Transformational or coward?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014    

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Dear Editor,

Leader of the Opposition Andrew Holness must rein in Everald Warmington if he wants to show to the Jamaican populace that he is the transformational leader he claims to be. If he is afraid to do that, then one can only classify him as a coward in his own party.

To brush aside the statements made by Warmington, as a mere recognition that we should be focusing on compulsory voting, is at best a poor reflection of the direction in which Holness would lead this country if by some mere stroke of good fortune the JLP is returned to power.

Was Warmington saying to his constituents that in order for them to have access to the "scarce benefits and spoils" they must pass the litmus test that he has set, and that he must be convinced that they have voted?

Is Warmington holding his constituents to ransom by saying they must vote in order to benefit?

What Warmington is suggesting, by virtue of his utterance, is a threat to the electorate and a total hijacking of the electoral process. Let us also recall that this is not the first time that he has made such a call. He made it clear in his May 2004 parliamentary speech that people who don't vote in elections should not expect support from elected representatives. This was not an off-the-script comment.

The ball is now in Holness's court to indicate to the Jamaican people that he is not only a man of talk but also a man of the mettle he claims to be. Anything short of disciplinary action against Warmington is an indication that he is a weak leader and that he subscribes to the notion that some persons must be marginalised.

Ralston Chamberlain

ralston.chamberlain@alum.utoronto.ca

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