Tell us what it's going to take for you to return to Guyana.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Guyana's Shadow Parliament

Guyana's Shadow Parliment

I'm convinced that that genesis of a cohesive Third force that comprises the majority of non PPP/PNC political entities in Guyana is the best thing. It would drive a wedge in between the two archaic socialistic parties and foster the creation of laws that will result in substantial real progress towards a modern Guyana .

I would like to dip my toes in the water in furthering this concept to the next level by proposing the idea of a political house of democracy as an addition to the third force concept.

To illustrate the need for this and its definition I‘ll say that each political party has its own apparatus through which it adopts ideas, chooses leaders and forms and changes it‘s priorities and agendas. It just so happens that the PPP has a party apparatus that not only determines it’s own agenda but also the agenda of our Republic by virtue of having the presidency and a simple majority in parliament. .

The point is: Assuming that a cohesive Third Force contests elections and wins enough seats to prevent any other party from having a simple majority, Guyana will effectively be governed by 3 separate and distinct political apparati that meet in parliament to produce laws. This alone will be a wonderful achievement because of obvious reasons. All that is required is a simple 10 to 15 percent of the vote on a regular basis to maintain that situation. This may or may not occur depending on a myriad of factors that determine the outcome of every election. So, other than forcing the creation of good laws and playing the good political game, how can this Third Force ensure a continuation of electoral success even unto attaining the government? How can the average Guyanese believe in this enough for vote for this continually? How can they be sure that this third force doesn’t fragment back into its constituent pieces to fight with each other or be bought out by the corrupt PPP/PNC politicians?

People vote/vote for you, in my estimation, for three reasons:

1. Trust: They trust your party or candidate more than the other or they distrust the other party or candidate more than yours.

2. Enlightened self-interest: They have enough to gain by voting for you or too much to lose by letting the other party win. This factor is too strong in Guyana.

3. Hope: They feel that voting will make a difference because they still have hope in the political system of the country. This is manifested by voter turnout which is used to gauge public acceptance of the prevailing system of government.

Without any of these three things working for you, not enough people vote and not enough of them vote for you. So, besides passing good laws and playing the good political game how do you turn all of these to your favor?

A House of Political Plurality.

Guyana is now ruled by one ‘house’ : PPP Headquarters. Parliament is merely a rubber stamp where PPP legislation gets passed into law. If a third force gets enough seats then Guyana will be ruled by three houses who will meet in parliament to legislate. Excepting parliament, how does any one of the remaining three houses gain primacy over the other two? Create a better house that:

*Is composed of multiple and separate issues-oriented parties
*Drafts and multilaterally passes a constitution that governs internal operations and procedures
*Models its practices after that of a legitimate/transparent house of parliament
*Forms an assembly to fairly represent all Guyanese/parties seeking representation within the party or plurality.
*Holds fair and internationally observed elections for party posts and party or “house” list places
*Contests general elections with a unified list of internally and democratically elected candidates
*Contains a mini-judiciary that monitors operations in terms of constitutional provisions
*Represented in parliament by MP’s who legislate according to the collective will of the House Assembly

The end result of the creation of a “Political Plurality” carefully operated according to democratic principles, is a formidable entity that could contest Guyana general elections not as merely a political party with an agenda, but as list of candidates already democratically elected by a plurality of interests in a “Shadow Government” framework. People would vote for this list of candidates over a traditional oligopoly because of trust, self interest and hope. They would trust the processes that went into selecting the candidates and the ISSUES (not races) they represent. The voters would increasingly feel they have more to gain for themselves and their country as a result and they would vote in large numbers because they would have a renewed hope in the political process. It would be common knowledge that the members of the House Assembly elected to parliament really represent the will of the people of Guyana.

There might be democracy in Guyana but the political parties in power aren’t democratized.

Please offer your critique as this is a concept in progress.

More Elaboration Later

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