If the way PNP delegates voted on Saturday is indicative of the wider electorate which supports that party, the nation may be in for decades and decades of mediocrity and stagnation if the PNP is returned to office.
Given a clear choice between a young leader who wanted to make a clean break from the failed ideology of [democratic socialism](sic), and the status quo, which has been an abject failure for the country, they chose the status quo.
The greatest nonsense against Bunting’s candidacy, both by (first )Peter Phillips, his “one PNP” campaign, and local media, is that (second) Peter Bunting and his “rise united” campaign was engaged in vote-buying.
The hypocrisy of that argument is lost on only the most hardcore supporters of Peter Phillips, and others who may not follow Jamaican politics.
There has been no election on the Island in which vote-buying has not played a part in the decision of the poll.
Worse yet, as Peter Phillips sat in a radio studio and bitched about the practice, he as the leader of the party presides over one of the most intransigent garrisons operated by the PNP.
As a member of parliament who comes from a garrison, No one, Phillips included, has any greater validity than members who pay electors to vote for them.
Vote buying is reprehensible, but voters have a choice to take the money and vote for whomever they choose. That may have happened to Bunting if reports of vote-buying are true.
People in Garrison communities who are forced to vote for a particular candidate at the peril of death, is a whole different kettle of fish.
That aside, Peter Phillips and the old cabal of (eat-a-fooders) who presided over 22 plus years of Jamaica’s decline has been validated by the party’s delegates.
The lesson inherent in the Saturday vote is that at the critical delegate level of the party, there is no recognition that the PNP desperately needs to change.
Many supporters of the governing Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) sees the affirmation of Peter Phillips to head the PNP as a gift to their party’s chances when next general elections are held.
However, the much-needed transformation of the PNP from an old tired out-of-touch leftist party, to a 21st-century party, representative of the needs of the country, far exceeds any benefits the JLP may derive from Phillips’ affirmation.
Jamaica has all of the components to position itself as a nation headed for full first-world status in 20 to 30 years. As such the two political parties which share power and governance must both be agents of progressive empowerment if those goals are to be accomplished.
A political party which is still stuck championing failed big-government policies is bound to wipe out any gains that the present party may accomplish.
Even after an unprecedented 221⁄2 year run by the PNP, Jamaicans still do not have clean running water in their pipes. Local roads are like the moon’s surface and still, in some areas, there are no roads at all.
Hospitals are veritable hospices of death, and there was no building of schools worthy of mention.
In fact, the only thing that the PNP can be credited with is the out of control crime and the denigration of our culture.
The Police Department was allowed to deteriorate to the point that it became totally ineffectual. At every turn, the PNP’s tenure in leadership has been a colossal nightmare for the country, even if not for its cultish supporter.
In 221⁄2 years, the PNP was not able to identify a single infrastructural project and complete it on behalf of the Jamaican people. On what basis would they expect the people to return that party to power?
It is for those reasons that I believe, that though Peter Bunting is a member of that party, his opposition to socialism as a direction for the PNP was a valuable first step for the party and country.
Unfortunately for the country and party, PNP delegates decided to stick with an old disjointed and corrupt out-of-touch political party whose time has come and gone.
Mike Beckles is a former Jamaican police Detective corporal, a business owner, avid researcher, and blogger.
He is a black achiever honoree, and publisher of the blog chatt-a-box.com.
He’s also a contributor to several websites.
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