We have done well in Opposition, says Brady
Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) stalwart Harold Brady has suggested that any comparison of the Government and Opposition's performances in the aftermath of a change of administration is ill-advised.
"I think care must be taken in a review of this nature, particularly where such a review allows for comparison of the parties," said Brady, an attorney-at-law.
"The reason is that a review of the PNP (People's National Party) will end up being a review of the Government while a review of the JLP will be a review of its party's political activities."
According to Brady, such a comparison may not be meaningful in a two-party parliamentary democracy where the party forming the government undertakes to implement its policy positions on which it campaigned and address ongoing socio-economic issues affecting the growth and development of the economy and the society.
Brady argued that the party in opposition will be concerned with whether its loss was due to a rejection of its policies, organisational failure or other considerations.
He charged that the JLP's performance in the 12 months since its electoral loss may be described as good for several reasons.
Brady listed these as:
- A young leader (born after Independence) took over a party in power whose leader was forced to resign under "a cloud";
- The establishment of a strategic review committee of the party's performance;
- The party's leader was returned unopposed and a new officer corps elected in one of the best-conducted elections;
- The party's leader stamped his authority on the party by giving it clear direction and focus at the annual conference;
- The party has concentrated its political issues on the economy by its spokesman, Audley Shaw, who has repeatedly pointed out the ineptness of the Government in its failure to secure an International Monetary Fund deal, a sliding dollar, a creeping increase in interest rates and a decreasing Net International Reserves.
"The question must then be asked ... what more could the JLP in opposition do at this stage?" said Brady.