(Originally published in Guyana's Kaieteur News on 27 June 2010)
Last Sunday I posited that there are good people in all the various political parties of Guyana. In response, a friend on Facebook told me that if this is indeed the case, those good people should be “courageous” enough to shun the overarching corruption in the country. I agree with my friend.
I honestly do believe there are leaders who are good and care about the people. However, if there was ever a time to take a stand for the people, that time is now.
Talk of forming coalitions is rampant lately, but none of those are of much interest to me, aside from the AFC’s involvement. This is a party founded by former members of the PPP/C and the PNCR, to offer an alternative to the two dinosaur parties and their ways of doing things.
For the AFC to ally themselves with one of these two parties makes the AFC obsolete, and will no doubt upset quite a few of their most loyal members.
There are some saying the only way to unseat the current government is through a coalition. I am of the opposite opinion on this matter.
I believe that if the AFC does align itself with the PNCR, it will lose a good amount of support and, more importantly, it will lose the trust of those who want to believe it represents Guyanese, without regard to race. In any case, regardless of what the AFC does, I would like to propose a different type of coalition - a coalition of good leaders.
I am not going to name the names of these good leaders, mostly because I do not know who all of them are, but the people of Guyana do know. If you are a leader and automatically assumed you are one of these good leaders, then you are probably not one. Narcissists are power hungry and self-centred, which automatically disqualifies them as good leaders.
Sadly, because narcissists are very abundant in politics, when we take them out of the equation, we are not left with very many other candidates. Of the few who are left, there are two groups, the ones who knew immediately they did not qualify as a good leader and those who thought, “I wonder if I qualify as a good leader.”
It is the latter group of whom I am talking. These are the ones who are humble enough and hopeful enough to qualify for this Coalition of Good Leaders (CGL).
If this CGL is going to work, the candidates will need to have one more quality and it is the most important one – courage. Good leaders cannot sit by and watch as the people of their nation are pillaged so an elite few can live like kings and queens.
I understand the notion that the best place to affect change is from the inside – and I agree to a certain extent. However, there comes a point when a good woman/good man can no longer turn a blind eye. There is a point at which biding time turns to perpetual apathy if allowed to continue. There comes a time to throw down the gauntlet and take a stand for the people.
If every good leader looks the other way when bad leaders do bad things, there is no one left who will stand for the people. Moreover, if good leaders are forced by bad leaders to do bad things, it will not be long before that good leader finds ways to justify her or his actions to placate a guilty conscience, thus becoming a bad leader as well.
I am not a priest (the church thinks women are unqualified for this job – gobbledygook!), and I am not looking for confessions to soothe a bad leader’s soul. What I would like is to stir the souls of those few good leaders from every political party, walk of life and race.
Even if you have never run for a political office before, it is time to find other good people and bond together for the common good. One of my favourite quotes is by Edmund Burke. I will rephrase his quote for this column, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph in Guyana is for good Guyanese to do nothing.”
Just for the record bad leaders, the people know who the good leaders are, so do not try to pretend to be a good leader if you are not. Just like how bad people can spot a bad person, good people know when they cross paths with another good person.
Bad people continuously try to act “good,” but they always slip up, and most times they do not even realise when they have been exposed for who they really are inside. You can see it in their shifty eyes and how they watch their back. You can see it when they look at another person like they are prey – a victim.
Those who pretend to be good are only fooling themselves. Good people know. It is a feeling deep down that says something is off, something is wrong. Or it is that alarm that says get away as fast as possible. Listen to your instincts, good people, and find good leaders for the next election.
If you know a good leader who is biding time on a bad team, encourage them to take a stand for the people. If there is a good person who should have a part in governing the nation, encourage that person to represent the people in public office.
Find all the good people you know and gather together to decide what a good course of action would be for the months ahead as election time approaches. And for goodness sake, if you are a good leader – act like one!