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What Are We Voting For?

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It is standard that all citizens within a democratic society express their franchise to vote. As it is written in Jamaica’s constitution all should be allowed to vote, with a few exceptions: those declared as insane, persons serving time six months or more, and those under the age of 18.

The five year’s reign of our current government has almost drawn to a close, and it is time again for the Jamaican People to choose who they want to represent them for the next five years. However, what are we voting for? The ideal notion to vote is to have a government that will advocate on our behalf for a better Jamaica.

Jamaicans recently celebrated fifty-eight years of independence, yet we are so dependent on other countries for survival. This is a result of many factors like years of being ripped off our natural resources and decades of brain drain. That is beside the point, some of the blame needs to fall on the disparity within the government system. Jamaica has seen several elections a shift between JLP and PNP, but it seems that none can equally decide on consensus for growth. If we open our eyes, we will see that if one party establishes a protocol that is proving beneficial to the betterment of the Jamaican society when a new parliament is established there is often a change to that said policy.

What are we voting for when rural Jamaica reaps only a small percentage of the benefits? If we should be honest Montego Bay, Kingston and Ocho Rios reap the majority of Jamaica’s wealth, simply because they are dubbed the hub for growth. With a sign for 17 billion dollars, a sanitation program for 40 million dollars and a port that is tearing away the culture of Port Royal. So much is being done, which barely benefiting the majority of Jamaican citizens. There are myriad of things that rural Jamaica are deficient in, not to mention the lack of employment.

We often times we hear that the employment rate has risen but how often have these employments resulted in permanent jobs. We should not be voting for employment periods that merely last 3 months to a year, after which another batch of persons is given the opportunity. We are looking for fulltime employment for educated and skilled Jamaican workers. We cannot continue voting for jobs that can only be obtained within the traditional sector, and the few spaces that are available in these non-traditional jobs can only be found in urban areas. We are voting for economic prosperity to be able to live happily and provide for our families.

Jamaica will find it difficult to grow because it is built on nepotism and cronyism. What is growth when the when elderly in each political party refrain from retiring to allow the younger generation to have a voice for future Jamaica? We often hear experience being praise, what about praising the young minds with fresh ideas. Furthermore, we need more accountability from these politicians, and I am making reference to both side of the game. Why should the poor in Jamaica held for their action, but the rich will find a scapegoat for their penalty.

What are they convincing us to vote for, pressured police officers with a broken criminal justice system that is unable to provide swift justice? Maybe it is to have an educational system that continues struggle to align itself with the improvements in technology or one with 30 students to one teacher and calling it a multi-grade classroom. We should not vote to hear empty promises every four to five years seeing a few changes, the first few years and by the end of the term, the changes can barely be quantified.

Let us vote for Vision 2030 and beyond.

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