Tue | Jan 22, 2019

A question of good governance

Published:Thursday | October 30, 2014 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir: With the recent revelation of government ministers and junior ministers racking up phone bills that cumulatively reaches over J$5 million, the matter of good governance and prudent managing of public finances have once again resurfaced.

In a time of austerity and 'sufferation' of a large majority of Jamaicans it is pure evil to have government ministers being so profligate. It cannot be that while civil servants are being asked to hold strain, while prices are going up and inflation has reduced their purchasing power significantly, these things are happening so frequently. From the SUVs, the deportation of Abu Bakr back to Trinidad, down to this present fiasco, we are seeing a government that claims to be holding strain wasting resources left, right and centre.

'Run wid it' PNP

What can one junior minister be talking about so much to rack up a million dollars? Is he calling home to Mars? But again, it fits the pattern of how the PNP governs. It's almost expected that the PNP will waste resources in such manner, as it has grown to believe that whatever it does it will not get punished by the electorate. Remember Omar's infamous 'run wid it' statement?

Now, what does that say about governance in this country?

Look at the voter turnout in the last election and it's quite obvious that Jamaicans, apart from the diehards, are not interested in politics, and scandals like these will continue to further erode confidence in our political system. What will inevitably happen is a kakistocracy, as more and more competent people shun politics, and as we know, democracy cannot survive without political representation.

What does this scandal say about the prime minister and the control she has over her own Government? As we have seen repeatedly, she is a weak leader than has no understanding of what proper governance entails. She seems incapable of holding her own ministers accountable, and that has led to a feeling within her Government that it is a free-for-all.