Small fry…

first_img…small partiesYour Eyewitness thinks one of the reasons there are all these small parties springing up is ironically because of our very small society of barely ¾ million persons. Here, everybody knows everybody so invariably they know somebody who was a president of Guyana or ran in elections to be president of Guyana. Don’t forget that – as was listed in excruciating detail yesterday- there have been dozens of small parties since independence. Each with a Prime Ministerial or Presidential candidate.The prevailing sentiment clearly is, “if ‘so and so’ can run to be president – or even BECOME president why can’t I??” Seriously, now if a fella like Keith Scott could run for the presidency, how are you going to disqualify that fella who picks up your garbage? At least he does an honest day’s work and knows the value of a dollar, which he had to sweat for! Anyhow, the bottom line is we’re going to have a crowded field in the upcoming presidential sweepstakes. There’s the additional Lotto premise: you gotta be in it to win it. And this time the jackpot is humungous with all that oil money about to start flowing in!!There’s another theory your Eyewitness heard about to explain the proliferation of parties. After 4 years of filling their pockets and enjoying their perks (like Chinese fried rice, in the case of Broomes!) and power, the PNC is encouraging elements within its ranks to start new parties to keep disaffected supporters from 2015 away from the PPP. Their line is “OK…OK the coalition messed up in this or that area. Give us your vote and we will make sure you have a voice.”This will be done, they all insist, by “holding the balance of power” in parliament and voting with either party on policies that are best for Guyana. But who do they think they’re fooling? Wasn’t this exactly what the AFC claimed? In their case that each of the three parties – the PPP (Ramjattan), PNC (Trotman) and WPA (Holder) had messed up! But once in Parliament, can you think of a SINGLE instance when the AFC supported the PPP? Even when they agreed with a policy like the AML/CTF Bill!But of course, your Eyewitness hasn’t become so jaded to not accept there may be some well-meaning idealists throwing their hats in the ring to “save Guyana”. But actually, dear readers, these are the most dangerous of them all since they invariably demonstrate that in politics, the guiding maxim is “the road to perdition is paved with good intentions”!!They’ll be corralled by the PNC fifth columnists to present a “gentler” face. Remember that Ramsaroop fella from the AFC?…campaign fundingOne of the PNC-spawned small parties that was just off the blocks, announced proudly that one of its promises is “campaign spending reform”. Now this is a vexed issue that crops up at every election during the past three decades. Before that. Of course, it didn’t matter since the PNC had rigged elections for 28 years and didn’t care what his opposition spent!! Knowing no one could dislodge him, the big money businessmen made sure they filled his campaign coffers for the PNC show campaign!!Campaign reform was inspired by laws in the US that covered campaign contributions and spending, starting from the 1970’s. Since then, individuals couldn’t donate more than US$1000 to a candidate – and only in 2002 this was raised to US$2000. So imagine your Eyewitness’ surprise when the said PNC-5th-column-new-small-party announced that in accordance with their “clean money” campaign reform plans, they’d announce the names of those who contributed US$10,000 and above!!Yep, you heard right!! Below US$10,000 is chicken feed and can’t influence them.And the oil ain’t even flowing as yet!!…integrityPNC’s executive Gary Best insisted that “under his leadership, he demanded and received integrity” from Brigadier Mark Philips, tipped to be PPP’s PM candidate.Best, a stranger to integrity, wouldn’t know this is a personal quality from within!!last_img