THE EDITOR, Sir:
Audley Shaw long accepted an offer from a major media house for a live public debate with Andrew Holness. If we are serious of bringing about transformational leadership and deepening democracy, then it is imperative that both gentlemen engage in a public debate on major issues concerning the Jamaica Labour Party and the nation.
For far too long, our political parties have operated like private clubs, hiding away from public scrutiny and far too selective in what they want to put out in the public domain. Our parties must, for Jamaica's sake, take on a transparent, accountable and modern disposition as we propel further into the 21st century.
The United States political debate model, which has been copied the world over, puts political party leadership contenders before the public in countless live televised debates. It has strengthened candidates and their political parties and brought amazing vibrancy to the democratic process; a win-win all around. This is where Jamaica should be.
It is quite a disappointment then that the party's Electoral Commission moved so quickly to block a debate between the two men; after all, both are more than capable of conducting themselves in a civil manner.