Population worry about crime, corruption, joblessness

first_imgDear Editor,An opinion poll conducted by the North American Caribbean Teachers Association (NACTA) in early December, mid-way into the APNU/AFC term in office, found widespread dissatisfaction with the Government.Guyanese cited a variety of challenges impacting the well-being of the nation and support for the ruling coalition. Large majorities expressed concern about crime, corruption, the economy (poverty, wages, joblessness, inflation, etc.), future (wrong) direction of the country, health care, education, race relations or racism, governance, and drugs as among serious problems worrying the nation.In general, a large majority of people from across the political divide, supporters of all three parties, feel the Government has not done a satisfactory job in managing the affairs of the nation, and in handling the issues noted above.They are also not pleased at how the President appointed the Chair of GECOM, which has badly divided the nation.The poll, which interviewed 442 individuals to represent the ethnic diversity (41% Indians, 30% Africans, 18% Mixed, 10% Amerindians, 1% others) of the population, was conducted by this writer earlier this month. The poll findings, analysed at a significance level of 95%, has a margin of error of 4%.Based on the findings of the poll, 92% expressed a fear of crime, with many saying criminals have become emboldened and daring in staging robberies, carjacking, and carrying out violent activities. People feel elements of the Police are involved in criminal activities, including “providing cover” for, or facilitating, criminals, making solving crime difficult.A whopping 90% said the country is moving in the wrong direction, an indication of a lack of confidence in their future well-being.On other issues, 83% said they are worried about corruption; 79% on the state of the economy; 69% on unemployment (citing termination of sugar workers); and 67% on race relations, or racism.People are also not satisfied with the Government´s (Ministry) handling of education, health care, agriculture, and combating drug trafficking; with dissatisfaction figures of 73%, 71%, 66%, and 68% respectively.Asked if they approve of the appointment of Ret´d Judge James Patterson as GECOM Chair, 59% said no, with 30% saying yes, and 11% unsure. Some 57% feel the Government had violated the (spirit of the) Constitution in not choosing someone from the list of nominees of the Opposition Leader.Asked if they support the closure of Rose Hall and Enmore Estates, 63% said no, with 24% saying yes, and the others offering no opinion.Asked if they approve of the latest budget, 61% said no, with 24% saying yes, and the others not offering an opinion.Yours truly,Vishnu Bisramlast_img read more