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Dawning of a new political day?

Published:Thursday | October 27, 2011 | 12:00 AM
Andrew Holness (left) signs the instrument of appointment while Governor General Sir Patrick Allen looks on. - Ian Allen/Photographer

The Editor Sir:

I CONSIDER myself privileged to have witnessed first-hand the historic moment of the inauguration of a post-Independence prime minister who is not only the first prime minister to be born during the post-independence era, but also the youngest person to have been appointed in that position.

The governor general's speech precluded the inaugural address, and his charge for the people of Jamaica to operate as Team Jamaica was so timely. I believe that for too long we have allowed politics to polarise us in such a way that we believe that the ills of the country are the ills of the particular party in power.

I sense, from speaking with numerous persons, that they are tired of the divisive, tribalistic politics that has been the order of the day since Independence. And, while the objective is not to cast aside the stalwarts of our political process, they are intimating that these are the persons who have contributed in some way or the other to fuel the nature of our politics.

Coexist as Jamaicans

We oftentimes refer to the early days as being backward, when we listened to our grandparents talk about the camaraderie that existed in their days, where people were mindful that not everyone will support the same party but everyone must coexist as Jamaicans. Our people are now more learned than back in the day, and in their search for answers have determined that our politicians must take the blame for the 'gutterisation' of our politics.

Jamaicans, in particularly the educated majority, are tired of, and are quietly disassociating themselves from, the intimidatory and downright crassness that passes off as politics. No wonder fewer of us are participating in the process.

Mr Andrew Holness' elevation to the position of leadership of our country is seen by many Jamaicans (of all political persuasion) as a positive to take us into the next 50 years as an independent nation. From his address, there is no doubt about his cognisance of the challenges that we face as a country. But his call for the removal of divisive, tribalistic, garrison politics from our political landscape resonated well and may have been one of the most appreciated objectives proffered. The hope is that this will propel the dawning of a new day in Jamaican politics, and in the end result in a better Jamaica for all of us to live and enjoy.

Jamaicans, no matter our political persuasion, let us see ourselves as Jamaicans first and foremost. Let us embrace and encourage positive change for the betterment of Jamaica, land we love.

Pat Bignall