For very good reason, there’s a lot of difference between the law of the jungle and the rule of law. The former prevailed from time immemorial, but since that involved a helluva lot of bashing on the head with clubs to settle differences, life was (understandably) “nasty, short and brutish”! So, we came up with rules to guide our social relations for the various activities in which we were engaged – subsumed under the rubric “rule of law. It meant that whatever we crafted should apply to one and all! NO EXCEPTIONS!!
Well, for governance, we in Guyana chose “Parliamentary Democracy” – which basically said we elect Government through regular elections, with the majority winning! Simple, no? But the losing parties have @ role – they become the OPPOSITION!! They attend Parliament, and try to influence voters at the next elections by promoting alternatives to the Government’s initiatives. If those alternatives make sense – and more so if they’re proven right in the near term – the voters would choose THEM the next time!! Simple, no?
Well, for the PNC, “NO”!!! They don’t believe any other party than theirs should govern Guyana. It’s as simple as that – the rules they agreed to shouldn’t apply to them!! So, whenever they’re voted out, or not voted in, their mission is to “oppose, expose, and depose” the incumbent Government by any means necessary. Which in Guyana is the PPP, because of the nature of voting in Guyana. So, to achieve their aim, they invariably trample all over the rules.
We won’t revisit their resort to open warfare in the streets on so many occasions. Let’s just look at their behaviour in Parliament the other day. Even though the PPP broke no rules in introducing the NRF Bill, when it was being debated, their PNC MPs rushed over to the Government side, loudly blowing whistles in the face of the Speaker so’s to drown him out!! That’s debate to win more voters? Talk about stifling opinions!! Not satisfied with breaking the rule to “let the other side be heard”, some rushed the Speaker, seized the Mace representing his authority, and scampered away with it!!
But this breaking of the rules is the beginning of a slippery slope, and it can return to bite them in their behinds. Hopefully, they saw what happened in the Honduran Parliament last week. There, Members of the winning party had a fistfight WITH EACH OTHER!! For their victory, their party leader had promised one opposition leader that, for their support during the elections, the nominee for Speaker would be from the latter’s party. Well, how dare the spoils be shared?! The same question that always bedevil the PNC!!
Sounds familiar?? Expect blows between APNU vs PNC vs AFC!!!
…of moral blindness
Now, not satisfied with trampling on the venerable rules of our Parliament – which comes out of centuries of tradition – the PNC MPs who committed their obscene anti-democratic rampage are now claiming that PPP MPs were also disorderly!! Talk about taking your doo-doo and rubbing it on your opponents’ bamsies!! So, with the Speaker announcing he’ll follow the Parliamentary Rules and send them to the Committee of Privileges to be appropriately censured, they’ve come out swinging and playing “wrong and strong”!
In typical PNC tradition, they now insist that the Speaker’s biased, and – in forming human walls around the Minister of Finance, who was presenting the NRF Bill, and the Speaker, who was protecting his Mace – the PPP MPs should be punished!!
Chutzpah isn’t the word!! Rass pass is more like it – on the rule of law in general and the Parliamentary Rules in particular!!
But this behaviour comes from their Founder-Leader Burnham, who cynically treated the Constitution like toilet paper! It’s hard-wired in their psyches!!
…of word usage
If language is the key to culture, then shifts in word usage reveal changes in our society, no? When MPs see nothing wrong in calling GECOM officials – elections gatekeepers – “trench crappos” and “jagabats”, what does that say about us?