Tomorrow Jamaicans will vote for their next government. Will Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller’s PNP remain in power? Or will Andrew Holness finally get his first national political victory as leader of the JLP?
As with any national elections economic growth is top of both main parties’agenda. The JLP & PNP released their manifestos last week. Disrespectful that the voters had little time to scrutinize and challenge numerous glossy promises provided in both documents.
Given the track record of both parties what are we to believe? Where will the money come from to pay for these policies? What are the timelines? No devil in the detail.
I would have preferred if the parties came up with their 5-15 priorities, describe how they will be achieved, the estimated cost and the expected results and outcomes.
For me the priorities should include crime, bureaucracy (chronic), (less) public spending, passenger railways, housing, environment (still amazed that recycling has been neglected). There was little in both parties’ manifestos on radical constitutional reform.
Disappointingly there was no tv or radio debates between Holness and Simpson-Miller. Will the PNP pay for pulling out of the TV debates? Since becoming PM in 2012 Simpson-Miller has not done any serious one-to-one interviews with the local media.
PNP Supporters in Old Harbour
I was amazed that the government’s official PR machine – Jamaica Information Service – was allowed to continue airing programmes of “government success” during the election season.
Holness must be commended for his performance during campaign. Given the JLP infighting – that has gone over his performance since the last election – Holness has (finally) displayed a stronger side to his leadership. To paraphrase the current PNP slogan Andrew Holness has stepped up.
The smearing of the Holness family and their new home was a low point of the much too brief election campaign. But that is politics. [JLP’s last elected PM Bruce Golding was no where to be seen.]
Another low point has been the lack of growing 3rd political party and that of any strong independent candidates that could disrupt the status quo.
The high point of the campaign has been low number of reported violence between supporters of both JLP and PNP. It is hard to say who were the top PNP performers during the campaign.
Another high point has been the media coverage by some journalists such as Krista Campbell, Andrew Canon and Dionne Jackson-Miller. Jackson-Miller and her RJR colleague Emily Shields must be commended for standing up to their bosses in objecting to the watered downed political debate that was proposed.
The biggest winner during the election campaign must be the media houses. Their revenues must be bulging thanks the incessant election adverts made by both main parties.
As to who will win tomorrow…hmm. The poll surveys suggest a tight race. But one thing I know, our constituency could do with replacing Everald Warmington.
[UPDATE: Warmington wins..so too JLP]