THE EDITOR, Sir:
As we approach the finish line of 50 years as an independent nation and the starting block of another 50 or 100 years, I am dreaming of a new Jamaica - a Jamaica that will most certainly be better than the one that we have experienced.
I am dreaming of a new Jamaica where politics will unite, rather than divide, the people. There are so many positive things that have happened during the 50 years, but political tribalism has left so many open wounds. It is so hard to convince a vast number of Jamaicans that our leaders were right when they engineered the rupturing of the umbilical cord from Britain.
I'm dreaming of a new Jamaica where we see persons as Jamaicans first and foremost, and the political biases that currently cloud our judgement of each other begin to pale in significance. A Jamaica where people vote based on their conscience for a party, with Jamaica's best interests at the forefront, and not on the selfish desire for spoils and scarce benefits.
I dream of the day when the people of Jamaica recognise that they are indeed the masters and not the servants of the political process, and that they use this influence to demand performance, instead of merely facilitating political 'long-standing'.
Defuse political tension
I dream of the day when there will be no areas of political exclusion - where every Jamaican will be free to tread every corner and crevice of this beautiful island without fear.
And while I dream of the great political change that will engender growth and prosperity in a land we all love, I call for a decoloration of the parties. The green and the orange have caused so much tension, terror and death that I believe this could be a symbolic first step, though superficial, in signalling that desire to change the political process.
The flag issue in Montego Bay, the 'fishy' row in Parliament, the repainting of buildings when a new government is formed, to name a few, would not have become long, drawn-out and divisive national matters had it not been for the emphasis that political processes place on these two colours.
I am dreaming of a Jamaica where we will all sing with pride, "This is the land of my birth. This is Jamaica, my Jamaica, the land of my birth!"
PAT WILLIAMS BIGNALL