Thursday, 22 January 2015

The Jamaican Liberal Whistler: #TruthBeToldThursday: #TivoliCOE

The Jamaican Liberal Whistler: #TruthBeToldThursday: #TivoliCOE: Truth be Told:    We must complete the Tivoli Commission of Enquiry, at the any cost (cheapest possible cost included, of course) - It was...

#TruthBeToldThursday: #TivoliCOE

Truth be Told:  

We must complete the Tivoli Commission of Enquiry, at the any cost (cheapest possible cost included, of course) - It was nothing but a serious injustice that the state could have killed over 70 people within a single community and the masses of the population didn't decide in outrage to protest such a criminal act against our own people - then again - we all heard the whispers of some (not so nice) Jamaicans "yea man, killed them off", "a only badman live there".  Even as we call for the expected money of 350 million being budgeted to run the Commission off Enquiry in its entirety to be dispersed as compensation to the people of Tivoli Gardens, we must not be ignorant of the significance of getting to the truth and apply the expected recommendations as to not repeat the events of the past. We must not allow our apathy and contempt of the system/process rob us of our rights - the Jamaica Labour Party must own up to the cause and structure of this enquiry - it was the government lead by Bruce Golding that decided to carry-out the incursion and it was their decision not to be apart of the enquiry in its planning stages, so this flurry of concern over cost is a bit overdone. 

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

#TuesdayTalk: Democracy Is Not Just Voting

#TuesdayTalk: Democracy is not just “Vote Out and Vote In”

When we #Talk about the issues surrounding democracy, governance and voting; the parameter of the discussion always includes our forefathers fighting to give us adult suffrage for both men and women so that we would all have a voice in the running of the nation. At first glance there is nothing to disagree with but to allow the struggles of our ancestors to be limited and set as static would be an injustice to their fight and continued cause that many people’s across the world continue to uphold and strive for, as democracy isn’t as widespread or as straightforward as we in Jamaica must now come to realize.

If we are to be truthful about how seriously we have taken governance in this country and holding these political representatives feet to the flame, we would be downright cross with ourselves.  We have been lead, paid and tricked to believe that we would have fulfilled our democratic obligations by making an ‘X’ (preferably beside a head or bell), and dipping our fingers – only if it was that easy.  Your obligations don’t end and begin with a vote but includes other critical building blocks of democracy and governance for example:  identifying the issues, discussing the issues, keeping up with local and central government  policies, sharing your cause and ideals through a medium (including social networks ) – support and encourage peaceful  protest actions.

The mass public of apathetic citizens and loyalist identified as “ordinary Jamaicans” by a certain Member Parliament has far too long been dragged about by the repressive political winds and must decide that they want something more– the “articulate minority” must not see themselves as a fixed group of tweeting Jamaicans but in fact as messengers of change that must reach out and grow.

We must not be comfortable any longer with a governance system that represses the voice of the people and rejects other forms of democratic action (e.g. recalls) – there must be change by way of constitutional reform that will reaffirm that democracy is by the people. 

Let it then be known that voting is not the absolute and will never be.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

#TruthBeToldThursday: Tuesday's Letter of The Day

by M.Boothe

Truth Be Told: Christopher Phillips  deservedly got the "Letter of The Day:  in The Gleaner on Tuesday, this letter entitled: "Time To Draw A Line In The Sand" had the passion of "Change" that we so desperately need in this country if are to truly see better days ahead, especially among the youth in high schools and colleges across Jamaica.  Here are some of the 7 changes Christopher thinks will get us moving "in the right direction:

"Stop calling politicians 'leaders', call them 'public servants' instead. Stop treating politicians like they are better than us. When, or if, we call someone a leader, it should be off of merit and the title earned by their actions, not by them simply winning an election. Stop inflating their egos."

Agreed, we saw in 2014 - the flaring egos of politicians that saw the masses of Jamaicans as "Ordinary" and those who dare question their intentions or even cared about the running of the country as an "Articulate Minority"...... lets not rehash old flames....

"Hold politicians accountable, no matter what. Whether you support the PNP, JLP or the NDM, hold them accountable. Their mistakes will cost US, not THEM. If you had your own business and an employee misappropriated large sums of company MONEY what would you do? Give them a pat on the back and say, "job well done", or even do nothing and continue business as usual?"

Accountability is key to any Democracy but the system and the rules must be able to support the people, who are the very foundation of a nation's democracy; Governance Reform and Constitutional overhaul is critical to this and for including the "Right to Recall" must be seen as a priority. Too long has the system upheld "Political Parties and Politicians" above the "Ordinary Jamaican" people...

"Support politicians when they defy the party line and stand up for us. Disagreeing with others in your party over different topics is called a functioning democracy, it is not dissent, unless we live in a dictatorship. Especially when they choose to side with the people of Jamaica, we need to show them support and encourage them."

Not only should we blast cronyism and loyalism of the worst kind, but we should seek to give those with audacity to go against the wave a morale boost, sending the signal that its not political suicide but rather activism.

 Embrace and support your fellow citizens trying to make a difference. The general response when I supported the planned demonstration of the Outameni debacle was, "what you think that will do?". Is it any wonder Jamaica is in its current state if this is the general attitude we have? If others are finding the courage to go out and stand up for something, at least have the moral will to support their actions, rather than ridicule them.
Although the word 'cowardice" as been flaunted, I refuse to accept that characterization of the  people, but rather describe the mindset as "apathetic", the entire democratic process has boiled down to vote, curse and survive to hopefully vote again... with periodical "run a work" (JEEP) (JDIP) thrown between to mimic progress...
Christopher ended with this challenge to all of us:
I challenge all well-thinking, patriotic Jamaicans to finally put your country before person and party. I want you to really start giving a damn and to put your foot down. It's time we draw a line in the sand and let all government officials and politicians know we are not going to take this anymore.

Read the full letter here: