Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The future is green

Our crazy government in Jamaica is losing the little sense God gave them. The PM called a state of emergency after Dean hit. Nobody knew what that entailed. It was apparant that the elections, set for the 27th would be postponed - nobody knew till when.The Governor General gave one reason for the state of emergency, the PM another. The Electoral body said that we would have elections on the 3rd,. The government said not necessarily. The ministry of education said we would have them on the 3rd.

There were rumours that the government was divided, and that the PM had boxed the minister of education (both formidable women) in the face during a cabinet meeting - and that the minister of finance had to split them up.

The PM said she wouldn't lift the state of emergency until power and light had been restored - which the power company told us could be weeks. It looked like we could have the elections under the state of emergency - as was done by Michael Manley in 1976 - when he used the opportunity to lock up several Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) MPs. Then she lifted it the next day. And we were finally told that elections would be on Sept 3.

I am hopeful (knock wood) that the JLP will in fact win. To help them along, I will be working on election day as a 'cluster supervisor' looking after a few polling stations in the National Arena, for the JLP. This could be a very exciting role - but hopefully will not be. The ruling Peoples National Party (PNP) are not beyond trying to intimidate and to steal boxes. My sanity has already been questioned by colleagues and friends - and I have been asked if I am the right colour for such a role.

I've been having a few meetings at the constituency office - and its been very interesting seeing what's involved and meeting the grass roots people who are involved.

Anyway, its all very exciting. And if the JLP lose this one then God help us all. I think several high-ranking members of the PNP would also like to lose given their poor opinion of Portia the PM. But I suppose there could be some opportunity there too - as people may flee the country in droves, creating employment opportunities perhaps, or real estate deals - a la the 1970s.

This woman really seems to have lost the plot. Referring to herself in the third person as 'Mama P' - up from the former 'Sista P'. The radio ad which sang a happy jingle thanking "Papa God' for giving us 'Mama P' took the cake.

The police and army and election day workers (not me) voted yesterday - and indications are that the vast majority of them (according to the JLP canvas) voted JLP. For one polling station it was beleived to be 134 for the JLP and 19 for the PNP - which is hopefully a good indication that the future is Green (the JLP colour) and not orange (the PNP's).

Friday, August 17, 2007

Dean and the election

Hurricane Dean is barreling towards Jamaica - already a cat 3, it may hit us on Sunday.

What impact could Dean have on the elections?

The elections could be delayed by up to a month if the GG deems it necessary. The big political meeting the JLP was going to have at HWT on Sunday - with atleast 70k people in attendance has been postponed.

If the hurricane hits it may help the JLP - because it may intensify the mood of changing course - but hurt the country.

But if it hits and everyone feels an outpouring of love for portia and her ability to hug and kiss and look caring - then it could help the PNP.

Right now, the jlp should win - so any delay could help the PNP - evn though the JLP has the momentum

So - if its a JLP hurricane it will change course. If its a PNP hurricane - like Portia - it won't be changing no course.

Portia has called a meeting of the emergency services to discuss hurricane preparation. This surprises me - I would expect her to call a meeting of churchmen and pray instead. Except perhaps, she would be praying for it to hit.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Change is coming baby

Our elections in Jamaica are around the corner. Nah change no course with the PNP - or voting for a better Jamaica with the JLP.

To me there is little choice. Had the JLP been in power for 18.5 years I'd probably think they had been in power too long, especially if the end result was one of the highest murder rates in the world, corruption without equal, children leaving school without being literate, stagnation and inflation. The danger to democracy should we have one party in power for 23 years is too scary to contemplate.

So I will be voting for the JLP - and I am happier to do so now that I have seen their manifesto, which is even better than the manifesto they had in 2002 - and is a document which inspires and brings hope. There is very little hope in Jamaica anymore. Most people seem to think that we can not transform ourselves and that we should be happy with a growth rate of 1 or 2 per cent. That we should be content with having a per capita income that is now the second lowest in the region, after Haiti - now that Guyana has overtaken us.

And yet, we expect so much from ourselves in other areas - golds athe Olympics, the song of the century, etc.

No government after 18+ years in power can come up with new ideas - all they can offer is more of the same at best. The JLP offers more of the same at least.

So - I hope if you are a Jamaican with a vote that you also want to vote for a change of course. If not, I hope you will won't bother yourself with a trip to the polling station - especially if you live abroad. Visit after the election! I beleive the JLP will win - but if they don't there will be much opportunity I expect - as there will be renewed emigration.