Jamaican Opposition Leader Andrew Holness named his Shadow Cabinet at a Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) press conference three months ago. Do you remember who they are? Here’s the list again.
Andrew Holness – Opposition Leader – defence, development, operations of the Office of the Prime Minister
Audley Shaw – Finance, Planning, Growth and Economic Development
Delroy Chuck – Justice, National Security, Electoral Matters and Leader of Opposition Business in the House
Arthur Williams – Information, Public Service, Labour and Leader of Opposition Business in the Senate
Kenneth Baugh – Health and Quality of Life
Karl Samuda – Transport, Works and Infrastructure Development
Edmund Bartlett – Tourism and Travel Service Development
J.C. Hutchinson – Agriculture, Mining and Natural Resource Use
Daryl Vaz – ICT and Digital Society Development
Horace Chang – Housing, Water and Environment
Shahine Robinson – Social Security and Poverty Reduction
Gregory Mair – Industry, Commerce and Energy
Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange – Youth, Sports, Gender Affairs, Entertainment and Culture
Desmond McKenzie – Urban Renewal, Rural Development and Local Government
Senator Christopher Tufton – Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Investment
Marisa Dalrymple-Philibert – Education and Human Resource Development.
In an earlier post, I said we should demand more from the Opposition. The Opposition’s effectiveness hinges on the effectiveness of its Shadow Ministers.
Some spokespersons, like Ed Bartlett and Olivia Grange were given portfolios with which they were very experienced, having shadowed the portfolio before and then having spent four years as the responsible Minister.
Others, like Christopher Tufton and Marisa Dalrymple-Philibert now have to master a new subject. So at this stage, they are not all on equal footing. In addition, it’s reasonable to expect that the JLP would still be re-grouping after their December 29 electoral loss. There will be assessments to be made, reviews and individual and collective soul-searching going on.
That said, since the Opposition Leader promised a vibrant Opposition, who have we seen and heard from so far?
Audley Shaw, Delroy Chuck, Horace Chang, Arthur Williams, Gregory Mair, Ken Baugh, Karl Samuda, Ed Bartlett and Desmond McKenzie are the primary spokespersons who have been visible, along with the Opposition Leader himself. Olivia Grange has so far been heard primarily responding to the government’s position on the Jamaica 50 celebrations.
We’ve heard very little, if anything, on their portfolio areas from Marisa Dalrymple-Philibert, Daryl Vaz, Shahine Robinson, J.C. Hutchinson or Christopher Tufton.
As stated, it’s early days yet, and another three to six months will give us a better picture of who’s taking their portfolio responsibilities seriously. It will be interesting to see if the list of who is speaking out or not changes in the months ahead.
Has anyone impressed you yet, and if so, who?