While we celebrate Carnival, Jamaicans are gearing up for a February 25 election.
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We want democracy that works
Last week’s images of men burning an effigy of Wayne Kublalsingh powerfully illuminated how poor governance and manipulative political leadership can turn citizens against each other, and how we become our own vulnerable bobolees by failing to focus collective attention to our common cause.
Yes, the Debe to Mon Desir dispute is over a highway extension, and it has been emotive, frustrating and vexing to those of different views, but that is not the issue that deserves citizens’ anger. The issue is how state officials and institutions’ failure to be transparent and trustworthy creates and legitimises blame, intolerance and violence as modes for public deliberation. Beware.
Without full information, different stakeholders resort to accusation. Without a sense of the connected ways we are affected, we deepen popular division. In attacking one another, we undermine necessary national pressure for state accountability.
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