I want to bring a couple of thoughts to the attention of Jamaicans and others who have an interest in whats going on in our country.
THE QUESTION OF THE GARRISON MARCH
The first is the offer Prime Minister Holness has made to the leader of the Opposition Portia Simpson Miller to walk in some communities characterized as garrison communities or zones of political exclusions. There has been many and varied opinions on whether this proposed symbolic gesture will accomplish anything. Some have argued that time has passed and what is needed now is concrete action. Those are legitimate arguments,but are not arguments that negates the positive outcome for the country that would emanate from people living in the inner cities and all over Jamaica to see the top two political leaders walking and talking as friends. Some have argued that Bob Marley brought Manley and Seaga together yet polarization persists, what they fail to understand or acknowledge is that events would have potentially been vastly different and many more lives lost had that event not occurred. We are not going to try to nuance that to death what we will say is that if it doesn’t hurt whats the problem in doing it for the country? To date Mrs. Simpson Miller has not seen fit to engage this new Prime Minister in the hand of fellowship that he extended to her, choosing to attach a bunch of prerequisites before her participation in any march.
PORTIA’S NON CONCESSION TO BRUCE
Former Prime Minister Bruce Golding lashed out at Portia Simpson Miller at the JLP conference at the National Arena on Sunday November 20th. In an address Golding lashed Miller for what he characterized as a breach of protocols established by all former Prime Ministers gone before in calling the winner and conceding defeat when they lost .Golding went on to say that the media had grown impatient with him not arriving at the Belmont Road Head quarters of the JLP on the night he won the election. he stated he held back from going to Belmont Road as the normal concession phone call did not come from Mrs. Simpson Miller.
Mrs. Miller for her part shot back that she had always treated Mister Golding with respect throughout his time as Prime Minister , and emphasized that she even attended his inauguration. She stated that because of the closeness of the race and other issues which she intended to address in the courts she decided not to concede.
Portia Simpson Miller
Supporters of Mrs Miller contend this is sour grapes on the part of Golding, and that this is in the past. Is it
On the night after she lost the elections Portia Simpson Miller in a rather bellicose and belligerent speech stated that she would concede nothing to the labour party and that she would be their worst nightmare. Presumably Mrs Miller was referring to the dual citizenship issue with three of the JLP’ candidates which was an issue as far as the constitution of the country is concerned. Jamaica’s constitution clearly states that anyone having allegiance to a foreign power cannot sit in Parliament. The PNP which Miller heads also had candidates that had dual citizenship. Mrs Millers arguments are legitimate but did not preclude her from conceding to the Prime Minister elect whilst letting him know that she intended to see the matter through in court.
In fact conceding victory in no way takes away her right to challenge the results of the election in a court of law,neither does it prevent her from receiving her just redress should a court find in her favor. The fact is it was a bad decision ,one which I am sure Portia regretted.
There is still substantial squabbling going on about the format of debates by the candidates, or even whether there should be any debates at all. The newly installed Prime Minister has indicated his willingness to debate the leader of the opposition before a national televised audience. Now granted there is no law that dictates that candidates seeking the highest elected office in the country should debate. It should not be a problem for anyone wanting to lead the country to let people know how they will handle the job. Detractors of the debate that everyone seeking a job has to interview for that job , sometimes doing two or there interviews in the process before being seriously considered for that position. What makes politicians any different? no wonder when they are elected they believe the laws do not apply to them.
From all indications Mrs Miller would like a debate where she is a part of a team of candidates where she can be shielded by her colleagues, the leader of the country must be smart and assertive he/she will have no cover in serious international negotiations, Portia must debate the issues one and one with Andrew Holness and let the chips fall where they may, she does not get to say what she will or will not do.
have your say