The Editor, Sir:
In November 2004, I wrote about watching the movie unfold in the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) leadership race - the JLP Leadership Debacle. At that time, Pearnel Charles and a team had filed an ex parte injunction, two days before the start of the JLP conference, to delay the election of Bruce Golding as the new party leader. Well, nine years later, another leadership challenge and it is déjà vu. The only changes in the movie are the somewhat different cast and the stars - Andrew Holness and Audley Shaw
The behaviour at Belmont Road on Monday evening (September 2) clearly demonstrates that the party or factions thereof do not believe in the democratic process. And, I dare ask whether the Labourites realise that their action is not only hurting the contenders for leadership but also the fundamentals of democracy in this country. Fundamentals that Bustamante, Manley and others of their era fought for.
Do these persons really care about their party or democracy in Jamaica? If the current leader and his handlers are truly confident that he will be victorious at the end of the day, they should do everything to ensure that that the election takes place. But are we experiencing the proverbial 'drowning man' holding on to a straw? Or, children playing 'dolly house' and destroying the doll's house because they cannot get their own way, or they sense that the ground is moving under their feet.
The JLP has spent most of its recent past in opposition; shouldn't this be enough motivation for the Labourites to ensure that they present a united front?
The Jamaican electorate is searching for alternatives but, sadly, the debacle in the JLP is making this very challenging. Do they realise or care about the irreparable damage they are causing to a party that so many persons have toiled assiduously to build? This action is only ushering in the eve of the JLP. What a tribute to democracy in Jamaica!
Pat Williams Bignall