Franklin wants new-look JLP
If there is acceptance of a proposal presented Sunday by Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) general secretary, Aundré Franklin, to restructure the 69-year-old organisation, it could eventually bear a noticeable resemblance to its rival People's National Party (PNP).
Franklin submitted a proposal to the delegates' conference at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston, to increase the number of JLP area councils from four to six.
The PNP's organisational structure is divided into six regional executive councils (REC) as they are called in that party. The RECs are chaired and administered by the chairpersons elected by the delegates from constituencies in the respective regions.
As in the PNP, where four vice-presidents are elected, Franklin also proposed that the four deputy leaders of the JLP should be nominated from the national pool of delegates, instead of at the area council level. Currently, the delegates in each of the four area councils elect the person who represents them as deputy leader.
Franklin said instead of the deputy leaders focusing on the day-to-day operations of the area councils, chairpersons should be elected to take charge of them.
The proposed new structure serves as a signal that the JLP is actively moving to reorganise its communicative systems, in response to growing complaints that the plans and programmes of the party are not resonating with the larger populace to convert large crowds into "large numbers of votes".
Franklin said this would enable the four deputy leaders to refocus their political work on assisting JLP Leader Andrew Holness with the formulation of campaign strategies.
"So we are going to increase the number of area councils from four to six, while deputy leaders are to be elected nationally and we are going to move area councils from being the platform of the deputy leader to allow them to take on the role of campaigning …," said Franklin. "Area council chairpersons will be doing the work of the area councils."
Franklin also suggested that a caucus of the affiliates of the JLP will be established to give them more voice in making their contributions to nation building.