Wed | Dec 6, 2023

Respecting democracy

Published:Tuesday | August 1, 2017 | 12:00 AM


As a young professional Jamaican I am proud of the People's National Party's (PNP) strong democratic traditions. Law-abiding citizens should praise the PNP leadership and secretariat for respecting members' democratic franchise and organising an open, transparent process enabling delegates to choose their representatives. The party's general secretary, Julian Robinson, has demonstrated that delegates are mature enough to survive the necessary side effects of democracy: when conflicting ideas and personalities contest to amplify the voices of the people towards a harmony of their creation.

I congratulate the PNP vice president, Dr Angela Brown-Burke, on being chosen by her party's South Western St Andrew delegates to replace Portia Simpson Miller as their PNP standard bearer.

Today's PNP holds a relatively youthful reservoir of people power that abhors despotism and defends the spirit of constitutional integrity. Success and failure at the next general elections will depend on whether they are turned on, this is why the PNP president, Dr. Peter Phillips, keeps his hand on the switch by listening keenly to their concerns.

Dr Phillips should, no doubt, be expecting timely bi-elections to ensure that the interest of the people in South Western and Southern St Andrew are adequately represented in the House of Representatives. Sadly, history shows that prime minister Andrew Holness has in the past ignored the spirit of our constitution with respect to senators. One can only hope that he has learnt recent lessons from the PNP president and will himself now defend the democratic rights of the people by calling swift bi-elections to welcome two new Members of Parliament and allow two new senators to serve the people.

In the meantime Senator Brown-Burke and her former rival, Councillor Audrey Smith-Facey, will no doubt continue to work harmoniously in the best interest of the people. Democracy has ensured that when the dust settles, the people benefit.

Orrett Montague

Broadcast Journalist,

Communication & Social

Policy Specialist