Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller is encouraging youth to get involved in politics to turn the negatively perceived system around.
"If it (politics) is nasty and dirty, and some good people do not get involved, it will remain nasty and dirty," she said.
Simpson Miller was speaking to youth mayors who made a courtesy call on her at Jamaica House on Tuesday. Recalling that she started her political career within the local government system in the 1970s, Simpson Miller expressed hope that one of the youth mayors would some day become the nation's prime minister.
"It is important that young people be engaged and involved. We have to ensure the training of younger ones, so that later on they can step up and occupy certain positions of leadership in this country," she said. Accompanied by representatives from their parish councils and the Portmore municipality, the youth heard an impassioned prime minister challenge them that, "when they (detractors) talk failure to you, you must talk success on your life".
Youth Minister Lisa Hanna opined that Jamaica was blessed because it had some of the best young people in the world. She said young people had great impact on the lives of their peers.
"Because you understand the constraints, you understand the same kind of problems that you're going through. You are able to articulate it, in a way that is important," she said. Hanna asked the articulate group to make Jamaica their stomping ground.
"This is where we need you, this is where we want you. Make sure that whatever you do drives Jamaica," she said. Seemingly inspired by the charge, the youth mayors assured the Government and parish council officials present that the future of Jamaica and its politics were in good hands.
Daniel Lee, youth mayor for Savanna-la-Mar, perhaps summed it up best.
"If politics is dirty, let me begin to clear it up."