If I had my way, illiterate people would NEVER be allowed to vote

I know this will be a very controversial topic and I expects the bleeding hearts to suggests the following

  1. The writer is being classist given the fact that its the least fortunate amongst us who cannot read and write.
  2. The guys smacks on being an elitist and wants to remove the rights our forefathers fought for in sweat and blood years ago.
  3. This is quite a dumb idea as it would mean more than half of the country would be disenfranchised , the mere thought of that is utterly disgusting and preposterous.
  4. Typical Jamaican who does not respect the rights of others.
  5. This is not a communist country, so go to hell with that rather bad idea.
  6. What about those very good tradesmen/women in this country who are experts in their fields but were unfortunate not being able to read and write, should we take away their right.

Now examine all those possible reactions above objectively once you have finished reading this remainder of this column.

It has been reported that the level of productivity in Jamaica has fallen over the last 40 years partly due to the inability of a large portion of the working population to read and write properly, which in turn affects their ability to be properly trained.

The carnage on the road is partly due to the inability of many of our drivers to read properly and so fails to abide by the road codes as of course they cannot read them. They have however managed to obtain drivers licenses by obviously corrupt methods since the could not pass the written test. We then send these folks on the roads to maim and kill 300 Jamaicans per year.

The Jamaican men are said to be very violent partly because of their inability to communicate properly due to their limited vocabulary, so in a discussion curse words punctuate every sentence and ” You seet, and you zee me” form part of each sentence.  Being unable to read limits your vocabulary making in difficult to have good and coherent conversations.

Now don’t get me wrong,  I am well aware that many of our skilled tradesmen are unable to properly read and write but that has not stopped many of them from doing a good job in their respective fields, they are however in the minority.

In order to move a country forward the residents of that country must be able to grasps the basic of reading, writing and arithmetic as these are the fundamentals blocks on which the nation is going to be built .

When these basic things are not in place it limits one’s ability to make proper judgement from what is taking place in and around them and they end up being largely influenced by the “educated” who in many cases chooses to manipulate the information ( ie misinterpret) being feed to these people . Their decisions are now based on the manipulated or corrupted information being peddled by the “educated” whose desires is to keep them right where they are for their own selfish reasons.

The decision on who should be given the right to lead 2.7m people can no longer be left to the misguided and uneducated folks, who are not capable of making proper decisions based on factual data and so I would make those people ineligible to vote until they have the capability to read and write at a basic level, which would allow them to function at a much higher level.

I know some smart alex will say ” well how is that that you would not want the decision of who is elected to lead us being left in the hands of those least capable of making sound decision based on their limited ability to read and write”. It therefore means you Mr Jay, would want to disenfranchise these people and now leave that decision to the few  educated social elites in this country, that is madness”.

This would not be a correct statement however, given from our history that the rich in this country hardly vote and as such has very little impact on the outcome of an election. One however could very well argue that by disenfranchising the majority, we would now give an allow the rich to have a greater influence in future elections, given they gave the ability to vote even if they chose so not to do.

So where is Jay going with this rather seemingly crazy idea because I know most would have missed where I am headed.

The right to vote is very important to those folks in the lower economic stratum of this country and our politicians depends on these people to keep them in power. The problem with all of this is these people are most often never given the opportunity to leave their depressed communities. There Great, great grand mother was uneducated  poor, their great grand mother uneducated and poor, their grand mother was uneducated poor, their mother uneducated and poor and by virtue of all the above their are more than likely destined to become poor also.

For these folks their so called “freedom” to decide to leads this country to prosperity is nothing more than a figment of their own imagination.

If the politicians are no longer assured of this large voting population, they would now be forced to focus on what it will take to move Jamaica forward economically given their tenure would be based on performance as measured by the people who can look at the information and make sense of it and those who will dismiss nonsense as just that.

In addition I believe it will force those who have been disenfranchise to agitate for education for themselves and their kids so they too can be able to read and write, have a fighting chances to extricate themselves from poverty and can once again decide who leads them, but this time with their eyes wide open, having now been exposed.

Seems far fetched right and nigh impossible, but from where I sit we need a game changer if we are to make the leap we need to move forward.

Human rights and bleeding hearts would complain, but I assure you, that if this is done, I can guarantee that 20 years from now, Jamaican will be the economic powerhouse of the Caribbean.

Crime would be reduced to first world levels, our literacy rate would be in the region of 99%, our economy would grow by upwards of 5% per annum, productivity levels would sky rocket and  the quality of our elected representatives would be 10 times better than it is today.

Try to wrap your minds around this in an objective manner.

Now comment on the 6 comments I made above at the beginning of this column about what reactions I would have received just from the title of the column.

A dat me seh !

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13 Responses

  1. I guess if Laborites cannot win at the ballot they would rather steal the ballot or disenfranchise those they view as lower than themselves. Perhaps we should also eliminate the vote for all with more than 1/4 black since those “arguments” that you make could be said of black people. Let’s just replace illiterate with black and search the history books for examples of state racism. Hell, why allow any black people period to vote? Only Chinese, white and Indian fi vote inna Jamdown! A dat me Seh!
    My great grandfather would disintegrate in his grave to see the JLP being influenced and led by people like Jay! Look what we come to!

    • I would rather if folks actually focus on what is written. The inability of people to look at information, read and comprehend what is written and the based their comments on these is truly a problem in Jamaica.

      Playing the race card is a silly idea since 98% of the population is considered to be black.

      Your comments suggest you would like to keep the poor and uneducated where they are, which is really no surprising since this is how the PNP has operated in last 30 years.

      • Jay, the problem is that the jlp is a party with no idealogy, the pnp may be poor at governance, but instead of trying to offer solutions to the country’s problem the jlp portarys itself as a statist alternative to the pnp. We don’t need two populist parties in a country, if the pnp proposes programmes like JEEP we expect the jlp to oppose, we don’t expect the jlp to be supporting both JEEP and the CDF

      • I absolutely replied to your nonsense but your ignorance of history inhibited your comprehension. So I will put it to you simply like abc. What your advocating was done for centuries to black people in many countries; exhibit A the USA; I.e. Put in place arbitary rules like literacy tests to prevent them from voting. That’s what MLK fought against. Yet here you go supporting state racism because you cannot win at the Ballot box. Simple enough for you? If not I can try 123 since your numeracy skills vastly outweigh your comprehension skills!

        • Stop the foolish debate and focus on the issues. Jamaican politicians have no incentive to respect its citizens because they are not policy driven, when people in other countries discuss the PISA rankings and all the other things we are obsessed with, we waste time talking about politicians and not their policies. This debate is foolish because Jay is conflating reasoning with literacy, not every literate person can reason and the number of illiterate Jamaicans is actually small, so Jay policy’s would be a failure, because the number of idiots who can read but cannot reason is actually increasing since literacy has improved

  2. If you had your way, Jamaica would be a dictatorship. Isn’t it what you are advocating? Every day, you slowly drift into the abyss, losing touch with reality, a little at a time. Surely you would like the JLP to be installed as the Administration for life, yet you label them as a party without a competent leader and one which devours its own. You are indeed confused… on many levels!

    • That may not be a bad idea given that this called “freedom” and our brand of ” democracy” is really not working.

      When the Finance Minister gets up and say ” Effective tomorrow GCT moves to 20% on everything” , is that being democratic and do you have a say in what the rate should be?

      I guess you are ok with that kind of dictatorship, correct ?

      hmm

      • Do you know what is ironic? Most laborers are either semi-illiterate or fully illiterate. So, effectively, you are guaranteeing the PNP a landslide victory with your suggestion (not that the PNP needs any more help). Due to the fact that Jamaica is PNP country, most labourites simply stay home and not vote because they firmly believe their party will lose anyway. I have never met a smart labourite in my entire life. They are all stupid people to begin with. That is why Tufton said Andrew Holness was afraid of bright/smart people.

  3. Should illiterate people be allowed to obtain drivers license ?

  4. Hi Jay, I am also concerned about the level of literacy in this country too and can understand why you would be suggesting what you have suggested. You should note too that even when persons have a so-called “degree” in Ja they surprise you with the level of their reasoning. We seem to find it difficult to focus on a particular point, discuss an issue without being blatantly biased to the point of saying things like “I have never met a smart labourite in my entire life”.

    Sometimes it is heartrending to read what ppl will comment to an article. There needs to be an urgent drive to get our people reading and writing and probably bring back mental ability from common entrance.

    Our primary school children, an unwelcome number of them, can barely read. The textbooks they are using, they cannot read them, they are just barely going through the system

    smh

    • You seem to take umbrage at my statement that …I have never met a smart labourite in my entire life. Maybe you have complete knowledge of all the people I have met throughout my lifetime. My guess is you are a labourite and firmly believe you are among the select few that are smart. Do you care to tell the rest of us why YOU believe you are [so] smart? Your comments above are all evidence to the contrary, but I prepare to give you the benefit of the doubt. Who knows, you might be the first “smart” labourite I have met, albeit, by electronic means.

      I take it that you are in agreement with Jay on restricting voting rights to only people who are literate? Or, as your comments above suggest, you are willing to go a step further and attach some form of intelligence quotient to the mix, effectively, excluding individuals like myself from the voting pool? 😀 Now I might not have the best reasoning skills and yes, I did not sit the common entrance exam (they say I wasn’t eligible), but what it clear to even the illiterate among us, is this desire on your group’s path to win an election at all cost, even if it means restricting the voting bloc to only labourites. 😀

      What I find disturbing (heartrending?) is this Labourite Syndrome that you and people of your ilk are are afflicted with. A certain level of arrogance and disdain for the common Jamaican. This syndrome might explain why Jay and yourself are foolish enough to suggest the myopic views that would limit the voting rights of Jamaican based on some arbitrary set of rules, which would effectively lead to even more deleterious results at the polls or detrimental to your party. Again, it was a well respected JLP ex-MP and Cabinet Minister who posited that your Party Leader dislike bright/smart people, which clearly means, he surrounds himself with people with opposite attributes. Andrew has gone on a house cleaning exercise to rid any vestige of “smart” people in the party. My guess is Jay and his followers (you included) would like to extend the purging exercise outside party boundaries. Would you agree, oh omniscient one?

      • Oh my! I think you need to join the Labourites and teach them a thing or two. From the length of your post you would have a lot to offer.

        Labourite or not, do you think our people are given a chance to be as smart as they could be? And when you are answering please try to be a bit more objective (smile) then we can talk. Has both the JLP and PNP given them a fair chance?

        Think about it!

  5. When I went to school there was a subject called mental ability, which I found was a great way to engage the minds of the young from a very early age.

    This was discontinued to today we end with people who lack the most basic level of reasoning and as such it is very difficult to have a discussion with these folks.
    Any sort of discussion that does not go their way, results in name calling and or language that cannot be stated on the blog.

    The problem , however is these folks are not even aware of their reasoning deficiency as they may have earned a degree in college, but from where I sit if you are coached properly it is rather easy to pass and exam and still not know the subject matter.

    Just reading the blog and those people are very evident. It shows what is lacking in our education system and it may have been a good reason in the eyes of the politician to remove “mental ability” from our education system.

    If you want to exhibit total control over a people, ensure they cannot reason properly and 90% of your job would have been completed.

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