this without asking them myself, but I'm sure they wouldn't give me a straight answer anyhow since that just isn't their style.
I figure there is one of two possibilities if one wants to analyse the performance of the PPP; they are either simply incapable of eradicating crime, corruption and poverty and therefore incompetent, or they are employing Hobbes chaos theory to keep the nation in a suspended state of confusion and insecurity so the people will constantly cry out for the government to intervene.
I know that no one wants to hear such things about their government. After all, we are supposed to be able to trust those we vote into office to represent our best interests. In the end though, we are obligated to assess how well these representatives have done their jobs and if they are found lacking, we should fire them and replace them with representatives who will get the job done right.
Therefore, my AFC friends, I have a few questions that I am sure many people would like to ask of you. These are all questions that I am sure you have already discussed and settled amongst yourselves and, if that is the case, should share with the rest of the country.
Tell us AFC, what is your strategy for combating crime? For eliminating poverty? For preventing further flooding? For building a solid infrastructure? For diversifying the economy? For encouraging local business growth? For an enhanced educational system? What is your position on foreign investors? On women's issues? On the state of the judiciary system? On Guyana 's role in the CSME? On state-owned and operated media outlets? On Hobbes' philosophy of controlling a state through chaos?
What do you plan to do about drug trafficking? About the lack of jobs for young people? About paedophiles? About the astronomical duty levied on cars brought into Guyana ? About the lack of traffic lights (and the broken ones)? About domestic abuse? About the fact that Freddie (and anyone else who owns a RAV 4) has to take out a loan just to buy some new tyres for their car?
Will Raphael be reintroducing his Freedom of Information Bill if the AFC actually wins a majority? Or will the AFC follow the same double standard of its predecessors in regards to the tight control of information?
Okay, I'll take it easy on you and stop with these few questions. I am sure the rest of the nation will be as anxious as I am to obtain your response. After all, if you expect anyone to vote for you then you need to prove that you have something better to offer them than what they presently have – like a better life.