Prem Misir: The PNCR has a history of trying to gain political power through the back door and creating camouflages to conceal their weakened political status. The latest example of this chicanery is their usage of a dossier with the aid of some acolytes to support their degenerative line of thinking; and at the same time offending the intelligence of the Guyanese people.
With regard to the dossier, there are several unanswered questions, including: given the disjointed pieces of allegations, what is the Joint opposition attempting to say? Again, given these incoherent allegations, how can we be sure of the accuracy of the meanings the Dossier presented? The data seems defective, and if this is the case, then the analysis is weak and unconvincing. More importantly, however, is why did the Joint opposition produce this dossier? Are they unable to mobilize the masses, given their constant allegations of economic decline in Guyana?
Some studies show that economic crises would generate political unrest; as popular dissatisfaction emanating from falling living standards surely would facilitate the opposition to mobilise popular discontent and push for political demands; and also, new coalitions of the opposition groups could emerge, to mobilise popular economic discontent and initiate political change. Scholars as Bates, Eckstein, Stokes, Buendia, and others, share these viewpoints and suggest that economic crises augment the probability of political instability and institutional reform. But the Guyana opposition groups seem unable to mobilise the masses in the face of their allegations of economic decline.
Lust-Okar, in an article in Comparative Politics, presented the instructive cases of Morocco and Jordan which challenged this hypothesis that the more there is economic decline, the more the chance of political instability; as since the 1980s, both countries experienced economic deterioration and augmented discontent; but Morocco’s opposition failed to mobilise the masses. A possible explanation: when elites in society do not engage in dividing the opposition, then there is a strong probability of the opposition mobilizing political unrest during an economic decline; however, if the opposition has divided camps, indicating that the elites earned a measure of success, then mobilization will not happen. Could this be the case in Guyana that the PNCR as well as its acolytes are divided via elite manoeuvrings? We already know that the PNCR continues to experience deep divisions and that that party already owns a rapidly-weakened status.
Further, Morocco opposition’s support structure, such as, unions, for mass mobilization waned, causing the mainstream opposition to refrain from any mass mobilization engagement; not because of unwillingness to do so, but because of declining capability. But there also is evidence that Morocco’s opposition had capability, but chose to stay ‘cool’; perhaps, according to Lust-Okar, the opposition elites had no problems with their political gains, rather than risk the chance of losing them in any attempt at mass mobilization.
We already are aware of the PNCR’s divided camps and its weakened status; and so, the PNCR would seem unable to effect any mass mobilization, given this substandard disposition. But could the failure of the PNCR and its acolytes to rouse the masses happening also because there is no economic decline and no popular discontent? Look at some recent economic matters.
The Guyana economy continues to demonstrate resilience against several recent external shocks. Think about two such shocks: the rising global food and fuel prices and the international financial meltdown; these shocks failed to compromise the integrity of the Guyana economy.
And in terms of the rising food and fuel prices just over a year ago, the Jagdeo Administration moved in a timely way to cushion the economy with a number of ameliorative measures; and the Bank of Guyana did indicate in the heat of the international financial meltdown not long ago that the Guyana economy had negligible investments in the U.S. investment market; not much of an impact here.
And now Jagdeo is lighting up the global stage with his Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS), taking it shortly to the Copenhagen Summit, bringing immense prestige to Guyana’s international economic image, especially as Guyana’s economy is out of the woods, even factoring in the external shocks and the precarious nature of the global economy.
And so, let the people decide, why the dossier? The dossier may be a remarkable camouflage for the opposition’s failings to mobilize the people vis-à-vis the hypothesis: economic decline produces political instability and institutional reform. The people are not buying the line that there is economic decline; the opposition, therefore, chooses the ‘dossier’ route. Jordan is still on my radar.