Fitz-Henley urges more young people to get involved in political process
GOVERNMENT Senator Abka Fitz-Henley has challenged more young Jamaicans to get involved in the political process as they yearn for improvements in the functioning of key areas of society.
Fitz-Henley has also called on Jamaicans between the ages of 18 and 35 to get enumerated and participate in the process of determining who forms the Government by voting in the next general election.
The recently appointed senator made the call as he addressed the Jamaica Labour Party’s (JLP) Kingston Western constituency conference at Tivoli Gardens High School on Thursday.
“On my way in here, and while I’ve been campaigning across the country, I have observed quite a few young people on the political hustings, and that made me feel good. In fact, I’m calling on more young people to not listen to people who talk about involvement in the political process as a bad thing â€” it’s not something to be ashamed of.
“Get involved, get enumerated. Be active among various political groups because the truth of the matter is, politics is one of the most effective means by which positive change may be achieved,” said Fitz-Henley as he urged Jamaicans not to be satisfied with voicing discontent on social media but to move towards taking tangible steps to have their voices heard directly in the political corridors of power.
“So, part of my message here today is: ‘Don’t just cuss on Twitter and TikTok, get involved. Get to know your leaders and advocate on the issues. The political arena is not all doom and gloom. It is a good channel to have your voices heard, to help people who are in need of assistance, and to take steps which you are sure can move the country forward,” added Fitz-Henley.
The Government senator noted that the voter turnout in the 2016 General Election was 47.7 per cent and the turnout in 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, was 37.8 per cent.
“I strongly believe if more of us between the age of 18 and 35 resolve to become involved in participating in the political arena, and also choosing who governs us, it would be a good thing,” argued Fitz-Henley.
He said he is challenging his generation to get enumerated and turn out to polling stations in their numbers, so that when Prime Minister Andrew Holness calls the next general election the voter turnout will be much higher.
“This is not a call motivated by a desire for sheer political gain; it’s a call made in a bid to improve the good functioning of our democracy. However, with that said, I am confident that the younger cohort of Jamaicans will observe the achievements of the Government of Prime Minister Andrew Holness and decide that we are best to continue moving the country forward,” said Fitz-Henley.
He told the Labourites gathered in the constituency, which is represented by Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Desmond McKenzie, that he also recognises that people currently involved in the political space have a duty to conduct themselves in a manner which is above board and entices the younger generation to view politics not in a negative fashion but as an attractive and effective medium by which positive change may be achieved.