A GOLDen Opportunity

Anyone needing a shower has a home
Anyone needing a "shower" has a home

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.

Poking fun

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.

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12 thoughts on “A GOLDen Opportunity

  1. Never happen..people like Maxine and Peter are virtually party trustees..what they will do is sulk until there oppurtunity comes again..as it will. DK. did it,PJ did it….. The atmosphere to unpredictable for a snap election too..What if Portia wins…that may make Paulwell Deputy PM ….and there goes our tax dollars….As long Portia is there Jamaican politics is a big question sign.

  2. One is in total agreement with Push Broom’ s perspective regarding Ms. Maxine Henry and Dr. Peter Phillips being trustees for the PNP, and that they will indeed wait until their opportunity materializes again.Also, many of the members are so ideologically calcified and obdurate that they would not be able to function or operate outside of the context of the PNP.

  3. @ Esteban and Push Broom: I can’t say I disagree, but if people were promised to be made a Minister of State in this office or that you’d be amazed what they may consider. I’ve seen wives and husbands with more personally invested in children, a social circle, and other assets walk away when they thought the grass was greener.

  4. Diatribalist, time will indeed tell, if the process of political de-calcification/de-ossification of doctrinaire, dogmatic, and pontifical PNP Members of Parliament can, or, will take place, with respect to certain elements of the defeated Arise and Renew team of Dr. Peter Phillips becoming “turncoats” —switching allegiance —, if offered certain carrots or political status by the extant JLP administration.Indeed,if this were to occur, the political arithmetic of Parliament would definitely be transformed, both quantitatively and qualitatively, suggesting a more protracted rule for the JLP and the possible postponement of imminent elections.Interesting times lie ahead politically!! Ms. Simpson-Miller’s dictatorial style and irrationality —brainlessness — could definitely result in some form of political alienation and estrangement resulting in an exodus from the party .Time will tell!!!

  5. It is extremely difficult to imagine Phillip Paulwell as Deputy Prime Minister !!!Push Broom that would be definitely scary. Speak about corruption and kleptocracy!! WOW!!

  6. In matters political it always nice to ask who benefits. The JLP has yet to benefit from Phillips’ demise however temporary i feel it is, they are struggling at 5 points behind in the polls and are facing increasingly dissapointed voters. No the benificiary are those forces in the PNP who wanted to get somewhere in a hurry.Paulwell was the youngest of the senior Cabinet Mnisters, he has a safe seat and he long ago declared his aim to be Prime Minister. Those who have long opposed Phillips ascendency for whatever reason will soon find themselves in an expensive nightmare….

  7. @ Esteban and Push Broom:
    I’m going to say something controversial. I think, my opinion, that Phillip Paulwell is a crook. But look at how often he has escaped punishment due to the lack of conclusive evidence and you see a smart man.
    His super ministry, specifically his telecoms portfolio did well with the de-regulation/liberalization process as evidenced by the cellphone to population density ratio in Jamaica — one of the highest in the world. Would it really mean the end of Jamaica if he were PM? I don’t want it to happen, but would it be the end of Jamaica?

  8. DD – I thought it was common knowledge that Paulwell is a crook. Yuh know o’ much money an sinting dat deh man get t’ru di ‘ole deregulation business? Were we better organized or figured out how to ask the right questions, the evidence would be in place. That can still happen. He’s not THAT smart.

    I don’t agree that Peter Phillips had no right to challenge Portia’s leadership. I do think his motivations and arguments for doing so are politically bankrupt and downright sexist. And didn’t Paul Burke challenge PJ every single time he had a chance back in the 1980s? Although the scale of the Phillips campaign is certainly different than anything we have ever experienced, his challenge isn’t “unprecedented” as people are claiming.

    Most of the grumblers – Henry-Wilson, etc. – not going anywhere. As Esteban noted, dem is so hardcore PNP, dem wouldn’t know wha’ fi do wid demself if dem go siddung inna JLP quarters an’ ‘ear some breed a sinting wha’ di labourite dem a do. Just like Portia, dem a bide dem time fi get wha’ dem tink was promised to dem. As far as I know, the Party will continue to shower mercy and favour on its faithful comrades.

    JLP can take advantage of the disarray in the PNP by bringing it up in exactly those moments when the issue is least relevant; a useful tactic to distract us from what is important. (Come to think of it, isn’t that what the media is doing now?) By keeping the issue front and central, the JLP can undermine the little confidence in Portia/PNP that is left, and any hope that people might have about the PNP returning to power any time soon. Its a good psychological trick that will work bit by bit. Indeed, Samuda was on this tip from day one with his bullshit remark that Portia was being inappropriate for saying the JLP is uncaring. Well, its true! Of course, the PNP don’t care much more, but that’s beside the point here, right?

    Mi jus’ affi seh sup’m: Yuh see dem people whe’ deh big up Portia an’ n’a’a tell har wha’ she fi know so she can lead better, dem need fi tek whe’ demself now! Sometime Portia can gwa’an so fool-fool dat me really affi wonder bout her. But that’s because she is constantly getting bad information and counsel that really only a benefit di one dem whe she rely pon. Cau’ seh dem no business wha kin’a cass-cass Portia w’a’a jump inna. As long as dem a get dem big money and plane ride an what not, dem nuh m’i’n.

  9. The buck stops with Portia even if her advisers are a bunch of sadistic retards.
    The people round her just a use her to get ahead as were some of the youngsters around Dr. Phillips.
    I think the JLP will win if they focus on Portia’s failings but if they fail to deliver enough voters might say nuh better herring,no better barrell and give to the PNP.

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