The social partnership agreement signed between Government and multi-sectoral agencies on July 31 will be crucial to the People's National Party's (PNP) political fortunes when next the nation goes to the polls, according to East St Andrew Member of Parliament Andre Hylton.
Hylton, a PNP MP, was one of five guests at a Gleaner Editors' Forum held last last Friday to examine the partnership and the steps to its progress.
"When we talk about breaches of the agreement, the Government is cognisant that it will face an electorate in three years for elections. That is the biggest sanction to any administration, and any government must be mindful of that," Hylton, a businessman, said in response to questions from journalists.
Hylton, who was a special guest of Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller at the July signing, said while there was nothing political about the processes that led to the historic event, the party and Government must ensure commitments contained in the agreement are kept.
Captured, occupied and exploited
According to him, Jamaica comes from a historic position of not being owned by anyone, "but has been captured, occupied and exploited".
He said as a businessman, "I am also forced to think of Jamaica as a company where there are stakeholders and shareholders of this company, and for this company to run efficiently the shareholders must sit around the table and do what is best for the company."
Hylton wants Jamaicans to think of the island as something they own, and take the care required to secure and preserve it.
"I am really pleased with the stakeholders who came forward, and I think it's a step in the right direction. As a young parliamentarian, it resonates well with me and my other parliamentarians, especially those who are very passionate in getting rid of their antagonism," he explained.
He said antagonism has led to divisions, which has further created a yoke around the neck of the country, and the party and Government recognised the importance of keeping the commitments given.