The Jamaican elections : the debates

Debate on social issues: Minister of National Security Peter Phillips beat Ken Baugh, JLP.

How come?

Peter Phillips wants to be in the Cabinet if the PNP wins; and he wants to replace Portia as leader of the PNP if the PNP loses. He had every incentive to perform and did so.

Ken Baugh was not a popular or effective Minister of Health in the 80’s, and recycling him for the 21st century was just a bad idea.

Debate on the economy: Audley Shaw, JLP, beat Minister of Finance Omar Davies.

How come ?

Audley Shaw knows his entire political career is at stake. He has no future in politics if the JLP loses the election and he loses his seat. He had every incentive to shine and he did.

Omar knows he is going to be replaced by Peter Bunting if the PNP wins, and if the PNP loses, he has no chance of winning the leadership. He had no incentive to win and he didn’t.

Debate between the leaders: Leader of the Opposition Golding beat Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller.

How come ?

He’s smarter and more articulate. He will have a tough time continuing in politics if the JLP loses this election. He was a gentleman and he showed his class, winning without making her a loser.

The Prime Minister went in to the debates to hold her own. She did. She believes that her supporters are (1) in a majority (2) don’t care about whether she can talk about stuff they don’t understand either…


What effect will the debates have, if any ?

Your guess is as good as mine…….

However, let’s whizz back to the U.S. elections of 2000 and 2004. George W. Bush (rich, educated, but not terribly smart) fought and won against two very smart and articulate Democrats, Al Gore and John Kerry. He used religion, and the fact that people liked him, to win. See any resemblance to our lady Prime Minister ?

Let’s just hope that if Portia wins she turns out to be better leader than George W. Bush has turned out to be…….

[posted with ecto]

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5 thoughts on “The Jamaican elections : the debates

  1. Again, your objectivity was excellent. If the truth be told, I got up this morning and got this blog first. I couldn’t wait to hear what you had to say. I am going to be posting a link to this post-mortem on my blog. You are so right in your assessment. My view is that Phillips beat Baugh because of his ability to gab. Same thing with Shaw….his ability to shout. When I suggested that they send Shaw for Portia someone said “no way…that is when ‘teet and tongue’ will meet publicly”. You are so right about Portia. Having sold herself to the masses as their saviour and hope…and not to mention that she has told them that every time she is hit out against, it is a hit for them too as she is of them and from humble beginnings. You are also right that Portia does beleive that her supporters are in the majority and couldn’t care less about the debate…I mean how can you care about something you don’t understand? To be fair to the electorate though, for too long Jamaicans have underestimated those from inner cities and garrison communites, beleiving that they do not understand or know what is happening. I think that we better lay that myth to rest. Never before in the history of Jamaica has the electorate been so informed. So I hope we don’t judge people because they live here and work there and have this type of job…..people nuh foll like first time!
    Once again, excellent commentary!

  2. I agree with Jamaicangirl. I suspect we’re underestimating the inner city folks. I think they understand more than we give them credit for.

  3. Just came across your blog while searching for Glynne Ewart.

    Nice commentary. I only got to watch Bruce and Portia. Portia was clearly nervous, and wearing Red did not seem to convey the boldness that the colour suggests.

  4. Let me say I am a poud product of the so called innercity. My march to becomming a respected professional was greatly facillitated by the policies of the PNP. My wish now that every innercity youth seek for a way to positively improve themselves as contrary to what people may say the are opurtunities to make that improvement. We have not attained a position where we should be comfortable but if we work togather we can make it. We have to shed the legacies of our socio- historical past and become true citizens of our beloved countyr. We all have our civic duties to perform, let us do them and in so doing we can help to make a better Jamaica. “With steadfast assurance that God will look done and give us his blessing our efforts to crown,we will be united to build by his grace a nobler Jamaica alofterier race,Land of my birth I pledge to be loyal and faithfull,true to thee”.

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