CaribZone Commentary - Say No To Election Without Representation!

By Aubrey Campbell,
NEW YORK, NY. Tuesday, November 5, 2019 – Good day folks. A day late but not a penny short! I sat wishing on a star that today was the real ‘super PAC’ Tuesday, only to realize that I still have a full year to go!

I, however, remain hopeful that you went out and exercised your right, so that when the right time comes, you will know exactly what to do, without being influenced by the ghosts of ‘Social Media’, past!

Which brings me to another hot button topic, the Jamaica Diaspora Council and the current spat with the Andrew Holness Administration.

Despite being asked to hold up and reconsider, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), which has portfolio responsibility for the Diaspora is going full steam ahead with electioneering with a view to having the Global Jamaica Diaspora Council (GJDC) in place by year’s end!

And once again, those who seek clarity are being treated like chopped liver and having no ties to the rock!

Wrong move!

Seeking to engage the Diaspora above and beyond what now obtains, is fine, but it cannot and should not be along party lines. This way, the forward momentum will not be disrupted, whenever we decide to swap the ‘black dawg fih dih monkey’, as we tend to do ever so often!

We have seen it, lived it and it is counter-productive!

At the 8th Biennial Diaspora Conference, held at the Jamaica Conference Center, downtown Kingston, this past June – seet deh, a nuh lie mi a tel. Mi when de deh. Oops! I am not making up the story, I was there!

Approval was given/delegates voted for the government to start working on a ‘draft’ document for the proposed National Diaspora Policy!

Delegates were told that they would be updated as the document made the rounds among lawmakers at the level of the Senate and the House!

Was the document voted on?

While we understand that one person, with none or very limited resource, cannot engage, and as a consequence, represent a most discernible Diaspora, putting the energy and resource into the formation and establishment of a sustainable (sexy word again) structure, would be the most appropriate scenario yet and for this government in particular, given the fact that the JLP wants to pride itself as the party of prosperity.

Hear me out! If the Diaspora is prosperous, who stands to benefit?

Let me give you a clue: It’s one word with seven (7) letters and spelt with no ‘p’ in it, acronym and all!

Are you with me?

I have maintained from ‘day one’, since this Diaspora word and movement became sexy, that the cart was before the horse, something of a classic tale of the tail wagging the dog! Only now am I understanding ‘granny speak101’.

‘Before you dance abroad, you must learn to dance a yard’. That, my friend is the present construct of the Diaspora, and I will be very quick to add, not a sustainable model!

Jamaicans overseas are not about to give up on the land of their birth. So, while the individual intent to contribute and give forward, is there, just imagine the impact on the national development agenda, if this show of benevolence was organized and coordinated?

Every Tom, Dick, and Harry giving, that is fine, but pool it for greater impact and representational leverage, which is at the heart of the spat with the MFA and constituents of the USA/NE region, in particular, and rightly so!

I would not be surprised if the legality of the GJDC is a challenge in the court of law, because the set up is being driven by the MFA, headquartered in Kingston, through its overseas missions – High Commissions, Embassies, Consulates – and will have persons, hand-picked by the government!
How is that representation?

Blane Stoddart answers it best. “The reorganization of the Diaspora is a continuation of the status quo.  The reorganization may actually lead to true Diaspora engagement, but the process sends the wrong message.  I strongly suggest that the Minister of Foreign Affairs and/or her representatives, go on a listening tour throughout the Diaspora as part of the reorganization. To implement this in a few short weeks is another slap in the Diaspora’s face.”

If you attend the annual Penn Relays Carnival in Philadelphia and go by the Team Jamaica Bickle village, to show some love to our sporting ambassadors, then you know Stoddart.

He’s not just another Jamaican living in these United States and so, him lending his voice to the growing chorus of, ‘election no, representation yes’, speaks volumes!

Here is the stickler! To be branded anti-government because you demand to know because you push back is disingenuous!

Stop it!

Come down off your pumps and pride and explain why the rush to set up a GJDC, at this time, and what seems, at all cost?

…and to understand the politics, you will have to understand the silence since the US State Department revoked the visas of ranking parliamentarians from both sides! Imagine if it was from just one side..?


The conversation continues at noon, Saturday, inside The Power Hour, WSNR 620 AM,
You have the floor!



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