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We get the government we deserve

Monday, July 09, 2012

Dear Editor,

It is beyond me and rational thinking why my fellow Jamaicans and

taxpayers expect so much from our political representatives or are surprised at their behaviour and substandard performance. The responses from the media and the public regarding the disgusting behaviour of the elected officials cracked me up really good - bad I should say, and forced me to once again ask myself: why are some people surprised or disappointed and why do they expect better?

We have a political system in Jamaica where MPs are not elected on the strength of their character and decency or their commitment, dedication or planned development for the constituency, but are elected along party lines, trickery, vote buying and empty promises. Equally, when that party is eventually elected into power, Cabinet posts and other critical government positions are not assigned to the most suitable people who are most competent with the appropriate skills set, no. Instead, post assignments are treated as rewards, party purification and power balancing.

So tell me now, my fellow Jamaicans, why, when we are confronted with massive crime, poor economy, education problems, health woes and other social ills, do we try to fool ourselves as if to say we were caught off guard? Why when our parliamentarians behave the way they do in the House we get all upset, when there was no vetting of their character? In fact, we knew beforehand about their distastefulness... as we saw them on the campaign trail and in other settings. Jamaicans, wake up, only in a dictatorship is a government forced on a people and invariably that will be dismantled in the form of a revolution. In all democracies, as in Jamaica, a people will get the government they deserve and no better. Agree with me or not, we created the Jamaica that we have, and the recent disgraceful behaviour of those MPs is a true reflection of us as a people and our socially acceptable norms. We put them there and we are the ones keeping them there.

Richard Patterson


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