When will vote-buying end?
THE EDITOR, Sir:
Dirty politics will, seemingly, exist in Jamaica for a long time to come, because it’s so deeply entrenched in our political culture. During election season, throughout Jamaica’s post-Independence era, one inevitably hears rumours about voters being ‘persuaded’ to vote for one candidate or another, from one political party or another, via monies being handed out.
Of course, each candidate and/or their respective parties, each and every time, point an accusatory finger at their fellow political opponent, regarding the aforementioned.
To date, the issue of vote-buying has not been addressed in any serious way, shape or form by the current and/or previous administrations.
The late and much-beloved Roger Clarke, on a political platform, once, jovially and in his usual ‘Rogerian’ way, told the Comrades in attendance that if offered money from either side, or from both sides, they should take it, but vote PNP, regardless.
Last, under the former chairman of the Electoral Commission of Jamaica, Professor Errol Miller, along with former Director of Elections Danville Walker, Jamaica’s election landscape received, and has maintained, a much-needed overhaul, which led to free and fair elections.
However, behind the scenes, politicians and/or their parties continue to engage in outright vote-buying and/or handing out monies – usually, wrapped up in a T-shirt – to prospective non-committed voters, with the hopes that they will vote for him/her.
The day, if ever, this shameful, backward and exploitative act comes to an end will be a great day in our nation’s political culture.