A bad Government, weak Opposition

Letters to the Editor

A bad Government, weak Opposition

Monday, June 01, 2020

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Dear Editor,

A weak Opposition, whether real or perceived, is not good for governance.

The parliamentary Opposition and the constitution are the main pillars of checks and balances that hold our Government accountable. In the case of Jamaica, where over 70 per cent of the population view their Government as being corrupt, it is incumbent on the Opposition People's National Party (PNP) to come together and get its act together to convince the electorate that it is a legitimate government-in-waiting.

The present perceived issues of disunity within the PNP is cause for great concern, especially for those who are depending on the party to rescue the country from this bottomless pit of crime, corruption, and wanton bad governance. We are, according to most election watchers, in an election year, and the present Government, through its actions, makes it even more obvious.

I view the PNP with more than an average chance to win the next general election, but the present perceived disunity does not and will not help its cause. When one speaks to voters in the swing seats it is the PNP's candidates who seem to be the better candidates, but election is about perception and what the voter perceives to be fact that will determine for whom the ballot is cast

The majority of people are distancing themselves from the electoral process, and with the disunity we had better be careful that we do no more to further distance more of the electorate from the process.

Quite recently we noticed that over 400,000 Jamaicans flocked remittances agencies to collect the Government's $10,000 COVID-19 stimulus because they did not have a bank account. So, in this environment of “dependency economy”, it is even more urgent for the PNP to get its act together. There are so many burning issues out there that need the attention of a strong parliamentary Opposition. Issues such as term limits, campaign financing, fixed election dates, and recall legislation.

Without a strong Opposition the Government will continue to run roughshod over the people and buy its way to parliamentary victory.

This Government knows no boundary when it comes to morals and governance; it will do whatever it takes to keep power. The electorate must come back to the table of voting, but that may be easier said than done, because not only must Government be held accountable, but the Opposition as well.

Fernandez Smith

Former Jamaica Labour Party councillor


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