On the weekend, I pulled out a glossy flyer from my mail box. The flyer instructed me to vote one of the parties’ candidates for my constituency’s local government post.
I looked at the candidate’s picture, took note of a rather considerate calendar on the back of the flyer, sighed in exasperation and left it for my father to read instead.
How can Jamaica’s political leaders expect the eligible voting populace to even want to be involved in the political process when we are given so little reason to do so?!
I searched that flyer just trying to find some of the candidate’s qualifications for the position. Who is he really? What is he doing, has done and will do to help improve my community – the one he plans to serve? The flyer was so silent on the issues that truly matter.
Right now it remains to be seen (convincingly) just why local government is even relevant in a time where agencies like the National Works Agency (NWA), National Water Commission (NWC) and National Solid Waste Management Agency (NSWMA) manage much of the work listed under the councilor’s job description.
While my peers and I are struggling to see the benefit of this year’s local government elections, the potential representatives are having squabbles among themselves.
According to The Gleaner, sole Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) councilor for Portmore, Keith Blake is accusing the People’s National Party (PNP) of using their ten seat majority to block his contributions.
Blake’s claim is probably not an unjustifiable one but then, he ended up trading words with PNP councilor Fenley Douglas. Get it together! This is not about you. It is about us – the people who put you there.
And in Manchester (to the south-west of the island), as the Jamaica Observer reports opposition leader Portia Simpson Miller told supporters to do everything in their power “to ensure that the People’s National Party controls the parish councils across the country. We can retake the country by way of local government.”
Seriously? This is the best you can do to get a people so apathetic and disillusioned by the political populace to come out?
These days I just stop and look around my neighbourhood. The drain is unusable as the metal bars have deteriorated, a pipe main has burst releasing water all over the road, and the streets are in their worst state yet. I guess I should take some blame for this though. Did I report the problems? Do I even know who to report to? Not really?
But no way am I taking the fall alone. Future representatives, you need to do better too. Why are we giving you positions that are not helping us?
The next time you try to tell me where to put my valuable x, maybe you should be telling me the ‘why’ instead.
You can read the original stories mentioned above here: