Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! Dr ThompsonWednesday, October 28, 2020
Dr Canute Thompson's piece in the Jamaica Observer under the headline 'I've switched to supporting Lisa Hanna' is evidently well thought out. I expected no less. There are major elements of dialogical reasoning, but too often he strays from the facts and inserts opinions which lead to logical inconsistencies in his conclusion.
He quite rightly analyses the major questions facing the People's National Party, and asserts that the party should not follow the 'playbook' of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), but be guided by its own analysis. Its own analysis is set out in the appraisal reports of 2007, 2016, and anecdotally referenced in the last general election. It is clear from the analyses that “the paramount importance of unity as a fundamental requirement for the party's success” is more important than the leader's popularity. The disunity led to its defeat in 2007, although Portia Simpson Miller was the most popular political figure in Jamaica. Furthermore, a 20 per cent popularity rating, on any account, is a mere blip.
The first point of note is Dr Thompson's failure to point us to any new and compelling evidence which has caused a shift in his support from Mark Golding to Lisa Hanna. What new has he discovered about either, favourable or unfavourable, which has not been in the public domain for some time? The analysis remains consistent, but the conclusion faulty. It is here that the logical inconsistency arises which exposes the fallacy in Dr Thompson's conclusion.
In fact, his earlier support for Mark Golding would follow on the path of logic if he brings to his scholarly approach a review of the past history and performance of the two candidates. Hanna has failed to unite her constituency, and, in fact, the persistent division has raised questions of anti-party activities. Leadership must resolve problems, not find excuses for them.
Every other of the eight points raised by Dr Thompson in support of Hanna is true of her, as it is of Mark Golding. The “spirit of unity” that both Dr Thompson and myself regard as paramount, buttressed by empirical evidence, would ultimately lead to the kind of reflective thinking that favours Mark Golding as the better of the two candidates at this time.
Mark Golding has demonstrated that he is the better candidate by his past actions, and not by convenience of an argument about “willingness to learn” to build unity and consensus in an environment of opportunity. Nor does he have to resort to some 'conversation of gesture' through a glibly platitudinous statement about “attuned to the paramount importance” of unity.
The “spirit and energy” of the party will definitely come through its ideological moorings. This is important to the party's delegates and supporters and the vast majority of the people of Jamaica who are aligned personally and philosophically to the cause of the masses. This is why we reference Jamaica as “PNP country”. It is not so now since the party has drifted too much to the right.
Mark Golding's umbilical cord is linked to the progressive agenda of the PNP and the masses. He carries no ideological baggage from the past. If PNP is to move back to its roots, and if unity is to be the clarion call for success, who, then, Dr Thompson, by logic and deductive reasoning is the better candidate to lead the party at this time?
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