By Mario Boothe
On February 25, the voters of North East St Elizabeth will be going to polls to choose from four candidates (one PNP, one JLP, one PNP-Independent and an Independent) that have declared their interest in being the Member of Parliament for the constituency well-known as a People's National Party (PNP) stronghold or garrison. But should the word “revolution” be tagged to the race that could possible see the first independent member of parliament (MP) be elected to Gordon House?
Mario Boothe is a young governance advocate, blogger and Occupy Jamaica activist, a governance watchdog group
One of the independent candidates Joseph Patterson, president of the United Independent Congress (UIC) in an interview with the Jamaica Observer, believes his campaign; victory and following historic entry into Parliament would “bring forth a revolution like never before” being the first elected independent MP.
The United Independent Congress’s platforms are based on strong constitution and governance reform, and Mr Patterson is committed to bringing the Congress’s platforms to parliament; reforms that the current political establishment has been unwilling to touch for over 53 years.
Why is it a Revolution?
To understand why the outcome of the North East St Elizabeth electoral race may be framed as a revolution, we must first know what revolution is the Oxford Dictionary assigns two definitions to the word “revolution”: firstly, “a forcible overthrow of a government or social order, in favour of a new system”; secondly “a dramatic and wide-reaching change in conditions, attitude or operation”.
Within the context of Jamaica, a two party system controlled by elected representations at both central and local government, a revolution would constitute any disruption to this system of government. We should not underestimate the ability of Jamaicans to recognize “change” as swing accordingly, hence there is no doubt in my mind that constituents in other areas of island will begin to question their own situation and stop settling for “the lesser evil”.
This change in attitude towards politics, governance and what we must begin expect and demand will no doubt only come when a single constituency decides to spark something much bigger than North East and give back Jamaica its independence almost 54 years after it exchanged one master for another.
I encourage the all voters in North East St Elizabeth, especially the youth, not to fear or intimated by whispers of revolution but embrace the fact you don’t need guns or bombs like Tunisia or Egypt but one very important vote to create real change in Jamaica.