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race of election jockeys
Fed up of promises and hopeless hope Ballot box must be empty
Vote house close
IS another Election Day in the land of wood and water and
I, like the majority of Jamaicans above 18, will not be voting.
So I am not saying anything new, this June 19, 2003, just
reaffirming that I have never enumerated, never participated
and I do not plan on doing either in the foreseeable future.
is the first time I can remember, though, since I first became
aware of elections in 1980, that a local government poll has
taken on such significance. The number of advertisements is
certainly not up to the level of last October's frenzy, but
there has been enough activity on the ground for even me to
realise how seriously the parties are taking it.
example, the door-to-door campaign where I live in the very
safe suburbs has been heavy. The leaflets have been pouring
in and the smiling politicians have been making their once
every five years trip through the area. I had the pleasure
of having a conversation of sorts with the PNP hopeful when
he stopped by.
introduced himself as the hopeful comrade and flashed a toothy
grin. "Yea man," I said as I accepted the literature.
"Me put a fia pon voting still." The glossy smile
remained in place, just as fake as when it was switched on.
"I can see why," he said, looking at my plaited
and scraggly beard. "Ee-eh," I continued benignly,
"an a nuff a we too."
reply was lost as he turned away, but suffice to say that
I do not expect that pothole outside the gate he nearly tripped
in to be fixed anytime soon no matter who wins.
election is important, not because Parish Council has any
power, but because of its timing. It comes when the dollar
has hit an all-time low, when the PNP is way out of its honeymoon
period (if there was any) after the historic fourth term and
when Eddie Seaga is in his last political gasp.
so Edward Seaga is like the grass in drought all dead
and shrivelled up (politically, politically) and then there
is a shower of rain and he springs back up all rosy again.
But after the string of failures stretching back to 1983 (if
the PNP had contested that snap election, chances are he would
have been pitched out forthwith), there must come when even
the sycophants in the Labour camp draw a line.
the JLP loses this one, Seaga may as well give it up. Of course,
along with the Labour party, they made a real botch of the
October general election, what with the breeding and all that.
At least even they seem to have learnt the lesson and dropped
the "breeder" tag.
the PNP, Patterson has reached that point where all men reach
hoping to enshrine their legacy, no matter how sordid
it may be. Like Seaga, I believe that PJ "done wid dis"
and has been itching to get out of this thing for a long time.
But woe is he or she who turns their back on the Almighty
party, so Percival seems intent on making sure that he keeps
it on a steady footing.
if the JLP finally learns to accept the gifts that a woefully
inept PNP, operating at an extreme disadvantage in the first
place in this era of globalisation and war, they will be sure
to press for early elections.
JOCKEYS, FADING GELDINGS
what we have are two fading jockeys, two fading geldings and
the die-hard betting public split evenly down the middle.
is, of course, anybody's guess if the leader is riding the
party or vice versa, so exactly which is the jockey and which
is the de-balled mount.
am also rather interested in this election result, more to
see if Eddie will hit the road than anything else. Whatever
the outcome, though, I am pretty sure that the PNP and JLP
will both go into the next general election with different
is about time.
Melville Cooke is a freelance writer.