Congrats, JLP, now get to work quickly


Congrats, JLP, now get to work quickly

Friday, September 04, 2020

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With the general election now out of the way, it is vital that the new Government gets settled quickly as the country cannot afford a protracted approach to the measures necessary for an effective response to the novel coronavirus pandemic and its effect on the economy, health, education, tourism, and other sectors that are vital to our survival.

In that regard, we hope that arrangements will be made to have Mr Andrew Holness sworn in as prime minister in the next few days, that he will name his Cabinet immediately after that and have them on the job the same day that they are sworn.

We note that the campaign for this election was, for the most part, clean. Indeed, we had observed that, up until last Friday, both parties had opted to woo voters with advertisements that outlined their plans for the country. Probably we were just too optimistic, as they simply couldn't resist the urge to attack. But such is the nature of this blood sport called politics.

Our hope, though, is that the political parties will further aid the process of getting more of the Jamaican electorate to exercise their right to vote on the basis of serious issues, rather than blind loyalty and buffoonery. After 58 years of self-government the country needs to be well beyond the politics of theatre.

In that regard, we were encouraged by the robust debate about some of the manifesto promises made by both the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and the People's National Party (PNP), albeit they came on the eve of the election. The lateness is understandable this time, given the very short campaign forced by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

There were, of course, other policy positions outlined by both parties that needed greater examination. However, the electorate will have the opportunity to hold the JLP to those promises throughout its term in office. So too should the PNP in its role as the parliamentary Opposition.

This newspaper, certainly, will fulfil its role in keeping the Government to account.

Understandably, after each election there will be some level of disappointment within the ranks of the vanquished. Dr Peter Phillips and his team will therefore have the job of guiding their supporters to accept the results because it is the will of the majority.

Equally, Mr Holness and his team must do all in their power to assure the country that they will govern without political prejudice. For theirs is the task to steer Jamaica to greater development.

It's a tough job, but people who offer themselves for political office know full well the requirements of public service. At the forefront of their minds must be strident belief that this is neither JLP nor PNP country. This is Jamaica, our home. The land we love.

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