The Government we have is the Government we have, that’s a function of how we vote. That’s also a function of the people who step forward to lead politically and so as voters we are sometimes left with situations in which the choice of selecting a government of people to lead us is basically swapping a dog for a monkey.
When conscientious moral people stay away from the process, the void is filled with immoral intellectually bankrupt individuals who are out to satisfy their own interests.
Nowadays, voters generally do not get to chose their political leaders, their political leaders chose them. Political parties proffer candidates of their choice and the voters get to chose either or. Imagine a scenario in which people actually chose their own representatives answerable to them? This is not a phenomenon unique to our beloved Jamaica, it is far more entrenched worldwide, including the USA the world’s oldest democracy.
The recent cabinet shuffle in Jamaica which saw Finance Minister Shaw and Robert Montague minister of National Security re-assigned has many people offering up myriad assumptions as to the reasons for the shuffle.
Both Shaw and Montague are popular frontline ministers of the JLP Administration both formerly occupying critical areas of the government.
No responsibility of the government is as critical as national security. It is the Government’s first and most important responsibility to the people. It is unclear whether administrations comprised of the members of Jamaica’s two political parties are aware of this humungous responsibility.
The recent changes in Finance and national security have garnered much debate, much of what I have seen has been critical of Prime Minister Andrew Holness’ decision to move these two ministers. In fact, the consensus seems to be that the Prime Minister may have had ulterior motives for doing so.
There is a general belief in our country that whatever you hear in the streets if it’s not the truth, it is not too far from the truth. I have no way of knowing whether or not the Prime Minister’s motives were righteous in his decision to move the two ministers.
Audley Shaw was recognized as Caribbean Finance Minister of the year 2017. Minister Shaw recently passed a budget without imposing any new taxation on the already overtaxed citizens for the very first time, at least to my memory, or in my lifetime.
Minster Montague’s appointment drew disdain(none louder than mine)at the time he was chosen to lead the Ministry of National Security, I thought he was grossly unprepared and ill-equipped to handle such a critical ministry without any legal or professional expertise.
Despite not having moved any mountains or made any earth-shattering proposals which have reshaped the national security landscape, Montague at least seemed to have cultivated a good working relationship with members of the security forces.
His approach has been a departure from some past ministers whose goals were clearly confrontational with the police.
The appointment of Dr. Nigel Clarke to head Finance has tongues wagging, his newness to the process seems to give greater validity to the claims that these changes are designed to punish, (at least Minister Shaw), who has since declared that wherever he is assigned he will perform.
Shaw’s magnanimity is commendable, all facets of the government need to work in unison for the betterment of the Jamaican people.
The fact that Dr. Clarke was just recently added to the JLP’s numbers in the House after winning the St. Andrew Western seat recently held by Derrick Smith, and was given a cabinet position is enough to raise eyebrows.
That is not to say that there are ulterior motives behind Clarke’s appointment to that key role. There may even be a legitimate case to be made for the appointment of Hoarce Chang whose constituency is an active garrison to head national security. We just haven’t heard that argument yet. Before you cry foul, however, don’t forget that Peter Phillips also hailed from concrete Jungle the father of all garrisons.
There is a legitimate argument to be made that Montague and Shaw have performed so well that it was important to move them to other ministries with a view to improving those ministries.
We just haven’t heard that argument from the Prime Minister yet. Since that argument hasn’t been made tongues continue to wag and the rumor mills continue to churn.