Moving Back to Jamaica

A blog about my Move Back to Jamaica after 20+ years of living in the US. Most of the articles focus on the period from 2005-2009 when the transition was new, and at it's most challenging.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Displeased with Portia

It's a year later, and I am sorry to say that I have lost a great deal of faith in Portia Simpson-Miller, our first female Prime Minister.

Last year, I was quite optimistic: Click here to see my past posts on Portia.

However, a year later, I am yet to see evidence of her leadership.

Unfortunately, she was in the news again this week with some more semi-spiritual talk, that just didn't seem to be the kind of things that make sense to me for a Prime Minister to say. Apparently, a Rev. Phinn has prophesied that she will win the elections this year. She said at the same church service that some major things were going to happen this year, in much the same vein that the prophet said his words.

And therein lie the highlights of her year in office -- some quasi-religious talk about putting pastors on church boards, being God's chosen vessel and warning those that might not heed her leadership as one of God's elected.

I honestly cannot remember another single thing that she has said or done, that are outside of the normal course of events for a Prime Minister. In other words, she has had twelve months in which to occupy the office, but has done nothing with it other than keep the seat warm.

I can only imagine what Michael or Normal Manley, Bustamante or Seaga would have done with that opportunity.

Instead, she seems to have followed the PJ Patterson model of doing and saying as little as possible... until election times, all the time relying on the Opposition to get itself into trouble. This safe road would be fine if all were well in our country.

But it's not all well at all, and nothing short of a leader who is willing to stand and make a difference is going to turn the ship around.

It's not that I doubt her sincerity, nor do I think that she is corrupt. And maybe she is the perfect follow-on to the scandals of the Patterson years.

Even the recent Trafigura scandal has not been traced back to a fault on her part (other than that of not acting quickly enough.)

But is it enough to warrant leadership of the country for another five years? I find it hard to justify -- if the past year is any indication.

I imagine the PNP is thinking that she does not have to be a great leader -- all she has to do is to be better than Bruce Golding, the leader of the JLP.

And they might have a point, as he seems to be cut from the same indecisive bolt of cloth.

Portia -- do something -- ANYTHING -- even the wrong thing, to convince us that you have a plan that you are indeed willing to follow, and not just a religious conviction that God has put you there for a reason.