People’s Manifesto

Written by Jaevion Nelson

manifesto4.jpgThe August 27 election date has been announced but voters are still awaiting the manifestos of both main parties - the issues over which the elections are supposed to be contested.

Meanwhile Gleaner Online asked members of the public what they would do were they to wake up on the morning of Tuesday August 28 as the newly elected Prime Minister of Jamaica.

What follows are the manifestos of persons surveyed in Half-Way Tree earlier this week. Each was asked to describe their leadership style and outline five priority areas for their hypothetical Government.

We are also interested in receiving personal manifestos from persons all over Jamaica and the Diaspora. “Dis countri need a sortin’ out,” said one respondent.

What would you do?


Business Executive Mary Smith-Allen says her leadership would be informed by public consultation. Mrs. Smith-Allen would work with youths to gain a consensus for policy planning. She also wants policy makers to develop a working understanding of the ‘negative psyche’ effecting the country - again via public consultation.


1. Improve access to vocational courses for young people in poor communities. Teaching them a skill would re-channel their energies towards the job market and deter them from involvement in crime.

2. Tackle the problem of the lack of values in schools. Students are too against each other; too much labeling and negative peer pressure. Being literate is insufficient – the student must leave school with a feeling of self-worth. They must be able to relate to others, know their sexuality and be able to resolve conflict peacefully.

3. Get young people off the streets and ensure students go home after school. The police will play a vital role in this effort under my government.

4. Redevelop the agricultural sector so it can regain the strength it had in the 1970’s.

5. Address the loss of culture and identity following the influence of American cable stations.


Andre Gordon, who is a 19-year-old student, says he would be a financially responsible Prime Minister. Andre would ensure the budget clearly identifies how each expense will be financed too avoid excessive government borrowing. His administration would instead increase its revenues by stimulating investment and encouraging the growth of the export sector.


1. House and provide care for street people.

2. Fix the roads properly.

3. Address the decline in the agricultural sector by reducing imports and producing more for local consumption and export. This would also be done with the aim of increasing foreign exchange reserves.

4. Education is a must. More schools would be built and equipped with computers and books.

5. Reduce political tribalism.



Nail technician Colleen Dickson is chiefly concerned about the so-called ‘brain drain’ of qualified workers who go overseas in search of job opportunities, leaving a shortage of their skills locally. A Ms. Dickson-led administration would therefore provide incentives to encourage such persons to remain in the Jamaican labour market and boost national development.


1. Lobby against absentee fathers.

2. Greater sanctions against men who beat women.

3. Free secondary education.

4. Greater availability of improved housing for average Jamaicans.

5. Enable persons to travel abroad at least once in their life.

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