Sun | Oct 22, 2017

Still no date for political debates

Published:Monday | February 8, 2016 | 1:02 PM

The Jamaica Debates Commission says it’s still working to confirm the dates for three political debates to be held ahead of the general elections.

The commission says the proposed dates are February 16, 18 and 20.

There are only 17 days left before the polls and Deputy Chairman of the commission, Brian Schmidt, says confirmation of the dates is now critical given the logistics involved in staging high-quality, effective debates.

The commission says it has been in discussion with the two major political parties about the debates since early 2015.

It notes that the parties had signed off on the terms of a memorandum of understanding to cover three debates.

Schmidt says the political debates provide an opportunity for electors to assess the policies and proposals of contenders for political office in a civil and reasoned forum, so they can make informed political choices.

He says this has major implications for democracy and governance, especially in a context where voter participation is approaching historically low levels.