US Jamaicans give mixed reactions to election results

BY HAROLD G BAILEY Sunday Observer writer

Monday, January 02, 2012


NEW YORK, United States — As with their compatriots in their homeland, there has been mixed reactions among Jamaican nationals here to the results of Thursday's general election which saw the defeat of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) administration.

Many have also expressed surprise at the margin of victory which the People's National Party (PNP) secured and the loss suffered by some of the big names in politics.

But checks by the Sunday Observer here have revealed a guarded sense of expectation of the new Government among Jamaicans. There is a feeling that the new administration will need to take some tough decisions to address the many challenges facing the country.

Claudia Pyke, who heads the New York Chapter of G2K, the young professional arm of the JLP, expressed the hope that economic growth and security will be among the main priorities of the new Government.

"We need to put all negatives behind us and work for the development of Jamaica, now that the Jamaican people have made their choice," she said.

She was among those who expressed surprise at the landslide victory of the PNP over the JLP.

Pyke said she is expecting that the Portia Simpson Miller-led Government will address the concerns of the diaspora.

Echoing similar sentiments, Roy Davidson, who heads the powerful National Association of Jamaica and Supportive Organisations (NAJASO), said that body was "ready to work with the new administration, especially in those areas where the diaspora has the expertise to assist the development process".

In his response, Irwin Clare, who will assume the leadership of the Jamaica Diaspora Board for the North East United States this month, congratulated Simpson Miller and the PNP on winning the election. He warned, however, that those who are charged with governing "must remain cognizant of the fact that corruption cannot be part of the governance process".

He listed the corruption issue as one of his top concerns and urged the new administration to make "its eradication, a top priority".

Clare also wants to see a reform of the justice system "to reflect a situation where all feel, and are equal under the law".

Desmond Clarke, who presides over the Jamaica National Movement (JNM) said he thinks the new Government will do well, given the fact "the PNP seems to have demonstrated that it understands the situation facing the country".

Like others interviewed, Clarke expressed surprise at the wide margin of victory by the PNP.

Pennsylvania-based Jamaican Dorothy Snipe, an accounting clerk, said the country should now settle down and "work together for the betterment of everyone".

Meanwhile, Cornel Henry, a Connecticut-based Jamaican businessman, said while he anticipated the result of the election, he did not anticipate the margin of victory.

Audley Sylvester, the Jamaican-born Brooklyn-based businessman who in previous interviews had expressed the hope for a more serious effort by Government at reducing crime, said he hoped the incoming administration will focus a great deal of its attention on this issue.

He also wants to see the new Government "keep and build on those policies which the outgoing administration had implemented and which are sound policies that can move the country forward".

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Mark Forbes
1/3/2012 - 3:26 PM
@Chef Chef, it is supporters like you with no intelligence to insult that caused the JLP lose the election. Instead of remaining silent you 'bright up' yourselves and caused the JLP to believe that the majority of Ja'cans were like you.
Raymond Clarke
1/3/2012 - 2:33 PM
I wish Jamaica well! However, I after seeing what the PNP had done to Jamaica for 18years and the what Bruce had done in 4 years, I have little hope. After 18years you think the JLP would have been prepared to run the government. Portia did not need to do much to win, in fact, she did not have a coherent plan. I truly hope that eventually she will use this victory to invite smart, capable people to run the government, because the current team is a relic of the past, which is not good for Jamaic
Anthony Williams
1/3/2012 - 12:41 PM
Was this the decision of the electorate. After all only 28% of registered voters voted for the winning party. What are the expectations of the 2 governments from other countries that interfered in the election. Also can the gays be ignored after pouring funds into the campaign and therefore the outcome of the elections. Will they have their say once and for all, will the buggery law be repealed or will they be disappointed yet again.
Christopher Caine
1/3/2012 - 4:07 AM
Jamaica is not a democracy. The judiciary system is weak. The rule of law is not enforced.The masses are uneducated. We are ruled by tyrants lining their pockets with gold. The educated have left or are highly motivated to leave. Hopelessness is the poison that the governing economic tyrants spread. Until the rule of law is enforced, and people feel safe and a sense of justice prevails, how can the honest majority feel other than apathy and contempt for a government ruled by tyrants.
Peter Lawrence
1/2/2012 - 11:41 PM
The diaspora has no mixed reactions based on the reported comments. All the statements are acknowledging the vibrancy of Jamaican democracy and wishing the winning party well. OBAMA could not have had a worse legacy from the Republicans(except civil war) yet he had no leeway to clap his mout' and point blame, kikiki!!! A man has to STAND in the politics there. You campaigned assiduously, neglected your family life , spent money to get something? In America , you get it? You Live with it/fix it.
Chef Chef
1/2/2012 - 11:34 PM
I hope they import enough crime scene tape, look at St. James and it only day 5 days since the P.N.P. took office, God Help us!!!
Shar Cham
1/2/2012 - 11:29 PM
@Nicolas Henry. I agree with you Tufton worked hard.
maroon C.
1/2/2012 - 6:53 PM
i am calling on all Jamaican's with concerns to wear a little black bow on your shirt to mark the dark days ahead and to mourn for Jamaica, weather u r a labourite or a PNP (republican-like/Bully).
Mark Chin
1/2/2012 - 5:21 PM
anarchy is back again, right is wrong and wrong is right, Jamaica no problem.
Meat Head
1/2/2012 - 5:15 PM
I can easily see why the reaction is mixed. The best outcome is the new govt. will maintain the status quo. They are unlikely to make things better because they are caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place. We are up against borrowing limits and the austerity, as advocated by the Gleaner, will only worsen the situation. In other words, the election was like a dog chasing a car. What happens when the dog catches the car?
Ras Benji
1/2/2012 - 3:54 PM
Jamaicans on the rock have just made a political blunder. Not that the PNP didn't win the elections, they most certainly did. The blunder was the lagre percentage who stayed away from the voting booth. Failing to show up meant that those who did show up, decided the fate of THEM ALL. It's well known that the PNP's base is larger then the JLP's. Simple!
Let's understand ...governance is a two-edged sword. Let's hope the new government can skillfully confront the coming realities.
One Love!
St. Ann
1/2/2012 - 3:43 PM
@Nicolas Henry. You are upset that the party of your preference did not win the election, if you don't have any thing positive to say you must join JLP bloggers like Tom Stroke, Devon T, Nejeeper KNG and others in exile. The decision of the electorate must be respected.

Chipmunk L.
1/2/2012 - 1:54 PM
Portia and the Party requested a mandate which they have now been given. It is time to put up and show the Country and the World that Jamaicans are moving forward in a positive manner. She asked the people to believe in her and now she needs to show positive leadership. dismantling of the Garrisons, clean policing with Officers not siding with any party but working for Nation's well being shall be first and foremost.
Good luck Jamaica! let us be positive from here on!
Richie L
1/2/2012 - 1:18 PM
Who are these diaspora groups? How can I join?
Observer is always quoting representatives from these groups as if they really represent Jamaicans abroad. They represent themselves not Jamaicans abroad.
Hear me: these groups DO NOT represent Jamaicans abroad. They don't speak for me. Most Jamaicans have never heard of them. NEVER!
Observer claims one of them is "powerful". How so? What power do they have or have exercized?
maroon C.
1/2/2012 - 1:00 PM
I am disgusted with those ppl who r now coming forward and calling on all Jamaican's to now work together, where were they when the JLP was rebuilding from the 18 1/2 years of destruction and needed every one help to give us another term to fixed all the PNP disaster? u stand back and criticize and opposed, well, guest what? we r now the opposition and we will play a very active role. Ja. is not a coalition government so don't expect us to work together, u r the govt. if u cant manage step aside
karl blanchard
1/2/2012 - 12:14 PM
Not too optimistic about this Government either, In my honest opinion Jamaica needed to give this young man with fresh ideas a chance.Portia will do nothing to stem this tsunami of violence,insanity and immorality plaguing our country!
Import tons of "Crime Scene Do Not Cross" tape you guys will need it in 2012!
Chuck Emanuel
1/2/2012 - 12:00 PM
People must be held ACCOUNTABLE for criminality and corruption. The dithering on the serious proposals from the Contractor General and Auditor General to stem corruption must now be given top priority by this incoming Administration.
Justin Wright
1/2/2012 - 10:02 AM
This govt. will assume the same road well travelled of the past, but will now dismantle any evidence of JLP misdeeds. They cannot say or play the same music the JLP used on the Jamaican people blaming the previous govt. Homosexuality will be on the back burner unless true to form, Gays likes to be seen and heard. The continued prosecution of Spencer, Trafigura, must have their day in court. Accountability of JDIP must continue, & Garrison politics scaled down to unity among all inner city youths
Nicolas Henry
1/2/2012 - 9:39 AM
JA cannot be better and will not be better under JLP or PNP. All of u better wake up & accept that reality. The hustling, eat a food mentality of the people will cuz any of the party to loose big if rules are enforced to block the voters "hustle". The voter words, "Dem a box food outa wi mouth". Tufton I believe is a casualty because he suspended the destructive scrap metal trade, & changed the net size used by fishermen to prevent the catching of baby fishes. What he got, booted outa "JAMROCK"
wanda woeman
1/2/2012 - 7:35 AM
The PNP can show that it is against corruption by giving offices like the C.G power to prosecute and sanctions must be stiffened.
It is not right that an administration has to be out of office before criminal proceedings can be taken against people who have breached the people's trust.
If the PNP has not learned from recent happenings then their head are tough and they don't deserve our support.
Ministers must learn that if they engage in corrupt activities then they are on their own.
Jay Henry
1/2/2012 - 6:55 AM
for all the talk over the years by people who say they were empowering the pople, it was all rhetoric. Karl Marx, fredric engels, hitler,the illuminati, all the ruthless people uttered the same talk as portia but in the end, empowered themselves,enriched themselves.They were all under the colour of the red too. history being repeated.
7 hours ago · Like
RazorsharpMasta CleanShirt and guess what 2 , all o' these people and entity had gay tendencies.notice the similarities.pnp is going to be winning elections for next 100 years if we aren't careful with this factor