June 30 2019

www.kaieteurnewsonline.com

Adam Harris

The race drum is out in Jagdeo’s hands

There is never a dull moment in Guyana, especially when one looks at the political situation. In recent times there was a lot of excitement surrounding the decision by the Caribbean Court of Justice. The focus was on the preparation for general elections in the wake of the no-confidence motion.Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo fuels most of the excitement with his statements. He rarely misses a trick to hurl darts at the government. But there is always the warning that not everything he says is true.I keep abreast of international news and I find that at least one man easily matches Jagdeo when it comes to distortions. Indeed Jagdeo can be controversial, especially when he targets a person or a group.

For example, he is obsessed that President David Granger has not attracted accusations of corruption.
Such is the obsession that he has even accused the media of protecting Granger and keeping him out of the fray, although there is nothing so far to suggest that Granger is corrupt or would tolerate corruption.So it was that Jagdeo went out on a limb to create evidence of corruption in the Granger camp. But in doing so, he exposes his propensity for racism. He had already been hauled before the court for racist utterances.On Thursday he pulled out his propensity once more. Armed with what he called irrefutable information, he set up a wall chart and proceeded to demonstrate the partisan nature of the People’s National Congress.


Jagdeo identified plots of land that he claimed the Granger administration allocated to supporters, friends and family of PNC members. His presentation was impressive and convincing, perhaps too convincing. All the identified recipients of the land were people of African ancestry.The icing on the cake was the claim that all this land was allocated after the passage of the no-confidence motion on December 21, 2018.Something strange happened after this disclosure. Usually, the social media would rush to publish the scandal. But on this occasion there was not a peep. Jagdeo was too good to be true. It turned out that the media operatives were fact-checking.With the exception of the newspaper that Jagdeo founded, nobody took Jagdeo at face value. And for good reason. He lied. The backlash was furious. The people he identified were people who keep their records.It turned out that their applications were made during the Jagdeo administration. Two were even approved during the tenure of the administration of the People’s Progressive Party.


But something interesting was revealed. Jagdeo had said that some 10,000 acres of land in the Pomeroon were given to people closely associated with the PNC. He did not name the individuals as he did when he singled out Charles Ceres, Eric Phillips, Aubrey Hetemyer, and Christopher Jones.It turned out that the land had been leased to some people a long time back. Jagdeo and his cohorts decided to repossess the land, so the holders went to court. They won, but Jagdeo refused to heed the court order.I cannot help but notice the decision to jail the Finance Minister, Winston Jordan for failing to honour a court decision that was made against the PPP. When Jagdeo refused to heed the court order to return the land, no one even thought of citing the responsible party for contempt.The current Commissioner of Lands and Surveys, Trevor Benn, was saddled with the responsibility to return the land. And he did.Perhaps the most vitriolic attack against Jagdeo came from Charles Ceres. A group had applied for land since 2004, but somehow the application got lost in the administrative milieu. It was the same with Eric Phillips. They kept calling the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission.
Phillips’s application had disappeared for two years. I refuse to believe that someone was deliberately frustrating the applications. Perhaps the stage was being set to allow others favourable to the administration of the day to apply for those lands.


What Jagdeo’s ‘revelations’ did was highlight what actually went on during his party’s administration. Indeed there were land giveaways. The lands may not have been given away for free, but for peppercorn rates.Ceres noted that he was asked to pay a phenomenal lease when compared to Jagdeo’s people. He paid. He was asked to pay even a higher lease later, but he refused, and he did so in writing.He spoke about the 103 acres of land ostensibly sold to Eddie Boyer at Liliendaal. That was prime land which Boyer undertook to develop. He divided the land into house lots which he sold at a rate that allowed him to recover the small cost he paid after selling no more than four lots.
Today, taxpayers’ money must go toward paying for the infrastructural development, contrary to the arrangement that facilitated the land sale.To link Ceres to the political administration, Jagdeo noted that Ceres’s wife worked in the Ministry of the Presidency. Ceres said that the woman has no interest in land.


Now there is another twist. The information that Jagdeo released, albeit in a distorted manner, was obtained by fraud. Mr. Trevor Benn, head of lands and surveys said that such information must be paid for. He said there was no record of any application or payment for the information. He has now invited the police to investigate.Finance Minister Winston Jordan had earlier noted the presence of people who would steal sensitive documents and forward them to Jagdeo. He did not call in the police, because he knew that that not every employee would be a supporter of the government.Now that the extent of moles has been verified, one does not expect a sweep of employees. But one would expect honest labour.
President David Granger, at a function at the Ministry of the Presidency, had said that he was not averse to having people of different political persuasion working in his administration.


I remember the PPP talking about witch hunt, but failed to provide one iota of evidence. That was part of the ploy to suggest that political partisanship existed within the ranks of the coalition.What happened on Thursday was just another attempt to score political points, even if it meant distorting the facts.It is worrying that Jagdeo is not opposed to playing the race card. The message is that people of a certain ethnic origin are benefiting under this government. The message to people of other ethnic origins is that they should come out. For what reason? I wish I could say.

Original Post

Issues of racism is NOT [solely] in the hands of BJ.  However, some of his devout followers invoke racism which contradict his message.   The PNC and their followers are also guilty of worse red-meat racism.  I'm read some of the devout PNC followers making racist remarks which [I hope] run contrary to the message from the top!

skeldon_man posted:

The nastiness and "black gyaad" behavior you see in Guyana news show how these skanky racists think that Guyana only belongs to the negroes. Their comments on FB do not hide their hatred for the Indians. 29% want too control 71%.

Touch and go 2020: Some extra insights from 2016 LAPOP

www.stabroeknews.com

The previous column utilized data from the 2016 Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP) survey to gauge how people voted in the 2015 general election. I argued that if there is persistence in voting behaviour in Guyana, then the somewhat dated survey (mid-2016) could still be relevant for present analyses. The previous column discussed the percentage voter turnout for Afro-Guyanese, East Indians, Amerindians and mixed-Guyanese, as well as the “ethnic market share” of each of the main political parties. The survey shows – as do the previous ones in the post-1992 era – that there is a strong correlation between ethnicity and voting. Over the years, I have called this outcome strategic pro-ethnic voting. There is a “market” of around 12%, perhaps 15%, of independent swing voters. The same pattern was observed by Professor Ralph Premdas for earlier elections. He had a comprehensive study of the 1961 election in a book he published in 1995.

Persistence in pro-ethnic voting could occur because most people believe that their economic and cultural interests are dependent on leaders of their respective group winning the election. Intra-group social networks are strong in Guyana, resulting in the connection of opportunities for gaining jobs in the civil service, a house lot, the contract to clean drains in a locality, a government scholarship, rent-seeking endeavours and other goodies.

On the other hand, the political leaders themselves have to pursue strategies (make a credible commitment) that assure their respective base voters the goodies are coming if they can only vote for their traditional party. Over the years, I have outlined (as did others) how the PPP has mobilized its base by scaring it into conformity. However, in terms of actual deliverance, the PPP destroyed – by policy choice – the livelihood of its working class base while enriching a small group connected to the party.

On the other hand, the PNC’s strategy focuses explicitly on keeping heightened expectation of economic benefits that will flow to its base if it does not split its votes. Two recent examples are in order. Firstly, we now have the famous case of a senior member of the APNU+AFC government and PNC Chairperson, Ms. Volda Lawrence, stating: “the only friends I got is PNC, so the only people I could give work to is PNC” (S.N. 30/11/2018). Now, this is setting up the expectation that if African-Guyanese do not want to be marginalized by some other group they have to stay with the PNC. On the issue of marginalization, I have repeatedly called for data (I really don’t understand what Mr. Jagdeo’s minions are doing) comparing the ethnic distribution of house lots and home ownership during the PPP period and the housing distribution under the previous PNC administration (which Mr. C. B. Greenidge talked about in his book).

Most times, and secondly, the PNCR outsources its ethnic mobilization – last week we saw to ACDA. The Guyana Chronicle (GC) reported a case in which senior PNC member, Mr. Vincent Alexander, is leading the charge in connecting reparations and ancestral land reclamation. I thought these were different issues, but connecting them provides a clever backdoor signalling mechanism for base mobilization (G.C. 21/05/2019). In addition, Demerara Waves reported online that senior ACDA leaders perceive East-Indian control of NDCs, which is supposedly preventing a thriving system of African village economies (D.W. 19/05/2019).

The news report in Guyana Chronicle tried to be measured, but it fails to account for factors in economic history, geography and ecology that stymied the African village movement after emancipation. I will not repeat them here as they are in several of my columns and academic papers; suffice to say, Mr. Eric Phillips thinks that 18% of Guyana’s landmass would do wonders for propelling African village economies. Two sticking points, however, are the entire coastal plain where slavery, indenture and the plantation economy existed is less than 5% of the land area of Guyana and total arable land is approximately 8%. Therefore, I have to conclude that this episode reads more like a base mobilization strategy meant to shape expectations or reward if the PNC is in power and fear of the other. As I have said in the past, there is something to the ancestral land claims. It must be addressed, but there has to be some serious historical accounts – not the kind of history pointing out who suffered more than whom.

Last week, I discussed how voters said they voted in 2015 and the rate of turnout by different groups. Let us first take a look at party identification of potential voters using the 2016 survey. Amerindians associate with the APNU+AFC at a rate of 58% compared with 42% for the PPP/C. These numbers are fairly close to how they said they voted in 2015 (see previous column). African Guyanese associate with APNU+AFC at a rate of 97.1% compared with 2.2% for PPP/C, again reflecting closely how they indicated they voted. East Indians associate with the PPP/C at a rate of 67.1% compared with 32.9% for APNU+AFC. The 32.9% is slightly above the 29% who said they voted for the coalition. However, as noted in the previous column there should be some adjustments for those who provided no response to the question asking how people voted.

 

Regardless of how one thinks about these numbers, they do not confirm the claim from some quarters that East Indians did not support the coalition at a rate sufficient to win. There might be a price to pay as well for the attempts to belittle (and disrespect) the contribution of East Indians in the AFC (and outside) to the PNC’s ability to hold power. In 2015, I made a comment that value is often created on the margin. The PNC Facebook folks thought I was being racially insensitive. They are usually projecting psychologically, however. Perhaps these active supporters will get the meaning of marginalism if there is a free and fair election next year.

Mixed voters indicated an association rate of 92.5% with the APNU+AFC and 7.5% with the PPP. In the 2014 LAPOP survey, mixed voters associated with the PPP at a rate of 22%, AFC at 18.9% and PNC at 54.1%. If this trend is accurate, the PPP has lost significant support from mixed Guyanese.

Another useful set of data points from the LAPOP survey pertain to how people are expected to vote in the next presidential election. This is perhaps the most unstable part of the LAPOP data set. Nevertheless, I will discuss them since they provide some information one year out from the 2015 general election. In general, this aspect of the survey suggests the PPP’s base is a lot more wobbly than that of the PNC’s. For example, 10.8% of African Guyanese indicated that they will not vote in the next general election, compared with 19.8% for the PPP/C. Mixed Guyanese and Amerindians suggested that 16.2% and 14.4%, respectively, would not vote in the next election.

Interestingly, just 39.1% of East Indians said they will vote for a party different from APNU+AFC (read PPP/C), while only 3.1% African Guyanese mentioned they will vote for another party. Therefore, one year out, a significantly larger percentage of East Indians said they will split their votes compared with the Afro-Guyanese population. Mixed Guyanese and Amerindians indicate at a rate of 10.4% and 13.2%, respectively, that they will vote for a party different than the incumbent coalition.

Given that we are just under a year away from elections, the moving variables are the Irfaan Ali candidacy (a man for the rural base!), divisions associated with the NCV, the capture of the PPP, and the two new and credible third parties – ANUG and Mr. Shuman’s party. Mr. Jagdeo and his like-minded group should consider that getting back the Berbice votes might not be enough. The like-minded group should also consider that a structural break started in 2011, as well as the fact that a reformed PPP/C can get the Berbice votes and the urban East Indian ones.

Comments: tkhemraj@ncf.edu


 

Skelly, take a peek at this article and the LAPOP Survey, it shouldn't be taken lightly, who the  majority of the mixed population supports.

ksazma posted:

The numbers on that report indicate that blacks are extremely tribal.

Why not. When people like you scream that blacks are a scourge,they are cursed and they are the worst people on the planet, it is in the interest of survival for them not to vote PPP.

Telling a black man to vote for the PPP is like telling a Jew to vote for Hitler.  The PPP harbors racists like you and does NOTHING.  In fact Rohee's daughter said much the same about blacks as you did and her5 father didn't see anything racist about that.

 

Note that mixed Guyanese also reject the PPP by number almost as high as do blacks.  Africans +mixed are now 50% of the population!

caribny posted:
ksazma posted:

The numbers on that report indicate that blacks are extremely tribal.

Why not. When people like you scream that blacks are a scourge,they are cursed and they are the worst people on the planet, it is in the interest of survival for them not to vote PPP.

Telling a black man to vote for the PPP is like telling a Jew to vote for Hitler.  The PPP harbors racists like you and does NOTHING.  In fact Rohee's daughter said much the same about blacks as you did and her5 father didn't see anything racist about that.

 

Note that mixed Guyanese also reject the PPP by number almost as high as do blacks.  Africans +mixed are now 50% of the population!

So you don’t think wicked black folks should correct their wicked ways right?

Racism and corruption are equally distributed between PPP and PNC. PPP is like the white collar thieves while the PNC acts like barefaced thieves. God is funny to make black and coolie and put them to live under one roof. That's how he gets his daily giggles. Lol 😆 

If these people applied for leases on lands during Jagdeo's presidency why did it take this long to resolve?  Why the coalition didn't resolve these matters since 2015?  Suspicion is brewing from sudden give away of lands to record number of people affiliated with PNC at time when the government is not only facing early elections but occupying office illegally.  Adam talking rubbish.

Prince posted:

Racism and corruption are equally distributed between PPP and PNC. PPP is like the white collar thieves while the PNC acts like barefaced thieves. God is funny to make black and coolie and put them to live under one roof. That's how he gets his daily giggles. Lol 😆 

One way of escaping from the reality of the PNC's callousness and racism is to say that both the PPP and the PNC possesses the same qualities.  It's shame people have to think this way to escape reality.

ksazma posted:
caribny posted:
ksazma posted:

The numbers on that report indicate that blacks are extremely tribal.

Why not. When people like you scream that blacks are a scourge,they are cursed and they are the worst people on the planet, it is in the interest of survival for them not to vote PPP.

Telling a black man to vote for the PPP is like telling a Jew to vote for Hitler.  The PPP harbors racists like you and does NOTHING.  In fact Rohee's daughter said much the same about blacks as you did and her5 father didn't see anything racist about that.

 

Note that mixed Guyanese also reject the PPP by number almost as high as do blacks.  Africans +mixed are now 50% of the population!

So you don’t think wicked black folks should correct their wicked ways right?

And why are blacks more wicked than Indians.  Both vote race. Both condone ethnic exclusion out of fear of their own ethnic survival.  Both have also been victimized by this.

Indos votes AFC when it was led by Nagamootoo.  So you have no proof to show that they will vote for a non Indian.  They did NOT vote AFC in 2006 when it was led by Trotman.

Billy Ram Balgobin posted:
 

One way of escaping from the reality of the PNC's callousness and racism is to say that both the PPP and the PNC possesses the same qualities.  It's shame people have to think this way to escape reality.

And in fact neither have done much good for Guyana.  Both are essentially the same though I will admit that the PPP leads the way when it comes to wholesale corruption.  Though Harmon certainly has learned well from his PPP friends.

Granger is NOT the wealthy man that Jagdeo is even though no doubt he was better off than was Jagdeo when they both began their presidency.

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