Guyana: Theoretical implications of the 2015 election results

Theoretical implications of the 2015 election results

opinionJUNE 23, 2015 | BY  COLUMNISTS, FREDDIE KISSOON

The district by district voting of the 2015 elections results have been published online by GECOM. It will surprise the lay person but those in the media who were familiar with some of the Statements of Poll knew how the trend differed from the 2011 poll and who got what from which part of Guyana in 2015.

One of the main learning points for this election that has implications for political theory is the role of propaganda versus regime performance. What happened in 2011 was repeated in 2015 with some slight changes.

In 2011, the PPP’s media advantage substantially outweighed the opposition. The opposition had just two newspapers, the Kaieteur News and the Stabroek News from which the Guyanese people could have learned about the bad behaviour of the PPP.

Both newspapers are not widely circulated in a large country as Guyana is. I found out that there are dozens of villagers in Regions Five and Six that do not get these newspapers.

In Georgetown, the three television newscasts that are more inclined to expose the wrongdoings of the PPP Government, had signals that only reach certain parts of Region Four and no other sections of any other Regions. In Berbice, Dave Television carried opposition programmes but its signals do not reach Skeldon.

In contrast, the PPP in both 2011 and 2015 had NCN and Channel 28 whose signals cover the entire territory of Regions Two, Three, Four, Five and Ten. In the 2015 election, Channel 69 reached Region Six. Not to mention available to the PPP were NCN radio and ten radio stations whose reach took in the entire Berbice. With that kind of media invincibility, the PPP still lost in 2011 and in 1215. Why?

Propaganda will win votes deep in the heart of the countryside and in the interior but in the end, votes will be lost if a ruling party is a corrupt and undemocratic regime and behaves in ways that the nation finds disgusting.

What the 2015 election showed political theorists is that, despite unlimited use of state resources by the ruling party and media ubiquity, elections are won or lost on the credibility of the incumbent. The irony of the 2015 poll is that despite race baiting by Jagdeo and apaan jaat advocacy by eminent East Indians, a sizeable percentage of modern Indians found Mr. Jagdeo and the PPP Government unacceptable to govern them.

Harvard and Oxford professors aren’t going to travel to Guyana to study the implications of the 2015 elections for enhancing theories of small states because most of them do not know about Guyana but they should come. Guyana as a small, plural society is one of the most racially lacerated countries on Planet Earth.

A majority of Indians gave their ballots to the incumbent party ignoring perils to their own basic livelihood, their own physical security. Crime in Berbice is literally in a runaway mode. The sugar industry has collapsed. Rice was in jeopardy. In Essequibo the weakening rice industry did not deter the Indians from voting for the PPP. The PPP beat the coalition badly in Regions Two and Three. On a holistic basis, the Jagdeo/Ramotar team did not elevate the working classes and small people of Guyana.

What this election results show is that in the Caricom area, the least modern nation is Guyana. Despite the take over of the world by social media, the global madness over smart phones and the universal reign of television, except for Georgetown and its environs, Guyana is pretty much rural territory with rural people who are vulnerable to the rhetoric of  primitive men with cutlass and type-writer in their hands preaching the most backward doctrines.

The greatest irony of the election is that modern young Indians who may have got more from the PPP’s neo-liberal economics voted against the PPP. The theoretical implication here is that as Guyana gets more modern, as people get more educated, they make more mature political choices.

Someone as tyrannical as Jagdeo, as comical as Rohee, as mediocre as Ramotar, totally unacceptable as Kwame Mc Coy did not appeal to Georgetown Indians.

Unlike the deep interior and rural Berbice and Essequibo and parts of Region Four, sections of Region Four where Indian people are more familiar with the inner workings of the government, the PPP appeared as despicable, corrupt people.

The exposure of the PPP’s venalities by the private media and political activists worked in the favour of the coalition.

Sadly, the 2015 elections results did come in optimistic wrappings.  Moses Nagamootoo’s priority as Information Minister is to immediately extend all television signals to every rural enclave in the entire Guyana.

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Comments

  • ndtewarie  On 06/23/2015 at 6:49 pm

    Just another of Freddie’s masterpiece again.

  • de castro  On 06/23/2015 at 7:12 pm

    Sorry no interest in “post mortems” boring.
    More interested on “changes” as they occur being reported.
    Present future not past…way forward please !😢

  • detow  On 06/23/2015 at 8:47 pm

    Right with you Mr. deCastro, Guyanese must learn to look where they want to go, just as in driving. Looking backwards while trying to move forwards will inevitably result in a disaster. Forward and onward only please.

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