Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Constitutional Reform: A Must Before 2030

Truth: The failure of our political leaders to notice the decay of our democracy was no mere oversight; rather it was an omission of a selfish nature that comes with the territory of the Jamaican political leadership that puts self before constituents and nation

The idea that the system is for the powerful few and not the majority has sent the constitutional reform discussion into the void of ‘soft issues’ or ‘that cyaa eat’ grey area of the Jamaican consciousness.

The Internal power struggles of the past couple of weeks in the two major political parties cannot and should not be passed along as simple politicking, especially after an unfortunate fiery climax in MP.Raymond Pryce’s North-East St Elizabeth constituency.

Peoples National Party
Another unpleasant example included Dr Bloomfield losing his candidate selection race then being reinstated after a strong showing on an internal poll, the Peoples National Party’s General Secretary tried to explain that party delegates did understand the party constitution and its regulations – that the candidate selection was an “indicative” ballot due the constituency being “provisional”. The action of the party would have offended any laypersons grasp of democracy.

It must be seen for what it is; a complete disregard for democratic principles, corrupt processes and glaring mistrust in our political system and institutions.

Renewed Effort

With the shady inner workings of the political parties on full display and in the light, there must be tripled effort to improve our governance structure through constitutional reform.

The recent calls by private sector has only reinforced the need for the parliament of Jamaica both the governing administration and the opposition to embrace and concentrate on constitutional reform.  The modernization of Jamaica’s democratic principles and processes has not kept abreast with the rest of the developing world or those nations we aspire to be by 2030.

As the Partnership for Jamaica Agreement states that signed parties must “reaffirm and recommit to the principles of social dialogue and partnership, specifically to further the process of deepening democracy and participatory decision-making.”

As citizens, private sector, civil society, church and other internal forces, must bring pressure on all individual candidates for elected office and their affiliated political organization to commit to the execution of constitutional reform before 2030. 

It is ultimately the hands of parliament that must be moved to set controls upon themselves and repower the majority.