Tue | Aug 22, 2017

Editorial: Hold polls at same time

Published:Friday | July 10, 2015 | 7:00 AM

We are not sanguine that the initiatives supposedly being pursued by the Simpson Miller administration to reform local government will lead to any improvement in the operation of Jamaica's municipal authorities. We continue to hold that 14 local government or municipal authorities for a country of Jamaica's size is too many, and helps to reinforce the system's inefficiencies.

Indeed, we have argued in the past that the whole system should be scrapped. That, we know, won't happen. The political parties are too vested in the arrangement, as a way of providing sinecures to their second-tier aspirants for political office and as a vehicle from which, at the community level, to maintain the politics of patronage.

But as much as logic tells us that nothing will improve and understanding that the real motive is not to face the electorate at this time, we hope that something positive will emerge from the Government's decision to postpone the local government polls by up to 18 months.

One thing is immediately possible: an embrace of the proposal by Orrette Fisher, the director of elections, to hold the national and local government elections at the same. The J$1 billion it would save is not to be sniffed at.