'Not changing course'
PNP confident that it is pointing the country in right direction despite poll findings
Gary Spaulding, Senior Gleaner Writer
A senior member of the Portia Simpson Miller administration has asserted that the Government will not change its course despite the recent Gleaner-commissioned Bill Johnson polls which found that a huge majority of Jamaicans (73%) believed that the country is heading in the wrong direction.
The polls also found that the governing People's National Party (PNP) is trailing the opposition Jamaica Labour Party in all areas and would likely suffer a humiliating defeat if a general election were called now.
Still, senior Cabinet member Anthony Hylton, minister of industry, investment and commerce, believes there is no reason for the Government to change direction in its pursuit of economic stability at this time.
Hylton told a Gleaner Editors' Forum last Wednesday that he is confident that the Government is on the right path.
"We will not change course because we recognise that there is a lag time between the changes and results," declared Hylton.
He was responding to queries on how the Government would utilise a slew of projects he highlighted at the forum, to reconnect with a largely apathetic populace.
"There is a lag time between the changes, and the reason why they have never been done before is because people want quick results," added Hylton, as he declared that the administration feels assured and confident about changes being made.
He reiterated expressions of other PNP members who said they were not surprised that the party was not enjoying a better showing in the polls conducted last month.
"We are not surprised that you are not seeing the impact simultaneously, it's not a 1:1 correlation ... it will take some time before we will start to see the benefits of the impact but it doesn't mean that we are wrong."
Hylton's comment echoed those of Raymond Pryce, the deputy general secretary of the PNP, who had declared that the poll findings were hardly surprising.
"As a course of our regular political work programme the party has also commissioned internal polls, the results of which would be used to refine and define the political work programme on which the PNP has embarked," said Pryce.
He asserted that the Government remained unflinching in its commitment to achieve improvements despite difficulties being faced.
Pryce expressed optimism that over a relatively short period more Jamaicans will register a more positive outlook on the future.