#AtoZChallengeJamaica V is for Voice

The people have spoken! But, how did they speak? Jamaica’s proud of its democratic traditions; voting has been used as the only means to change national government. But, people don’t see voting as their only voice: fewer than 50 percent of the electorate decided to ‘speak’ at our 2016 elections. What does that really mean?

Screen Shot 2016-06-24 at 7.06.04 AM
People have more positions than simple voting can reflect

Britain showed yesterday its own respect for similar traditions, voting in a referendum to leave the EU by a national 52/48 percent  majority.

Screen Shot 2016-06-24 at 6.55.39 AM
How the #Brexit vote looked over Britain. The yellers didn’t win.

But, large parts of the UK–Scotland, Northern Ireland and Greater London–voted clearly to remain. Will people in those areas want their different voices to be heard and acted upon?

The #Brexit vote holds other interesting pointers. Younger people (under 45) voted clearly to remain; those older voted clearly to leave–ironically, they are the generation who voted the UK in. So, UK political division is generational. 

For Jamaica, age data from our election are not yet available.

PM Cameron wasted no time in announcing that he would step down and open the way (by October) for a new leader of his party. His voice was clear. Do Jamaican leaders (not just the PM) feel similar urges to step down when people vote against their ideas? Do they hear voices in their heads, the way other nations’ politicians do?

When people ‘speak’, many listen: ask financial traders watching Sterling and stocks plummet. Actions speak louder than words.

Author: Dennis G Jones (aka 'The Grasshopper')

Retired International Monetary Fund economist. My blog is for organizing my ideas and thoughts about a range of topics. I was born in Jamaica, but spent 30 years being educated, living, and working in the UK. I lived in the USA for two decades, and worked and travelled abroad, extensively, throughout my careers and for pleasure. My views have a wide international perspective. Father of 3 girls. Also, married to an economist. :)

4 thoughts on “#AtoZChallengeJamaica V is for Voice”

    1. I think this was a fundamentally flawed process in the United Kingdom. There ought to have been some stipulation for a clear and decisive majority as in a minimum percentage win. This was a Very important decision for 65 million people, extrapolated to several billion, worldwide. Yet a mere 4 % differential was allowed to decide the fate of so many millions. The rest are disenfranchised!!

      Like

      1. But, the British 1st past the post system produces the government that rules, and has done so for centuries. 1 votes more is all that’s been needed, and surely that’s more important.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Reblogged this on Petchary's Blog and commented:
    My blogger friend Dennis has been leaning in political directions (mostly) for our A to Z Challenge. Ironically, the electoral voice of Jamaicans is barely a whisper, and yet we make so much noise about partisan politics. Here’s some food for thought…

    Like

Comments are closed.