Tue | Jan 15, 2019

Time to draw a line in the sand

Published:Tuesday | January 13, 2015 | 12:00 AM

The Editor, Sir:
It's that time of year when we come up with a list of things we want to improve in our lives. With that being said, here are a few new year changes which I think will help move Jamaica in the right direction.

1. Stop treating politics and the future of Jamaica like it's a sports match. Winning an election is not winning the Premier League. What exactly has been accomplished by the politicians so far? Be assured, if you treat them like superstars, they will act like superstars.

2. Stop calling politicians 'leaders', call them 'public servants' instead. Stop treating politicians like they are better than us. When, or if, we call someone a leader, it should be off of merit and the title earned by their actions, not by them simply winning an election. Stop inflating their egos.

3. Stop saying politicians have been elected to 'power'. This gives them a false sense of entitlement, so they feel like they can do whatever they want. Who elected them? Who pays their salaries? The sooner we show them who really has the power, the sooner Jamaica will start to prosper.

4. Hold politicians accountable, no matter what. Whether you support the PNP, JLP or the NDM, hold them accountable. Their mistakes will cost US, not THEM. If you had your own business and an employee misappropriated large sums of company money, what would you do? Give them a pat on the back and say, "job well done", or even do nothing and continue business as usual?

5. Support politicians when they defy the party line and stand up for us. Disagreeing with others in your party over different topics is called a functioning democracy, it is not dissent, unless we live in a dictatorship. Especially when they choose to side with the people of Jamaica, we need to show them support and encourage them.

6. Stop giving politicians undeserved praise. The roads you drive on, the house you live in, the water in your pipes, your education, the electricity that powers your home are not given to you by Portia, Andrew, Bruce, PJ, Eddie or Michael, unless the money came from their personal bank accounts. They are paid for either by you or the taxpayers of Jamaica. Please, get it right.

7. Embrace and support your fellow citizens trying to make a difference. The general response when I supported the planned demonstration of the Outameni debacle was, "what you think that will do?". Is it any wonder Jamaica is in its current state if this is the general attitude we have? If others are finding the courage to go out and stand up for something, at least have the moral will to support their actions, rather than ridicule them.

I challenge all well-thinking, patriotic Jamaicans to finally put your country before person and party. I want you to really start giving a damn and to put your foot down. It's time we draw a line in the sand and let all government officials and politicians know we are not going to take this anymore.

Christopher Phillips