Sun | Feb 25, 2018

Water-supply reform got my vote

Published:Saturday | February 27, 2016 | 12:01 AM


I feel totally vindicated by the election result. I had felt terribly insulted and offended when I was dismissed as part of the articulate minority for the crime of thinking critically about the performance of those who governed.

I hope the People's National Party (PNP) leadership now understands that in the age of social media, you cannot show the electorate the disrespect of not debating your ideas and plans for the country's future without expecting to be punished at the polls. The absence of a debate meant that even PNP supporters lost out on the opportunity to defend the party's record and plans in the public square.

To state that only a minority is interested in debates is to underestimate the thousands of youngsters struggling to obtain secondary and tertiary education, precisely so that they can learn to think for themselves and evaluate ideas and proposals.

Impressed by proposals

I supported the JLP because of the party's proposals and only made up my mind to vote two days before the election. Of all the JLP's manifesto proposals, I am most impressed by the idea of floating the National Water Commission (NWC) on the Jamaica Stock Exchange, as my heart bleeds every night as I see people on television living without running water.

As a publicly listed profit-making enterprise, the NWC will: (a) have every interest in removing politics from water as it will have every interest in having the maximum number of paying customers, including small opposition party enclaves in areas dominated by another party; (b) have every interest in eliminating the loss/waste of water now estimated to be over 50 per cent; (c) be very interested in protecting the Cockpit Country as the source of the commodity in which it deals; (d) may take a greater interest in having environmental laws enforced to the extent that these laws have an impact on access to clean water which will be the company's stock-in-trade; (e) invest in irrigation and charge commercial rates so that our farmers can stop relying on rain; and (f) raise rates in the short term as they invest in infrastructure and remove corrupt, incompetent personnel.

I say well done to the JLP for appealing to me, a proud member of the articulate minority.