Wed | Oct 21, 2020

Letter of the Day | PNP leadership race is a waste of time

Published:Wednesday | October 14, 2020 | 12:13 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam:

It has become apparent that the People’s National Party (PNP) has learned little from the devastation which followed its attempt to force an unwanted leader on the electorate. A defiant and determined PNP, ever in election mode, is headed back to the polls to waste precious time selecting a party leader, once again ignoring the data.

In 2016, they handed the comrade leader position to Dr Peter Phillips on a platter, despite the fact that the party delegates had rejected him on two occasions, echoing the sentiments of the general electorate. But the members took the decision that it was his time and the party suffered for the next four years, now left haemorrhaging after three defeats in by-elections, one uncontested by-election, and a whitewash at the general election which left the party with a paltry 14 seats in the Parliament.

We hoped that the party would have taken lessons from the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) when it chose to coalesce around Andrew Holness in 2011, rather than force an unnecessary election following Bruce Golding’s resignation. But not the PNP. Old-time Jamaicans would say, “dem head tough.”

A recent PNP internal poll done by Don Anderson revealed Lisa Hanna as the favourite to lead the party among members of parliament (MPs), delegates and the wider population – 34 per cent of MPs, 43 per cent of persons who identified themselves as delegates, 37 per cent of those who identified as PNP supporters, and 31 per cent of those who identified as JLP supporters.

Why, then, would the PNP waste precious time heading into yet another election next month? This, against the backdrop that local government election is to follow and the party is almost certainly in line for another walloping.

OUT OF STEAM

The party workers must be out of steam by now. It’s no wonder they keep losing. These two months could have been better spent reorganising.

Just as One PNP vs Rise United did the party no good, so shall this leadership race, which, in fact, is a sequel to the 2019 show. Someone will be left bitter and crying on November 7 when the dust settles, and will take along his/her followers.

Will the PNP recover swiftly enough from this one to win an election in another five years? Time will tell. And as we know, “time waits on no man.”

ANN-MARIE TENNANT