Mon | Jan 21, 2019

End obsession with expelling ageing MPs

Published:Wednesday | March 9, 2016 | 11:03 PM


I am very concerned about the argument that the older people in Parliament should be expelled en masse to make way for younger representatives.

It is obvious that any party which does that would be committing political suicide for, at least, two clear reasons: (i) Older people pay more attention to politics and they vote, while younger people mostly resent voting; and (ii) the older members of parliament (MPs) are not only experienced, but they know how to keep winning.

How would the Jamaica Labour Party have been able to win the February 25 election without Samuda, Charles, Henry, Smith, Bartlett and Chuck? They couldn't! And what guarantee is there that the younger MPs will be able to hold on to their seats in another general election?

No party can become government without winning the majority of seats, and no party can survive it if continues to be defeated in elections.

The fact is that most, if not all, democracies that are doing well have heads of government or state above 50 years old, and that has been the case for hundreds of years and will continue to be so for some time.

The best Andrew Holness can hope for is the mixture of youth and experience that he has in his Cabinet, and I hope that he understands that it is the way it has to remain if he wants to fulfil his dream.