‘The debate helped somewhat’

‘The debate helped somewhat’

Saturday, November 19, 2016

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The Jamaica Debates Commission Wednesday night hosted the first of two debates featuring representatives of the two major politial parties — the ruling Jamaica Labour Party and the Opposition People’s National Party — that are contesting the November 28 Local Government Election. The points and counterpoints have created a stir among the voting public, but as to whether it will impact voter turnout is yet to be seen.

On Thursday the Jamaica Observer team of staff reporter Racquel Porter and photographer Antonio Graham visited busy Half-Way-Tree, St Andrew, to solicit some views on the debate.

“I found it very interesting in terms of the councillors getting $45 million. I was surprised how the monies were spent. What was interesting is the Local Government Fund; they could have gone more in-depth, it was very insightful. What I didn’t like was the way they answered the questions. I liked Desmond McKenzie’s closing remark. Dr Angela Brown Burke was not bad; she was the one who helped the People’s National Party. It would be nice if it weren’t so personal. I will be voting. The debate helped me somewhat. I didn’t take local government election serious before the debate. ”

— Lisa O’Conner-Dennie

“It wasn’t all that interesting because they didn’t answer what the panel asked or maybe the panel did not ask the appropriate questions. The Jamaica Labour Party tried to explain a lot to the people. I would give the JLP 55 per cent and the People’s National Party 45 per cent based on what I saw. But I won’t be voting.”

— Ian Creary

“Well, this morning I was listening to the radio, they were talking about Keneisha Allen. Out of all the candidates she seemed to be more insightful. Her approach was refreshing, she seems like the ideal candidate. Regarding her comments about not voting for the PNP if a mosquito has ever bitten you — rhetorics in debates are necessary. It makes a serious situation light, but it is still potent. The JLP’s mandate is to reduce the mosquitoes. My intention was to vote in terms of the change of Government. JLP seems active even with the ‘We Care’ campaign. They seem like they are in a working mode.”

— Valinton Brown

“It was more political, they did not directly answer the questions. It was a lot of nice words, but it didn’t get anywhere. I will vote, but the debate did not influence me.”

— Denton Scott

“I think they answered the questions and I think they gave the solutions as well, especially the mosquito problem in Portmore. I think Angela Brown Burke was the best speaker.”

— Bryan Brown


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