Sunday, December 11, 2011
OH, how I wish I could claim the title of this column to be the result of my own creative genius, but noooo; it comes from Connectimass Founder and CEO Ingrid Riley who cites "javote2011's" definition of electile dysfunction as the inability to become aroused by any of the choices presented by both political parties.
It's a genius definition, no? It describes perfectly the condition that many of the Jamaican electorate find themselves faced with. On December 29 they have to make a choice between two long-term partners ("long-term" being the average five-year run of a love affair or starter marriage).
There's a statistic that says your happiness is largely (98 per cent) dependent on who you chose as a partner, so before we jump into bed with anyone let's examine both the People's National Party and the Jamaica Labour Party as we would a potential suitor and consider their strengths in the areas such as health, personality, dependability, intellect, accomplishments, sensitivity and maturity.
Healthy body? With all due respect to Mrs Holness, Andrew Holness is officially a 'hottie'. While he may have appeared a little nebbish before, there's always something very sexy about a man in a powerful position. Tall, green-eyed, strong teeth and boundless energy, it's clear that he is in good health and works out regularly, for despite his hectic overseas travel and campaign schedule and relentless back-pedalling on the exchange rate, vitriol towards media and the spy-plane matter, he's none the worse for wear.
Intellect. Truth be told, I cringed at the opposition leader's mangling of the newly coined phrase "pathologically mendacious" at a recent stump speech. Not that big words mean much, but at the very least we'd like our leaders to use them comfortably. And we'd also like our leaders to respect our intellectual capacity too: it is not true, Mr Prime Minister, that we're not hung up on specifics, we need to know that you know the facts.
Discipline. The best indication of someone's discipline is their respect for other people's time. Do they arrive on time? Do they show up when they say they'll be there? Politicians of either stripe are notorious late-comers and no-shows. No winner here.
Accomplishments. One apparent talent is the ability to pull in massive crowds with the promise of food, drink and a ticket to ride. The question here is a selfish one: "What have you done for me lately?". Think about it. Are you better off now than you were 10 years ago? Are you happier? Safer? Wealthier? Do you feel more secure about your future and the future of your children?
Personality. Who didn't fall asleep during the prime minister's more riveting speeches, namely the very long inauguration speech, his very short address to the nation on the JDIP scandal and the very highly anticipated announcement of the election date.
Trust. Can you trust either party to do what they say they will do? All those promises and sweet nothings in the ear just to get you into their lair. Mout mek fi say anything.
Money matters. Money is one of the leading causes of discord in a relationship. Is either party able to provide for or contribute to the well-being of your household, or do they expect you to pay every step of the way? Do they try to buy your love? Do they get increasingly richer as the poor get poorer? The planned reform of the current public sector pension plan is very telling. Asking our young policemen and soldiers to lay down their lives for us now, and then have them make their own preparations to pay their own future pensions or else live on a proposed paltry sum per month is ludicrous. And cheap. And selfish.
How does he treat his mother? The most important quality to look for in a mate is the tenderness of their heart. If the mother in this scenario represents the party elders and the party faithful -- the people who have brought them and the party along -- here the PNP is a clear winner. The JLP, on the other hand, has developed an unfortunate reputation of being capable of kicking leaders, ministers, representatives, activists, donors and workers to the kerb.
What is his attitude towards children? Instead of building enough schools, providing the schools with appropriate infrastructure resources and retaining sufficient quality teachers necessary to prevent the needless anxiety, worry and the loss of childhood, the PNP created the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) -- the worst type of educational cruelty that our children have ever had to submit to. While the JLP earns extra points for the institution of a free education -- as with anything, you get what you pay for.
Maturity. Kudos to Jenni Campbell, president of the Press Association of Jamaica, on her tough and protective stance for the members of her association. Come election time it is traditional that the ruling party cries foul and blames the media for what ails it. Blaming the messenger and issuing negative public utterances and veiled threats against journalists and media workers is childish. Neither party wins here.
Good luck with your selection, ladies and gentlemen.
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