by Stella Ramsaroop
(Originally published in Guyana's Kaieteur News on 3 September 2006)
Since it seems likely that the current Information Liaison to the President, Robert Persaud, MBA, will be moving on to bigger and better things like a ministerial position or something of that lofty nature, I have decided that I think I could do a bang up job in his soon to be vacated position.
Let's try out the title first to make sure it works - Information Liaison to the President, Stella Ramsaroop. Hmmm. It seems like something is missing. Oh, I know. I need a cutesy little accreditation thingy at the end of my name. How about DSP, Doctor of Spin and Propaganda? Nah, the acronym sound too much like an STD. Let's try MGG, Master of Getting a Groove. Oh yeah, that works baby!
Let's try it out for a test run - Information Liaison to the President, Stella Ramsaroop, MGG. Beautiful! Just beautiful. I bet Mr. MBA is going to be so jealous of my adorable new designation. Now that I have decided on my groovy title to be used as next potential Information Liaison to the President, I should probably let the President know that I can do this job.
I know that I have very big shoes to fill since Robert Persaud, MBA has been the all time king of spin (or a close second to his guru, Baghdad Bob). Therefore, to be worthy of wearing that weighty crown, I had better be at the top of my game for this informal audition to showcase my talents for the President.
Let's start with this past week, which was full of issues that would need the attention of an Information Liaison. For example, Mr. MBA was asked about why he thought there was such a low voter turnout for the general elections. He just gave a dismissing response that showed he was not prepared to answer that very important question.
As Information Liaison to the President, I would have let the media know before they even asked the question that the primary reason that so many Guyanese chose to not cast their vote in this election, which is a distinct shift in the way the people of this nation practice politics, is simply because they were just too tired from all of those fun parties we threw the weekend before elections.
Since the blasted media has already shared the information with the world, we acknowledge that voter turnout was down by about 20 percent from the last election and the streets of the country looked like a ghost town during a national election day.
We also acknowledge that because of this lack of voter turnout, we acquired more seats in Parliament than we had last term even though we received over 25,000 fewer votes this election than in 2001. However, we sure did have fun at those rallies.
Oh boy, did we have fun! There was live music pulsing through the crowd that numbered somewhere close to 850,000 people at each rally (I know that number is more than the country's population, but such information is not common knowledge so why not throw it out there and see what happens? Mr. MBA would be so proud of me right now.).
Anyhow, as I was saying, we partied all weekend, so on Monday when the people needed to vote, they were simply too exhausted from the weekend. It's a good thing the President gave them a national holiday so they could rest up, but for next election we need to remember that our rallies should be tamed down a bit so the people can have the strength to vote the next day.
Therefore, the explanation for the low voter turnout was that we partied too much the weekend before. This nonsense being tossed about by the sore loser politicians and various commentators claiming the people are just tired of the nation's political practices is simply a way for them to steal our shine since we won and they didn't.
The electorate was just tired from partying, not tired of us. They love us. Why else would they elect us for yet another consecutive term?
There is another issue from this past week that should be addressed by an Information Liaison and since I think I'd make a great one, I will tackle this matter as well. It seems after adamantly proclaiming that there would be no power sharing to squeeze every vote out of a politically gun-shy electorate, the President is now telling the opposition parties that he wants to play nice with them.
Now I know this may seem like a scheme to impress the Organisation of American States (OAS) and The Carter Foundation, both of which encouraged Guyana's leaders to find ways to work together this week. However, the President is very sincere in his sentiments of cooperation.
He was just playing around last term when his administration refused to cooperate with anyone else. This term he plans to work with anyone who is willing to roll up his/her sleeves and labour hard to promote the PPP's agenda for progress in Guyana. (Now that is great spin. Read it and weep, Mr. MBA.)
I sure hope the President considers me to fill this position if it is vacated by Smart and Sharp Robert Persaud. It might be a bit difficult for me to adjust my thinking to reflect the ideology that a government can do as it pleases and then make up all kinds of stories to cover its tracks and ease the conscience of the electorate, but I think I can do it.
After all, we cannot have an electorate with a guilty conscience now, can we?
Additional references for the position of Information Liaison to the President are available upon request.