Mon | Oct 22, 2018

Is the PNP that desperate?

Published:Friday | May 15, 2015 | 12:00 AM

It is being reported that the People's National Party (PNP) made a suggestion to the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) that if it supports the PNP's bid in the Senate to push through the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), it will not implement it until after a referendum was held.

Now, I know that the PNP wants to see Jamaica finally signing on to the CCJ, but is the party that desperate?

This strange offer to the JLP comes after the party has always been insisting that it was against any referendum. All sorts of arguments were given by the PNP, including one insinuating that the electorate didn't have the intellectual capacity to distinguish the CCJ issue from political ones.

Could desperation have that much power over the PNP for them to see things differently now?

However, this referendum offer is very odd in other ways. If it is that the PNP thinks that the people may confuse the CCJ issue with politics and vote for the court, as it is clear to all that the JLP cannot win any election soon, why not let the people vote before taking the issue to the Senate?

I still cannot figure this one out - why not win the referendum and then use that victory to force the JLP's hand in supporting the CCJ? If the PNP should win such a vote, the JLP would be mad to vote against the CCJ and thus destroy its already very weak prospects of wining the next elections.


hypocritical stance


Then again, I see another problem with the PNP's offer. Suppose the JLP did accept the PNP's offer and passed the CCJ through the Senate and then the people vote to reject the court in the referendum, then what? Would the PNP still implement the CCJ in defiance of the wish of the people? How would the JLP then oppose the PNP's implementation of the court and not look hypocritical after supporting it in the Senate before?

It seems clear to me that this PNP offer was not well thought out. Therefore, I can understand why the JLP rejected it. The JLP already has a very weak chance of wining anything in the foreseeable future. No doubt that was its primary consideration why it wisely rejected that offer from the PNP.

Michael A. Dingwall