JLP Can Ill-afford Not To Position The Nation Into The Future…

Newly elect­ed mem­ber of par­lia­ment Ann-Marie Vaz

The elec­tions are over and things will go back to nor­mal, polit­i­cal­ly at least.
Ann-Marie Vaz, a polit­i­cal neo­phyte, was able to eke out a 300 plus vote win, becom­ing the first female mem­ber of par­lia­ment in East Portland’s his­to­ry.
Vaz, has name recog­ni­tion, her hus­band Daryl Vaz, is also a mem­ber of par­lia­ment in the parish.
Nevertheless, it would be a mis­take to brush off her win as sim­ply a result of her name.
Ann-Marie Vaz came to the polit­i­cal the­atre as a house­wife. Despite her lighter hue and soci­etal con­nec­tions, she was not spared the ugli­ness of Jamaica’s elit­ists sys­tem which sees those with­out a col­lege degree as use­less in any process.
Her oppo­nent, the PNP’s Damion Crawford, an emi­nent­ly edu­cat­ed young man, demon­strat­ed that despite his for­mal edu­ca­tion, he was not extreme­ly bright when he ref­er­enced Ann-Marie Vaz’s lack of for­mal edu­ca­tion and hyped his own edu­ca­tion­al [bona fides].
Now grant­ed Crawford’s loss may not be blamed for his lapse into elit­ism for which he was forced to apol­o­gize, Vaz’s vic­to­ry is a win for every smart house­wife and house-hus­band who want to serve their coun­try but nev­er went to University.
The slew of by-elec­tion wins for the gov­ern­ing Jamaica Labor Party may have an even more omi­nous mean­ing for the PNP than Crawford’s elit­ism.

Damion Crawford

The Portland Eastern seat was made vacant by the heinous mur­der of long­time Member of Parliament Dr. Lynvale Bloomield of the PNP.
The People’s National Party has been in con­trol of the East Portland Constituency for the last thir­ty years(30). That is the most sig­nif­i­cant take­away when the PNP does its post mortem on this lat­est defeat.
Set aside that fact that the par­ty has lost a string of by-elec­tions after its mas­sive gen­er­al elec­tions defeat at the hands of the JLP, this defeat of the par­ty’s most pop­u­lar stan­dard bear­er by an untest­ed new­com­er, has huge ram­i­fi­ca­tions for the PNP.
For 22-years the People’s National Party held office from the late ’80s through the 90,s and mid 2’000’s.
In an unex­plained leap of faith, the Jamaican peo­ple refused to put the JLP back in office after Seaga lost to Michael Manley in 88, until Bruce Golding eked out a win in 2007.
Between Michale Manley who was giv­en an inex­plic­a­ble fresh start in 1988 after his [mea-cul­pa], Percival Patterson and Portia Simpson Miller, the trio from hell made a mock­ery of Governance, and changed our coun­try for­ev­er, and not for the bet­ter.

Peter Phillips

Many Jamaicans, includ­ing this writer, sad­ly began accept­ing that the par­ty of Alexander Bustamante and Hugh Lawson Shearer had become a filler par­ty, giv­en a chance, only when the peo­ple are tired of the PNP.
Not to be out­done, the PNP arro­gant­ly mis­took the peo­ple’s chas­tise­ment of the JLP for it’s per­ceived arro­gance at times, to mean that Jamaica was PNP Country.
As in most Democratic Nations, it is a tiny sliv­er of around 5 – 10% of the elec­torate, mid­dle of the road vot­ers, who deter­mine elec­tions.
Jamaica is hard­ly any dif­fer­ent in that regard.
Despite this, the Andrew Holness led JLP was able to wipe out a dou­ble-dig­it seat deficit and win the leg­is­la­ture in a sin­gle seat major­i­ty in the 63-seat leg­isla­tive body.
That one seat major­i­ty gave the JLP the abil­i­ty to form the Government and gave Andrew Holness his own man­date to lead the coun­try.
For those famil­iar with Jamaican pol­i­tics and the impact gar­ri­son pol­i­tics has on the elec­toral process, there is an under­stand­ing of the impres­sive nature of the JLP’s vic­to­ry in the gen­er­al.
The string of unlike­ly by-elec­tion wins by the par­ty, have been in of them­selves, indi­vid­u­al­ly and col­lec­tive­ly, [coup-de-grace] over the PNP.

Andrew Holness PM

The fail­ure of the PNP to tan­gi­bly demon­strate it’s fit­ness to lead and set a course, not just for the close of the twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry, but for ush­er­ing in the 21st cen­tu­ry is more than enough rea­son for young vot­ers to look else­where.
Elsewhere toward the younger Andrew Holness, as against the old tired and jad­ed Peter Phillips who has the per­son­al­i­ty of a brick wall when matched against the last leader of that par­ty, Portia Simpson Miller.
In the same way that polit­i­cal par­ti­sans tend to place par­ty over coun­try, they tend to place self over par­ty.
Peter Phillips the per­son­al­i­ty-defi­cient leader of the PNP is still smart enough to know that Damion Crawford is the most pop­u­lar mem­ber of the lead­er­ship of the PNP.
He is also con­ver­sant that Crawford has aspi­ra­tions on Jamaica house.
It is not out of the ordi­nary to con­clude that Damion Crawford was sent to East Portland to blunt those aspi­ra­tions.
Crawford is a bright young man, not a bril­liant politi­cian. He has made some strate­gic blun­ders, not the least of which was his lat­est by leav­ing the Senate in order to con­test the seat in the low­er cham­ber.
Surely this loss has done dam­age to Crawford’s cred­i­bil­i­ty as a poten­tial leader for his par­ty, in the sense that he was reject­ed by vot­ers in the upper Saint Andrew seat now held by Juilet Holness and now this lat­est débâ­cle in east Portland.

There is a gen­er­al feel­ing that the vot­ers are large­ly fed up with the People’s National Party, and so it is the JLP’s turn.
The JLP has been known for some degree of arro­gance and Elitism, clas­sism, and con­tempt in some quar­ters for the man from the streets.
The JLP has always been the par­ty which offered the best plan for a sta­ble well-estab­lished soci­ety.
The PNP, on the oth­er hand, has demon­strat­ed a keen under­stand­ing of the plight of the com­mon man.
Michael Manley’s raft of social-wel­fare pro­grams has earned the par­ty the endear­ment of ordi­nary peo­ple.
Unfortunately, hand­outs fund­ed by big Government bank­rupts nations.
Likewise, it is impor­tant that the rul­ing JLP learn the lessons the PNP failed to learn. By eschew­ing cor­rup­tion and arro­gance the JLP has the oppor­tu­ni­ty today to once and for all place Jamaica on a sure eco­nom­ic foot­ing which will guar­an­tee a bet­ter Jamaica for gen­er­a­tions to come.
None of this is pos­si­ble how­ev­er as long as this admin­is­tra­tion con­tin­ues to mir­ror the PNP in its failed social engi­neer­ing strate­gies on crime.