Wed | Oct 17, 2018

Lessons for PNP, JLP from 2016 polls

Published:Thursday | March 17, 2016 | 12:04 AM


I read with interest the People's National Party's (PNP) setting up of a committee to evaluate failure at the 2016 General Elections.

The results were far too close to categorise the outcome as 'failure'. More importantly, for the PNP, voters and non-voters alike, the primary lesson learnt is that you cannot take votes for granted. 'Talk' does not equal 'performance'. A 48 per cent voter turnout was bad for our mature democracy. This low voter turnout sends a clear message to both the PNP and Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), that the Jamaican electorates are not illiterates as they are sometimes assumed and treated. Not in this age of social media !

I hope the PNP and JLP would have discovered the following;

- The strategic, tactical and practical role of social media, especially in the under age 38 group.

- Face-to-Face (F2F)engagement with people long before elections is paramount. Learn from Alexander Bustamante, Norman and Michael Manley and Edward Seaga. There is no real substitute for this type of F2F engagement.

- The person 'up town' and the person 'downtown', have one vote. It's who you get to come out on election day that counts.

- There are 24 strategic constituencies in Jamaica that has determined the outcome of the last three general elections, 2007, 2011 and now 2016. There are permanent trends and behaviour shifts occurring. Study the statistics and behaviour of the voters in these 24 constituencies and you will know how to win an election in Jamaica.

n The people don't like violence and negative personal attacks talk anymore. Focus on policies and practises for the upliftment of Jamaica and vision for all Jamaicans.

I wish for a cooperative transfer of leadership within all areas of the public government sector as the JLP embarks on its turn of office. Let both parties be reminded that the electorate is watching and do not ever get comfortable in an uncomfortable situation.

Lennox Parkins, MBA,


Toronto, Canada