Portia: An Erratum Of Democracy
Portia Simpson Miller as the country’s prime minister is the result of what many political commentators style as the living epitome of Jamaica’s robust political system. If the current prime minister is the standard then critics of it may very well have strong arguments to do away with what currently obtains and experiment with something else. The time has come for the country to reconsider how prime ministers are chosen, because the people of the country, as it is now, got a raw deal. Having declared that, “our administration will be marked by greater openness in Government and frankness in our relations with the global community,” the prime minister has left most of us disappointed with how she has handled the country’s business over the past two years. She seemingly has forgotten that she had observed that Jamaicans “want a more accountable and transparent Government which consult them.”
Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller’s ascent to the highest political office of the land is a grave mistake. Those who had the power in their hands at the People’s National Party’s (PNP) 2008 conference to ensure that she did not get the chance to strangle this country, are now feeling the consequences of choosing ‘kiss baby’ politics over real people-centred politics. It should come as no surprise then that the prime minister has not dissolved the embattled board of the National Housing Trust (NHT). With the NHT Scandal added to the array of mismanagement by the government, congruently, the gap between promises and fulfilment is becoming wider.
Despite public outcry and the fact that there are so many issues surrounding the controversial purchase of what the prime minister has said, is lands occupied by Outameni Experience, she will not budge. She will not for the sake of the country, damage the reputation of fellow comrades. The prime minister for the millionth time, contra bonos mores, will use excuse of the board not breaking any law to justify her inaction. As a prime minister, Simpson-Miller must understand that confidence and perception is important in governance, and irrefutably, the board of the NHT has lost the confidence of a majority of the persons who have interest in the dealings of the NHT.
If the PNP’s treasurer Norman Horne is to be believed, admitting that after having met with the prime minster, he feels assured that there is no reason for him to relinquish his position on the Housing Trust Board; then the prime minister is signalling to the people of Jamaica that, based on her conscience and her (mis)understanding of the situation, the NHT board acted appropriately and did nothing wrong. If this is her belief, then there is a serious disconnect between the prime minster and the people on the ground; a serious disconnect between herself and the public sector workers; a serious disconnect between herself and the youth and a serious disconnect between herself and the private sector. Madam prime minister, when are you going to get it right?
The prime minister seems to be leaving behind a legacy marred with irresponsible governance and highlighted by unaccountability and the inability to lead. In fact, the prime minister’s reputation is currently being ravishingly torn apart by several segments of society, which have been purporting the very dangerous argument that ‘Portia cannot fire anybody.’ In other words, she has no say in how the country is governed. If that is what is perceived by the public, then the country must now begin to seriously reconsider Portia Simpson Miller’s position as prime minister of Jamaica.
What is not up for debate though, is whether or not the prime minster respects the people of the country. She has been tried on a numerous occasions and the verdict still remains unchanged. She does not! It is time the country realizes that, it has spent too much democratic efforts on validating her role as and deservedness for being prime minister. Portia Simpson-Miller’s short comings are engraved in her nature. We the people, the PNP and Mrs. Simpson-Miller must admit that she was never meant to be a prime minister. No doubt, Mrs. Simpson-Miller is very capable of knowing what the people want to hear and is very capable of telling the people want they want to hear.
Nevertheless, Portia Simpson-Miller’s lack of understanding of delicate issues that 21st century governance necessitates has ultimately rendered Simpson-Miller insignificant as a prime minister in its truest sense. No one can confidently and honestly testify that Jamaica has gotten value for money with Mrs. Simpson-Miller being at the helm. There are certainly others within the PNP, less popular but who would arguable do a better job at leading the country. The Jamaican people must demand better leadership because the PNP under the leadership of Simpson-Miller has made a very strong and convincing argument not to continue to support them.