Thu | Jul 2, 2020

Are there checks and balances in Jamaica?

Published:Tuesday | May 21, 2019 | 12:15 AM


Many instances of injustice in Jamaica tend to disappear from memory, becoming the proverbial nine-day wonders. We tend to leave many of these national issues unresolved for years. Why? We no longer have effective supervision through checks and balances; a concept I was introduced to as a sixth-form student at Jamaica College.

Checks and balances are necessary for preventing the corruption of power. Not just at the highest level of government, but in every sphere of the society – from communities, to schools, to churches, to agencies of government. There needs to be a system of effective supervision to prevent the abuse of power.

I was reliably informed that there was a time in Jamaica’s ­history when citizens had greater regard for the rule of law and felt more secure walking the streets of their homeland. Effective supervision through checks and balances will ensure a higher level of accountability. Conscientious commitment by all to their role as Jamaicans and respect for one’s means of earning are the standards that must be demanded and maintained.

If something is worth doing, it is worth doing well. Excellence must be our mantra. We owe it to the future citizens of this great nation to prepare for them a first-class Jamaica that works for all. We are at a pivotal time in history. With the commitment of our citizens to think generously and honestly, Jamaica will fulfil its promise to play her part in advancing the welfare of the whole human race.

Difficult decisions will have to be made. Many feathers will be ruffled by these decisions and the decision-makers will come under severe scrutiny. Be ye not dismayed. Through conversations with many and my own understanding of history, respect, to my mind, is more honourable than ‘likes’. Until some see the plan at work and the glory of God manifesting in Jamaica through the collective ‘One Love’ of her people, they will not believe.

In her present state, it would seem as if the only real checks and balances in Jamaica are the cheques written in these sweetheart deals and the balance owed to the disgruntled who didn’t get their cut.