Who called the 2011 general election?
As a delegate of the Jamaica Labour Party anticipating our annual conference next month, I have a simple question that I want answered by my party leaders. Who called the December 29, 2011 general election?
It is a question to which I and no one else in the JLP at my level can get a straight answer. I ask because it was obvious to me that the party was not ready to contest a general election. For one, the candidate in my constituency was obviously set to lose, given his performance and absence as a member of parliament, because he was busy being minister.
To make matters worse, delegates and party workers were not consulted when the JLP set about changing leadership in October last year. Our leaders did not respect us enough to even ask us who we thought should succeed Bruce Golding as leader. I was shocked to see Bustamante's party through "back-room dealings" put Andrew Holness forward, based on polls which said he was popular and even worse, what the news media - half of whom I believe hate the JLP - want. It is the biggest mistake in the JLP's history.
It is no surprise to me then that the JLP again secretly set about deciding on an election date without talking to their supporters on the ground who would have told them in pure Jamaican patois that "wi nuh ready". It was very irresponsible judgement. The only organised group of party people from Kingston to my constituency was a team of young people from G2K - that was it. There was no support from the party secretariat, not even accurate voters' guides and proper training which are basic for any election.
I humbly wait for the JLP conference to see if my question will be answered. It needs to be answered, especially with the disaster now befalling the people of Jamaica, all because from my standpoint the JLP failed to talk to the people before rushing to make decisions.