Sat | Nov 28, 2015

Reduce the size of rural constituencies

Published:Tuesday | February 28, 2012 | 12:00 AM


Jamaica's political landscape has been afflicted by corruption for decades. We have seen where politicians have been spending huge sums of money close to election time to gain an advantage, thus manipulating the weakness and poverty of the population.

This huge problem seems to be going nowhere soon, so we, as a country, need to start fixing the finer ingredients of the whole pie. One such thing is the size of our rural constituencies.

Having been born and raised in East Rural St Andrew gives me a vantage point from which I can address the issue. I have witnessed four elections in that area, and three members of parliament (MP). Of the four elections, the People's National Party won twice and the Jamaica Labour Party twice as well. This goes to show that the people of the constituency have not been satisfied on a wide scale.

The problem starts with the size of the seat. The constituency runs from Harbour View all the way to Mavis Bank, Irish Town, Woodford and Maryland. Some of the areas are being developed, for example, Harbour View, but there are others that are neglected, such as New Rumble in the Mavis Bank area. Dirt roads, no proper water system, no street lighting. I could list another 30 to 40 things that aren't happening in the area.

I sympathise with the MPs who have been unfortunate enough to get these areas to take care of. In such a large geographical area, places will be ignored, whether voluntarily or involuntarily.

I want to implore the Government to sit down and look keenly at this area and split it into two or three so that more keen attention can be paid to some honest, hard-working Jamaicans.