Using the political vote- to change the course of the Government’s Boat – By Yvonne Sam

  – By Yvonne Sam

In the midst of increasing international pressure to put an end to political uncertainty March 2, 2020 was declared as the date for Guyana’s General and Regional Council Elections. However, in the days and weeks following the announcement the trend of current conversations said, have forced me to take a serious look at Guyanese voters and their relationship with politicians.

Additionally on a  recent visit to the homeland and mingling with family and friends, discussing the forthcoming elections, oil discovery, property recovery  from the past government etc., it was further substantially apparent that Guyanese in general do not make demands of politicians, nor hold them accountable to campaign promises.   

It appears that some politicians are afraid to boldly stand up for the people and let them know exactly where they stand and who they represent.  What is happening is that they are seemingly shying away from proclaiming who exactly they represent while simultaneously requesting a specific vote. Please do not get me wrong and start laboring under any facet of misapprehension. Am I requesting that certain politicians express racist views? No. What I am asking though, is where are the guts and the gall to say that you are speaking up for your constituents? 

Yes, I am fully aware that not everyone who may vote for a Black politician may be Black, however, Blacks in some cases make up the majority of the voters.  So, it would be nice for them to step out on courage to stand up for the true needs of their constituents — and fight for those needs to be met. 

This is the part where the vote should move the boat.  Far too many times voters have listened to empty promises, and voted the same people back into office over and over again, getting nothing in return. Sure, the politicians are seen at events, meetings and functions where they are deluged with accolades and encomiums, but when it comes to actual action voters do not see much of it. I fully understand that there is a process to politics, and promises made during campaigns are made in a vacuum and do not face opposition.

However, the people must start demanding that their needs be met, and not give politicians passes when they do not work on the people’s behalf.  Ironically, other so called interest groups have no difficulty in outlining their demands and holding politicians accountable. Bear in mind that some things did not just happen because of a politician’s benevolence. No, some folks fought fiercely for certain changes and did not back down. 

I have no particular politician or party in mind.  If politicians know, regardless of race, they will be voted out if people disapprove of the job they are doing then they will definitely start working.  

Hence, if politicians need the vote then the people need to ask them what are their plans for them, moreover with the discovery and presence of oil.  The populace needs answers with specificity. They need perhaps to write down the answers, so post-election they can recall the promise and run down the results.  Granted the politicians may face opposition that may make it hard to enact some of those campaign promises, but did they fight the good fight? Let’s stop being loyal to politicians who are disloyal to us. 

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