May 08, 2017 Source
A wise person once said that there are three interconnected words: people, politics and politicians that have become an integral part in our everyday thinking here in Guyana. While we know the meaning of the word people, not all of us know the official or proper meaning of the words politics and politicians. Politics is the art of science of governance or the concern with winning elections and having control over a government. Politicians are those who are elected to political office and are more interested about gaining a favor or retaining power than about maintaining principles.
Politics and politicians have played a significant role in our lives in the past and the present and will continue to do so in the future.
In the past, one’s desire to enter politics was to make change to the living conditions or lifting the underprivileged from the controlled condition of poverty, which was and still is the clever design by the architects of the rich and powerful in society.The saying that a majority of the people have to remain poor in order for a few, considered the capitalist class, to become wealthy, is true in our case, where poverty is widespread, especially in the rural areas of the country.
In the past, most of the politicians, including our two most outstanding leaders and many others who entered the political arena, were genuine and caring men and women. After listening to the social and economic pain suffered by the laboring class, these selfless politicians decided to improve the lives of the poor and downtrodden.
They did not seek political office to enrich themselves, relatives and friends as was the case during the past fifteen years. Neither was personal aggrandizement their goal. Their goal was to liberate the masses from the yoke of colonialism regardless of their political affiliation.
They campaigned in rum shops, at the markets, in the cane fields and on street corners under the limited working streetlights. They listened to the needs of the people and sought to ameliorate their position as they entered Parliament.Indeed, they made some improvements in the lives of the masses and were lauded by them. Working conditions improved, salaries increased, brick roads were paved, bridges were built, and the country was well on its way to become developed. In this period it was politics for the people by the people.Recently, it appears that times have changed the political dynamics in the country. Politics for the people and by the people seems to have been replaced by a new breed of selfish and corrupt men and women in politics.
It is now politics for the politicians as the advancement of the people is no longer the goal to be achieved or the system once fought against. Personal needs of the politicians have taken precedence over the interests of the poor masses who continue to struggle.There is no longer the presence of genuine pressure groups or capable and competent labor unions in the country to make both the politicians and ruthless businessmen aware that the rights of the people must be treated with utmost respect.
Today’s opposition no longer fights for the masses, but seeks to put forward esoteric, intellectually flawed jargon and propaganda that not even they themselves would believe. The goal of the opposition is to regain control of the government and plunder the treasury as they once did.
Since taking office two years ago, the current administration has to be blamed for low production output and for seldom making contact with people. While in opposition, they had constantly reached out to the people which suggests that having power is more important than the people who elected them.
The public is praying for politicians like the earlier ones who are willing to make sacrifices for a better tomorrow.