Gary Spaulding, Senior Gleaner Writer
A senior United States diplomat has characterised as "pragmatic" the approach adopted by Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips and the Government as they wrestle with a global economy gone awry.
Dr Raymond Brown, deputy chief of mission at the United States Embassy in Kingston, believes the approach represents a more mature one from the two major parties in Jamaica.
"I was keen to see in Jamaica when I arrived, the degree to which the parties have (moved) towards a closer consensus on pragmatic governance philosophies," Brown asserted.
"There has been a closing of the gap in terms of governing philosophies and the kinds of challenges the Government faces, particularly in the economic areas that affect everything else."
The American diplomat suggested the manner in which the Government is approaching the issue is more consensus based.
"Solutions are always difficult, the leadership is different," he asserted.
Brown singled out Phillips as an example of the changing nature of politics in Jamaica. He described Phillips as a minister of finance who comes out of an academic background, but was associated with the political development at the time.
Brown suggested the current atmosphere is a far cry from that which obtained during his previous tenure as consular-political officer during the Edward Seaga administration of the 1980s.
"He (Phillips) now has to lead the governance group that deals with the financial and monetary challenges and I think the kind of pragmatic approaches that are becoming patterns around the world are beginning to manifest here in Jamaica as well," Brown said.
Brown began his foreign-service career in 1985 after an academic and professional consulting career emphasising international relations, conflict resolution and economic development issues.