Fri | Feb 23, 2018

Letter of the Day: PNP must do honest post-election appraisal

Published:Friday | March 18, 2016 | 12:00 AM


I am happy to see that the People's National Party (PNP) has established an Appraisal Committee to look into why the party lost the general election on February 25. It is appropriate for the committee to investigate the following issues:

1. The Government - impact of the economic reform programme and whether the benefits were being communicated appropriately.

2. The party - candidate selection, party core value and message, role and arms of affiliates, the status of party workers and political education.

3. The political campaign - the campaign strategy and message, communications, including social media, and the management structure.

This will be a very thorough investigation involving interviews of key party functionaries, and the general public through town hall meetings and focus groups. It is expected that the final report will be ready at the end of April.

The cynics are saying that this committee is just like any other commission of enquiry, and that Julian Robinson and his team will only rubber-stamp the overall strategy used by the People's National Party in contesting the February 25 general election in terms of campaigning on its successes in passing the many International Monetary Fund tests and its many other achievements and remain uncritical of the leadership of the party, i.e., that nothing of any substance will emerge from the committee that will enable the PNP to address the central issues and renew itself. I don't agree.

This is a real opportunity for the Appraisal Committee to make recommendations that will enable the PNP to renew itself and so put itself in a better position to contest for, and win, state power.

I know that Julian Robinson and his team will do an excellent job in bringing to the fore the issues the PNP needs to address if it is to be a vibrant opposition, regain state power in the next general election (when it comes), and help Jamaica achieve Vision 2030.

The committee also has the right blend of humility, intellectual rigour, loyalty and credibility to ensure that its recommendations are substantial, pertinent and well received.