by Stella Ramsaroop
(Originally published in Guyana's Kaieteur News on 19 October 2006)
There has been some chatter lately about the upcoming local elections and even predictions for who will be running for the presidential seat in 2011 are handily available.
Although I think it is a bit premature to be considering the next general elections, I would like to entertain this thought momentarily to consider the need for Guyanese to spread their political wings to include some fresh, new faces.
I believe clarification may be in order to further define the phrase “new faces” in the context of my statement. When I say “new faces,” I do not mean old faces slipped into new positions. This seems to be the definition some political parties have recently adapted for this phrase.
There are many parliamentarians and ministers being passed off as new faces when they are just old faces conveniently rearranged to give the appearance of being a new face - as if in a magical trick. Now you see them here, now you see them over there. Presto, chango.
Likewise, when I use the term “new faces,” I do not intend for it to mean familiar faces repackaged in a new political party. This is a popular new trend among the politicians too. Even whole parties are doing it.
The AFC is a perfect example of recycled statespersons merging to form a new party - yet again, old faces. Some of Guyana’s politicians just move from party to party trying to create the illusion of having a new face and in the process give their supporters an identity crisis. Like I said, old faces in new parties.
Even the PNC tried to rebrand itself with a new face by getting an updated name and trying to form a coalition of sorts with some smaller parties, all of whom had old faces. This is like taking week old bread and repackaging it to sell as fresh and delicious. Nobody was fooled though.
Therefore, I will indeed clarify my definition of the term “new faces.” It simply means new faces - people who are new to the political scene. When I say Guyana needs some new faces, I actually mean that it would be nice to see some new people toss their names into the political arena and help shake things up a bit.
I am looking for the next generation of leaders. These old ones are…well, old! Their policies are old. Their politics are old. Their practices are old. Their vision is old. The ridiculous games are very old. Some of these current politicians are so crusty that they make Methuselah look like a wee little youngster.
If the recent general election showed us anything, it was that there is a clear indication that people are tired of the old politics. The PNC lost a hefty portion of its support and a sizeable portion of the PPP voters simply stayed at home rather than waste their precious time at the voting booth.
As such, the upcoming local elections would be the perfect time for some fresh faces to hit the political scene so Guyana can begin to weed out some of those old faces. This type of choreography would go a long way toward setting the stage for the next general elections.
I suppose there are some leaders who would be worth keeping around for their experience and wisdom. There might be one or two who actually deserve their honourable positions and contribute greatly to the governing process.
However, even these noble persons seem jaded at times and have been forced by the system to compromise their beliefs so often that they are now but a shell of that beacon of hope they once were.
While these statespersons remain important to the future of the nation, the country needs new leaders who are untainted by the system to rise up and become Guyana’s new visionaries. Better to have green and inexperienced new faces than old faces who constantly prop up the relics of a broken system.