Tag Archives: Analysis

Guyana: Proposed Amendments to Elections Law Totally Inadequate – By Ralph Ramkarran

By Ralph Ramkarran – Conversation Tree Blog – November 13, 2021

The amendments to the elections’ laws proposed by the Government through the Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill are woefully inadequate. They are limited to the following: imposing higher penalties for elections’ offences; creating new elections’ offences with high penalties; adumbrating a new structure for District (Region) 4; and establishing new offices for District 4. Having now demonstrated a mindset of where it wants to go by the contents of the Bill, the Government is unlikely to divert from this already decided course, except perhaps with minor amendments.

But much more is required, and this was the opportunity to accomplish needed reforms in other areas of the electoral system, especially since the next elections are four years away. I have written extensively, but vainly, about elections’ reform over several years. I now take the opportunity to repeat some of those ideas.              Continue reading

Guyana: Why Has the Economy Been In Shackles Since Colonial Times – By Ralph Ramkarran

 CONVERSATION TREE BLOG –   – 

Guyana’s is and has always been a primary producer. During its years of Independence, although there was some economic growth, Guyana was unable to significantly diversify its economy by, firstly, adding value to what it produced and, secondly, advancing the process of industrialisation.

Apart from political instability and consequential factors, the absence of an adequate and cheap supply of electricity was the major obstacle inhibiting such development. For a decade and a half beginning in 1957, Guyana saw the construction of a bauxite smelter as a way of triggering and, thereafter, advancing industrial development. Both parties struggled mightily to access foreign aid for projects to increase the supply of electricity. From Tiger Hill to Mazaruni, both failed.      Continue reading

Guyana Politics – EXPLOITING THE SENTIMENTS OF THE ELECTORATE – By Ralph Ramkarran

Ralph Ramkarran

SHARED GOVERNANCE

Conversation Tree Blog – January 12, 2019  – by Ralph Ramkarran

In a lengthy article written in 2011 before the general elections of that year, for “Freedom House” on “Countries at the Crossroads 2011: Guyana,” Assistant Professor Joan Mars, of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice of the University of Michigan-Flint, said: “Elections are constitutionally due to be held in 2011.

Calls by the political opposition for shared governance have not been endorsed by the ruling PPP/C administration headed by President Jagdeo; with its consistent absolute majority in parliament, the PPP/C has had little incentive to agree to share power, but the idea may be gathering momentum as a major rallying point in the forthcoming elections.“ Assistant Professor Mars, a former practising lawyer in Guyana, concluded: “The current system of majority rule should be reformed to provide for a power-sharing model that is representative of the ethnic diversity in the population.           Continue reading

Guyana’s Legislature: “A Brawling Parliamentary Slum” – By Ralph Ramkarran

‘A HOWLING PACK OF LEGISLATIVE HOSTILES’ IN ‘A BRAWLING PARLIAMENTARY SLUM
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 Written by Ralph Ramkarran – Conversation Tree Blog – Saturday, 15th December 2018

Ralph Ramkarran

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A scathing editorial in the Kaieteur News last Friday shockingly castigated Members of Parliament in most un-parliamentary language, from which the headline is taken. Here is another sample: “In some respects what Guyana has is not a legislative body, but a Roach Motel overflowing with a cast of creepy characters, a real life Bates Motel horror of shocks that frightens the public. It is obvious that the great majority of members have little by way of shame or nonnegotiable moral imperatives.
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“This is a set of people paid well to perform and deliver the crass and the cheap. They like being the way they are. They do not prepare, do no research, have no pride. They falsify, they exaggerate, they dissemble and all the while revel with their fellows in what has been reduced to a brawling parliamentary slum. They care neither about the image projected nor the impressions left.”               Continue reading

Guyana Politics: The Familiar Ring of the Elections Season – By Ralph Ramkarran

The Familiar Ring of the Elections Season 

By Ralph Ramkarran – 6th October 2018

Local government elections are to be held on November 12. With it, the never-ending stream of suspicions emerged as the Government established new local government units and merged others. The Opposition argued that these were done to give an advantage to the Government and the Opposition, through one of its representatives, promptly launched legal proceedings. This event provided the explanation for the ‘disappearance’ of the Chief Elections Officer, Mr. Keith Lowenfield, on one of the most critical days of the elections process, namely, the day after the submission of lists, when corrections have to be made and defects rectified.       Continue reading

LOCAL GOVERNMENT – by Ralph Ramkarran – commentary

LOCAL GOVERNMENT – by  

Posted on March 19, 2016 – Conversationtree blog

Ralph Ramkarran

Ralph Ramkarran

Once upon a time, during the colonial era, Guyana had a local government system that functioned. It emerged from the establishment of village democracy in estates purchased by freed slaves. It did not cover all of Guyana and its functions were limited. But legislation throughout the 20th century improved and expanded the local government and municipal systems. These became so well organized that there was a national body called the Guyana Association of Local Authorities, which had great influence in the early years of our modern political development.

Many might be tempted to attribute the destruction of Guyana’s local government system since 1970, or thereabouts, by the failure to hold no more than two elections since then, as a conspiracy between the main political parties. But it was not.    Continue reading

CLUTCHING AT STRAWS – by Ralph Ramkarran

 CLUTCHING AT STRAWS

Ralph Ramkarran

Ralph Ramkarran

Posted on November 28, 2015   –  by  – ConversationTree Blog

The announcement by Government that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Fedders Lloyd, a reputable Indian company, relating to the Specialty Hospital project, has attracted several negative comments. During the life of the last government, the then Opposition consisting of both the AFC and APNU had refused to support the Specialty Hospital.

The AFC’s opposition was founded on the suspect award of the contract to Surendra Engineering, a spare parts supplier, rather than Fedders Lloyd, which had a track record in the construction of such facilities and had made the lowest bid. APNU argued that Guyana needed improved primary care centres, rather than a specialized facility. One high official suggested that ‘Indians’ were ‘taking over.’ Chinese and Brazilian immigrants, who should be applauded for their valuable contributions to Guyana, were spared.    Continue reading

BUDGET BLUES – By Ralph Ramkarran

BUDGET BLUES – By Ralph Ramkarran

Posted on August 22, 2015 by  – Conversation Tree Blog
Ralph Ramkarran

Ralph Ramkarran

The population has learnt not to expect much that is edifying in the annual budget debates. This ritual by the political classes throws up with mundane regularity all that is wrong with our political culture. It gives them the opportunity to reinforce the principles that underlie that political culture so as to fuel it up for another year.

It also facilitates the deteriorating behaviour of parliamentarians in attempting to prevent each other from being heard. They must have tried the patience of Speaker Scotland, whose dignified management of the proceedings, and silence at a most insulting and patronizing reference as the ‘new kid on the block,’ were among the bright spots of the week.   Continue reading

Jamaica Government: Consultant hired For Medical Marijuana and Industrial Hemp + Video

Jamaica: Ministry of Industry Hires Consultant For Medical Marijuana and Industrial Hemp

Jamaica’s Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce on Friday (August 14) announced that BOTEC Analysis has been hired as a consultant for the development of regulations to guide Jamaica’s nascent medical marijuana and industrial hemp sectors. At the end of the consultancy, BOTEC Analysis will submit to Jamaica’s Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) a final report with regulatory recommendations, which will include, but are not limited to, licensing, market sizing, taxation, and organizational structures.

Over two months, BOTEC Analysis will conduct on-the-ground research and a series of interviews with stakeholders in the Jamaican government as well as marijuana industry participants, local business leaders, scientists, police departments, medical associations, and consumers.   Continue reading

THE FALL OF THE PPP – by Ralph Ramkarran

 THE FALL OF THE PPP

Ralph Ramkarran

Ralph Ramkarran

Posted on May 23, 2015 – by Ralph Ramkarran

The PPP’s boast has always been that it never lost elections. While it gained the highest votes in 1964, it was the PNC that was invited to form the government, which it did in coalition with the United Force. The slogan of ‘cheated not defeated’ resounded through the decades. The slogan is once again rearing its head.

The claim that it lost as a result of fraud allows it to maintain the delusion, for the benefit of its supporters, that it has never lost elections. This also serves to protect its leaders and policies from critical analysis and corrective action and revive its historic claims to victimology, now of an openly posturing ethnic political entity, to sustain the sympathy of its innocent supporters against the tribal hordes. Continue reading

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