Thursday, May 31, 2007

Stella Says…What if Jagdeo wants another term as President?

by Stella Ramsaroop

(Originally published in Guyana's Kaieteur News on 30 May 2007)

I suppose many people have wondered if Jagdeo intends to really relinquish his title as President of Guyana at the end of his current term even though this is constitutionally suppose to be his last.

The cockeyed way in which his government operates at times opens the door wide for speculation as to whether he would be able to finagle another term. The possibility of another term has much to do with whether the opposition would rigorously oppose such an action.

The main opposition party, the PNC, could call into question the legality of any president attempting to serve more terms than the Constitution allows and thereby challenge the credibility of the government. Hence, Jagdeo would need to offer the PNC leader, Robert Corbin, a very sweet deal if he does indeed wish to extend his stay at the presidential office.

Realistically speaking, the PNC simply does not have a chance of winning an election so long as the nation continues to vote along racial lines and the PPP constituents hold the majority vote. As such, it just might be that Corbin would be open to exploring any sweet deals His Excellency might throw his way.

However, I would like to suggest that before the PNC leader accepts trivial positions of little consequence as an inducement for the few necessary votes needed to change the Constitution, perhaps it would serve PNC members better to demand something far sweeter in exchange – if this situation were to arise.

For example, just a year before the last presidential election the PNC started to raise a ruckus about the need for election reform. In my opinion, this was all for show because if they had been at all serious, they would have demanded the reform from the first day of the last term instead of waiting until the last minute when nothing could have been done in time for the elections.

But if the PNC wants to prove the genuine nature of their demand for election reform, they should begin their crusade from now. In fact, if by some small chance the President does approach the PNC leader with a desire to run again next term, this would be the perfect opportunity to demand election reform in exchange.

What would the PNC do with trivial positions – even if those positions included some trivial money – when at the end of the whole ordeal the party and its members are no better off than they are today?

The one and only change that will make a difference for any of the opposition parties is election reform. I use to hold out my hope that the people of Guyana would see how futile it is to vote along racial lines because they will only continue to get stuck with the same do-nothings that continue to do nothing. I am no longer so optimistic.

At the same time, it is getting really old watching the PNC cry foul over and over while it does nothing to change the current system. If Corbin (or his soon to be predecessor) truly wants to see a better situation for PNC party members, this would be the perfect opportunity to do something good for the people – that is, if Jagdeo presents such an opportunity.

After all, how many times does the opposition party in Guyana get to be in the driver’s seat, if even for just a brief time? If Jagdeo does indeed intend on running for another term, he knows he cannot afford to have his credibility challenged by the main opposition party in front of the international community.

Right now, there is a movement to put a stop to parliament members who defect to other parties and still retain the seats held by their previous parties. It seems to me that all of the energy being wasted on this effort would be better channelled into reforming the election process. If a new governing system were adopted within the election reform, then it might solve the problem of chair stealing parliament members as well.

If the election process was changed to allow the people to vote for a particular representative in their respective regions, then it would not matter if that representative switches parties because he/she would be legally elected by the people and not given the position by the party.

Of course, the proposed legislation in question allows the PPP and the PNC to tighten their grip on their current members of parliament, so one might think the PNC would be opposed to such a reform in the election process. But like I said before, election reform is the only chance the PNC has of ever winning an election – well, at least until all the PPP supporters migrate to other shores.

I have my doubts as to whether the PNC was ever serious about election reform or if they just use it as a place to lay blame when they lose an election. Sometimes it seems as if Corbin is actually content with things the way they are right now because any protest rising from the opposition is usually nothing more than smoke and mirrors.

However, should some new leadership come into power in the near future, perhaps they will be less willing to lie down and die so easily. Then if that day comes when Jagdeo is looking to present them with a sweet deal – maybe, just maybe - they will think election reform is the sweetest deal of all.

Email: StellaSays[at]

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Stella Says…How many radio stations do you have, Jagdeo?

by Stella Ramsaroop

(Originally published in Guyana's Kaieteur News on 27 May 2007)

Did you know that Jamaica has 40 radio stations? Or that Barbados has 12? It’s true; I did some research (on out of curiosity as to why Guyana’s government is still holding the radio industry hostage.

I even tried to put myself in their supposed communist shoes and checked up on Cuba. Did you know that good old Castro allows over 150 radio stations to be broadcast in his country? Whoa baby! He’s not afraid of the big bad wolf. I’m sure some or even most of those stations are government controlled, but I saw some from other countries as well.

Likewise, Venezuela has over 150 radio stations and Bolivia has over 65 stations. So it does not seem as if the PPP is monopolising the radio waves because of a bad example set by some other dictatorial ruler. Even Iran has far more radio station than Guyana and that government is one of the most oppressive in the world.

I do wish I could understand the reasoning behind why the PPP’s will not allow more radio stations to broadcast in the nation. Especially since this nasty subject rears its head in some of the most inconvenient places, like the 2006 country report on Human Rights Practices, released in March by the US Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour.

I imagine this subject must be a bit touchy for President Jagdeo when he is hob-nobbing with other world leaders too. When trying to look like the better of the Caribbean countries, the new president of Haiti might mention - with some other international leaders close at hand - that his country has around 36 radio stations and then turn to Jagdeo as he clears his throat and ask, “How many stations do you have, Jagdeo?”

Oh my! What an embarrassing situation for Guyana’s dear president. When I lived in Panama, Costa Rica and Guatemala, it was really something to see that even in the most rural areas, you could still get dozens of radio stations.

The abundance of radio stations all around the world – even in rural areas and in countries with oppressive governments - really makes a person wonder why Guyana is still stuck with just two government owned and controlled stations. Even now I am scratching my head in disbelief.

Let’s be honest, if this situation truly stemmed from the fact that the government feels it does not have the capacity to properly regulate the industry, there are ways to fix that problem. In fact, steps have been taken, and subsequently squashed, in that direction.

If you ask me, this is about the PPP’s need to play the big dog. Ruff. The insecurity of allowing others to have free expression over the radio cannot be very appealing for the ruling party. Ruff, ruff. The idea that the opposition parties would have more places to spread their own propaganda is probably pretty disturbing too. Growl.

But at the end of the day, it probably makes the PPP leaders feel real good to know that nobody else can use Guyana’s radio waves but them. They are the big dogs. Bow-wow.

Honestly, I just cannot see any other reason – other than pure bravado – that would force the PPP to hold the entire nation back from enjoying the same developments the rest of the world now takes for granted. For example, England has over 560 radio stations and France has over 900. Who could ever listen to all of those stations?

I have a great idea. Perhaps if the members of Parliament drafted a new broadcasting bill that included plenty of language that paid homage to the big dog, then maybe the PPP would be more inclined to allow at least a few independent stations to broadcast.

The new bill should be laced with terms like, “the big dog is great,” and “we hereby recognise the illustrious big dog for his kind generosity.” It might not hurt to toss in phrases of praise and honour to the wisest big dog to ever roam the face of the earth too.

If any of the Parliament members need some help with the wording, I would be more than happy to help. This is so exciting. As soon as this new draft of the broadcasting bill is finished, we could see an explosion of radio stations in Guyana.

The nation will be alive with free expression in the form of songs, news and opinions. Everyone will have one more way to get their daily dose of Tony Vieira. Maybe we can even get Sweet and Sensitive Freddie his own show! We could call it, Finally Free with Freddie Kissoon.

It will be absolutely wonderful to have dozens of radio stations and we will only have the great and illustrious PPP to thank. After all, you can’t be a big dog with just two radio stations. Bow-wow.

Email: StellaSays[at]

Friday, May 25, 2007

Stella Says…Monetary compensation should not hinder justice in sexual assault cases

by Stella Ramsaroop

(Originally published in Guyana's Kaieteur News on 25 May 2007)

There are very few things in life that makes me so mad that I will raise my voice above a normal volume. Although I am passionate about a great many issues, when it comes to the violation of women, I would fight tooth and nail to see that justice is served.

My disdain for those who sexually assault women even surpasses my utter contempt for George Bush and his cronies. In my eyes, there is nothing in the world that is viler than someone who has sexually violated another person.

All of my passion about this subject makes it difficult for me to understand how a father would encourage his daughter to accept monetary compensation from someone who has sexually assaulted her – as was the case on March 30 when a 39 year-old man was accused of sexual assault against a17 year-old girl.

There is no amount of money that can restore a woman’s sense of security or replace the feelings of being so insignificant that some man could treat her with so little regard. When a woman is forced to accept monetary compensation from the very person who already violated her, it is as if she is forced to put a price on her soul.

Luckily, Magistrate Geeta Chandan did not allow the accused to get away so easily. Regardless of whether the girl was told to accept money as compensation, the man did not walk away from the accusations at hand. This is how it should be in every case.

When a man rapes a woman, he is breaking the law and it should not depend on whether the woman wishes to press charges against him. Every sexual predator should be held accountable for such depraved acts.

Some women are forced to accept money to drop the charges against their assailant, other women are pressured to drop the charges with threats of more violence and still others are ashamed of the public humiliation.

Whatever the case, the loathsome criminal should be held accountable in a court of law with or without the insistence of the victim. If the police have done their job properly (and that is a big if), there should be few problems in convicting these scumbags.

Moreover, women who are sexually violated should not blame themselves for the unforgivable crime committed against them. If one woman allows her sexual assailant to walk away without being held accountable in a court of law, it will not be the last time he assaults a woman. You can bet there will be more.

What kind of deviant would rob a precious 17 year-old girl of a promising future just to satisfy his own sexual desire? What kind of human thinks he has the right to sexually violate any woman? This type of person does not deserve to walk the same streets as the rest of humanity.

A strong message needs to be sent to would-be sexual assailants that if you touch a woman without permission, you go to jail. Period. There should be absolutely no tolerance from the family, no tolerance from the police and no tolerance from the judicial system.

In the words of Wintress White and Cora Belle Roberts of the Red Thread, who wrote a letter to Stabroek New on April 1 in praise of Magistrate Chandan on this case, “It is time for people to understand that girls and women are not for sale and that no man is entitled to violate our bodies and get away with it.”

In fact, it is a disgrace to the human race that such depravity was ever allowed to take place in the first place without justice for the victims. In some cultures it is the woman who must pay with her life if a man sexually violates her. How utterly shameful.

This is why I cannot help but raise my voice when it comes to this issue. There is no justice in murdering a girl who has been sexually violated. There is not justice in forcing a girl to accept money from her rapist.

Worst of all, it is absolutely ludicrous and utterly heartless to force a woman to marry the very man who raped and victimised her. In my opinion, any family that would do this to their daughter is no better than the rapist himself. And now that parasite can victimise her all he wants for years on end.

It is a further shame that even our religious scriptures encourage some, if not all, of these measures.

There is no justice in any of these quick fixes to cover over the criminal acts of a few pathetic men. There should be no way out for these types of criminals. They should not be allowed to buy or intimidate their way out of being held accountable to the law of the land.

Why on earth does society cater to these criminals and treat the victims like the plague? This is beyond all good sense. Sexual predators are a sickness in society. They are a scourge on humanity. And the sooner the world puts every single one of them behind bars, the better off the rest of us will be.

This column has been a long time coming. It is intentionally harsh and loaded with severe adjectives when describing sexual assailants because I believe that when we all start to openly treat these monsters like they should be treated, that is when our daughters will be safe again.

Email: StellaSays[at]

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Stella Says…Spit when you say “Party Loyalty”

by Stella Ramsaroop

(Originally published in Guyana's Kaieteur News on 23 May 2007)

I have been quite intrigued by a few of the responses in the letter pages to the fact that the PNC’s leadership is being challenged. It seems there are some who would swear loyalty to Robert Corbin regardless of how poorly he has led the party.

I have to admit that I do not understand this type of loyalty to a public servant because I have always been taught that no politician should be trusted, every politician should be watched carefully and when a politician fails in his/her representation of the constituency, then it is time to find a replacement.

Using the standards I just listed, Corbin should have been ousted after his first term as party leader. Then again, by the same criterion, Jagdeo should have been replaced a long time ago too, but that is for another column. Let’s return to the leadership challenge in the PNC.

It is not as though I do not understand the Guyanese political atmosphere. In fact, I have taken great measures to strengthen my knowledge and understanding of this unique situation - even down to the little nuisances that race plays in the game.

However, I still do not understand why anyone would remain loyal to a leader whose performance was far less than exemplary for his/her constituents. To me, this is nothing short of political self-flagellation.

For example, on May 10, Desiree King wrote a letter to the editor that said, “The first question should be whether the group [the seven challenging Corbin’s leadership] was lured by the media, or was it that they contemplated such action? Whatever the reason, they have acted in a highly indisciplined and irresponsible manner, in which their own interest was paramount to that of the party.” [sic]

On May 18, Charles Callender wrote in a letter, “Party members, think seriously before you vote. Remember the saying: ‘Beware of the Greeks bearing gifts.’ Jerry Lewis sang a song telling us not to smile with a crocodile. He warns: ‘Don't be taken in by his welcome grin. He's imagining how well you'll fit within his skin'.”

The notion of party loyalty inherent in these letters and so ingrained in Guyanese politics is by far the most detrimental aspect of this otherwise vibrant society. I am not sure if it is a race thing or if it is some other facet that creates such an injurious allegiance, but it is quite clear how much it holds this nation back from being as great as it should be.

The whole point of a democratic society is that the people are free to choose the best person to represent them in government. However, if that choice is impeded by unseen obstacles that prohibit the ability to determine the best candidate for the people, then there can be no other conclusion than democracy has been compromised by something far less noble.

I can think of nothing better for the PNC (and by default, the nation as a whole) than for someone – anyone – to stand up and declare that they can do a better job than the current leader. It is never – I repeat, never – a bad thing to have an abundance of leaders that would challenge the incumbent.

The lack of choice when it comes to superior leadership is a dreadful condition and the very fact that the notion of party loyalty produces an atmosphere that promotes this condition is even more dreadful.

Those who are challenging Corbin’s leadership were accused of allowing their own interest to take place over that of the party by Desiree King, but has she ever considered that Corbin knew he should have stepped down a long time ago for the good of the party but for his own self-interest remained?

If anything, this move to challenge Corbin’s leadership could be the best thing to happen to the PNC in decades. The multiple name changes did nothing to revamp the party simply because the poor leadership was still intact. It is high time that some of the core members stood up and demanded something better than what Corbin has been providing.

If something is broke, it should be fixed. The PNC has been broken for so long that its constituents have begun to think the state of disrepair is normal and acceptable. It is like a door that keeps falling off of the hinges that no one will take the time and effort to fix. Anyone who walks through the door knows they must prop the door up if they wish to pass through safely.

The PNC leader has been propped up for far too long. It is time to get a new door and install it properly. Any calls for party loyalty will no doubt result in party suicide. The notion of party loyalty is an enemy to the people of Guyana. It has accomplished nothing but to produce lethargic leaders and stifle democracy.

The term “party loyalty” should become so disdained by the people of Guyana that they spit when it crosses their lips. The only loyalty that should be expected is that of the politicians to their people, which will only come when the people stop make excuses for their leaders’ incompetence and start demanding – by their vote – a government that cares about its constituents.

The challenge to Corbin’s leadership has nothing to do with the debilitating and undeserved notion of party loyalty and everything to do with a democratic attempt at providing a better representation for PNC members.

I do not know whether these leaders will do any better than Corbin, but they sure as hell can’t do any worse.

Email: StellaSays[at]

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Stella Says…Women can be sexy in the bedroom and still be stately in the boardroom

by Stella Ramsaroop

(Originally published in Guyana's Kaieteur News on 20 May 2007)

Good ol’ Peeper touch on the topic of appropriate workplace dress for women a few weeks ago and I knew immediately that I would of course have an opinion about what he had to say. In fact, this is an issue in which I believe many women struggle.

Peeps said, “I saw a lovely young lady in a government office last Friday. She had on this lovely blouse that fitted firmly on her upper body. It was complimented by tight fitting jeans that seemed to highlight every curve, crease and bulge in her lower body. If the Peeper was working in the same office with that girl in the close-fitting attire, I would have enormous difficulty concentrating.”

In a world where society dictates fashion through magazines by shoving plunging necklines and stiletto heels at every woman’s subconscious, it can be quite difficult to translate that image into a conservative workplace environment.

Peeps even touched on the way the women in our own newspaper dressed. He said, “Some people are going to be blue mad with the Peeper but the dress code is also becoming a problem here at Kaieteur News. I am going to recommend to Glen Lall that some of the female staff dress more modestly on Fridays and weekends, while the males should try to ensure that their attire is less casual.”

For women whose personalities lead them to careers such as accounting and legal work, I would venture to say that their mindset is already one that plays it safe and will not find it difficult to adjust their wardrobe to suit a workplace environment.

However, for the more creative minded woman, like those who would be found in a newsroom, the process of creating an appropriate workplace wardrobe might be considerable more difficult. I know this first hand since I still struggle – even at thirty-eight years of age – to buy clothes that do not have flowing sleeves and extreme patterns.

In fact, even if I purposely go to the store to buy something conservative for an event, without fail I will return home with something that a writer would wear instead of something an accountant would wear.

I am not negating Peeping Tom’s point. In fact, I whole-heartedly agree with his premise that within a workplace environment, women should dress appropriately. However, it is far easier for a man, who can slip on a button-up shirt and some slacks, than it is for a woman to find that balance between creative and appropriate attire.

Women just entered the workplace a few short decades ago and as such, it can surely be expected that some ladies may find it a daunting task to define themselves within an environment that has been established and moulded by men.

I recently bought a book to help me with my own issues of finding the appropriate attire in various settings. The book entitled, “From Clueless to Class Act,” by Jodi R. R. Smith, said, “Before you leave home, think about where you are going and what you should be wearing. This doesn’t mean you always need to look like you stepped off the cover of a magazine. Different outfits are appropriate for different occasions. Think of your attire as a costume for playing a part.”

This statement could help the creative-minded woman because she might be able to envision herself in a more conservative style if she viewed the outfit as one of the many costumes she needs for her various roles in life.

The other day I watched a debate between Christians and Atheists on ABC’s news show, Nightline. There were two men who represented the Christian side (of course) and a man and a woman representing the Atheist side. Firstly, the debate was a total waste of time since it was not the academic event I assumed it would be.

However, I was totally embarrassed for all women because the sole lady who represented us in this debate wore a loudly printed dress with a neckline that exposed her breasts and was cut at the bottom with jagged edges. This was a dress that should be worn to a club for dancing – not to an intellectual debate on the existence of God that was broadcast around the world.

There is no way anyone with a thinking mind could possibly take this woman seriously no matter how intelligent she was or how solid her argument. She did in fact make some great points during the debate, but nothing spoke louder than the statement she was making with that dress.

We as women have to find the balance between being sexy in the bedroom and being stately in the boardroom. I am a free spirit that loves to be creative, but I am also an academic that loves to learn about everything that crosses my path.

Every woman has many roles to play in life. Women are mothers, lovers, students, teachers, housewives, legislators – and so on. We must wear the appropriate costume for every occasion of our lives so that we leave no room for the old patriarchal system to claim it was right that women do not belong in this “man’s world.”

Email: StellaSays[at]

Monday, May 14, 2007

Stella Says…The noise nuisance has made the PPP deaf

by Stella Ramsaroop

(Originally published in Guyana's Kaieteur News on 13 May 2007)

Newsflash to all citizens of Guyana: The government has said it will take quick action against the noise problems that torment so many law-abiding people.

I am so excited about this news that I could turn my stereo up full blast and get my groove on.

Okay, I admit that I am one of those annoying people who love to listen to the music full blast while driving in the car. Not all of the time, mind you, but there are just times when I need to cut loose and have some fun while running mundane errands.

My children have always enjoyed these musical outbursts and we dance and have fun while driving around town. However, I am always very careful to adjust the volume of my stereo before I enter a residential area. I tell my children it is time to act like civilised folk and turn the music down to a more respectable level.

Moreover, my teenagers have never been allowed to play their music above what can be heard in one room. One time I returned home to find one of my boys playing his music full blast in the yard as he did something else outside. Needless to say, he was severely chastised and the music was confiscated for a brief time to reinforce the error of his ways.

The other day I was doing some yard work when a neighbour’s teenage son came home from school with his music blaring. I assumed it would be turned off when he parked his car – I was wrong. He stayed by his car talking to his friends while the music continued to boom around the neighbourhood. I was quite annoyed.

My annoyance had to do with the fact that yard work is a relaxing time for me, but it is difficult to relax when the words of a rap song (of which contained many curse words and was demeaning to women) were searing my ears.

The problem in Guyana is far deeper than just one rude teen though. There are actually entire business establishments and even places of worship being rude to their neighbours. I received an email from one woman in March who seemed to be at her wits end about an ongoing noise problem from a nearby Hindu Temple.

Who can blame her? I would feel the same way if my home was subjected to noise pollution on a constant basis and the police did little or nothing to correct the situation. There have been countless letters to the newspapers about the noise booming from churches, clubs, cars, etc. There have also been plenty of editorials, news stories and complaints galore to the government and the police.

This is not just a recent problem either; it has been going on for several years now. Maybe the murder rate in Guyana would decline if the citizens were able to get a decent night’s sleep without noise interruption. I am one of those people who simply must have eight hours of sleep or I cannot function properly.

Ah, I bet this is why the PPP is so slow to do anything of consequence for the nation. They are just tired because they are not getting enough sleep due to the noise nuisance. Poor babies. If this is the case, the people of Guyana should work night and day (since it is impossible to sleep anyhow) to make sure their government officials finally get the rest they need.

Or better yet, maybe the government should be working night and day to fix this problem. Oh yeah, that is the way it suppose to work, isn’t it? The government works for the people – not the other way around. With the way things are going in the world I forget that important point of democracy sometimes (and it seems the PPP does too).

Somehow I don’t really think those governing the nation are losing sleep because of the noise level in their neighbourhoods. Maybe it is their guilty consciences that keep them awake at night. Nah. Oh, I know. I bet it is all of that partying. You know, the parties with the loud music that keep the rest of the nation awake.

No matter, this week Minister of Home Affairs, Clement Rohee, promised “expeditious action to address the issue of loud music.” Since we all know that Rohee is always very quick to make good on his promises, I’m sure everyone will be able to rest a little better very soon.

It really should not be held against the government that even it’s own newspaper ran an editorial about legislating against noise on October 18 in 2005. That was a year and a half ago! The editorial ended like this, “The public should speak up against the growing orchestra of dissonance that we are being subjected to, before we all become too deaf to hear anything anymore.”

Ah, so the inaction regarding this issue isn’t due to the fact Guyana’s governing officials are getting so little sleep – it is because they are now deaf and cannot hear the incessant pleas for help. The government is deaf? Hmm, I guess this isn’t a newsflash after all.

Email: StellaSays[at]

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Stella Says...The Great Jehovah must not want the PNC to govern Guyana

by Stella Ramsaroop

(Originally published in Guyana's Kaieteur News on 06 May 2007)

The notion of the separation of Church and State is probably one of the most important political and legal doctrines available to modern democracies. This doctrine states that government and religious institutions are to be kept separate and independent of one another.

The importance of this doctrine is even more apparent when one considers, for example, that the President of America invaded another country with the notion that God told him to do so. In retrospect, God must have been wrong or Bush needs to have his hearing checked.

In this same vein, PNC party leader, Robert Corbin, sounded just as ridiculous this past week when he said the fate of his political future rests in God’s hands. I could not help but snicker at the very thought since the PNC has been on a downhill roll for many years now.

This newspaper quoted Corbin in its April 29 issue as saying, “I am a believer in the great Jehovah, and in Him I have always placed my trust. He has never failed me, even when situations are not very clear to all men. I therefore place my political fate in His Hands and (those of) the membership of the PNCR.”

Let us apply logic to this statement. Firstly, Corbin stated that he is a believer in the great Jehovah. Secondly, Corbin stated that his Jehovah has never failed him. Lastly, Corbin places his political fate in his Jehovah’s hands.

It would therefore be quite easy to deduce that if Corbin has always believed in Jehovah and Jehovah has never failed in guiding his political fate, then it should be quite obvious to all that Jehovah does not want the PNC to govern Guyana.

This is what happens when humans drag their deities into politics. It is a strategy used frequently when a politician finds him/herself in an insecure position. When a politician would like the people to forego logic and sound judgement, it is time to reach for an endorsement from a higher power.

Given the PNC track record with Corbin at the helm, the members of this party should indeed find some fresh leadership – or a new God – because their current strategy has been failing for quite some time now.

Even if we put the PNC’s past performance behind us and focused on Corbin’s performance in the here and now, he just alienated at least half of Guyana’s voters – you know, the ones who do not serve Corbin’s great Jehovah.

Guyana is a nation known for its cultural, racial and religious diversity. Putting a person who wears his faith on his sleeve into the office of President of Guyana would be just as disastrous as it was for America – if not more.

A president is suppose to represent the whole nation, which means that personal issues, like religion, should be kept just that – personal (sound familiar?). Moreover, it is not wise for the PNC to draw yet one more distinction between themselves and those who do govern Guyana.

It is a very scary prospect to think a leader is more inclined to go to his deity for political direction than to the people who put him in power. If Bush had listened to the people of America and his international friends instead of his deity, the Iraqi war would have never happened and thousands of lives would have been spared.

Instead of calling on his great Jehovah for the opportunity to continue his leadership of the PNC, Corbin should present his constituents a better plan for the future of the party than the one being presented by those who are challenging his leadership. This is what the people expect of their political leaders.

When people want a spiritual leader, they go to their respective places of worship. This is where they expect to hear about issues of faith – not from a political leader. Perhaps this is exactly why the PNC has been on such a disastrous decline for so long - because Corbin has been sitting on his hands waiting for his Great Jehovah to do something and the people are looking to Corbin to do something. Meanwhile, no one is doing anything of consequence.

In my opinion, Corbin has proven his lack of leadership ability simply by showing himself to be so weak at this crucial juncture. I am not suggesting that it is weak to be spiritual. However, if the best answer a political leader can offer when asked about his political future is a diatribe about his spiritual state, it is obvious that a huge hole exists in the necessary political areas.

On the other hand, Corbin knows most of his constituents also serve his great Jehovah and was probably trying to make a political play on their deep spirituality. I certainly hope PNC members are smarter than that. Otherwise, they will end up just as embarrassed and disappointed in their political leader as the Americans are now.

The one safe doctrine in a nation of such great diversity as Guyana is the consistent insistence of the separation of Church and State. It is just too dangerous to inject spiritual matters in the political arena.

Email: StellaSays[at]