Having previously made no secret that I think it is essential for the governing JLP to increase their effective majority in Gordon House without having to hold a series of by-elections or a snap general election; it is time to acknowledge the rich and unique opportunity that the recently concluded PNP presidential election represents for the governing JLP and their leader Bruce Golding.
Back in August in a post called The Devil’s Advocate I argued that this mission of increasing the effective majority in parliament or at least maintaining the current slim majority is such an important objective that the JLP needed to consider unconventional methods.
To save time the relevant passage from that post was:
So in order to solve the crime problem and spur investment and a higher per capita GDP, the existing government needs to:
1) Increase its effective majority in the Jamaican legislature
Step 1: Increasing the effective majority
There is no doubt in my mind that a significant driver of crime in Jamaica today is the sense of political instability resulting from the relatively inconclusive result of the general election in 2007 which is compounded by the legal ‘dual-citizenship’ cases winding their way through the judiciary. Both our history and the existing realities have taught us that our democracy is not well-suited to this type of political instability. Our elections need to be more conclusive than the last election we had for governments to function freely. If it were only a close margin, it is possible – though unlikely – that we could marshal the discipline to perform amicably in that historic scenario. But the presence of the unresolved dual-citizenship cases really mean our election results are not yet final and that the election is ongoing, a question-mark which threatens our necks like a guillotine. We need to remove the question-mark, now.
Bruce Golding and the JLP has the opportunity to save Jamaica billions of dollars (JMD); and avoid the investment-deterring political instability of a snap election by boldly seizing on the rancor and bruised feelings in the PNP. He needs to convince PNP Members of Parliament who are disillusioned and/or feeling disenfranchised to cross the aisle. Today I see, via the Jamaica Gleaner, that there are members of the JLP insinuating those members should start to fill out a membership form.
Government member Robert Montague continued to poke fun when he sent Jamaica Labour Party membership forms via an orderly, to Dean Peart and Hay-Webster and told them that Phillips and Henry-Wilson have already signed up to join the Labour Party.
Hay-Webster was not amused and squeezed her form into a ball and rested it on her table.
Source: Jamaica Gleaner, Wednesday, September 23, 2008
But all fun and jokes aside the JLP needs to begin an earnest and sincere courtship of these members so as to win even two, but as many as five, by the end of the year. In 1990’s Jamaican slang, we’d have said he has to “lyrics” them; in 2008 NYC we say he needs to “spit some serious game.”
Bruce should not let this one miss him, it will need his personal involvement and the full cache of his office as Prime Minister and party president to convince those PNP MP’s seeking greener pastures that a whole field of green where the sun is always shining is waiting to welcome them with open arms.