By GHK Lall
Some areas of the nation have been abuzz with chatter over the no-confidence motion and its possible implications. I, for one, did view it with scant interest and even less attention. Amounted to just so much ho-hum, though possessing of much sound, but puny intensity. Frankly, much ado about nothing and not worth the focus. Now I break my silence in the aftermath and share a few words.
I can agree that, because of the razor-thin parliamentary majority of the coalition government, it can be laid low by one single blink, one rotten link, one fateful failure. It was. And, yes, I have heard among the plethora of patter from the pantheon of political pundits (all possessing some secret unique access) of fabulous sums dangled before the vulnerable and ready to change hands for the tempted willing. Such sums have ranged from a paltry sixty million Guyana to a cool one million Uncle Sam. In terms of the latter, the exchange rate could be made buyer friendly to add more bang to the buck and weight to the offer that may be beyond refusing. I think that is all well and good (and irresistibly enticing) but then what? What for the poor treacherous scoundrel who yielded and fell? Let it be said: there would be no place available for such a wretch to fall. Not one hallowed plot; not a single blade of grass made available for the likes of such a homegrown Iscariot from within the bosom. Self-immolation and self-destruction would evoke no sympathy from the burning wrath of those betrayed. So there….
Along the same lines, I think of this no-confidence motion as an exercise in futility. It is ill-conceived, ill-timed, and bound to be illusory in terms of result and substance, no matter how pregnant with a favorable future. Quite frankly, I am probing for the upside to the sponsors and come up empty-handed. Thus, I foresee this no-confidence motion as a journey to nowhere. Nowhere that can be explored and exploited; nowhere that brings political succor, other than in the fevered head of its creator and chief energizer. For the sum of all objectives also houses the totality of many muted fears.
Here is a thought that is worth weighing carefully and coldly. In a best-case scenario, and contingent upon a major miracle, suppose the people bringing this no-confidence motion were to prevail, then where to? I suggest that there be a harsh practical understanding of the relevance and utility of democracy in such circumstances, along with any of its attendant applications. I suggest further that a hard, heavy pause be enforced to allow for some meditation. The road to the mechanics of polls and possibilities is sure to be overflowing with stresses and tensions to the point of severe societal fissures. I suggest still further that even in a situation of the most favorable results brought about by a perceived forced premature count that the fruits of victory will prove to be bitter, unappetizing, uneatable, indigestible, and generally unhealthy to the movers of this motion. I venture that it will be found to be a pyrrhic victory; one not worth the costs or the collaterals. I envision political pyres and more, if matters were to progress accordingly. Already I can hear the foreigners securing safe diplomatic distance for themselves under the so-called neutral banner of “the Guyanese people will have to work this out among themselves.” In other words, hands off and polite noises, since there is no dog in the pound. Free and fair, it must be. They have been quick to do so.
As can be gathered from all of this, I am of the opinion that this motion is representative of more than serious miscalculation. History abounds with lesser miscalculations that have led to grave consequences. The thrust and miscalculation at the local level is evidence of the great risks that the megalomaniacal would casually undertake in their heady pursuit of power at all costs and by any means. In this instance, it is bound to backfire with the unmanageable, the unthinkable. It cannot be otherwise. For even if the opposition thinks it has won through this ill-fated gambit, it still loses. The best that it can hope for, parlay this supposed triumph into is a piece of the puzzle, though access to the pie.