The Editor, Sir:
I have always had a strong interest in the parliamentary/political affairs of our country. As a young boy, I used to look forward to watching with great interest our parliamentary sittings, especially the Budget debates which, but for any very special occasion of Parliament, would be just about the only scheduled live broadcasts of Parliament carried by the then Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation television station.
The parliamentary sittings then, though not completely devoid of sharp verbal exchanges, contained a decent amount of wit, and members would get their points across more diplomatically without the venom and crude behaviour that we have sadly come to expect of our Parliament - our supposed 'honourable' institution of government.
I continue to watch the parliamentary proceedings, which are now broadcast regularly, courtesy of the Public Broadcasting Corporation of Jamaica; however, the constant bad behaviour being displayed by too many of our parliamentarians, including some who are oxymoronically called 'honourable', is most off-putting.
But, then again, that is quite microcosmic or indicative of the level to which our society has descended morally.
The constant display of rabid partisanship and the accompanying nauseating propaganda can be very inimical to national interest and are often bereft of intellectual coherence and palatability.
Perhaps, to the extent obtainable in light of the severity of the situation, greater efforts must be made in screening candidates for political office, as financial prowess and party affiliation without the capacity for cerebral sophistication and a proclivity for civility and decency are insufficient criteria.
Our society is broken: it has grown very boorish, violent, abusive, and discriminatory, with the various agents of socialisation collectively failing us. Sadly, uptown is not much better than downtown; country is not much better than town.
How do we then fix Jamaica when the very leaders themselves - parliamentarians, the wider government apparatus, teachers, pastors, parents, et al - need cleansing or fixing?
I am, etc.,
KEVIN K.O. SANGSTER