Aug 11, 2016 Features / Columnists, Freddie Kissoon

frddie3This column is not about Emily Dodson. She is the focal point in a discussion of the People’s National Congress (not APNU) but she is not the topic; the topic is the PNC. Actually the argument here is also about logic in human thinking.
Human thinking has followed logical paths since civilization became firmly established. If human society was more irrational than logical (the philosopher Arthur Koestler wrote that Homo sapiens was essentially irrational), civilization would not have survived.
One can offer literally billions (may even be trillions) of examples where humans follow logical pathways. Just a few samples will suffice. If Japan and the US each offer ten scholarships to Guyanese, which country do you think would get more applications? The answer is the US and for logical reasons. The US is a border country to the Caribbean. The US has a sizeable Guyanese population. The applicants have family ties and friends in the US. The culture of the US appropriates to Guyana’s, especially in ethnicity and language. The US as the first choice would be purely based on logic.
Let’s continue. You are about to take a holiday. You have two countries in mind. As you check the statistics of both countries, you see that one has a high crime rate and a high risk of disease infection. Your choice would be the one that hasn’t got these problems. Your choice would be based on pure logic. The decision was the working out of logical thinking.
Finally, a question; how many Black Americans do you think voted against Barack Obama when he came up against John McCain in the 2008 presidential race? I don’t have the numbers, but it may not even be one. Black Americans gave Obama their vote, because humans are rational beings with a logical determinant in their mental travels and psychological deportment.
We come now to Emily Dodson and the PNC. Ms. Dodson was nominated by the APNU-AFC coalition to be on the Procurement Commission. She was accepted by a Parliamentary vote. The PPP secured two nominations, both of which were close to the PPP when it was in government. In fact, one of them was a Minister, Nanda Gopaul. The PPP even nominated another Minister, Robeson Benn.
In my thinking, Ms. Dodson is qualified to sit on the Procurement Commission. I have known Ms. Dodson a long time now. We were student-contemporaries at UG in the seventies. Ms. Dodson has been a practicing attorney for more than twenty years now. One can hardly argue against her inclusion on the Procurement Commission. We come now to context. Context is everything in life. The choices and decisions that we make always have a contextual presence.
Dr. David Hinds came last Monday to court to lend solidarity with me in my testimony in the assault case against Kwame Mc Coy and company. While the police witness was on the stand, David and I stood on the court balcony and dissected the politics of Guyana, as we always do when we meet up. The APNU-AFC’s nomination of Emily Dodson came up. David said he has no explanation, but one. I responded that I have no explanation either, but one.
We come now to context in the Emily Dodson choice. Ms. Dodson, a few months ago won a judgement in the High Court that has tremendous implications and sensitive consequences for Guyana. In that ruling, Bharrat Jagdeo could run for a third term for the presidency. Unless the Appeal Court rules, before 2020, against the third term option for Mr. Jagdeo, he can hold the presidency (if he wins) for a third term.
The question David and I asked ourselves is why APNU-AFC’s choice of Emily Dodson for the Procurement Commission, taking into considerations two contextual points – there are over three hundred lawyers in Guyana that could function competently in the Commission, and secondly, would the Jagdeo case not be a logical consideration when Ms. Dodson’s name came up?
We have the answer to the second question. It was not. Someone in the PNC leadership (not APNU – I was told that APNU’s council of leadership met briefly in July last year and never met again) felt that Ms. Dodson was the right choice, and that her case for Mr. Jagdeo’s third term was not important to disqualify her. For me, logic comes in. Why Dodson and not another lawyer? Considering that there was the Jagdeo case.
All I am asking in this column is for someone to show me the logical thinking behind the Dodson choice. David has his explanation and I have mine. We will leave it at that for now.