EYEWITNESS: False equivalence…

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…on elections

One of the tropes deployed by the PNC-led coalition to cling to power beyond March 21 is to claim “the PPP used to do worse”! Never mind that even if the assertion were true – which is quite a stretch, considering their depravities in a mere 4 years!-they DID promise to do better in 2015, didn’t they??

But on the specific matter that’s precipitating the greatest constitutional crisis in our history – elections – what’s often at play is the “fallacy of false equivalence”. Which is folks claiming two situations are equivalent, but choose to close their eyes (or may be ignorant) to additional factors that’ll show the comparison to be completely off-base.

Take the PNC partisans’ retort to assertions that the PNC rigged elections between 1968 and 1994, and that their foot dragging that prevented constitutionally-mandated elections by Thursday, March 21 is to facilitate the same in the next year. They yell: “The PPP did the same”! They point out that the elections of 1997 were ruled fatally flawed by the courts, and therefore the PPP ruled for 4 years illegally – just as the PNC “might” have done!

Well, let’s look at the “additional factors” the PNC partisans are ignoring to create their false equivalence: For one, the judge made the ruling in 2001 – when new elections had already been scheduled, as per the Herdmanston Accord. She also ruled that the “defect” – GECOM requiring that folks show their ID cards to vote – was a technical one, and didn’t change the actual results. When you compare this to the PNC actually using all sorts of fraudulent methods – including shooting citizens protecting ballot boxes from army seizure, and English horses counted as “overseas voters” — you, dear reader, should see through the false equivalence.

Inadvertence by GECOM on the import of IDs isn’t the same as PNC “rigging”!!

Then we hear about the PPP being awarded a seat in Linden that was supposedly the AFC’s in 2006. But the PPP secured 36 seats, and even if that one were taken away, they’d be down to 35 – with the combined 4 Opposition parties having 30. Even with the cockamamie claims of dividing people in half, the PPP would’ve still had a majority, no?

But now another PNC partisan (even employed by the Govt!) took another tack with the false equivalence ploy. Art 162 (2) (a) says GECOM can “postpone the holding of the election to a day specified in the notice” and this makes their foot dragging on Art 106 (6) okay!! This just shows how desperate PNC folks are. You can’t POSTPONE something that’s not already scheduled!!!

Now, if Granger had scheduled elections for March 21??!! All smart flies…!

…on wealth

There’s a debate going on about the distribution of wealth in Guyana. One side claims one Guyanese ethnic group owns most of the wealth, and this causes other groups to feel “insecure”. And this inequality generates most of the tensions around election time. Your Eyewitness wish it were so simple…but we know it ain’t.

Income, wealth and opportunity have been dubbed the “Trifecta of Inequality”, since if any group in a society is denied all three, that’s it for them. What’s the situation in Guyana with the “trifecta”??

With income, most studies of household income and expenditure show that, in general, the coastal groups are roughly on par, but with hinterland folks – read Indigenous Peoples – waaaay behind. Urban folks also are on top on the coast. While there is some quibbling, in general there’s also “equality of opportunity” to all groups to education etc. So how come the claim of ethnic disparities in wealth??

No one wants to talk about the need for “equality of effort” to deliver the “equality of wealth”!!

…on profits

There’s a lot of noise being made about the declared profits of RUSAL on aluminium, and on their claim that they’ve made no profits here on bauxite mining.

So shouldn’t we be turning our bauxite into aluminium? Oh! It’s not that easy, is it?

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