Now, your Eyewitness wants to make it clear from the onset that he’s making a distinction between “elections reform” and “electoral reform”. So, what’s the distinction? Well, in his book, “elections reform” has to do with fixing kinks that we’ve encountered with the holding of elections, while “electoral reform” goes into the esoteric matter of tinkering with the electoral system to better deliver “democracy”.
The latter is best illustrated by the change in 1964 from “First Past the Post” (FPTP) to “Proportional Representation” (PR), which led to the mess we’ve found ourselves in. And then in the 2000s, when we modified PR to a “Mixed System” of PR and FPTP – which, as we know to our cost – has done nothing to fix anything. Fortuitously, the need for “electoral reform” is now moot, since – like Darwin’s evolutionary model, working through natural selection – the demographics have changed through reactive emigration, so that we’re now a nation of minorities. And, as such, if any party wants to win elections, it has to appeal beyond its ethnic base. In other words, it has to become a “national party” in deeds and not just words. Case closed!
So, we move to elections reform. Why? Well, for the simple reason that it doesn’t matter what electoral system we’re going to use, at the end, we HAVE to use elections to determine who governs “democratically”! So, if we don’t get this right, we’re just spinning wheels when we talk about “democracy”. Now, what’s wrong with our elections? Well, absolutely nothing when it comes to casting and counting votes, if we go by what happened on March 2!
All the problems emanated from the GECOM Secretariat. We can start with the instructions that went to some 29 polling stations to the effect that the polling documents etc should be sent to the RO, and not enclosed in the box with the ballots. This caused a big stink that still reeks, since the PNC has since used this incident to question the elections’ results. Then, of course, there are the infamous and critical incidents at the Reg 4 RO HQ, spearheaded by Mingo and other GECOM staff.
How do we prevent these from recurring? The problem has to do with the system that selects the personnel, when the terms of employment might be racially neutral but are interpreted in a racially biased manner. This was supposed to be investigated by the ERC, but was stymied when various managers from the GECOM Secretariat refused to give testimony. And this is where we have to be if we’re ever to have confidence in our elections.
We can’t pretend that our racial preferences don’t seep into our professional roles.
Your Eyewitness is tickled pink (figuratively speaking, since he’s quite melanin-suffused, thank you!) to read that we’re increasing our shipments of packaged brown sugar. While there’s an additional cost for the packaging, from the announcement that we’re getting twice the price (US 34 cents per pound?) we’re certainly doing better at reaching our production cost of US 40 cents per pound. But the goal is to make profits, no? And towards this end, a lot of money’s been spent on fixing the factories and field practices to become more efficient, and we’ll have to see how those work out.
But your Eyewitness wants to remind the powers-that-be about the long discussed and negotiated agreement on producing “Plantation white sugar” – along with Belize – to satisfy our Caribbean demand at refined sugar prices! This is primarily used by the Regional food manufacturing industry.
All it takes is a modification to our present sugar factories to introduce sulphur dioxide to “bleach” the impurities.
What’s the holdup?
When he was introduced as the new PNC leader back in 2011, Granger was touted as a grand strategic thinker who’d play chess while the PPP was stuck with checkers!
So, what’s his present strategy? Rope-a-dope?