Jamaicans will go to the polls on December 29th 2011.
December 29th is a significant milestone for me as that is the date of my birth. I have a problem with Prime Minister Holness calling elections on my birthday, I’m not happy about that kind of madness on my special day. Ok that was a joke, but seriously though over the years I have added my voice in the call for fixed election dates. It seem juvenile and almost childish for something as serious and Jermain to our country’s stability as elections to be left to the whim and fancy of one person. I am yet to hear a reasonable argument that supports the status quo.Conversely it has been a tool for Prime Ministers to use when it suits them , and at a time when the polls are in their favor.
In the greater scheme of things it really is not as serious as some who argue against it would have you believe, at least in my mind , and I would be open to hearing and assimilating more arguments in support of our position. It is important but for me it does not parallel the need for constitutional reform and a complete de-annexation from Britain. I do believe a date certain would be more beneficial to the financial markets and the business sector, neither of which particularly likes disquiet or uncertainty. It seem to me it would also cause those handling the people’s business to bring greater stewardship and professionalism to their jobs, unless of course they choose to commit political suicide.
One thing is certain as a specie we continue to give up freedoms that made our lives fun and interesting, the latitude a prime Minister has in calling elections within a certain time but not a specific date will probably be taken away because of the gamesmanship that has become synonymous with that latitude. Simple luxuries like having a cell phone in one’s car has been abused by those who talk and text while they drive , has attracted significant penalties to those conveniences.
So as we pay a price for talking/texting while driving, our Prime Ministers may very soon lose the latitude of being the decider of when elections are called.