Letter of the Day | Lisa Hanna should do some introspection
THE EDITOR, Madam:
The general election is over, but the political season is far from finished. On November 7, the People’s National Party (PNP) delegates will head to the polls to elect a new leader. The showdown features two PNP heavyweights, South East St Ann Member of Parliament (MP) Lisa Hanna and South St Andrew MP Mark Golding. Those two stalwarts are a part of the few survivors of the political mauling by the Jamaica Labour Party in the recent general election.
Many have billed Hanna as the favourite to win the race. It is assumed that her social media image can rival the ‘BroGad’ moniker of Prime Minister Andrew Holness and his well-oiled machine. However, Hanna’s public relations campaign counted for little, as she barely retained her seat in the PNP’s stronghold of South East St Ann. This while facing a candidate who was installed a couple of days before the election. Although the former beauty queen won her seat, political analysts view it as a loss for the PNP. South East St Ann is a constituency the PNP has never lost or come this close to losing. It is believed that if the original Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) candidate contested the election; the seat would have gone to them.
This was just another political wound Hanna suffered in her 14 years of representational politics, the last being her failed campaign to become vice-president of the PNP in 2016. Losing this leadership race may be political suicide, but winning might also be a problem. Immediately, she will be burdened with the task to transform the party and overturn the JLP’s 35-seat margin of victory. We have already witnessed Holness and his team send two PNP leaders into retirement.
On her campaign trail, Hanna said if she knew she would have the opportunity to become PNP president, she might have lived her political life in differently. Her statement speaks volumes about her character.
The leadership race of the PNP is important because Jamaica needs a strong Opposition to preserve our democracy. I am in no way endorsing one candidate; however, given Hanna’s history, as a leader she will be held at a different standard than others. As such, I believe she now needs to take the time for introspection and character building. She needs to take time to build a relationship with her young constituents and her councillors.
She should try recovering from her political wounds before trying to lead a wounded PNP.
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism