GUYANA: POLL: Funded by the US government’s National Endowment for Democracy – three articles

US poll finds political representation on major problems generally poor; youths don’t see a future in Guyana

A United States (US)-funded opinion poll conducted earlier this year shows that cost of living, unemployment and the coronavirus are the biggest problems among Guyanese but elected representatives are not doing sufficient to address them.

The poll, which was conducted for the International Republican Institute (IRI) between January 4 and 24 through face-to-face interviews in the homes of 1,500 Guyanese adults 18 years and older across based on the 2012 census, shows that a mere 2 percent of Guyanese were concerned about the oil sector and 4 percent about crime and security.       

Funded by the US government’s National Endowment for Democracy, the poll says 26 percent of Guyanese are concerned about cost of living and high prices, 17 percent about unemployment, 4 percent about other economic issues , 11 percent about COVID-19, 8 percent about corruption, 7 percent  about internal conflicts, including ethnic and religious conflicts.

But 30 percent, 19 percent and 12 percent are women who believe that cost of living and high prices, unemployment and COVOD-19 respectively are major issues for them compared to 23, 16 and 10 percent of their male counterparts.

In terms of the the current economic situation of their households, 50 percent of all respondents said it was “somewhat good”, 17 percent “very good”, 17 percent “somewhat bad” , 12 percent “very bad” and 4 percent “don’t know/ refuse to answer.”

Political representation
While Guyanese grapple with those issues, the poll in January found that 41 percent said they were “very poorly satisfied” with the political representation that their elected representatives in parliament, regional councils, village and local government in helping to address their problems. The data shows that 21 percent were “somewhat poorly satisfied”, 21 percent “somewhat well satisfied” and 7 percent “very well satisfied’.  7 percent “don’t know/ refused to answer”

The figures did not vary much among young Guyanese between 18 and 35 years as 40 percent said they were “very poorly satisfied”, 20 percent “somewhat well satisfied”, 25 percent “somewhat poorly satisfied”, 21 percent “somewhat well satisfied” and 6 percent “very well satisfied” while percent “don’t know/refused to answer”.  For Guyanese between 36 and 55 years, 44 percent, 23 percent, 21 percent and 6 percent said they were very poorly, somewhat poorly, somewhat well and very well satisfied respectively with with the political representation that their elected representatives in parliament, regional councils, village and local government in helping to address their problems.

Touching specifically on the three major problems -cost of living and high prices, unemployment and COVID-19- 28 percent, 38 percent, 32 percent and 4 percent said they were very poorly, somewhat poorly, somewhat well and very well satisfied respectively with with the political representation that their elected representatives in parliament, regional councils, village and local government in helping to address their problems.

The poll goes on to reveal that that 2percent of all respondents “strongly disagree” that political parties are doing enough to address the needs of voters like them, 37 percent “somewhat agree” that the parties are, 19 percent somewhat disagree, 8 percent strongly agree and 6 percent don’t know or refused to answer. From an ethnic perspective, 49 percent of Africans, 38 percent Indians, 42 percent Indigenous, and 47 percent mixed “strongly that political parties are doing enough to address the needs of voters like them. On the other hand, 11, 18,7 and 8 percent of the respective age groups “strongly agree” 15,21, 20 and 19 percent “somewhat agree” and 20,17,18 and 17 percent respectively “somewhat disagree”

Future of youths in Guyana|
In response to the question “Do you think that today’s generation of young people has a good  future in our country or not?, the poll finds that 54 percent say they do not believe so, 35 percent ‘yes’ and 11 percent “don’t know/ refuse to answer”. Among young people between 18 and 35 years old, 50 percent said they did not think they had a good future in Guyana, 39 percent said ‘yes’ and 11 percent “don’t know/ refuse to answer”.  Fifty-seven percent of the respondents between  36 to 55 years old did not think that today’s generation of young people have a good  future in our country, 33 percent believed there was a “good future” and 10 percent “don’t know/ refuse to answer”. Among   adults 56 years and older, 58 percent said there was “not a good future” for young people in Guyana, 29 percent thought there would be a “good future” and 13 percent “don’t know/ refused to answer”.

The IRI, which is assisting Guyana with its electoral reform process, had fallen out with the previous People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP) administration just before the 2015 general and regional elections that it had lost, after it had been perceived that the US$300 million Leadership and Democracy (LEAD) project had been inimical to the then administration’s interest. The then project director, Glen Bradbury, had had his work permit revoked but after the project had been modified to the government’s satisfaction, he had been allowed to return.

ARTICLE #2

Friday, 15 April 2022

ARTICLE #3

Friday, 15 April 2022

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