Thursday, 4 February 2016

Will North East St. Elizabeth Start a Political Revolution in Jamaica?

On February 25th the voters of North East St Elizabeth will be going to polls to choose from 4 candidates (1PNP, 1JLP, 1PNP-Independent and an Independent) that have declared their interest in being the Member of Parliament for the constituency well-known as a People National Party (PNP) stronghold or garrison. But should the word “revolution” will be tagged to the race that could possible see the first Independent Member of Parliament (MP) be elected to Gordon House?

One of the Independent candidates Joseph Patterson, President of the United Independent Congress (UIC) in an interview with the Jamaica Observer, believes his campaign; victory and following historic entry into Parliament would “bring forth arevolution like never before” being the first elected Independent MP.  The United Independent Congress’s platforms are based on strong constitution and governance reform, and Mr. Patterson is committed to bringing the Congress’s platforms to parliament; reforms that the current political establishment has been unwilling to touch for over 53years.

Why is it a Revolution?       

To understand why the outcome of the North East St Elizabeth electoral race may be framed as a revolution we must first know what revolution is; the Oxford     dictionary assigns two definitions to the word “revolution”, firstly “a forcible overthrowof a government or social order, in favour of a new system,” secondly “adramatic and wide-reaching change in conditions, attitude or operation.”

Within the context of Jamaica, a two party system controlled by elected representations at both central and local government, a revolution would constitute any disruption to this system of government. We should not underestimate the ability of Jamaicans to recognize “change” as swing accordingly, hence there is no doubt in my mind that constituents in other areas of island will begin to question their own situation and stop settling for “the lesser evil.”

This change in attitude towards politics, governance and what we must begin expect and demand will no doubt only come when a single constituency decided to spark something much bigger than North East and give back Jamaica its Independence almost 54 years after it exchanged one master for another.