By Dr. VISHNU BISRAM
According to an opinion poll conducted by this writer for the North American Caribbean Teachers Association (NACTA) in Guyana, the population feel that the PPP administration is more people centered and has done much more to improve than the preceding APNU+AFC regime in governance in a variety of areas.
The public feel that the five months old President Ali administration has shown that it is more caring and compassionate than the coalition government. The PPP has been trying to create jobs and doling out basic assistance to help people during the pandemic. During the coalition regime, tens of thousands lost their jobs and little effort was made to help the poor and unemployed.
The latest survey was conducted mid-January. Some 470 respondents were interviewed to represent the demographics of the population (40% Indians, 30% Africans, 19% Mixed, 10% Amerindians, 1% Others).
Based on the findings of the poll, the public feel that the PPP administration has made a greater effort than the preceding APNU led regime in implementing measures to create jobs (increase employment) in the public and private sectors. The general perception among the population is that under APNU, thousands of jobs were lost in the public as well as private sectors as business shrunk. Respondents feel that APNU almost exclusively hired its supporters whereas under the current Ali administration, jobs are open for all regardless of political affiliation or ethnicity.
Asked which government has done more to create jobs, PPP leads APNU+AFC 61% to 28% with 11% not offering a response or saying “not sure”.
Asked which government has done more to help farming communities and rescue agriculture, PPP betters APNU 79% to 12% to 9%.
On which government (has) made a greater effort to turn around the economy, PPP is ahead of APNU+AFC 57% to 38% with 5% saying not sure.
Queried on which government (has) attracted more investments into the country, PPP leads APNU 74% to 15% with 11% not offering a response.
Asked which government did or has done more to crack down on corruption, 56% said PPP with 36% saying APNU+AFC and 8% not sure.
Asked which government has demonstrated more empathy and compassion for the public during the Covid pandemic, PPP betters APNU overwhelmingly – 82% to 11% with 7% not giving a response. The general perception among non-APNU+AFC supporters is that APNU led administration focused on helping its own supporters rather than the entire population.
The public also feels that they are better off today under the PPP than they were under the coalition 59% to 34%.
Asked how confident they are of the country’s future under the Ali-led administration, 23% said extremely, 28% very, 22% somewhat, 21% not confident, and 6% offered no response.
Asked if they approve of the performance of the government, 68% said yes with 25% disapproving and 7% not offering a rating. Respondents signal support of Presidential outreach with Ministers interacting with communities all over the country.
President Ali’s approval rating is 73% with a disapproval rating of 22%.
Besides the President, several Ministers were lauded for their performance from the findings of the poll. Ministry of Public Infrastructure, AG Anil Nandlall, and Agriculture Ministry have come for praises for road projects and drainage work that make streets passable and for easing flooding in outlying areas. Roads are being rehabilitated or paved or patched all over the country. In addition, new roads and other infrastructure work, like digging new or cleaning existing drains by Agriculture Ministry, open up vast fresh areas for housing development and farming. In particular, Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha and Ministers Juan Edghill and Deodat Indar were saluted for infrastructure projects.
President Ali was commended for his vision to build new roads that open up vast areas of the country for housing development away from the main public road and the coast. It is visionary leadership. The planned new roads create opportunities for land to be transformed into house lots as well as farming and for other aspects of development. In particular, he was applauded for immediately establishing new roadways along the East Bank of Demerara (Region 4). Some time ago, the President announced a similar new road project for Region 3 from Parika to the planned new Harbhor Bridge across the Demerara River that connects West Bank to East Bank. The East Coast now needs a similar road connecting with the East Bank.
While not directly involved with infrastructure or agriculture, the public recognizes the AG has overall jurisdiction on legal issues pertaining to all Ministries and the government at large. Nandlall has the highest positive ratings among all Ministers in polls conducted in November and January.
The views expressed in these articles are solely those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the THE WEST INDIAN.