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LETTER OF THE DAY - Name party contributors

Published:Thursday | May 10, 2012 | 12:00 AM


JAMAICA'S TWO major political parties, the Jamaica Labour Party and the People's National Party, have for far too long evaded the issue of campaign and party financing. This avoidance has fuelled and strengthened the perception in the society that politics is dirty, self-serving and corrupt.

However, the recent developments in the court proceedings in the Turks and Caicos Islands involving convicted Olint boss David Smith have highlighted and exposed the dire urgency for both political parties and civil society to engage in dialogue with the primary purpose of addressing the issue by crafting the necessary legislation to deal with the matter.

Demand more

The time has come for all law-abiding and civic-minded Jamaicans to demand more from our politicians and hold them to a higher standard than what currently exists. Transparency and accountability have always taken the back burner in the Jamaican society, and we must ensure that in a new paradigm of governance both transparency and accountability will be primary. The confiscation order issued by the Supreme Court in the Turks and Caicos Islands reveals the clear and present threat that our democracy face should we allow business to continue as usual.

There is a proverb in the society which says, "He who pays the piper calls the tune". In other words, if you are financing an undertaking, you have the right to say how it will be carried out. Financiers of political parties are not doing so out of the kindness of their hearts; they expect favours, or they expect to influence specific policies should their party of choice form the government. We need to know who are the contributors, and source of funds, to the various political parties. We also need to know the sizes of all contribution.

These events have seriously tainted our political institutions and our politicians, and beckons us as a society to call for men and women of integrity to serve Jamaica, land we love.

Wayne Campbell