Fri | Jan 27, 2023

An example to be emulated

Published:Tuesday | January 19, 2010 | 12:00 AM

The Editor, Sir:

I wish to highlight the recent display of bipartisanship by former US presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton as they joined forces to raise funds to assist Haiti. Both unhesitatingly responded to President Obama's request to pool their efforts to solicit funds from the American people.

This was not the first time that past US presidents from opposing political parties had acted in the national interest. Clinton and the George h.W. Bush had combined to raise funds to assist with the disastrous consequences from Hurricane Katrina a couple years ago.

These efforts showed that, despite deeply divided political attitudes, when a country's national interest demands it, partisanship can be set aside. While I am seeing the flaws in the political system here at close quarters, I must admit that these joint efforts are not only admirable, but also affordable.

Working together

Some time after I saw the first Clinton-Bush joint effort, I immediately thought that something similar could do our country a world of good. And it would cost us little or nothing. I then suggested that retired prime ministers Patterson and Seaga could do likewise. Given our search for resources, these two should set their party loyalties aside and combine to make a joint appeal to the overseas Jamaican community to invest in Jamaica.

It has been my experience that the failure of Jamaican governments to enlist the support of the overseas community is due, in part, to the spillover political partisanship that has adversely affected our national growth. While some will invest, others won't - depending on the party in power.

Rare opportunity

Just as the opportunity to enlist the assistance of over two million overseas nationals is slipping by, so too is that rare opportunity of having two former prime ministers of different political parties alive and well. In our present Westminster system of governance, prime ministers are the symbolic representatives of the political parties that have to date divided and diluted our nation-building efforts.

If these two representatives show the statesmanship that our country needs now, by holding hands to persuade Jamaicans, both at home and abroad, that in difficult times we can set aside political aspirations, and seek increased support to build the nation.

I believe that this would have the effect of reigniting the hope we Jamaicans, at home and abroad, had at independence for our country's growth. It is not an opportunity that we should allow to slip.

I am, etc.,


Atlanta, Georgia