BY R.D. MILLER
This, like others before it, is an unfinished canvas and a variety of colored bags:
On September 3, 2020, the island of approximately three million people will decide whether to replace the locks or return the keys, as well as which party color they will hang for at least four more years, as voters consider a plethora of economic issues.
Economic pressure, unfulfilled promises, a growing or shrinking economy, high or low unemployment, climate change, economic mobility, COVOD-19, Distribution of Funds, stagnation, who is less or more corrupted- high, low crime, how many murdered under what party, prosperity, poverty, a growing divide between the haves and have-nots, high or reduced taxes
The covid effect on the pain brush
Many voters and party officials questioned the timing because of COVID-19, but Prime Minister Andrew Holness of the Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) seized the moment, observing favorable poll numbers, and called for an election in the hope of extending and addressing the socio-economic and crime dents that have been inside these communities’ neglected paint shop for many years.
COVID-19 Pandemic, financial accountability, old-new manifesto, but who is accurately counting depends on one’s political affiliation. The COVID-19 fear, easy access to polling places for seniors, or abandoned hope and trust in the system. Many of the low-probability voters who will vote in this election are caught between a rock and a hard place
The island has made some progress in containing the pandemic at this early stage, but leaders must be honest and initiate a genuine debate about managing the pandemic. Many people argued that Tests, Treatment, and Trace (TTT), which will be critical, could be improved.
The long-term economic impact is unknown at this time, as the country and my other locations continue to follow the science and recommendations.
This battle to paint the nation’s next canvas may not be decided by who won the political debates or who has a better understanding of the country’s needs, but as experts have pointed out, the team that is more adept at using social media allows politicians to avoid the traditional method of reaching out to voters.
The reality is that it depends on the color you want to see.
An earlier nationwide radio poll found that roughly 64% believe the Holness administration is corrupt, but that it may be better to manage corruption. They will view these issues through a political prism that is either half-full or half-empty.
This report implies that having these foxes guard the hen-house is preferable. This election is still about what they should have done, what they could have done, what they might have done, what they might have done in the past.
These battles should be about the country’s future, environmental issues, the actual trade deficit, the balance sheet, investments, particularly for youths, education, corrections, training and development, and other key economic indicators for Jamaica’s real economic stability, which will benefit everyone.
When the election whistle blew, the two leaders, the players, went into non-stop color media bliss, taunting the progress or lack thereof. COVID-19 social distancing appears to be on the back burner of a national political campaign.
Unfortunately, no matter what the circumstances, justification, rationalization, or excuses are, bad things invariably follow when a country’s life is put at risk for personal gain.
Take, for example, the pandemic that I mentioned earlier. Rebuilding will be a continuing challenge for the new leader. COVID-19, economic stagnation, crime, poverty, and, yes, COVID-19 Blame Game Will Get Uglier as this election pandemic is ruthlessly exploited at the expense of people’s lives
This election debates for changing the nation’s economic tires, repainting, refueling these communities, and repairing broken parts may simply come down to which side is telling the truth or is better at covering up the truth as the island battles for its soul consistency looking for good governance.
The only certainty is that the winning party will need a majority because there is no room for compromise, even if the messenger on the other side has a friendly message, and more likely that the losing candidate will steer his ship into an iceberg if down-ballot candidates are on the ballot?
The same cars, dented but in different colors?
Local politics in Jamaica are frequently compared to a contact sport in which only the strongest survive. The economic strain will continue after the political colorful game is over, with injured community players sidelined due to lost jobs, navigating students who may face distance learning in rural areas without resources, and many other camouflage colors that have been blocking upward mobility, from a checked flag to a good finish line.
An incumbent has an advantage, and people may stick to the putrefaction because sifting through political tribalism is difficult, and governmental power is rarely based on real accomplishments, but on personal time served in a cabinet and popularity, resources to paint a better picture than reality.
Whether Dr. Peter Phillips, the People’s National Party (PNP) opposition leader, agrees with the election call. It is a delicate balance to ask residents who have been neglected to buy another ticket for their economic future. Both ships, each with a new soundtrack, argue that better days are ahead while accusing the other of being in the same murky water.
The reality is that any losing party’s leadership will almost certainly lead the entire crew into an iceberg. Even if the messenger on the other side has a good plan, the tribal toxicity in these campaigns leaves little room for compromise.
Sadly just holding the paint brush from the window, it seems; one side is blemished, the other is imperfect, while the oppressed are constantly squeezed from decades of promises, distrust, and ineffective management, as well as a lack of upward mobility, as many argue that only political leaders appear to be the only ones getting ahead.
The color that is missing while leaders shine:
Jamaica will rise and do better, but who will be less tainted, or who will carry a permanent stain, to continue navigating these ostentatious waters, roads, and hills?
When voters are whipped into a desperate frenzy, pitting communities against each other for temporary feel-good, the youths, downtrodden, teachers, law enforcement, public safety victims of crime, small businesses, and the middle class are trapped inside the body shop hoping someone fixes their dents from years of neglect and bumps.
After all, these political spray paint parties and leaders must serve as primary colors, combining both sides to produce an excellent portrait. Constant political wrangling only complicates governance and paints a bleak future picture.
Despite its cultural significance, Jamaica’s prosperity is not the best beat on the street; it is a single unemployed mother, father, sons, daughters, cousins, grandparents, and uncle on the hill debating whether or not to dance because what happens when the music stops?
“”The rhythms may change, but they’re all on the same vinyl,” one person argued.
Many argue that the politics in that country, as well as other impoverished and developing countries, are similar to some aspects of Chinese investment. They come to mine minerals and other natural resources in exchange for low-cost goods. However, little will change.
Unfortunately, after an election, Jamaica, like many other poor and developing countries, is dominated by kleptocracy leadership. Despite coming from modest means and being democratically elected, many of them have amassed massive fortunes.
These politicians use their political clout and clout to amass personal fortunes. Several reports have surfaced of people stealing money and important resources from the countries they lead, including close allies and family members. They govern in a charismatic manner for the people, but when they leave office, they are enormously wealthy.
As some locals have pointed out, the wealthy, well-connected, and politicians are often the only ones who continue to prosper. Many gated communities will claim patriotism and continue to wield political power in order to protect their profit margin.
We’re hoping for a new blend:
According to local reports, a number of women have entered this election on both sides, and whoever wins must demand a seat at the prime minister’s decision table.
Scholars have observed that women are under-represented in key positions to make critical changes in elected offices, civil services, the private sector, and academia, not only in Jamaica but in several other poor and developing countries.
This political election will not significantly reduce COVID-19 the next day, reduce crime, create affordable education, violence against women, better medical care, lower unemployment, increase bed space, or provide new life-saving equipment.
As the region continues to navigate the choppy waters, I hope that after these colorful events, everyone can find a color combination to renovate the country. It will take more than party dedication to see hope triumph over fear and reality triumph over fiction on this beautiful island.
Will everyone enjoy and benefit from the finished product?
This battle to paint the nation’s next canvas may not be decided by who won the debates or who has a better understanding of the country’s needs.
Voting should be done for the future, not for temporary jobs or a financial handout in an emergency. What about tuition and school supplies for your child’s education in the long run?
If your participation or reason for running for office is purely for personal gain, the nation’s socioeconomic upward mobility from healthcare, safety, education, and better roads will be lost at the polls.
During this political battle, the only question that communities should be asking is whether they are better off today or envision a future for the next generation. However, this election may come down to a single issue, “safety,” which is a public health issue.
Jamaica is not without flaws, but it is a vibrant place full of hope and opportunity. Change must begin at the bottom and work its way up. Regardless of which color is elected, the country must deal with a number of ignored rusts that weave a new upward mobility pain for long-term development; transforming the country.
An election, like art, should leave people with wonderful memories. As this shore tries to choose an image for better days between a rock and a hard place, regardless of who has the next paintbrush, they must remain hopeful until everyone can genuinely enjoy these recycled portraits, adding their color for both the country and personal prosperity.