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.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Danville Walker -- our most famous returnee

Danville Walker is perhaps the finest example of someone who has moved back to Jamaica.

As the former Director of Elections, he was appointed during the PNP administration, enjoyed the confidence of the JLP, and brought a level of excellence to our electoral process that has resulted in it becoming a model for other countries.

I can share from personal experience from voting in the U.S. and Jamaica that our system on the island is a much more thorough one. This is far cry from the days when voting in some constituencies exceeded 100%, and the bogus voting I witnessed as a CAFFE observer in the late 1990's.

He and his colleagues at the EOJ have simply engineered a miracle.

It is a fine example of what most Jamaicans abroad aspire to do "someday":

1. develop a critical skill abroad
2. bring it home
3. use it to make a contribution
4. be acknowledged

The remittances currently that prop up the Jamaican economy are merely a proxy for this kind of substantial contribution.

Hats off to the man, and the way that he came home to work on behalf of his countrymen. Most agree that we want more men and women like him in political office.



At 5/14/2008 4:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You want to say that he was more famous than Marcus Garvey to name another returnee who comes immediately to mind? Come, man! Also, not sure what criterion you are using for returnee. How long abroad? For what purposes abroad? Etc.

At 5/14/2008 7:18 PM, Blogger fwade said...

Hmmm... good point!

He's at least our most famous living returnee.

And, to tell the truth, Garvey was a deportee rather than a returnee!

At 5/15/2008 8:11 AM, Blogger Living in Barbados said...

...and left again to live and die in England...

My point really is that I don't think we want to look at Jamaicans and "in" or "out", which gets into divisions (some of which can make sense but can also make nonsense--dual citizens can vote but cant take many public offices; is wha' dat?). One needs to embrace what we have and who wants to help us. Look at Michael Lee-Chin, really a Canadian investor, or Jamaican origins, who is doing a lot to make his investments work in Jamaica.

I think your tack is right, in modern circumstances, in not dashing away those who want to contribute for a bunch of not well-fitting legislation.

Politicians will walk, talk and cozy up to the diaspora near election time for money, and constantly encourage remittances, etc. But do they see a role for the diaspora in public life? It's seems not, at present. Is that a problem? That depends. Law makers are important but not the whole picture.

But the debate is useful and we also want to get honesty into it. So all those who should be excluded under current rules, get up and declare yourselves.


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