Sun | Mar 25, 2018

Why the JLP is unelectable

Published:Friday | January 29, 2016 | 12:00 AM


Gleaner columnist Mark Wignall hit the nail on the head in his column, 'Why should we elect the JLP?' (Gleaner, January 27, 2016). He spoke about our moderate economic growth and the recent ranking by Forbes that placed Jamaica number one in the region to do business with.

Add to that, we have been passing strict IMF tests to the point where IMF targets were relaxed slightly, allowing the Government to spend more on areas in need. Tourism is booming, as anyone passing through Sangster International Airport in MoBay will see.

Major investments are also on stream for tourism, based on reports, which will increase room capacity and attractions. All this should boost employment and our potential to earn far more foreign revenues. We also hear that Jamaica's trade deficit is narrowing, and tax revenues have been increasing.

It doesn't hurt that Minister of Finance and Planning Peter Phillips was recently named Gleaner Man of the Year for 2015 for his outstanding work in public service and achievements in financial and fiscal management, "a celebration of excellence", as The Gleaner's managing director put it.


The harsh reality is that a JLP government would've been faced with the same economic challenges, and they haven't proven they could've done any better. I have personally found Leader of the Opposition Andrew Holness to be weak, one who does not connect or inspire.

Portia Simpson Miller has her weaknesses as a leader also, but somehow she gets by and seems to at least command the respect of her Cabinet and followers. Her core strength is connecting at the grass-roots level, and we expect an energised Simpson Miller to lead her party to another victory at the polls.

Yes, the dollar is sliding and unemployment is high, especially among the youth. Crime continues to be a problem, and health care and education also have challenges and much room for improvement. But, generally speaking, the PNP government seems to be on the right track and deserves a chance to continue its programmes.

Until the JLP can refresh itself with newer, more vibrant leadership and vision, until it can present some reasonable alternatives and solutions, the party may well have to settle for opposition status for at least another five years.