Elections are never easy. One winner, one, or more – losers. The winner here will be named the Opposition Leader, lead a revitilised opposition into the second half of the ruling government’s term, and hope to move his Dulcimina into Jamaica House in a couple of years. There were all kinds of reasons given by JLP members as to why they disagreed with a leadership election. Rubbish. Here are three reasons the election is a good thing.
- A stronger leader: If Andrew Holness wins, it legitimizes and strengthens his leadership position. If Audley Shaw wins, it should put to rest, at least for now, some of the simmering tension in the party over the leadership issues.
- Democracy is actually a good thing: The JLP needs to realize it can hold an election campaign, and yes, say naughty things about one another without the world coming to an end. So the PNP is gathering footage for its next ad campaign. So what? A strong vigorous campaign led by an energized leader is likely to more than negate that.
- The opposition has woken up. Big time. Andrew Holness told me he was being responsible and allowing the government room to implement the actions that were necessary for the country, but now it’s time for the Opposition to go to work. Whether you accept that explanation or believe that the new energy is due to the campaign, we the public will be the winners. We need a vital, impatient Opposition to keep government on its toes.
And that is our interest here. Most of us have no vote. But our current system of government will ensure that the winner of the JLP leadership election will be the Opposition Leader. It’s not just about leading the party. It’s about one day maybe leading Jamaica. It’s that serious.
NB: A Dulcimina is an old-fashioned suitcase. See photo number 5 in this link to the Gleaner.