Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Race vs. Politics in Guyana: Political Cleavages and Political Mobilisation in the 1968 General Election

Greene, J. E., Race vs. politics in Guyana: political cleavages and political mobilisation in the 1968 general election, Mona, Jamaica: Institute of Social and Economic Research, 1974.

Reviewed in the American Political Science Review / Volume 71 / Issue 03 / September 1977.

From the Preface:
This study is about the 1968 general election in Guyana. It argues that while racial cleavage within the society is the single most important determinant of political behaviour, party organisation provides the motive force behind ‘the people’s choice’. Using aggregate and survey data, the study shows that between 1953 (when the first election under universal adult suffrage was held) and 1968, party identification and political mobilisation had shifted from those based on class antagonism to those based on racial disaffection. However, the change in the electoral machinery – from a system of plurality voting to proportional representation – had forced parties to reform their campaign strategy. The emphasis is on votes gained rather than on seats won. As a result, the local party organisations have become important sources of electoral mobilisation.

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