Over the years, the relationship between voters and political representatives has been deteriorating. The citizens of Jamaica have been significantly separated from the political process. The political gap is real and needs urgent attention.
According to the Electoral Commission of Jamaica, the September 2020 General Election voter turnout was 37.85 per cent. This is the lowest in Jamaica's political history.
Without a doubt, it clearly shows that the electorate is not supportive of the Government, despite the recent polls.
First, one of the two main issues is employment. This issue continues to widen the gap and should be addressed. Statistical Institute of Jamaica, in its report, highlighted that Jamaica's unemployment rate is 6 per cent. This is the lowest in Jamaica's history. Despite having the lowest unemployment rate, graduates are still unemployed and this is a critical issue.
Another issue at hand is the cost of living. As of January 2023, according to the Bank of Jamaica, the inflation rate was reduced to 8.1 per cent from 9.4 per cent when compared to December 2022. Though this is a reduction, the cost of living is still high. But, while this is from external shocks, the citizens are still looking to the Government to ease the burden.
Regardless of the issues, we are all aware that Jamaica is a developing country with a rating of B+ according to Fitch Ratings. This means that the country is economically stable and needs further work.
Notwithstanding the other issues, as a democratic country, the citizens should understand the responsibility cannot be placed on the politicians to grow this country alone. In order to sustain growth, we must come together, regardless of political affiliation, get productive and we will have positive results. As they always say, "Bird cannot fly on one wing."
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