It’s like deja-vu, all over again….. Yogi Berra
For those of us who remember the last General Election in 2002, today’s polls, columns and media commentary seem to be a rehash from those days.
2002 : Prime Minister of Jamaica and the Leader of the Oppostion
Only a day later, there was Ian Boyne’s column suggesting that the JLP was unlikely to win and stating his reasons, namely the unpopularity of the then leader of the Oppostion Edward Seaga.
Then 3 days before the October 16, 2002 election, we had Robert Buddan giving his usual lucid analysis of the PNP’s dominance in post- Independence Jamaica, while over in the Jamaica Observer, the Stone Polls (then led by Mark Wignall) were suggesting a last minute surge by the JLP.
So close were the elections expected to be that the then Leader of the Opposition Edward Seaga actually refused to concede defeat on Election night…….
Back to 2007
The Prime Minister has not yet announced an election date, and the PNP is still short of a candidate in at least one constituency, but no matter, because Mark Wignall has already announced today (Sunday, May 20, 2007) that the JLP will win the next election based on the polling he has undertaken for the JLP in a number of constituencies…..
2007 : Prime Minister of Jamaica and the Leader of the Oppostion
Just to confuse us, Mr. Wignall backs up his own findings by saying that the Bill Johnson poll (done for the Daily Gleaner) has found the same thing i.e. a JLP win is on the cards. This is confusing because the Gleaner headline today PNP pushes ahead – Ruling party builds up seven-point lead over Opposition suggests the exact opposite ……..
Yes, it’s deja vu all over again…..
The whole struggle for power would be more interesting if:-
(1) it appeared that the JLP was sufficiently far ahead to be outside the margin of error. Right now, their “lead” in some polls is so small as to be meaningless…..
(2) either party had a plan for Jamaica beyond free education (JLP) and free health care for children under 18 (PNP)
However, we are not living in very interesting times. Drug lords have superseded Communists as our local source of all evil. Fun U.S. President Bill Clinton has been succeeded by nuts-or-just-criminally-stupid U.S. President George W. Bush. The young and dynamic New Labour U.K. Prime Minister whom we saw in “The Queen” has been replaced by a scandal ridden, shamefaced lame duck called Tony Blair who at this moment is still pretending that the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi deaths since the Allied invasion in 2003 are just hiccups on the road to democracy…..
We can still dream of radical change in some areas…here’s hoping that:-
- Air Jamaica is sold to Richard Branson’s Virgin Airlines and becomes a fun, efficient and cheap way to hop to Miami and around the Caribbean….
- The sugar industry is sold to a manufacturer of organic juices….
- The PNP or JLP win the next election, and much to our surprise, make massive improvements in health care, education, public transportation and environmental management while supporting a private-sector-led 10% annual growth rate…..