Mon | Dec 5, 2016

No need for more parties

Published:Wednesday | December 17, 2014 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

The Mayor of Black River, Everton Fisher, while speaking at the opening of the Black River Market, suggested that more political parties could deepen our democracy.

The constant switching between the People's National Party and the Jamaica Labour Party has enhanced tribalism. Both he and Mr Buchanan also praised Dr Christopher Tufton for starting a process that they were able to complete.

We usually hear politicians talking about the conceptualiser versus the implementer, and it is refreshing to see a governing party praising an opposition member. There is no doubt that Dr Tufton was an innovative minister of agriculture.

He was constantly seeking to revolutionise the approach to the agriculture sector: cassava production, from which Red Stripe is benefitting; rice production; and greenhouse technology. It is really a pity that the change in government has cut short such momentum.

enough problems already

Mr Fisher's suggestion would mean that we would have to

use scarce resources to

fund more political parties and party supporters. Mr K.D. Knight is right - we cannot fix our potholed roads; we cannot operate a proper health sector; we have massive youth unemployment, with Miss Hanna telling young graduates to make their own jobs, and myriad other problems.

This could mean higher

levels of bribes for voters to ensure that candidates must win in a multi-party environment. The competition would be more.

Before we contemplate involving more political parties, we need to fix the problems we now have. We need to stop fooling supporters into believing that the 'handout' style of politics can help them. We need to bridge the gap so that a man in Tivoli Gardens can speak to attorney Linton Gordon, as happened at the Tivoli Enquiry, and they don't misunderstand the difference between "rubble and rebel".

We need to educate more Jamaicans, and this would empower them to make better choices instead of following blindly behind whichever politician the party throws up.

Mark Clarke

Siloah, St Elizabeth

mark_clarke9@yahoo.com