The EDITOR, Sir:
One can't help but wonder if Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) leader Andrew Holness actually understands what the party needs at this point in time. The impending leadership challenge will mobilise and enliven the voices of thousands of delegates, actively, for the first time in decades.
Too long have the delegates been relegated to being merely the instruments of general elections. The JLP, as any other party, needs its base and its base is its delegates. The delegates have a constitutional right to choose their leader, and to choose in a democratic and transparent process who will lead their cause, and who will stand as vanguard for their visions of the party. Why would you want to fight that process? Why would you want to frustrate what ought to be a healthy process for the party? Audley Shaw is as credible and deserving challenger as any in the party, and whether he wins or loses, the point is that it is the delegates, the grass roots, and the base of the party who will finally decide.
I welcome a challenge in the party and a move away from the Ok'ing passes to heir apparent process that has been practised over the years to a process that encourages democracy and 'un-mute' the voice of the party's workers.
For an institution to be democratic, it must first satisfy the requirement of being perceptively democratic. You cannot propose to be a democratic institution, when your core structures are blatantly undemocratic; that is political hypocrisy. I urge Mr Andrew Holness and the other members in the party to welcome this challenge, because it is not the challenge that will bring divisiveness in the party, but how the process is handled. If they go through this process knowing and consciously thinking about national elections in the next few years, they would be civil and shrewdly political, easing through this process, and in so doing, gaining the respect of their supporters.