[OPINIONS]:::General Elections Now? No!

No. 60 Monday, March 1, 2010
[POSTED BY::: anonymous] 
Persistent rumors and speculation that the ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) may be planning to go to the polls in the near future have surfaced. These have come against the background of the government's current dalliance with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which has imposed several stringent requirements on the way the country does business, particularly in the area of fiscal management.

   The country had to go back to the IMF because of the government's inability to meet its debt payments and current deficit obligations as a result of the world-wide recession which led to a fallout in some of the nation's major foreign exchange earners such as sugar, bauxite and bananas. Indeed, outside of tourism, it is safe to say that the economy had taken a most precipitous nosedive. Some may well argue, too, that the Bruce Golding administration vacillated too much in the early days of its incumbency after having adopted an ostrich with its head in the sand stance with respect to what was happening globally. Suffice it to say that the cookies have crumbled and Jamaica is now in crunch time!
   However, does this mean that after some two years and a few months in office this JLP regime should once again face the polls? Finance and Planning Minister Audley Shaw helped to fuel these rumors and speculations when he was recently reported as saying at a JLP Area Council meeting in the Corporate Area that his government would need more time in order to clean up the mess that now prevails and which he claimed was not of their doing but inherited from an inept People's National Party (PNP) government that was in power for over 18 years.
   But isn't it too early in the,pay to be contemplating such a plebiscite? Who or what stands to benefit from such a premature exercise? The JLP should be acutely aware that what the people want most of all at this time is stability and growth. General elections now would fuel too much disorder and mayhem. Criminal elements would have a field day and the many malcontents out there would take to the streets in droves causing chaos and confusion. We shudder to think what this would do to the fragile tourist industry which is our only shining star at this time.
   We say, let good sense prevail. The JLP must govern because that is what they were elected to do. In the meantime, the PNP must continue to act as a vibrant and responsible opposition while cleaning up its act. Jamaica needs a break from elections right now.

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