October 1, 2011 | By KNews | Filed Under Features / Columnists, Peeping Tom
Source - Kaieteur News

The ruling People’s Progressive Party launches its election campaign tomorrow at Albion. The turnout is expected to be big but not mammoth since elections are about two months away and these are still early days yet.

Traditionally, the PPP would launch its campaign in Kitty but this time around it has decided to do so in Albion. The reason for this is due to timing.

The ruling party has always tested the political waters and has found that it has been receptive towards them. The National Stadium was filled to capacity for the Appreciation Day event for President Jagdeo. The massive turnout was an ominous signal to the opposition that the PPP as usual has its electoral machinery in gear and it is just a matter of fine-tuning it for the elections.

The attention in the early days of the campaign has been around Georgetown and its environs. Therefore the party has decided to launch its campaign in the east and move westwards rather than the other way around. There are also concerns that the party’s organization with Berbice may not have been as strong as it ought to be and that the party may have lost some ground because of the leadership on the ground in that area.

There is some amount of discontent with party organization in the Ancient County and today’s turnout will signal just how much of a fallout the ruling party has suffered.

The PPP also faces a problem on the East Coast of Demerara. The traditional rally site at Good Hope is now in private hands and massive buildings have been erected at the traditional rally site. As such, a new venue has to be found for the party’s rally. While a rally has been organized for Good Hope, it will actually be held in Lusignan.

The PPP will no doubt be hoping that it can gain as much as 20,000 per rally. Obviously it will pack the supporters tightly so that it can announce afterwards that 50,000 persons were there at the rally. This would silence and demoralize the opposition which is already suffering from poor turnout at their local meetings and their overseas fund-raising jaunts, even though the opposition is yet to launch its rallies.

The PPP will suffer a decline in numbers at its rallies because the Guyanese people are not as hyped up about this year’s elections as in the past. Generally, the people want the elections to come and be over with quickly so that they can have enough time to make enough money to enjoy their Christmas.

There were few incidents of worry following the 2006 elections and normalcy returned very quickly. Most Guyanese would be hoping that the same level of political maturity would prevail but with the PNCR, one can never be certain just what position it is going to adopt and whether it will try to find a scapegoat for its political failures.

If there is anything to blame for the continuing decline of the ruling party, it is that partnership that it has formed to contest the election. The PNCR was always interested in a Big Tent arrangement. Instead of pursuing a multi-party alliance, it has allowed itself to be drawn into an uncertain concept as promoted by the Working People’s Alliance. That concept is called an open partnership.

But neither the PNCR nor the WPA has ever pointed to an example whereby an open partnership has succeeded or ever tried. There are numerous examples of alliances but the concept of an open partnership is too loose an arrangement to succeed in a country like Guyana. It is going to flop and when it does it is hoped that APNU accepts that it will take some time for the Guyanese people to be comfortable with this concept.

The WPA had in the past discovered that the Guyanese people were not comfortable with the idea of co-leadership; the party went into a subsequent election with a single leader but was humbled at the polls which meant that the experiment to undo what the idea of co-leadership also failed. Now the party has managed to foist on the PNCR, a novel concept in so far as local politics is concerned and from all indications and from its own admissions, it is a concept that is not catching on.

The AFC on the other hand is not experimenting. It is sticking to its decision that it will welcome defectors from both the ruling party and the PNCR. It may also be willing to accept persons from the United Force but those coming on board will do so under an AFC ticket.

The AFC is however going to find that there are not going to be many defectors from the ruling party and after tomorrow’s rally at Albion the PPP will begin to cement its support in its quest to win its fifth consecutive election.
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