Beyond the constitutional issues and court rulings which made possible the recent West Portland by-election, and regardless of that result, the people of Jamaica were the overall losers. The audacity of this statement is not that I am a comrade, which I unabashedly am. Instead, it is because both major parties had the opportunity to clarify their vision of the nation and the way forward and neither did. Instead, we were treated to more of the same mediocre political grandstanding, notwithstanding the formidable challenges of the time.

When will the Jamaican electorate be treated as mature adults? In this era of worldwide recession, we need frank discussions of the issues confronting the nation and the framework being employed to abate the crisis locally.

As the world economic situation deteriorates the local economic situation already, dismal for most will become more desperate. Even in times of relative prosperity, the majority of the Jamaican people found it difficult to cope economically. As a net debtor nation with no reserves and dwindling economic opportunities, I ask Prime Minister Bruce Golding and leader of the opposition Portia Simpson-Miller what are your visions of the nation. It would seem to me that the by-election was opportune for both camps to elaborate, clarify, and restate such.

Neither leader can claim that the platforms they presented in the 07 election remain relevant. The world as well as the national situation has undergone drastic change since. To the extent the realities are different a year and a half hence, it behooves both parties and their respective leaders to demonstrate their readiness to lead. Such demonstration of necessity requires fundamental restructuring of the thinking which under pinned the platforms on which they ran.

The fact is, if either Mr Golding or Mrs Simpson-Miller headed a business organization they would understand the fundamentals of effective leadership are the ability to adapt and change. Change is the one constant in all our lives, whether you are the head of a government or a lowly homemaker.

Categories: Opinion

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Trevor Dawes

George, you make a very cogent point in your article. The problem is not just that Bruce and Portia don’t seem to have a concrete plan for leading Jamaica but that this has been an on-going problem. From the time of PJ Patterson until now, the effective leadership you touched on has been MIA. You’re very correct when you said that even in the relatively ‘good times’ most Jamaicans were barely getting by and this economic meltdown has only served to exacerbate that problem. Not to toot my own horn, but if you’ve been reading Abeng for these last few months now, I have submitted a number of articles that have touched upon the leadership (or lack thereof) that Jamaica (does not) have. Truth be told (in my opinion), if either Bruce or Portia had to run a large company, they’d run it into the ground. That’s how much I think of their leadership skills and abilities.

Oliver Hunter

Trevor the lack of leadership precedes PJ Patterson, though admittedly he was the worst of the lot. Jamaica has never been fortunate enough to have leaders who would put the progress of the country ahead of the progress of party and self. That was the case in 1962 and it remains so today.

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