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MPs should live in their constituencies

Published:Wednesday | December 28, 2011 | 12:00 AM
Dave Lindo, Gleaner Writer

MANDEVILLE, Manchester:

A PROMINENT attorney-at-law wants candidates representing the political parties to live in the constituencies they intend to lead.

"I think that the Representation of the People Act should be reformed so that only people living in the constituency can be a political representative," said the attorney, who requested anonymity.

"If you can just bring a candidate from anywhere to represent the constituency, it is clear that it is a move designed for the party and, in most cases, the party alone."

He added: "Ninety-nine per cent of the time when that man loses the election, he is gone about his business. He has no interest in raising a voice for the constituency. A man who wins at the polls, if he is not living in the constituency, he has no connection with the people."

Personalise job

Meanwhile, Mark Anderson, a resident of Manchester said, "We shouldn't hear in the media the (political) representative saying 'The community was shot up', or 'the people don't have any water', but instead he or she should be saying 'our community was shot up', or 'we don't have any water'." The concerns of the people should also be his or her personal concerns. You want the party to win, but the party must grow leadership from the community."

"You can't run and hide from the people and just come around when you have a funeral. It makes a mockery of the words representational politics," the lawyer said. "If there is a requirement of residency the (political representative) knows the will of the people and not just knows what the party told him. They will likely make more representation because they will see the people more often."

He noted that while there are political representatives who do not live in their constituencies, they manage to do an excellent job in representing their people.

"However, those are the ones who make the time and effort to get close to their people, spen-ding countless time in their constituencies. Even then, his or her job would have been much easier if they were residing in the constituency."