Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Be servants and not masters

Published:Monday | February 29, 2016 | 2:00 AM

 

THE EDITOR, Sir:

The recently concluded elections have proven just how mature the Jamaican electorate has become. Gone are the days when you talk down to the electorate and they sit idly by and vote for you when its election time because its Manley and Bustamante?s party.

Today?s electorate is not voting based on history. They are voting on current issues. The election has also proven just how out of touch some of our older politicians are with the realities of today. Bobby Pickersgill?s statement that the articulate minority has no power not in the exact words has come around to bite the People?s National Party (PNP) where it hurts.

That along with other issues have caused them an election, as from that comment was made the movement called the #articulateminority grew just to prove it really had a voice and a vote. The PNP?s dismissive attitude during the campaign further infuriated the electorate.

Their stance on not debating because of Andrew Holness? house as the main focus and his integrity, which he eventually cleared up and they choose still not to debate; the Prime Minister?s obvious absence for the past four years and sudden resurrection was also not appreciated as it proved that she wilfully dodged the country; their inability to tell the country of any real plans they have for our future, only focusing on external factors during their tenure which impacted the administration positively or their stellar record in passing the International Monetary Fund tests while the country grapples under the pressure, played prominently in their demise.

The tone for the entire campaign of this election was much different however, which showed a level of maturity on the part of both parties. I was happy that as a country we were not presented with tribal ads that only sought to bash persons from the other party. Instead we were presented with ads that spoke to important matters in a level headed and intelligent way.

The swing in this election also brings into question the historical stance pollsters and others take when predicting the outcome, as the widely accepted thought was that a low voter turnout favoured the PNP as they have a much stronger base. This has now been questioned.

Again I posit, young persons do not vote based on historical norms. We vote based on things that will impact our livelihood now and in the future. We also vote based on what is presented during the campaign.

We get so turned off so very easily. Therefore the tone of a speech may affect how we vote. The way a candidate presents him or herself can impact how we vote. An individual?s international appeal may also have an impact on who we vote for. Politicians must now study these trends and seek to address the level of voter apathy that may exist.

A word of caution to Prime minister-designate Andrew Holness: the articulate minority will be looking very closely at the government?s performance or lack thereof and the entire country as a matter of fact. As you are well aware, the tools and platforms of power in today?s world, that is, smartphones, tablets, Twitter, Facebook etc., will be extremely active questioning your decisions and having spirited conversations about commitments made. Do not leave these conversations unattended.

Also, ensure the Cabinet understands that they are totally accountable to Jamaica. Therefore, answering our questions through the media and other creative ways such as the talk show format that Bruce Golding introduced during his tenure is very important. And lastly, comprehending that you are all servants and not masters is even more critical. Now, let?s see the prosperity team at work.

JAVID BROWN

ST. ANNjavidbrown@gmail.com