Yesterday I addressed the method the People’s National Party uses to win National elections . The party does so through promises and effectively using it’s time in office to dole out scarce resources to its supporters. They stack boards and Government run-businesses with party faithful, and perhaps most critically, putting dedicated functionaries into critical areas of civil society where they carry out the party’s propaganda campaign.
Interestingly though the opposition Jamaica Labor Party has spent considerable stretches of time in oblivion, it seem the party still has not grasped the basic reason they are getting beat time and again. Love them or hate them, the PNP is masterful at propaganda. They understand the psychology of the Jamaican electorate. Their strategy, though not one which does much to bring the country to first world status, is effective in winning elections. Tell the people you love them, keep them poor , then dangle some cash in front of them and they will do anything for you. Cynical, insulting, retrograde, regressive, but effective. The PNP did not get this good at it over one election cycle. This started the minute the ink was dry on the so-called Independence proclamation back in 1962. Brick by Brick, Norman Manley, Michael Manley, Percival Patterson and now Simpson Miller, they stuck to the script.
This leads us to the million dollar question then , “How can the JLP remain so passive in opposition, knowing it cannot match the entrenched infrastructure of the PNP”? Or does it even know? This is the perfect time for Holness and the Labor Party to start to seriously chip away at the chinks in the armor of the PNP. The chink in that armor is not the perception that Portia is not the brightest bulb in the room. She has effectively shown that is not a negative. In fact, her ability to relate to the man on the street on his level, is a tremendous asset to her and the ruling PNP. As I pointed out yesterday , Bruce Golding former Prime Minister understood how to fight the PNP using the media and the leaders own words against her.
You all remember this tirade.”Don’t draw my tongue! And don’t trouble this girl! Because I don’t fraid a no man, no gyal, nowhere!”
Head swinging from side to side arm flailing. Yet Golding’s campaign was able to masterfully harvest that tirade using it in its own Ad. with a female voice at the end saying “But Sista P yu nu ready fi de prime minister ting”.
Masterful work exposing her to the world at her worst and at the same time showing the average person it was not cool. Nevertheless, well placed political hacks like Carolyn Cooper UWI lecturer valiantly attempted to make that crass virago outburst a good thing… It was laughable. In her Article titled Drawing sister P’s tongue. http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20111225/cleisure/cleisure3.html
Portia Simpson Miller
The weakness lies in her not speaking to the media, the gaffes she makes when she does speak, the deteriorating economic conditions, the high crime rate corruption and the other problems facing the country. The JLP must now embark on a sustained media campaign which amplifies these problems. It must keep hammering away at everything daily, while simultaneously offering palatable alternatives to the PNP policies. If Holness and the JLP does not adopt an aggressive electioneering strategy from now, it should resign itself to being in opposition again when the next elections are over.