Wed | Aug 23, 2017

Election 'ray-ray'

Published:Friday | February 26, 2016 | 2:27 AMMichael Abrahams
Abrahams

The clock has called time on election day, and I must say that I am grateful, not for the next term of governance by the victorious party, but for the end of the lunacy, at least for now. This has got to have been one of the most interesting, unpredictable and bizarre election seasons Jamaica has seen for quite some time.

It began with the prime minister claiming last year to be waiting to be touched by her “Master” to tell her when to call the next general election. She didn't say who her Master was, but knowledgeable sources have informed me that it is none other than God Himself. God, however, was busy giving Lady Saw a massage, and we had to wait for him to finish sorting her out before getting back to Sister P this year. Following the “touch”, the date was then announced on January 31, 2016, giving us only just under four weeks to prepare for the election.

I believe that we should have fixed election dates for several reasons. However, one of the advantages of the prime minister being able to call elections at the drop of a hat is that the campaigns can be strategically short. Trash talk is par for the course in politics, escalating to a crescendo in the immediate pre-election phase, but this year’s chatter reached a new level, almost as high as the wall for Andrew Holness’ mansion.

Yes, Mr Holness’ house became a major topic for the pre-election 'preement', with the People’s National Party (PNP) demanding information regarding funding for the property. I have seen the house, and to be honest, it is not big; it is FRICKING HUGE! I got a 'crick neck' just looking up at the wall.

And regarding the JLP's 10-Point Plan, the prime minister proved herself to be an impressive master baiter (yes, that's the correct spelling), properly baiting Andrew Holness on the campaign trail by calling his proposals a “con”, and quoted Bob Marley, saying, “Here comes the con man, coming with his con plan.”

Although Mr Holness was quoted as saying, "Well, you know we a nuh fish around here” at a rally recently, he took Portia’s bait like a true scaly swimmer, responding by calling Portia “the biggest con artist in Jamaica". Portia was like, “Oh, no, he didn’t”, and demanded an apology, threatened legal action, refused to debate, took up her dolly, marbles and jacks, and went home.

As a matter of fact, in addition to this issue, the PNP placed a full-page ad in The Gleaner listing all manner of atrocities attributed to Holness and other Labourites, and demanded that they be addressed before they would even think of debating, in addition to quibbling over format, preferring not to be asked questions by journalists. Maybe they wanted people like Gully Bop and L.A. Lewis to ask the questions and not folks who regularly attend Gordon House and immerse themselves in politics, making themselves aware of the real issues.

Then the JLP’s 10-Point plan became a major talking point, with some financial experts dismissing it as unfeasible, with some declaring that it could actually work. Meanwhile, back in Labourite City, Holness’ wife, Juliet, was busy preparing a lawsuit to hit Peter Phillips and some other Comrades who she claimed smeared her family with false and malicious accusations.

In addition to mud-slinging, violence also reared its ugly head, and shootings associated with rallies and motorcades, along with reports of intimidation, increased tensions among party supporters and gave the political ombudsman lots of work to do. Andrew claimed that it was ”an act of terror” when shots rang out at one of his rallies, irking Comrades, while Portia responded to the shooting at her last rally by saying, “We are not like the other party” and “This is a loving, peaceful party”, ticking off Labourites.

Thank God this craziness came to a climax last night. Right now, all I ask is for the winner of the election to guide Jamaica to PROGRESS and PROSPERITY.

- Michael Abrahams is a gynaecologist and obstetrician, comedian and poet. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com and michabe_1999@hotmail.com, or tweet @mikeyabrahams.