by Stella Ramsaroop
(Originally published in Guyana's Kaieteur News on 29 June 2006)
Don't start worrying your pretty little heads; I am not adding my name to the list of those who want to be the President of Guyana. However, with election season in full swing, I thought it would be nice to revise this column from last October about all of the changes I would make if I had the chance.
Maybe this could help give the leaders who are really running for the Presidential seat a few ideas and inspire some of the parties to establish a solid platform such as what is contained in this column.
Okay, here we go:
If I were President, I would establish an adopt-a-mile program so organisations, churches, schools, etc., could adopt a portion of a road and help keep it clean from litter. In fact, I would also impose a harsh fine for all the litterbugs and those menacing deviants who don't seem know the difference between a toilet and a stranger's home.
If I were President, I would privatise The Chronicle. As much as I would LOVE to have my very own newspaper to write gobs of columns on important issues such as shopping and dancing, I just don't think sweet and sensitive Freddie could find the time to be my editor – and I don't see how The Chronicle could possibly operate effectively under anyone else.
If I were President I would encourage the Diaspora to return home and have a positive impact on the investment climate of the country. I would also make sure to cut through the red tape so they have a reason to stay. This would be instituted the same week I become - not an afterthought I promise to do years after being in office.
If I were President, I would never sue a newspaper – even if they hurt my feelings. However, I would keep Smart and Sharp Robert Persaud around since he is so good at spinning and that could come in handy on the dance floor when we are all getting our national groove on.
If I were President, I would build a world-class resort right next to Kaieteur Falls to let the world know that "Guyana is Open for Tourism." I would also institute Baganara Lime-aid as the official drink of Guyana. This could help sell more rum, thereby creating new jobs and sparking fresh life into the economy.
If I were President, I would ban all forms of Puppet Politics. Important national decisions would be made with the good of the people in mind. I would cut the strings of puppet politicians with the same scissors I use to cut through the red tape. Then I would cut the nametags off of any airport employee who is planting drugs on unsuspecting travellers and give them a prison identification number instead. Those scissors would definitely get some good use.
If I were President, I would start building a road to connect to Brazil…yesterday. I would move heaven and earth to make sure that road is built and then I would open the borders to Brazilian tourists who would visit the new resort at Kaieteur Falls. I would also make huge cuts in import/export taxes, so the Brazilians can share all of their fun stuff with Guyana and Guyana can share all of its fun stuff with them. Everyone would be having tons o' fun.
If I were President, I would let the world know that Guyana loves foreign investors. I would make buttons to pin on the shirts and lapels of those in Parliament so they could wear them everywhere in the country and when they are at official meetings outside the country. I would also teach each of them to hug potential foreign investors as a sign of trust and appreciation for considering Guyana for their business ventures. This brings a whole new definition to open arm economics and we all know that a little hug can go a long way.
If I were President, I would have the mothers of Guyana screen each applicant for the Police Force. Mothers have a knack for knowing if a person is good or crooked and this would help reduce the corruption in law enforcement. Mother's are also very protective and take their jobs as guardians of their families and society as a whole very seriously. This would mean that the dad's would have to start helping out around the house more and maybe even learn to make his own dinner. Now, wouldn't that be a travesty? (Not!)
This is just a small sample of what I consider to be a healthy platform for any of the newly forming parties. Of course any Presidential candidate should feel free to use any part of this platform as your own since I will not need it.
I believe each of these points to be an obvious issue that should be considered by anyone who want to serve the people of Guyana. In fact, I bet the people could add to this platform exponentially – so why not ask them.