Archive for the ‘Election debates’ Category

Florida Diaspora debate on

Wednesday, August 15th, 2007

A Jamaica Diaspora-organised election debate held in Miramar, South Florida on July 26 was posted on this week.

Representing the People’s National Party (PNP) was Phillip Paulwell, incumbent Member of Parliament for East Kingston and Port Royal, while Karl Chung, a Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) member resident in the United States, represented his party in the absence of Edmund Bartlett, MP for East Central St. James.

The footage is split into 10-minutes parts on YouTube (click on the window above to view part I).

Missed the debates? Listen online with Power 106 FM

Tuesday, August 14th, 2007

Whether you missed them, or just want to catch them again, you can now listen to all three national political debates online via Power 106 FM.

A Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) supporter has also posted video clips of the debate between Party Leader Bruce Golding and People’s National Party (PNP) President Portia Simpson Miller to


Photo by Peta-Gaye Clachar/Staff Photographer: People’s National Party (PNP) President Portia Simpson Miller and Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Leader Bruce Golding greet each other before the start of the Jamaica Debates Commission sponsored national political debate, held at the Creative Production and Training Facility (CPTC) in St. Andrew on Saturday, August 11.

Political debates: do the voters really care?

Monday, August 13th, 2007

peterrocky2.jpgWith political analysts concluding that Bruce Golding of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) beat Portia Simpson Miller of the People’s National Party (JLP) in the leadership debate on Saturday night, went on the road today to gauge the public reaction.

We wanted to find out whether the analysts right in their assessment, and more importantly, does the ‘result’ make any difference to voters whom we spoke to in the inner city Kingston communities of Maxfield Avenue and Tel Aviv?

Photo by Dayne Morrison: Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) supporting Maxfield Avenue residents Peter (left) and Rocky (right).

Not to mention that, as demonstrated by United States President George W. Bush, you can be viewed immediately afterwards as having ‘lost’ the debate, yet still win at the polls - when it really matters. This is what our respondents said:

Peter, a 32-year-old Labourite from Maxfield Avenue said that the debates did not change anything that he thought about his party. “A Bruce wi sey all di way … my father used to make bells, all now him still do it, so mi nah put down my bell,” he said. “Bruce won the debate.”

Rocky, 35, was standing beside Peter in his ‘Bruce’ t-shirt’ and said about the debate: “Mi did a listen still but mi never really care b’coz a Labour mi sey straight … a Labour party mi sey since mi born, no debate can’t change that.”

Over in Tel Aviv Ma, 58, was ironing her clothes for the next working day. “I born as a PNP, I grow as a PNP and I will die as a PNP,” she said. “Bruce sey, when him win wi (People’s National Party) ah go have heart-attack, an if him really win fi true, ME, as a die-hearted PNP goodly have heart-attack.”

Tia, 24 was lounging in Ma’s room with her crew at the time. “PNP, all di way … Well I nuh really care bout them debate but what I would like for Jamaica, when all this is over, in terms a anybody win, me’da like everybody come under one, me nuh waan no more two-party ting, jus one-party a govern di ting.”

Debates are over … which party convinced you?

Saturday, August 11th, 2007

The nation has just watched People’s National Party (PNP) President Portia Simpson Miller and Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Leader Bruce Golding complete the final installment of three national political debates.

Mrs. Simpson Miller highlighted her own attributes and record as Prime Minister as reasons to vote PNP on Election Day, August 27. Mr. Golding continued to stress that the nation had underperformed under the PNP and that the JLP would increase investment.

The two leaders clashed on several issues including trust and corruption. However both leaders addressed each other on first name terms toward the end of the debate when Mrs. Simpson Miller approached Mr. Golding to embrace and kiss him.

What is your response to this and the previous two debates? Did they sway or convince you to vote for either the PNP or the JLP? Have your say and comment below.

Will Shaw draw Davies’ tongue?

Friday, August 10th, 2007

The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) has released another advertisement splicing quotes by People’s National President (PNP) Portia Simpson Miller.

Mrs. Simpson Miller is seen losing her cool and famously saying “don’t draw mi tongue!” In between her quotes, Opposition Spokesman on Finance Audley Shaw is seen criticising her performance as a minister.

But will Mr. Shaw have it so easy tonight, live in person, against Finance Minister Dr. Omar Davies in the second of three national political debates - give us your predictions and later, your reactions?

The final debate, between JLP leader Bruce Golding and Mrs. Simpson Miller follows on Saturday.

Listen live via Power 106 FM or online. Convened by the Jamaica Debates Commission, all debates are scheduled between 9-10:30 p.m.

Election debate round one: social issues

Wednesday, August 8th, 2007

Dr. Peter Phillips representing the governing People’s National Party (PNP) and Dr. Ken Baugh of the opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) began the first of three debates convened by the Jamaica Debates Commission and being held this week.

Were you listening or watching: tell us who you think performed best and why?

Unsuprisingly both candidates offered very different versions of the state of the country, ahead of Election Day on August 27.

“For the first time we can in our generation see a First World standard of living being available to the Jamaican people,” said an optimistic Dr. Phillips in his summation of the debate. Meanwhile a pessimistic Dr. Baugh rebutted: “Jamaica continues to languish in poverty and disadvantage.”

Crime dominated early questioning from the panel of journalists with Dr. Phillips contending that whilst more needed to be done, his government had been successful in attacking the narcotics trafficking, removing dons and aiding stability in several troubled communities.

Dr. Baugh responded, that despite a reduction in the murder rate from a peak of 1,674 - almost quadrupling from 1989, the last year the JLP was in Government - it remained too high with the roots causes of poverty not being properly addressed. But Dr. Phillips said that reduced social spending under the JLP had contributed to a higher rate of poverty and therefore crime.

He also touted the record of the PNP in housebuilding and in job creation in the tourism sector while Dr. Baugh contended that more needed to be done to regulate and regularise squatter communities.

Both criticised health spending under each other’s administrations while also stressing the need for continued reform of the sector, which Dr. Phillips said was well underway with $2 billion in spending on equipment in the last year and the PNP having recognised the need to make regional health authorities smaller and more flexible.

They agreed that repeal of the buggery laws was not an issue in Jamaica and reiterated their Parties’ support for the death penalty.

Dr. Baugh said Parliament and not national referendums would suffice in debating the issues buggery, decriminalisation of ganja and abortion. Dr. Phillips said referendums would be a possibility under the PNP.

On education Dr. Phillips said the PNP had increased enrollment in tertiary education and also reduced unemployment but Dr. Baugh contended that graduates were continuing to leave Jamaica due to a lack of opportunities. Dr. Baugh said the JLP would seek to better integrate education with industry and repeated his Party’s manifesto pledge to eliminate school fees and raise the school leaving age to 18.

Dr. Phillips said that the PNP expected to reach its 2002 manifesto pledge to achieve 100 per cent literacy, two years late, in 2009.

With the debate returning to crime Dr. Baugh criticised the PNP’s record on corruption. He said the JLP would tackle corruption as a priority while Dr. Phillip’s defended anti-corruption and open government legislation under his Party. They also differed on whether the Government had done enough to secure Jamaica’s borders.

Citing extra-judicial killings and their impact on the poor and young, Dr. Baugh said that justice reform would be a priority should the JLP form the next Government. In rebuttal Dr. Phillips said the level of extra-judicial killings was greater under the JLP during the 1980’s and that the PNP was committed to further reform of the judicial system.

Dr. Phillips repeated the PNP’s scepticism that the JLP could finance its $60 billion in new spending plans but Dr. Baugh reiterated his Party’s position that this could be funded by increasing efficiency in Government spending and reducing corruption.

Audley Shaw of the JLP and Dr. Omar Davies of the PNP will debate economic and financial issues on Friday. Opposition Leader Bruce Golding and Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller will square off on Saturday.

All debates will be held between 9-10:30 p.m.