Sep 07, 2017
The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has been peddling the perception that the APNU+AFC coalition is not only fraught with incompetent ministers, but also, virtually incapable of running the presidency effectively.
Executive Member of the Working People’s Alliance (WPA), Dr. David Hinds believes that the Opposition’s success in this regard, is much to the credit of the Government.
He alluded to this in his recent writings. Dr. Hinds opined that since losing power in 2015, the PPP, in addition to opposing the government–something all opposition parties do—has been relentless in its campaign to delegitimize the government, often without challenge from the governing parties.
Dr. Hinds said that the PPP started by planting the narrative that the new government did not win the 2015 election; that the PPP was cheated and that there was external collusion.
Dr. Hinds said that the PPP then launched an ethnically-laced narrative that the government was headed on a well thought out campaign to destroy Indian-Guyanese politically, economically and culturally.
He said that the PPP persistently framed the government’s mistakes as part of a larger ideological thrust that is grounded in a desire to dominate the state and the society. And to top things off, the opposition he opined, started to project itself as the source of morality, expertise, competence and reason.
In a situation of competing narratives and approaches, Dr. Hinds said that the success of one side is largely dependent on the inability of the other side to advance a more effective and superior narrative.
The political commentator said that what is essentially taking place is that the coalition has failed to effectively counter the PPP’s narrative and to advance a superior narrative of its own. The consequence is that the PPP has been able to consolidate its base, including winning back that section which voted for the coalition parties in 2011 and 2015, expressed the WPA Executive Member.
Dr. Hinds said, “The PPP’s barrage, in the context of weak responses from the coalition parties and basic errors of judgment by the government, has had the effect of casting doubt in the minds of Guyanese. The party has also been able to successfully hitch its assault on the government to legitimate Civil Society concerns about protests against government policies such as the parking meter issue, the sugar impasse, the broadcast legislation, the vendors issue and the wages struggle. This has led to the PPP gaining sympathy in sections of the media establishment, the business sector and the brown middle-class.”
He continued, “For, the good of Guyana, the PPP’s barrage has to be countered and stopped. The coalition has made some big errors which must be corrected overnight if it is to overcome the PPP’s onslaught and win in 2020. Things must change. Part of the coalition’s base is demoralized—they don’t feel that much has changed. The PPP is having an unexpected resurgence. For a party that ruined Guyana, it is unbelievable that it could, in two short years, emerge as a credible force again.”
“The coalition has a lot of corrective work to do. I recently spoke on the need for a clear, progressive world-view that should be grounded in the de-criminalization of the State and a humane economic-praxis. This is imperative, because it is that worldview that would inform both policy content and direction and the narrative that explains such policy.”
Additionally, Dr. Hinds said that the coalition parties must be empowered and energized. He said that a big error of the government is the attempt to run the coalition as a One-Party government.
“When you have parties with polar-opposite ideological orientations as the PNC and the WPA and with different ethnic bases as the APNU grouping and the AFC, such an approach is bound to be disastrous.” Dr. Hinds said that the strength of a coalition is its diversity and the concourse of ideas that flow from that diversity, which in turn stand a better chance of crafting a more nationalist praxis and policy direction.