Political debates are necessary

February 19, 2016
Political party flags in August Town, St Andrew, in December.

They say truth is stranger than fiction, and nowhere else in this world is that more true than in this country called Jamaica.

So, an election is coming less than a week from today and we will not have any debates because the ruling party refuses to do so. Why? Because they want questions answered about the house that the opposition leader is building. This, by the way, is in a country where 78 per cent of Parliamentarians have failed to declare their assets to the Integrity Commission, which is a criminal offence. So, there are 67 of 86 Parliamentarians - dominated by the ruling party - who have failed to submit records of their assets, yet the Government is refusing to debate because they have questions about the means one man used build a big house.

This is also a party where one of their own is also building a big house, but not a single shot has been fired about that.

What is even more stunning is that the zombies loyal to the ruling party are justifying the rubbish, not realising that they are the ones who are being short-changed. The ruling party has for the past three years done a good job of stabilising Jamaica's economy, one that they helped run into the ground for 18 or the 22 years prior to their current term of office. But people are still suffering and suffering badly.

Salaried Jamaicans can't make ends meet, and high- school and college graduates can't find work. Crime is rampant, especially in some areas where most of the visitors to our island frequent, and in those areas, the only jobs Jamaicans can get are menial ones. There is a lot that the ruling party has to answer to, yet they don't want to debate the issues.

Even in the USA, where the insanity is at an all-time high with the Republican presidential candidates wanting to make 'America white again', the super-rich even richer, and deny universal health care to the average American, they aggressively debate about who can do it best.

But here, the ruling party thinks it best to avoid debating the attendant issues and really convince people that they are the better option going forward. Maybe they are, but nobody just walks into a job, no matter how skilled they are, without doing an interview.

And what the zombies, who are on social media supporting the foolishness about not debating and setting the country back 20 years in the process, fail to realise is that it is their behaviour why politicians continue to abuse their powers in such a barefaced fashion. The blind acceptance of whatever their party says and does is why these politicians can vote to raise their own salaries, increase their pension benefits, buy expensive vehicles, build

castles, and have their kids attend school and get medical care overseas without having to be accountable to the people who put them in power.

Whether you are PNP or JLP, debates should be a crucial part of any democratic process. Democracy means that all sides should be allowed to discuss the pros and cons of policy and the respective visions so that the people can make more informed decisions about who they will select to help move the country forward.

Politics is not supposed to be about personal beefs between people over who owns what and how big it is. If that was the case, the ruling party would also have a lot to answer to, but I guess we have selective vision, and that is why those of us who actually use our brains will continue to see nothing but darkness in our immediate future because instead of taking steps forward, we just took 10 steps backward.

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