Archive for the ‘Hurricane Dean’ Category

Dean: a wind of good fortune for PNP?

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007


Hurricanes are full of wind; but so it is often said, are politicians. Prime Minister and People’s National Party (PNP) President Portia Simpson Miller said that the week between Emancipation Day and Independence Day would be free of campaigning.

Yet the sanctity of Independence Day was ‘rudely’ interrupted by broadcast back-to-back campaign advertisements from the two main political parties. But then, it has also been suggested, advertisements aren’t ‘real campaigning’ - which is about being out on the road and on the campaign platform.

But then if it is a ‘campaign advertisement’ isn’t that campaigning - to claim otherwise is surely ridiculous? Then there is the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) advertisement featuring Bruce Golding and booked on radio stations and played over and over, and then over again, to announce that ‘now it’s Hurricane Dean … so we won’t be campaigning’.

Meanwhile the PNP suspended its campaigning during the Hurricane, citing the same reasons as Mr. Golding.

He in choosing his words must surely have been aware that hoping for Dean to ‘change course’ might unavoidably be associated with the JLP’s in/famous advertisement of similar name - that provoked much indignation from the PNP - and therefore seen as blatant political point scoring; or rather saving.

Following a national disaster it stands to reason that citizens will rally round their leader during a time of shared need - George W. Bush’s massive approval rating and political carte blanche in the wake of the 9/11 tragedy is one example.

The JLP, having so far shown - let’s be honest - a more sophisticated approach to electoral advertising than its, ‘a vote for the PNP, is a vote for Portia’ opponents, will doubtless be acutely aware of this. That is likely why they have spent heavily on keeping the message of Mr. Golding’s ‘hurricane ad’ in rotation.

With the momentum in the polls they now face the prospect of being stalled by a postponement of the August 27 polls in the wake of Hurricane Dean. If the governing PNP manage to do a competent job of returning the country to normality then the JLP will have little option but to ‘unite’ in the national interest, as Mr. Golding’s message promises.

If ‘Brand Portia’ mobilises and presses, hugs and kisses the collective flesh of the electorate, Mr. Golding will surely be left envious. Meanwhile if the JLP is perceived as sniping at the recovery effort that could be damaging in reinforcing the image of negativity that often dogs the JLP - they have already raised objections.

So, will Dean make it inevitable that Mrs. Simpson Miller gains her first mandate?

PM to announce new election date

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007

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Taken from the Power 106 FM midday news

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller is this evening expected to address issues arising from yesterday’s emergency cabinet meeting, in a broadcast scheduled for 8 p.m.

The cabinet met to among other things consider a recommendation from the Electoral Commission that the date for the General Election be postponed from August 27 to September 3, following the impact of Hurricane Dean on Sunday.

It was also recommended that members of the security forces go to the polls on August 28, one week later than the August 21 date that was first set.

The emergency cabinet meeting came after it was discovered that the authorities blundered when the Electoral Commission submitted its recommendation directly to Governor-General Professor Kenneth Hall.

Information Minister Donald Buchanan told The Gleaner/Power 106 News yesterday that the Electoral Commission’s recommendation for the postponement of the General Election should have been submitted to Cabinet for consideration, before it was sent to the Governor-General for a final decision.

The Governor-General is expected to announce the date for election after reviewing the Cabinet’s decision.

Election expected to be held September 3

Tuesday, August 21st, 2007

Governor-General Professor Kenneth Hall will announce a new election date, expected to be September 3, delayed one week from the original date of August 27 by the passage of Hurricane Dean.

The Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ) gave news of an announcement today in a press statement issued last night. The decision to postpone the date of the election means security forces and election day workers will not vote today as previously scheduled.

To follow news of the official announcement keep reading the blog or listen to Power 106 FM by radio or online.

See today’s report in The Gleaner.

Gleaner launches Hurricane Dean blog

Friday, August 17th, 2007

Hurricane Dean Watch is the latest blog to be launched by The Gleaner Company.


From there and you can sign-up for regular updates sent to your cell phone and and for the first time you will be able upload your stories and photos via the blog.

Start blogging!

Hurricane Dean remains on track for Jamaica

Friday, August 17th, 2007


Hurricane Dean has remained on course to make landfall in Jamaica on Sunday, sometime after 8 a.m. The map from the United States’ National Hurricane Centre (see above) shows Dean passing directly over the island.

The hurricane has already killed one person in St. Lucia.

Currently a category three hurricane with 125 miles per hour winds Dean is expected to continue strengthening.

Will Dean stay or change the course?

Thursday, August 16th, 2007


The United States’ National Hurricane Centre (NHC) is projecting that Hurricane Dean will make landfall in Jamaica before 2 p.m. on Sunday, nine days before Election Day, August 27. Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has called a meeting of the National Disaster Committee for tomorrow.

In a statement issued by her office today, the Prime Minister said the meeting was necessary to ensure a swift recovery following the storm, which has reached category one status with wind speeds of 90 miles per hour. The NHC has warned that Dean could strengthen into a category three storm by Sunday with winds of up to 130 mph.

The Jamaica Constitution allows for an election date to be delayed by up to 30 days following the impact of a natural disaster. You can track the progress of Hurricane Dean via Go-Jamaica’s weather site.