OPINION: There must be softening across the political battlefield

Last Updated on Tuesday, 6 August 2019, 9:54 by Writer

by GHK Lall

Compliments of a Demerara Waves article (July 31) it was reported that coalition commissioners appear “softer on house-to-house-registration.” Softer is not a sign of weakness; it is of commonsense wisdom. The same must come from across the floor, since none holds any clear upper hand, nor would be able to claim any powerful position beyond an election.

I submit that any immovable position with reference to registration is pointless, given two related developments made public by GECOM itself. First, the secretariat shared that it has committed more resources in what I would describe as a hard acceleration of the registration process; it is a positive. The second development was to announce that some 100,000 eligible citizens have been registered in the last two weeks. This is another positive, which tells me two things.

It is that the entire collection of qualified voter information through registration (barring the objections period) could—should—occupy six weeks or less. It could be less since the exercise, when it commenced two weeks ago, was slower with the machinery functioning at lower revs and with limited thrusts. Six weeks hence takes to around late September, at which point, the objections phase could begin.

What is so unacceptable, so terminal about six weeks?

I say so, when I offer, that with commensurate will (softer outlooks) that the thorny interlude of claims and objections also could be aggressively compressed. Thus, I advance that the manufactured uncertainties and controversies over a list (proper, needed, allowed) all fade into nothingness, given all that is involved here, and each element of which contributes sturdily to social ambience and national well-being.

Now, I share this known reality: so the courts rule on August 14 to cease (registration) and Gecom chair and group finalize the ‘way forward’ (Demerara Waves, August 5) to start (elections). Then what? Who is going to accept the results that comes out of that count? I can foresee a return to December 21st and what prevails now. That is, the same ugly, dividing passions going nowhere but along the same circle and arcs. Stated differently, new day, same way. Or new race, same place.

Therefore, I submit that since such a narrow window of time is involved (late September) that both political parties must operate with a mentality of give and take (sounds suspiciously like compromise) and with the necessary haste to move forward. No great analysis needs to be done, as calculations are, one by one, succumbing to the rush of events. To emphasize, I believe that political sensibility for societal sanity needs to be manifested here. Softer approaches are called for from both sides, and I don’t see how either of these political monstrosities cannot find what I am suggesting to be acceptable; they are compelled before a watching world to demonstrate the political maturity (some softening) that would lead to political tranquility, through much long missing political decency. Both are holding a losing hand.

Of course, I recognize that this is political heresy, as it contradicts what was promised to, incited of, and believed by, the two major tribes in this country; leaders themselves have fallen for the magic of their own deceptions. Already they sense and fear a diminution of what they imagined and calculated. So, softening by both sides is against their own selfish, tribal impulses and dreams.

Accordingly, now is the hour, when all those tricky, fanciful political figures, groups, and peoples who clamor that they have the welfare of this country first must step forward by being otherwise. There is only one road to take; all other roads have run out of land. Softening of outlooks eases hardness of attitudes and brings about meeting of minds. Are they men around (pardon me, ladies), who are man enough to make this happen?

Moreover, it is why I look with scorn at the farcical, nonsensical, fratricidal clawing powered by a fraudulent and self-defeating constitution and as materializing through the courts as exemplifying the utter insensibilities of Guyanese parties and the Guyanese nation. We spend generations and lifetimes defecating upon the constitution, and then turn right around and bury our faces in it in search of life-giving sustenance to survive another day in the same ugly way.

Regardless of these distractions and sidebars, even the unsound up and about will admit that a list that is current, accurate, credible, and reliable and representative of all eligible Guyanese voters before all Guyanese is the only way to go. I say move away from the theatrics of futile exercises that only worsen impasses that set up this society for more failure and anguish.

Surely, political parties, political leaders, and racial political clans can spare to the end of September (at the outside) to get matters right pertaining to a proper list? I don’t think I would bet on it. And just as surely, the pretended thinkers and unthinking rowdies in this country could soften enough to invest (and sacrifice – a dirty word) toward calendar space to get to that satisfactory place that is meaningful, and makes paramount country and citizens?

It was asked before, and I say it my way today: why the hurry? What is all the hubbub about? Why not spare a dime of time so that we can partake (not me) of the many dollars of return to come? Or at the very least, work softy towards some semblance of social civility.

It is high time that all, including incorrigibles, be spared yet more occurrences of Guyana’s political sicknesses (STDs) and all the unspeakable foolishness and torments that accompany them. Softer it has to be, and from all around.