THE EDITOR, Sir:
Just when it seemed as if there was a political party in Jamaica that was heading in the right direction in terms of best practices in politics and governance, it was rather disappointing to have seen an article titled 'Opposition gives four-day ultimatum for Azan to go, threaten boycott of Parliament', published in The Gleaner of September 21, 2013.
It has always been said that an old dog can't learn new tricks, but this is a situation where the new dog cannot find new tricks, in that Leader of the Jamaica Labour Party, the Honourable Andrew Holness, presented himself some time ago on his election campaign as a leader with a different approach and attitude to politics.
For the most part he has been doing just that. Therefore, it came as a surprise to have read that the Opposition could possibly boycott the sitting of Parliament had former junior minister of transport, works and housing not tender his resignation due to his involvement the Spaldings Market saga.
It is understood that the party leader is facing a leadership challenge from Spokesman on Finance Audley Shaw and wants to assert himself as a strong leader, but, unfortunately, it is the wrong approach. The people of Jamaica are listening and watching, and rather than threatening to take that dirty and regressive course of action, the party leader should have found some other way to deal with the situation.
PNP guilty, too
Jamaica has reached a point in its development where it cannot afford moves like this. The People's National Party (PNP) also has that tendency to boycott sittings of Parliament when, as the Opposition, it is not pleased with decisions made by the government. This practice has to stop.
Politicians should never practise that style of politics. It is dirty and unethical. Furthermore, it confirms the long-debated notion that politicians think they work for themselves and do their own business. This is not so, and has never been the case. It is the people of Jamaica that these politicians work for, and it is the people who suffer as a result of the deliberate absenteeism of politicians from Parliament's sittings.
Student, University of the West Indies