Tue | Jun 15, 2021

The people are suffering

Published:Tuesday | March 13, 2012 | 12:00 AM


Regarding the article, 'Teacher files election petition against Mair' in The Gleaner of March 9, I am forced to respond to this most ludicrous petition filed on behalf of Donnel Marriott, regarding the allegations that Gregory Mair corruptly gave monies and other items of patronage to persons on the voters' list to vote for him.

While I say ludicrous, I am not for one moment disputing the fact that this allegation may be correct. What I do not want to see is this issue becoming a situation that leads to 125 other lawsuits, with the cost then becoming a burden to the Jamaican taxpayers.

Both parties guilty

It has been an established fact, more so since the 1970s, that both the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and the People's National Party (PNP) have used patronage to buy votes. In addition, several established scholars have researched and found that both the PNP and JLP have incriminated the system of campaigning by vote buying, intimidation of the electorate, and what the late 'Motty' Perkins called, "distribution of scarce benefits and spoils," to secure election seats. The fact that a candidate may have succeeded under this corrupt system does not make it right for the losers.

The National Democratic Movement (NDM) is imploring any candidate who would want to use any such action as a lawsuit to gain political points to redirect their efforts to truly correcting the system of government that is dependent on vote buying and distribution of scarce benefits and spoils to win elections.

The wolf in the story of Little Red Riding Hood remained a wolf even when he dressed up in grandma's clothes. Now, let us stop the selfish political games and do what is right to correct the system, as the NDM proposes, so that we can eliminate political strongholds, political patronage, and deliver Jamaican communities from the crippling effects of these actions, namely, crime, unemployment, a non-existent middle class, degrading conditions for the have-nots, and a staggering economy.

Apollone Reid

NDM vice-president