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Well, the PPP is back and here we are today accusing it of seeking to construct an apartheid-type state in Guyana.
This is not to claim that these new arrangements will not present unique difficulties, but the present system has been keeping Guyanese in poverty for too long and now the political divide is preventing a collective focus on managing the substantial oil wealth we have come upon.
Unless the problem is properly diagnosed and an adequate solution found, the socio/economic condition of the Guyanese people is unlikely to optimally improve.
This is an appropriate place to turn to the issues of equity and security. Generally, solving these kinds of problems as Cuffy 250 wants requires broad consensus about, for example, the meaning of equity and security and how these are to be measured and secured for this and future generations.
In largely ethnically homogeneous societies of the West and in the Caribbean, the notion of a majoritarian liberal democratic government representing a universal citizenry may be considered democratic.
But as David E Schmitt, (Problems of Accommodation in Bicommunal Societies, 1991) suggested, it simply will not work in a severely divided state such as Guyana, in which there are two principal groups, exhibiting significant social separation.
This kind of structural difficulty aside, national unity cannot be attained without greater equity and balance among the social and ethnic groups in sharing the benefits of modernization and economic growth.
It is for any government to recognise this and establish processes to address these concerns.
At a minimum, in modern times, this will require a broadly agreed upon ethnic disparity audit to establish if and where ethnic gaps exist and what policies are necessary to remove such gaps.
This approach would need to be comprehensive, dealing with wealth and income distribution, participation in the professions, education access, quality and scope, disparities in institutional treatment by the public and private sectors, etc.
It is truly nonsensical for the regime and its supporters to be calling upon individuals and groups to provide proof of inequality when it is so important to its quest of ‘one Guyana’ and it has the resources to do a comprehensive audit, but instead it is arguably distributing those resources in a discriminatory manner.
For example, this government should know that in this period of high inflation, distributing housing subsidies but refusing to sufficiently increase public servants’ salaries to enable them to participate sensibly in the sector, or consistently favoring the private sector in the context of African Guyanese association with that sector???, may be discriminatory and reinforcing of both wealth and income inequality if serious rectifying policies are not in place.
But the regime and its supporters formulate these ridiculous positions because they are in dire straits: even if it wanted to, its political trajectory towards ethnic dominance cannot deliver even the managerial environment much less the outcomes necessary to sustain socio/economic equality and security.
Opposition Leader Norton and President Ali should stop focusing on majoritarian elections that so far have only made our situation worse and immediately get together and find a pathway towards an inclusive functioning democracy.
The Guyanese people require and deserve no less.