Why Jamaica continues to be at the bottom of the barrel? PT 2

Constitutional Changes.

As part of turning things around for our country we need to take a serious look at our constitution and ask some very serious questions.

1.       Does it serve the interest of the people?

2.      Is it the best possible system for us right now and going forward?

3.      Does it have those ingredients that hold our politicians and leaders accountable?

4.      Does it demand integrity, honesty and good character?

5.      Does it have safe guards to prevent corrupt people from capturing the ” constitution”?

6.      Does it have rules that severely punish transgressors?

7.      Does it protect the rights of the people?

These are just a few on the many things that it really should do.

Now I am positing that based on what I have seen over the last 25 yrs our constitution does not serve the interest of the people.

I am therefore suggesting the following changes, which I believe can turn things around for Jamaica and we the people must demand that they happen.

1.       All persons seeking to represent us must be qualified for the job they are seeking to take on. Now by qualified I do not only mean having a degree but must also have demonstrated competence in the area in which they seek leadership. No longer would we allow one man to say ” here he is your representative and I expect you to support him.

2.      None of those seeking to represent should have been arrested, charged or other has been involved or party to corrupt activities including but not limited to taking bribes, embezzlement etc.

3.      They should be able to be removed from their position not by the Prime Minister but by the people themselves via some sort of system (which I have not yet decided upon). It is simply ridiculous to have a member of parliament serve out his term (5yrs) when he has shown lack of proper judgement, zero integrity, improper conduct and is a non performer.

4.      We must establish performance criteria for every cabinet minister, every member of parliament and every Minster that have a portfolio responsibility and this I believe is the most important change that I would like to see take place. They must be held to Key Performance Indicators and failure to meet them should see them demit office and not simply wait out their term until an election is called.

5.      We must remove some of the power from the Prime Minster, the Minister of Finance and the Minister of National Security.

Performance Management and Report Card

1.       Each cabinet minister must be held accountable for the performance of his/her ministry and must meet at least 70% of the performance target set for that minister, let me expand on that.

The Minister of Finance for example is responsible for amongst another things the macro and micro economic activity of the country ands as such must have target that can be measured.

E.g.

Key Performance Indicator (Minister of Finance)

Area Target Period Actual
GDP/Debt Ratio 123 – 125% 2011/2012
Inflation Rate 9 – 10% 2011/2012
Borrowing US$ 300 – $375M 2011/2012
Economic growth 3.5 – 4.5%

The same should be set for each MP and cabinet minister.

Report Card

The planning institute of Jamaica would provide the data to the people of Jamaica as well as the statistical institute of Jamaica on the actual number achieved in each area.

In April of each year the each cabinet minister will be required to read his report card comparing planned targets vs achievements and give explanations where performance against target is off track and what plans he has in place to get those target back on track.

For each target that has been missed the minister must report back to the people within six months on his progress in achieve those set targets.

Where a minister has failed to meet the performance targets set for two year consecutive years, he must be removed from that position and replaced by someone else. We now must decide how this can be achieved as our present constitution only allows for this to happen if that persons has been convicted of a criminal offence and has been sentenced to prison for 6 months or greater.

The idea is that we will only get people into representational politics that are bout nation building and uplifting the people of this country. It will therefore keep away those who are only interested in wealth creation for themselves and their families.

Compensation

Where one demand performance then one must be adequately compensated and the benefits must fit the position. So each MP will get a salary as well as benefits commensurate with their qualification and experience, not just get a particular salary for the position being held.

In my mind these are fundamental changes that need to be made but for it to really work, we as a people must take a stand and stop accepting mediocrity and the ” eat a food mentality”.

We have had enough of the garbage meted out to us as representation and look where it has taken us, its about time we take our place in the Caribbean.

Why Jamaica continues to be at the bottom of the barrel?

I have spent countless hours trying to wonder why we continue to be at the bottom of the barrel when compared to other Caribbean countries and other countries of similar sizes around the world, and I believe I now have a very good idea.

It appears that Jamaicans including our politicians have perfected the art of colonization that was practiced by the English over 200 hundreds years ago.

How can one explain the circumstances that allowed just over 10,000 English to rule and maintain the entire African continent under colonial rule, which included slavery?

Apart from the bible, which was used to subdue the people, the other thing the British used was the lack of unity amongst the Africans folks themselves.

African was and is still made up of many tribes who have been hostile to each other for hundreds of years as each sought to protect his or her turf. So in one country for example you could have a number of tribes, each having their own tribal leader as well as customs that are different from the other tribes.

The English were successful in ensuring that not only did they encourage them to maintain their animosity to each other they “took care “of some of the tribal leaders by arming them and setting them up against each other.

What this was able to accomplish is a disjointed African continent whose people could never get together to successfully challenge the ” invaders”, as they simply could not see eye to eye and where as divisive as they could get.

This is where the term ” divide and rule” came into being, i.e. the English simply used what existed before they came and  expanded it to serve their needs.

Having now maintained strict controls, they then proceeded to remove bit by bit Africa’s minerals including gold, diamond, silver etc, repatriating this to England. This wealth, which was being removed from Africa, served to make the English much stronger and allowed them to spread their rule far and wide.

So what on earth has this to do with Jamaica, what’s the relevance?

Since our independence from the English we have adopted the British system and has formed two political tribes who have turned this country into the wasteland it is fast becoming.

Each political tribe has it colours and our politicians has sought to set up enclaves (villages in the old days) and filled them with their supporters and provided them with benefits to keep them where they are.

They have not sought to educate these folks so they can rise out of the gutters, but has instead sought to entrench the political tribalism by virtue of their speeches and actions, teaching the people that the opposing tribe does not care about them and must not be allowed to attain leadership.

The “Garrisonization” of Jamaica is NOT an accident, instead it’s a deliberate strategy to keep our people ” enslaved” as did the British over 200 hundred years ago, how on earth have we not learned from our past.

How else can anyone explain how  60 members of parliament along with a few senators decide the following for 2.7 millions Jamaicans

1.       Where we live.

2.      If we live or die

3.      How much tax we must pay to live here.

4.      The type of health service we must have.

5.      The type of transportation system that is best suited for the people.

6.      Which crown lands gets sold to whom.

7.      Whether we have roads or tracks.

8.      Whether we have bridges or not.

9.      Whether our children get educated or not.

You see, fellow Jamaicans; they get to decide for us and quite interestingly they never use the system that was created for the people.

A minister had a stomachache and he flew to Miami for medical treatment – at the taxpayer expense.

Politicians children are born overseas primarily in the USA, so they obtain a USA passport so if the going gets tough they can skip town.

Their children gets to go to top Ivy League University is the USA while they increase tuition fees in Jamaica to keep poor people kids out of higher education.

Jamaicans as a people does not demand professionalism and accountability, instead we have become so accustomed to mediocrity that we have now used that to become the new standard of determining performance.

That’s the reason Jamaicans are so amazed when they go to the developed countries , as once there they cannot believe that you can actually get this done without trying to ” beat the system”. Once they have figured out how to use the established system they are unstoppable and quickly rise to great heights.

To save Jamaican therefore we MUST as a people demand accountably while at the same time get rid of the tribalism mentality that has been engrained in our cranium for generations.

No longer should we allow 60 men and women to act with impunity and get away with it, we MUST hold their feet to the fire and demand performance.

Our politicians must either perform or be kicked out of parliament, and it will take the will power of the entire country to get this done.

We must move away from seeing things staring behind coloured lens and instead focus on what is good for Jamaica. Not just me or my family but the family next door and those left to come.

This is no doubt very hard work and a huge paradigm shift, but no great nation that I have know have not had to fight hard to bring about those changes which I call “game changers” to turn around the country.

Consider Jamaica as a huge crew ship, it take a while for it to change course and so it will travel some distance after the signal to change course has been issued.

Politicians purchasing USA homes

There is really nothing wrong with these purchases as when considers the depressed housing markets they may be sound investments.

For those interested here are the house that have been refered to in the observer and the gleaner and the sunday Herald.

Daryl Vaz

http://66.55.51.198/default.htm?cmd=ZOOMPARCEL&folio=514030100180

Above is a map of the house, you can indentify the house its the one that has the red marker around the entire properly

http://www.bcpa.net/RecInfo.asp?URL_Folio=514030100180

The link above take you to the page you can then navigate from there to look at taxes, the deeds, mortgage taken and bank it was taken out.

James Robertson

http://www.bcpa.net/RecInfo.asp?URL_Folio=514110240600



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