There are just over 100,000 of us and we cannot all fit into the parliament building, so we organized 15 representatives to speak on our behalf. It is a disgrace that we were not able to hear from most of them. This is not the first time that this has happened, and we cannot stomach this recurring undignified silence. It might have been advantageous for Papa to tell his son to maintain a dignified silence in the hopes that the story of his infractions will go away, but to impose undignified silence on those appointed to speak on our behalf is totally out of order.
Just in case the speaker does not know what her role is, we hereby instruct her: Your role is to facilitate the members of parliament as they speak on our behalf. We have a long and rich history based on culture and practice of British Western Democracies. We expect appropriate rules to apply but we should not use the rules to defeat the purpose of our parliament. We have had to put up with long winded ministerial statements, congratulatory remarks of every minor and major achievement of our people, death announcements and obituaries, long responses that sometimes hardly answer the questions asked.
When we tune in to parliament, we expect to hear healthy debates with the ministers presenting their programme and the opposition responding. This is not hard to arrange. Members can agree on when each one should speak. It is not “get ball bowl” and “out a man bat,” nor is it “hide and seek.” Even the rum shop knows how to carry on a debate. The governing party always has the advantage because the leader of the house usually speaks at the end sometimes usurping the wind-up rebuttal of the finance minister, often leaving him with nothing much to add.
Children do not hold grudges for “long.” They will have a dispute, but we will see them talking and playing together again shortly thereafter. There appears to be a long-standing dispute between the prime minister and the leader of the opposition. Apparently, the prime minister does not speak to the leader of the opposition, and apparently, he does not listen to him either as manifested by the prime minister’s absence from the House for the entire duration of the opposition leader’s budget response. We are calling for a truce to be facilitated either by the president of Guyana or Venezuela to get both parties together again. They need to adopt the “Tanty Ma” principle: Even if you were just the object of a tongue lashing and you call out to her, you get the nice response: “my dear do do darling.”
We are usually told to get our information from official sources, but since they have failed us, we turn to the rum shop.
Anthony G. Stewart, PhD