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PNP doing poor job in connecting with Jamaicans - university lecturer

Published:Sunday | October 5, 2014 | 12:36 PM
Richard Crawford - File

Political commentator and university lecturer Richard "Dicky" Crawford says the Portia Simpson Miller Government is doing a poor job of connecting with Jamaicans, despite the successes under the economic reform programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Crawford was reacting to the first in a series of poll findings by Bill Johnson published in today's Sunday Gleaner. The findings show that Simpson Miller's popularity has plunged significantly, as 73 per cent of Jamaicans believe the country is heading in the wrong direction.

The polls conducted on September 6 and 7 showed that only 26 per cent of Jamaicans believe that Simpson Miller would do a better job of leading the country at this time, compared 46 per cent of Jamaicans expressing the same about Opposition Leader Andrew Holness. Twenty-eight per cent of Jamaicans were undecided.

The numbers represent a 13 percentage point plunge for Simpson Miller, who stood at 39 per cent on the eve of the December 2011 general elections, and only a marginal gain for Holness who polled 42 per cent at the time. The number of undecided Jamaicans has also grown by nine per cent when compared to the December 2011 poll, when only 19 per cent of people did not express favour for either leader.

Crawford suggests that the source of the Simpson Miller administration's unpopularity may be it style management. He says while the successes of the IMF programme may resonate with members of the private sector, the majority of Jamaicans are yet to experience the benefits.

According to Crawford, the prime minister showed some awareness for these concerns in her address at the People's National Party Conference last month. However, he questions whether her administration's efforts to inform the public about the benefits of the programme were being influenced by upcoming local government elections in 2015.


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