PNP leadership race a waste of time

Letters to the Editor

PNP leadership race a waste of time

Thursday, October 15, 2020

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Dear Editor,

It has become apparent that the People's National Party (PNP) has learned little from the devastation which followed its attempt to force an unwanted leader on the electorate. A defiant and determined PNP, ever in election mode, is headed back the polls to waste precious time selecting a party leader, once again ignoring the data.

In 2016, they handed the Comrade leader position to Dr Peter Phillips on a platter, despite the fact that the party delegates had rejected him on two occasions, echoing the sentiments of the general electorate. But the members took the decision that it was his time and the party suffered, now left haemorrhaging after defeats in by-elections, one uncontested by-election, and a whitewash at the recent general election which left the party with a paltry 14 seats in Parliament.

We hoped that the party would have taken lessons from the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) when it chose to coalesce around Andrew Holness in 2011, rather than force an unnecessary election following Bruce Golding's resignation. But, not the PNP. Old-time Jamaicans would say, “Dem head tough!”

A recent internal poll commissioned by Don Anderson revealed Lisa Hanna as the favourite to lead the party among Members of Parliament (MP), delegates, and the wider population — 34 per cent of MPs, 43 per cent who identified themselves as delegates, 37 per cent of those who identified as PNP supporters, and 31 per cent who identified as JLP supporters.

Why then would the PNP waste precious time heading into yet another election next month? This against the backdrop that local government elections are to follow and the party is almost certainly in line for another walloping.

The party workers must be out of steam by now. It's no wonder they keep losing. These two months could have been better spent reorganising. But a group of 'smart' Comrades have decided that Mark Golding, who is as dull as Peter Phillips, must be put forward as leader. It is actually a fun show to watch them trying to make him hip — dancing, playing ball and all.

Just as One PNP vs Rise United did the party no good, so shall this leadership race, which in fact is a sequel to the 2019 show. Someone will be left bitter and crying on November 7 when the dust settles and will take along his/her followers.

Will the PNP recover swiftly enough from this one to win an election in another five years? Time will tell. And, as we know, time waits on no man.

Ann-Marie Tennant

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