But when people trust you with their lives, and you willingly accept such responsibility, you are no longer exempt from criticism and accountability. If you discover you are unable to carry out such functions, it is your duty to abdicate from such responsibility.
The political landscape is pregnant with blunders and barren of ideas as to how to steer us in the right direction. Our country has been hovering on the brink of economic ruin, uncontrollable murders, corruption, lawlessness, and an inept Government who may even surrender the reins of power to an Opposition who displays impotent behaviour in carrying out their duties, leaving the ever-diminishing electorate with little choice.
We hope, since there is still some time before the next election, the contestants will do some serious retrospection as to their readiness to serve, as they might be facing a complex electorate, more disenchanted and sophisticated, and is hell-bent on using the “no vote” weapon .
One thing is sure, a delayed election beyond nine months will create avenues of advantages for one party and considerable disadvantages to the other, but then the rising voter apathy may make predicting the results more difficult than predicting the exact order of a Supreme Ventures Pick 4 draw. We have to stem the leadership erosion in our country and ensure accountability is not compromised.
We must take some blame for what has happened, as our vigilance regarding our political leaders has been comatose.
As a catalyst for improvement and redemption, we need to put to sleep our in-born political divisiveness and give birth to a dawn of unity in the best interest of Jamaica. Whose fault is it really?
By our own nonchalant attitudes, being afraid to speak up, and baked in the furnace of polarised politics, we have become steeped in a pool of corruption. Having accepted political handouts as an entitlement, we have resigned ourselves to mediocre political representation. We pass all the ills of the country on to politicians, yet many of us are beneficiaries of corrupt practices and will not raise a finger or voice to expose it. We are stewed in our own false sense of being victim, so if we buck our toes we blame the politicians.
Let’s self-examine to see where we, as people, register on the guilt barometer.
* Would you make any sacrifice, including loss of earnings, to enter representational politics?
* Have you ever conspired to evade taxes?
* Do you overcharge your customers, giving less than what the customer should get, or charge prices that include GCT, yet you are not registered under the GCT Act?
* Are you actively guided by the oath of your profession?
* Have you ever been approached by a politician offering bribe to vote for his or her party; what was your reaction; had it dawned on you to set up a sting operation to entrap the politician or did you gladly accept the bribe; have you ever thought that you were sanctioning corruption and have fertilised the breeding ground for political corruption?
* Have you made substantial contribution to political party in exchange for favours?
* You will agree the country has retrogressed over the years. We have been added to the list of scamming countries, highest murder rate per capita, highest debt-to-GDP. We ranked among the fastest-depreciating currencies in the world, and now we are ranked on a world barometer study having the greatest disparity between the haves and the have-nots. Do you believe if we the citizens demanded more accountability from our Government we would be in this situation?
* Which party do you blame more for the country’s debacle?
* Do you think your party is best for governing at all times, as such the other party is a waste of time, because you will never vote for them?
* What advice would you give to the JLP and the Government regarding improving the welfare of the citizens, and is the JLP ready for Governance and is the PNP the better of the two evils?
* Will you continue to vote for your party despite the fact they have proven to be inefficient at governance and ineffective as opposition?
* Do you think your MP should live in the constituency they represent?
* You are a public servant soon to retire, are you in agreement that the prime ministers and members of Parliament should not enjoy a pension, in the case of prime ministers, equivalent to their last salary, take into consideration your pension is not realistically based on the contribution you make, but a percentage of your last salary?
* You operate a business that employ a fair amount of employees, do you feel justified that they are paid fair wages?
* Do you sexually harass your employees, pay them equally for same work?
* Have you voted more than once during any election, abstain from voting most times, do you think voting is a responsibility that you should regard as a duty?
* What would be your reaction if twice weekly cruise ships with same-sex tourists were allowed to vacation in Jamaica, with a potential earning of US$1billon per year with an employment possibility of over 5,000 people, including your relatives and friends?
* Were you approached to boycott all Independence Day celebrations hosted by the Government to send a clear message to the country’s legislature that we are not satisfied with their performance, and would you insist that they use the money for the most vulnerable in the society, and that they should spend the entire day with their constituents with no media coverage?
* Do you think that if the PNP shows remorse and apologises to the Jamaican people for the indiscretions they have committed during their tenure in office the public will accept it and reward them with an extended term in office?
* Who do you believe was the worst and best prime ministers?
* When was the last time you help someone who requested your help?
As a professional in essential services, would you go on sick-out for wage increase considering your actions could cost lives?
As a media practitioner do you at all times disseminate all information, excluding threat to national security, without bias? Does your political allegiance affect judgement to share the facts with the public?
Are you an advocate for “eat a food syndrome”?
If our moral compasses were reset, do you believe it would have positive effect on the direction in which the country would move?
Ask yourself, what can I do to help this blessed country to wrest it from slipping further into the abyss?