Archive for the ‘Politics and media/advertising’ Category

VIDEO: The Man Behind The Elections

Monday, September 3rd, 2007

On Friday, August 17 - two days before Hurricane Dean struck the island - reporter Dayne Morrison interviewed Danville Walker, Director of Elections, at his office in downtown Kingston.

Mr. Walker answers a variety of questions about our electoral process, stretching back to 1980 when he served on Election Day as a soldier in the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF).

Posted in three parts on

Part I

Part II

Part III

‘What a way JLP sweet’ - journalists

Monday, September 3rd, 2007


jlpsweet.jpgWe’ve mentioned on this blog, several times before, the various ways in which the two main parties have been attempting to curry favour from voters.

A colleague today brought back what seems to be a ’sweet’ attempt by the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) to get journalists on their side by handing out goody bags (see photo) from their Media Centre at the Hilton Hotel in New Kingston.

Amongst the items - a brownie is missing, eaten, from the photograph - is a green candle. Does the JLP want journalists to keep this alight for them on Election Day?

Also … ‘a friend’ has handed me a discreet example of tribalism. It’s a People’s National Party (PNP) t-shirt, plain orange with ‘PNP WINNER’ written on the inside tag.

Perhaps this is because the Electoral Commission of Jamaica has banned party ‘paraphernalia’ from polling stations but still allows colours?

PNP taking it to JLP on

Saturday, September 1st, 2007

For political animals suffering from election withdrawal when party advertisements stop airing at midnight Sunday, you can catch up via both main parties’ dedicated channels on video-sharing website

The People’s National Party (PNP) yesterday posted eight of its campaign advertisements to its recently established YouTube channel, following the example of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), which launched its own two months ago.

However, as this blog has similarly experienced, JLP supporters, using the comment facility on YouTube have been quick to attack the PNP and also their supporters who post comments.

PNP birthday cards voters

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

maxinecard2.jpgWhile the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) has been leading the way in spending heavily on media advertising the People’s National Party (PNP) has been trying some direct methods to reach voters.

We’ve already seen the introduction of ‘Peter Bunting water’ in his Central Manchester constituency. Now a reader from South East St. Andrew comes to us with news that incumbent Member of Parliament Maxine Henry-Wilson has been issuing birthday cards to constituents on their special day.

We want to hear from you, not opinions - as evidenced by our comments section, some readers are full of them - but photographic evidence of other interesting campaign methods.


Jamaicans using YouTube to air views

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

The People’s National Party (PNP) recently launched their own YouTube channel and have posted the above advertisement, ‘At Home with the PNP’.

However what might be more interesting than advertisements by the two main political parties - and you won’t have seen these on the television or heard them on the radio - are political commentaries posted to YouTube by its users.

‘dtcc44′ lambasts the credentials of Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) leader Bruce Golding in a lengthy commentary on ‘flip flopping’ (see video above), while ‘RuffWayne’ has posted several including this clip, his most popular, in which he weighs in on the issue of free education.

JLP maintains YouTube attacks on PNP

Friday, August 17th, 2007

The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) is continuing its series of television advertisements attacking the reputation of Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and her People’s National Party (PNP).

‘Life in Portia’s Constituency’ is the latest clip to be posted by the JLP in their seemingly relentless campaign on video-sharing website

Other videos have been posted on their YouTube channel including ‘Lie Dem Lie’ and ‘The Frustrated Farmer’. ‘Don’t Draw Mi Tongue’ is now their most popular video with over 20,000 views, surpassing the earlier ‘Not Changing Course’ advertisement.

The PNP is yet to post any videos to YouTube but webmaster David White says they will do soon. Meanwhile one user of the site has posted a clip of the PNP’s ‘Straight From The Horse’s Mouth’ advertisement’.

Another user has also posted clips from the leadership debate between Mrs. Simpson Miller and JLP Leader Bruce Golding and the finance/economics debate between Finance Minister Omar Davies and Opposition Spokesman Audley Shaw.

JLP condemn supporters’ anti-media behaviour

Monday, August 13th, 2007

The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) today finds itself having to condemn the behaviour of its supporters after they threw food and water on journalists covering their rally in Sam Sharpe Square, Montego Bay on Sunday evening.

In a statement issued this afternoon the JLP promised to ensure greater security for journalists at future events.

Peter Bunting ahead of Comrades

Friday, August 10th, 2007

Thought to be first People’s National Party (PNP) candidate to broadcast personal campaign advertisements, Peter Bunting, who is contesting the Central Manchester constituency, is also ahead of his fellow Comrades in uploading it to video-sharing website

In the clip (see below) he tells potential voters that job creation will be his priority having, he claims, helped create thousands of jobs during his career as an investment banker.

A second clip is an endorsement from John Junor who stood down for this election. With the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) the first to utilise YouTube as an election tactic, Mr. Bunting’s campaign turns the tables on them somewhat, by including footage of rival candidate Sally Porteous. The JLP previously reproduced PNP President Portia Simpson Miller’s words in their ‘Not Changing Course’ advertisement.

“I like him by the way,” Ms. Porteous says of Mr. Bunting.

PNP ‘pimps’ candidates for virtual friends

Thursday, August 9th, 2007

pimped.jpgThis campaign has already seen politicians attempting, sometimes struggling, to demonstrate familiarity with the Internet Generation.

One politician to be caught e-unawares is Maxine Henry-Wilson, Minister of Education and Youth and incumbent Member of Parliament for South East St. Andrew. Mrs. Henry-Wilson has been ‘pimped’ – a use of the word popularised by the MTV show ‘Pimp My Ride’, which in slang means to customise.

The PNP, unbeknown to Mrs. Henry-Wilson, launched webpages for their candidates on social networking websites and and the video-sharing site Her Hi5 page - which has been customised using the free online tool - has a seductive background of hearts, inviting visitors to “… become Maxine’s first friend!”

Such virtual friends might be valuable should they become actual PNP voters on Election Day, August 27, in a hotly contested contest with Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) candidate Joan Gordon-Webley.

“Old methods of campaigning don’t always work and in this day and age, for example YouTube and MySpace are ways we can use,” said an approving Education Minister.

According to PNP webmaster David White the pages were launched in response to a survey of young people, which recommended using social networking websites to cultivate potential voters. However seeing as most of the webpages are inactive, Mr. White and his staff might first have to educate candidates, before they can win over voters online.

There are others customisations besides Mrs. Henry-Wilson’s, with Peter Bunting, candidate for Central Manchester and Phillip Paulwell, candidate for East Kingston and Port Royal also ‘pimped’ on their respective Hi5 and MySpace pages. Mr. Bunting’s page has a background of roses while Mr. Paulwell, or whomever launched the Technology Minister’s page, choose to display the motto: “It takes more than a man to be in the military. And more than a woman to love that man.”

Previously caught unawares by social networking technology, the most popular politicians’ pages on Hi5 actually belong to PNP President Portia Simpson Miller and her predecessors as Prime Minister, P.J. Patterson and Edward Seaga – whose pages were posted by pranksters.

Judging by the number of ‘friends’ and duration of their Hi5 pages, the youth wings of the PNP and JLP are more familiar with social networking sites - but this is unsurprising since it has been the demand from young users that has driven the popularity of the technology.

PNP Youth Organisation (PNPYO) President Andrew Okola seems to be well ahead with 353 Hi5 friends, a photograph of himself with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and testimony from female users, that might encourage him to run for office next election. The page of Generation 2000 (G2K), the young professional arm of the JLP, has 141 friends.

The JLP has also established its own channel on YouTube.

Peter Bunting in a bottle

Wednesday, August 8th, 2007

bunting-water.jpg Believed to be the first candidate this election campaign to have broadcast a personal television advertisement, People’s National Party (PNP) candidate for Central Manchester Peter Bunting looks to have done it again. Bottles of water labelled ‘Peter B is for Me!’ could also make him the first candidate to attempt this tactic. The bottles were handed out to members of the public in Mandeville, Manchester by dancers on a campaign float during Nomination Day yesterday.