‘He might be a criminal, but he’s our criminal’

Remember I said tomorrow” by Swamp Dogg

‘He might be a criminal, but he’s our criminal’ Why do political parties in Guyana turn a blind eye to mediocrity and criminality?

Making the rounds on social media today is a blog written by some person(s) calling themselves “peoplepowerguyana” [http://peoplepowerguyana.wordpress.com/2012/09/10/hello-world/]. The blog looks relatively new, but the story today reinforced the already compelling case for constitutional reform in Guyana. The author(s) pointed to alleged exploits by James Bond MP, and made the case that Bond’s alleged activities and associations compromise him, therefore rendering him unable to be trusted with the responsibility of carrying out the people’s business.
Without the benefit of all the facts surrounding Bond’s alleged exploits, BrutalFacts still unequivocally supports the call for constitutional reform, local government elections, changes of abusive laws and a general return of power to the people of Guyana. We definitely support the assertion that Bond’s behaviours and activities [if true] certainly warrant the attention of his party leader who, under the current system of party politics, is the chief disciplinarian of his party.   
James Bond is not unique even if the exploits attributed to him are indeed true. There are MPs [of all three major parties] who are accused of crimes including child molestation, harassment of teenage girls for sexual favors, public drunkenness, domestic abuse, theft, fraud, lies, sexism, and crimes of seemingly every other imaginable sort. Indeed the lives of far too many Guyanese politicians reveal so much treachery and debauchery that it is easy to understand why it would be nigh unto impossible to sanction, much less recall or otherwise discipline one of their own.
The saying, “he may be a criminal, but he’s our criminal” is widely embraced in the political arena in Guyana. All parties are involved. All parties are guilty. The problem is that politicians really believe that the people are there to serve them, not the other way around. Politicians do not really absorb the notion that they are in fact supposed to be the servants of the people. So many of them believe that a politician’s behavior is really his or her own business, a private matter, and certainly no concern of the citizens of Guyana who in fact, put them there and pay them. So it is, then, that so many who purport to serve residents of poverty stricken communities in Guyana really collect their $100,000 per month taxpayer funded cheques, their duty free concessions, the police guards for their homes, and yet they show up in Parliament for the most part completely unprepared. Many are unaware of key issues in their respective areas of responsibility, they do not visit their constituencies, they do not create or release reports, they really do not serve the interests of ‘the people’, and yet there is no structure or process in place for the people to sever their connections to these inept and/or criminal MPs. The people must instead rely on the whims of the party leader(s) who may or may not act choose to take decisive disciplinary or other actions.
BrutalFactsGT continues to endorse the strong need for constitutional change in Guyana. We recognise the challenge of seeking the 2/3 majority votes in Parliament to make the change real, but continue to challenge the parties to move along this path even if individually. The people deserve it, and they certainly pay for it. Each party today can decide on their own to get rid of the ugly closed list system which makes gods out of party leaders. Each party can work on legislative changes to make recall subject to referendums by the people. The parliamentary opposition could work to table a bill immediately for local government elections and return democracy to the citizens of Guyana, and each party could work to enforce a code of conduct for the representatives of the people in Parliament, with clear rules on the consequences of breaches of those rules.
The people of Guyana deserve proper representation. The people will have to continue to speak as they did in Linden, and as they did in Kwakwani, until the politicians decide to listen. Politicians need to be reminded that they are compensated by taxpayers to be the servants of the people, not parasites. Perhaps when they are compelled to internalize that fact, MPs who want to get rich will instead choose to start private businesses and steer clear of perverting civil service in Guyana.
©2012 BrutalFactsGuyana | Georgetown, Guyana
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