THE PPP’S CHALLENGES – By Ralph Ramkarran

THE PPP’S CHALLENGES – By Ralph Ramkarran

Posted on February 28, 2015  by Ralph Ramkarran

Ralph Ramkarran

Ralph Ramkarran

The responses of the PPP to The Cummingsburg Accord by APNU and the AFC were a declaration by President Ramotar that it is a ‘farce’ and the unleashing of Ms. Elizabeth Harper as its prime ministerial candidate. The first reaction was bravado. The second had real substance. Ms. Harper has credentials – ability, integrity, experience, dedication – and her agreement to adorn the PPP’s ticket will add lustre to its appeal. If anything, it is the PPP that will damage Ms. Harper’s credibility. The silence they have imposed on her is a mistake. Ms. Harper’s qualities need to be on public display.

Having looked at the potential for the opposition coalition last week, some thoughts about the PPP’s prospects may be of interest. Facing the task of recovering lost support after 22 years in office, the PPP’s image badly needs to be enhanced with new faces like Ms. Harper’s, however limited the possibilities may be.

In recent times there has been a large influx of a new generation of young PPP and Civic leaders into the Government. Some of these include Ashni Singh, Robert Persaud, Frank Anthony, Priya Manickchand, Irfan Ali, Bheri Ramsarran, Pauline Sukhai, Jennifer Webster, Jennifer Westford and Robeson Benn. Most of these are likely to again serve in a new PPP government if the PPP wins the majority because the PPP has mostly exhausted its supply of young cadres with the talent for ministerial or other high office while the old faces remain permanent, immovable fixtures. It would not be encouraging for PPP’s supporters to have to contemplate the same faces for another five years. Therefore, as many new faces as the PPP can attract at this time would be helpful.

No one can predict the outcome of the elections with any accuracy. Both parties are well placed and the margin of victory will be small. The PPP would obviously seek to find creative ways to get its campaign against what it would describe as ‘the PNC’s possible return to power with the AFC’s help’ to take hold so as to encourage PPP supporters who stayed away from the polls in 2011 or who migrated to the AFC in anger to return. The PPP will want to inculcate the feeling in their current and past supporters that however much they may be angry with the party, it would be more important to prevent a ‘return’ to office of the ‘PNC’ even if it is in alliance with the AFC. The PPP sees this strategy as offering the best potential for recovery. Unless such a campaign is conducted with some sophistication, it will be seen as an appeal to race and be counter-productive. But it is the PNCR that has long chosen to be silent about those issues of its past that most concern PPP supporters and the opposition alliance would understand that it must live with that decision.

Unless the PPP can find a way to deliver its message to the youth who form a substantial portion of the electorate, it would have difficulty in regaining a majority. Rural youth, potential supporters of the PPP, are not enthused and city youth, many from traditional PPP families, are swayed by the AFC. The message against the ‘PNC’ is unlikely to have substantial resonance with youth because they have no experience of the PNCR in office.

In addition, opportunities for both rural and city youth are very limited and have not improved over the past three years. The message that the opposition has obstructed progress is not likely to resonate either, because the PPP has put forward no credible reason why it did not invite a coalition government to involve the opposition in governance.

A campaign based on youth development would be difficult to sustain having regard to the difficulties at the premiere institution established for youth, the University of Guyana. This sector of the electorate is essential for victory and it is only going to be convinced by credible and cogent arguments, not by a raucous platform of abuse, insults, defamation and lewd dancing on stage, or the spectacles of Kwame McCoy and Gail Teixiera dancing on stage to music provided by the Shakti Orchestra, or a dutty wine administered by Destra.

But the PPP has given no indication so far that it has learnt the lesson of its loss in 2011. Believing that it was impossible to lose elections again, it allowed its organizational capacity to degenerate. Concluding that it is only its weak organizational output in 2011 that caused its loss, it has worked hard to restore its capacity. But even if it has now improved, organizational capacity alone will not cause former supporters who do not want to vote to change their minds. Organizational capacity will not influence a voter to change his or her support from AFC to PPP. Supporters were dissatisfied in 2011 and it was this that caused the loss, not poor organization. The question the PPP has to ask is: Have we addressed the causes for the dissatisfaction?

This entry was posted in Analysis, Discussion, Elections, Politics, PPP and tagged elections, guyana, guyanese, guyanese politics, Opinion, politics, PPP by Ralph Ramkarran. Bookmark the permalink.

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  • Thinker  On 03/01/2015 at 12:01 pm

    As I’ve said before the PNC has to admit its mistakes and somewhat reassure the electorate. Has the leopard changed its spots? One really has to be convinced that the PPP is horrible before one can bring onself to vote for the opposition. If anyone got a house and their children did well in school under the PPP to ensure upward social mobility, the feeling might be “let the crooks stay in place”.

    • de castro  On 03/10/2015 at 11:49 am

      Beg to differ…..
      Disgracing one party to prop up another.
      We all know Guyana s history politically.
      Burnham and cheddi made the mistake to divide the guyanese
      What Guyana s electorate are facing is simple…
      Change from old boring politics to new improved political thinking.

      More inclusive politics….

      What our world is facing is not
      Rich v poor
      Haves v have not

      Upper class v middle class v lower class (working class)
      And how east or simple it is to move from one to other.
      China was built on a ‘working class’ philosophy after revolution
      India although democratic has a major obstacle to overcome.
      If you are born in one class you are expected to die in that class.
      Modi s dilemma….he is a Hindi but not a Ghandi.
      Obamaland is still the land of hope and glory.
      UK still treasure island.
      Euroland impossible dream.
      Guyana ? Too small to exist !
      GT land of many waters !

      Am forever the realist but also optimist.
      Let’s see how things develop up to 11 may before more speculation.

      Maybe a change is what Guyana needs yesterday not today certainly.

      UK election 7 may heading for another coalition (deals behind closed doors)
      by political classes. 😴 boring !

      As a trade unionist in UK in 60’s the chant was…
      The working class
      Can kiss my rass
      I got the forman job at last….
      In comes woman PM Thatcher the milk snatcher
      also a trade unionist…..unions had to be controlled….Scargill was holding the country to ransome…coal was the major source of energy.

      My roots are working class and will never change.

      Sir kamtan by appointment of HRH QE2 unelected

  • Cliff  On 03/01/2015 at 4:48 pm

    The PNC is still spotted. They cannot change. This called Power Grabbers. There is much improvement since the present Govt. have taken over. Can anyone dispute this? At least we have reached the middle class status so far.

    • de castro  On 03/10/2015 at 11:56 am

      Glad you identified it as ‘class struggle’ for the future.
      One must be able to move classes easier and simpler.
      Today we have
      Political class
      Corporate class
      Religious class
      Economic class
      Eco class

  • detow  On 03/01/2015 at 5:05 pm

    As I have indicated before, the seeing is from the inside, the believing is from the outside. In other words, those who have never left Guyana for any length of time will see improvement while those who have left and returned after a while will see nothing but decay.

    Guyana was better, Guyana is rotten, Guyana can be better.

    • de castro  On 03/10/2015 at 12:00 pm

      Its not that simple in today’s world.
      Until attitudes in Guyana changes….it will remain a failed state.

  • Cliff  On 03/01/2015 at 5:35 pm

    I disagree. Many of my families and friends have returned and seen progress. They are waiting after this election before making a decision to return home to live. As they say ‘The US is no longer a country of promise to live’.

    • de castro  On 03/10/2015 at 12:22 pm

      I share your sentiments and your predictions.
      But everything hangs on what is decided on 11 may.
      Am sure Burnham would have chosen 26 may in his anti
      colonial days. Anniversary of Guyana s independence from ukplc.
      Pity the British did not have a referendum on the issue of independence.

      History teaches fools….
      Now we have 6/7 million Scots to deal with.
      Nothing has changed….in centuries.😇

      USA is still the country to finish your education but certainly as dangerous as guyana to set roots.
      Many retirees like myself will gladly return to assess things before setting roots
      again. My next generation wont. Their family and friends are all
      Here in ukplc..that’s life.

  • de castro  On 03/05/2015 at 7:49 pm

    Interesting the pros and cons of party politricks Guyanese style.

    Until politicians address the ‘class distinction’ in society…
    moving classes will remain impossible.
    India for example is a democratic country
    where ‘class’ in its society is unchanged….
    Not poor v rich …or born poor to become rich.
    If born in a class one is more likely to die in that class.
    When politicians change this system in their societies
    giving all classes a fairer chance of moving class
    the rich will get richer at expense of the poor.
    Guyana no exception to this ‘class distinction’
    Or should I say ‘discrimination’ 😇
    Religion and class are two issues that need
    to be addressed before the peoples in society can
    have a fairer chance of moving forward….
    Victorians of UK created an empire based on ‘class’
    before the labour movement took over….
    Thatcher a trade unionist and first female PM
    soon changed ukplc as unions had become too powerful
    holding country to ransome over ‘coal’ …UK was a country
    highly dependant on coal as its energy source.

    One cannot compare a country of less than a million to one of over 65 million
    but there are many similarities politically.
    Address these and it will bring about the changes necessary
    for development.
    Our world is now a global village
    But still ‘our’ world so let’s change it for a ‘better’ ‘fairer’
    more equal world….not an impossibility dream 😇

    Que Sera Sera
    Sir don kamtan lord of cherin Granada by appointment of HRH QE2

  • de castro  On 03/05/2015 at 8:00 pm

    Two mistakes readers may have spotted…

    Giving all classes the chance of moving classes…
    the ‘society’ will get richer not at expense of the poor.

    At end
    Not an impossible dream

    Sorry !😇

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