Let your voice be heard
ECONOMIST JOHN Jackson is urging Jamaicans to "awake from their slumber" and speak to issues of national importance in a consistent, logical and researched manner so that the country can benefit from a plethora of views and ideas.
He said that Jamaicans, in large measure, have become mute on national issues for fear of being labelled supporters of one of the two major political parties.
"If we are not prepared to go out and let our views be known in terms of the ballot box, it seems more important to me at this stage of our development that as Jamaicans we need to make our voices heard on issues of critical import because that is how we are going to change the system. voting may or may not change the system," said Jackson.
He said Jamaica had a cadre of opinion makers in the early 1970s who migrated, creating a void in the country for a long time where people were afraid to express their thoughts nationally "lest they be labelled green or orange". The colours identify persons as being supporters of the Jamaica Labour Party or the People's National Party, respectively.
Jackson said late journalist and talk show host Wilmot 'Mutty' Perkins championed a number of causes almost single-handedly on radio, which resulted in a slow but gradual change in how "we do certain things".
"The voices of people in this country need to be better heard consistently and intelligently on a number of issues, and if we start to deal with that in a much more consistent, purposeful and non-partisan way, we will effect changes in the political system because no longer will the political parties take the people for granted," he stressed.
Jackson was addressing the monthly luncheon of the Lions Club of Kingston on Wednesday at the Institute of Chartered Accountants on Ruthven Road, St Andrew.