Monday, Monday : The elections in Guyana

This week the blogger at Living Guyana congratulated the ruling People’s Progressive Party (PPP) on their victory in the next Monday’s elections (August 28, 2006).

Unlike many political analysts and journalists in the region, the blogger at Living Guyana is able to read and understand  poll data. (The poll data show the ruling party with a big lead over the numerous Opposition parties…).

If you are like me and aren’t up on the politics of Guyana, Robert Buddan of the UWI provides a good snapshot here.

Bharat            Robert Corbin-1

President Bharat Jagdeo                      Robert Corbin PNC-R

Apart from the occasional flooded out cricket match at Bourda (the world’s only cricket ground with a moat), Guyana usually comes to mind as a country that produces world class writers, most recently Mark McWatt.

My own favourites are Pauline Melville and Oonya Kempadoo, and I grew up on Edgar Mittelholzer, Jan Carew, E.R. Braithewaite (and on stories of Walter Rodney being flung out of Jamaica by the Jamaica Labour Party government in 1969). I would read Wilson Harris, but I don’t have a Ph.D……

“Buxton Spice” (Oonya Kempadoo)

“The Migration of Ghosts” (Pauline Melville)

“Suspended Sentences: Fictions of Atonement” (Mark McWatt)

Like many Jamaicans, many Guyanese with degrees, professions and choices, choose to live outside their country. The tone of those writing to Living Guyana and Demerara Lighthouse is one of despair in the face of the ruling PPP winning another election ( a despair that will be familiar to all those Jamaicans who are depressed at the prospect of a 5th term for the PNP ).

It may be cold comfort to the Guyanese, but we can offer them this hope :-

In Jamaica the talk shows that used to feature disgruntled citizens complaining exclusively about high crime and a stagnating economy, now also feature disgruntled citizens complaining about traffic (too many cars); the invasion of residential areas by businesses (sidewalk garages); the closing off of  beaches by developers (unregulated foreign investment); foreign cops (white police enforcing local law); the cost of tolls (new highways)  etcetera etcetera…..

The bottom line ? Our corrupt and incompetent Government has managed to give us a better class of problem…..So yours could too…….

“How Europe Underdeveloped Africa” (Walter Rodney)

“Palace of the Peacock (Faber Caribbean S.)” (Faber and Faber)

“Rape of Paradise: Columbus and the Birth of Racism in the Americas” (Jan R. Carew)

“Sylvia” (Edgar Mittelholzer)

“To Sir with Love” (E. R. Braithwaite)

[posted with ecto]

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