Discontinue politics of scarce benefits
Politicians should be elected for their desire and ability to make socio-economic change.

Dear Editor,

Last week fleeting attention was brought to an example of the bad governance practised in our governmental framework for decades across political administrations regarding the intimate involvement of legislators directing State resources.

The Integrity Commission made a mess of the situation by unnecessarily embarrassing Prime Minister Andrew Holness and the country. At this stage the executive director of the commission Greg Christie may want to do us a favour and step aside, allowing us to focus on addressing the real issue of pork barrel politics instead of his proclivity for social media antics.

The reality we face is the fact that the politics practised in Jamaica is a recurrent contest to command the distribution of scare resources and largesse. Sadly, a critical mass of voters seeks to nominate and elect legislative representatives on the basis of their presumed ability and promise to manage the distribution of State resources and opportunities instead of their ability to advance legislative development for the socio-economic transformation of the society and people.

It is no wonder the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) remains a feature of the administration of the nation's governance. Far too many of our people have imbibed the notion that politicians are performing well when they contribute to the personal welfare of individual voters and supporters. The fact of the matter is legislators ought to represent the best developmental interests of their constituents through the tabling and debating of laws and policies which will constantly modernise the socio-economic landscape of the country to, inter alia, improve education, offer quality health care, provide a sense of national security, assure an effective justice system, create a stable space for commerce and industry, and ensure a dependable and practical regulatory environment.

There are institutions vested with the framework to effectively administer social services and provide assistance to the weak and vulnerable. The Social Development Commission is one such which is better suited to serve the needs of citizens requiring State support without the indignity of partisan political affiliation as a prerequisite. And if the commission needs to be resourced and modernised, then let us get on with it and discontinue this aimless waste of resources through the CDF. So, too, should the repair and maintenance of roadways and drainage systems be left to the technical competencies of the National Works Agency and not to the whims of partisan interests, wasting resources through the works of substandard road contractors.

We simply cannot continue on this path of sharing up and distributing the spoils of office between the two tribes, whose members only complain about the rot whenever they are not in command of the distribution machinery. It is time develop better systems of governance.

Mark A Hylton

St James


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