Jamaica Elections Comment
The Caribbean Is One Nation.
Submitted by the Mahogany Coconut Group
|National Flag Of Jamaica|
Jamaicans go to the polls on Thursday, February 25th 2016, to elect a new government. We at Mahogany Coconut do not as a rule endorse political parties or candidates in the region because all evidence suggest, at least to us, that they are six of one and half dozen of the other. In the case of Jamaica, we have been less than impressed with the Leader of the Opposition and the Jamaica Labour Party, Mr. Andrew Holness, who has not demonstrated any firm commitment to the regional integration movement. His positions on the Caribbean Court of Justice and his negative comments about CARCOM, in general, have convinced us that he has not grasped what a vibrant CARICOM really means to the region. His stringent opposition to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) replacing the London Privy Council, as our final appeal court, does not endear progressive thinkers to him.
On the other hand, there is much to admire about current Prime Minister Ms. Portia Simpson-Miller. Politically, nothing was ever handed to Simpson-Miller on a platter. She has fought many battles both inside and outside her Peoples National Party (PNP) and she has demonstrated a grit that we admire. It is not easy for women in politics and it really should not be but we admire Prime Minister Simpson-Miller for her strength and ability to connect to all Jamaicans. Quite frankly when we examine the failures of the former Prime Minster of Trinidad and Tobago, Ms. Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Ms. Simpson-Miller stands tall as perhaps the most effective female Prime Minister of any the Caribbean country to date.
While we will not and really cannot in any way influence the outcome of the elections, we are indeed impressed with the level of campaigning, and the fact that the violence once associated with elections in Jamaica now seems to be a thing of the past. Both the PNP and the JLP must be given credit for their roles in ensuring that Jamaicans have reached this level of political maturity.
We therefore wish both Simpson-Miller and Holness all the best in the days ahead because there is much work to be done in the region and we will work with whoever is the Jamaican electorate’s choice. As is often said: “The voice of the people is the voice of the Lord.” And while we may have differences, we will not question the right of our people to elect leaders of their choice. And while others may listen to voices, we listen and respect the choices our people make. In the end, it is the peoples’ voice to which we listen.