Let the good ones serve

Friday, October 13, 2017

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Dear Editor,

Dr Shane Alexis has done what he should have a long time ago. He has now taken to the necessary steps to gain Jamaican citizenship. When the process is complete all will be settled.

As a Commonwealth citizen he is legally eligible to enter representational politics in Jamaica. And I understand that there are others presently sitting in the Jamaican Parliament by virtue of being Commonwealth citizens. Will the 'guilty' ones on both sides step forward? Time for the hypocrisy to stop.

People's National Party (PNP) candidate for the St Mary South Eastern seat, Dr Shane Alexis, is probably getting more free advertisement than he or his party could possibly afford. Those who brought it up and expected to benefit from it might find that it may very well have backfired on them. Alexis has now become very popular across the Jamaican landscape, and what more can a politician ask for than to be seen and heard in both the electronic and print media.

Every local TV station, radio station, news headlines, talk show programme, newspaper, and every social media platform has his handsome face and/or his name on it. The electronic and print media are having a feast.

Political historians, politicians, social scientists, local immigration experts, journalists, and the common man are excited by the contest and its ramifications.

The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Government has 32 seats and the PNP has 31. If the JLP wins the St Mary South Eastern seat it will have 33 seats and the PNP 30 seats. Will the results change the balance of power in Parliament? No, not really, but it's about bragging rights and accolades. It will simply generate a whole lot of discussion. I imagine, too, that the rehash of this issue may well hurt some emotions as a few Jamaican politicians experienced sadness the last time this issue came to prominence. Some are still hurting financially due to lost dual citizenship and legal fees paid or still owed.

I earnestly hope that both the JLP and PNP will have learned valuable lessons from this experience, and ensure that they do their due diligence and check every dot and cross every 't' before prospective candidates are chosen and announced.

History is replete with examples of people who served their adopted country with distinction, commitment and patriotism for very long periods, and have been more productive than those who sing “I man born yah”. Former Prime Minister Edward Phillip George Seaga comes readily to mind.

Let us not discourage potentially good people with solid education, integrity, and a willingness to serve from entering politics, because if we don't get the good ones in, then only the corrupt ones will worm their way into Gordon House.

Whitley McLean





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