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evanovitch
03-18-2010, 04:57 PM
Who will succeed Bruce Golding?

Mark Wignall


Thursday, March 18, 2010


Half-way through its first five-year term of government since it was defeated in February 1989, troubled by its inability to attach the word "spectacular" to any part of its performance during that time, and buffeted by political storm winds associated with the Dudus extradition request, the general view at street level suggests major survival problems for this administration beyond 2012.

Politically, this government just didn't need the gale force winds of the Dudus request at the same time that the economic tsunami of the global recession was fully upon us. Exceptional leadership was needed as the newly elected administration of September 2007 found itself in uncharted territory as the country it campaigned for since 2005 was significantly different in 2007 and beyond, for the global recession took its toll on the fragile economy and the delicate and troubling social imbalances that had occupied Jamaica for much too long.


HOLNESS... heads the shortlist
HOLNESS... heads the shortlist 1/1

It is the view of many, from those occupying pristine New Kingston corporate boardrooms to the unemployed youngster rolling his ganja spliff in a garbage-strewn, unpaved,

inner-city lane and the dirt-poor in rural Jamaica, that that exceptional leadership has not materialised from Prime Minister Golding.

The first rule of party politics is loyalty, and leaders like Eddie Seaga and PJ Patterson epitomised that, although their methodologies were different. Seaga used the force of his intellect and coupled it with fear, while Patterson created layers of authority beneath him with each level knowing its role and all knowing who controlled the lock on the barn door.

In his stint in government from 1980 -1989 Seaga operated with huge majorities and although he had exceptional second-tier leaders then, by operating as if the JLP was his personal fiefdom, any perceived threats to his leadership were put down early and many potential leaders of the JLP during that period and beyond were destroyed as men long before they were defeated in their quests for leadership.

In the PNP, as Patterson saw the shifting political winds, he arranged for a transfer of power. Not so Seaga. In between wanting a last hurrah as prime minister and seemingly, leader-for-life of the JLP, he depleted the JLP of potential leaders and made his exit only when the young Turks in the party sipped his own brew and made the going much too hot for him. With Golding, one doesn't sense that he has borrowed from either or has devised a leadership better than what went before.

An examination of the 17 Cabinet members will easily present us with eliminations simply because leadership material is largely absent. On our "first-scratch" list would be: Cabinet Secretary Douglas Saunders, Grand-daddy Mike Henry the transport minister, a remarkably fit Pearnel Charles at 74 years old, Deputy PM Dr Ken Baugh whose heart is not in it, and Karl Samuda who needs a good rest now. Housing Minister Dr Horace Chang has much in his educational, organisational, political and professional past to be proud of, but in this the age of the pirates he would never make it. Sports Minister Babsy Grange has never indicated that she had more in her than what she now has.

On our "second-scratch" list would be Tourism Minister Ed Bartlett, who at three days younger than I am, has never indicated any such ambitions, nor has he created a constituency of supporters willing to covertly prepare him for that path until he senses an opening. Attorney General Dorothy Lightbourne is a kind soul who has no stomach for the rough and tumble of "fighting for power".

Security Minister Senator Dwight Nelson was, like Golding, a child prodigy, but it is not my belief that he was cut out for the potential pitfalls of representational politics. Health Minister Ruddy Spencer reminds me of the late Hugh Shearer, a man who found real happiness after the west engineered his ouster as JLP leader in 1974 and replaced him with the fiery Seaga.

Heading our shortlist is the youngest Cabinet member: 38-year-old Andrew Holness, the education minister (a Seaga find) whose ministry operates in a poor country that will never be able to allow him to operate at his full competency level. He has what some would call a "caring" personality but he also will find it difficult to sail the seas with political pirates. He needs at least seven more years to toughen his hide, but he has to stop just short of flying the Jolly Roger. What will be the state of the JLP in 2017 when an election will be due?

Agriculture minister Chris Tufton is being touted in many quarters as a potential leader. It is hardly ever sensed by the general public that one of the first requirements for political leadership is the strength of the bile in one's system. Like love as a requirement for marriage, competency alone will never cut it in the chase for political leadership.

It needs tenacity and cunning in the fight and once one attains it, it takes more than a touch of ruthlessness to maintain that leadership and keep the troops in tow. Dr Tufton seems lacking in those "attributes".

House Speaker Delroy Chuck was born two days after me and his political claim to fame has been the "transformation" of the troubled inner-city community of Grants Pen. Made sedate as Speaker, he has been off the political radar. Rhodes Scholar, lawyer, lecturer at Norman Manley Law School, former newspaper columnist and author, Chuck would never survive the first round of a leadership fight.

The last two on the list are Daryl Vaz (47), Minister in charge of Special Projects and Information and Telecommunications, and James Robertson (44), Minister of Mining and Energy. Even those who say they have reason to dislike Vaz will admit that he has surprised many and has been a credit in his role of information minister. At times the de facto deputy PM and probably the person in the Cabinet closest to the prime minister, Vaz is an organisational master, at boardroom and grass-roots level and has assisted in the election campaigns of many MPs.

He would, I imagine, scoff at the idea of having leadership ambitions especially when a "No vacancy" sign is displayed. I need to remind him and all the others on the shortlist not to commit themselves to the same errors that had beset the JLP while Seaga was its leader. Succession planning can occur without second-tier personnel salivating outside the prime minister's door like eager hounds in heat.

In my next column, I will be taking a look at the ministers of State like Bobby Montague, Marlene Malahoo-Forte, Ronald Robinson and the promising youngster Warren Newby. And maybe by that time I will be able to determine if James Robertson's inaction in the energy ministry is an indication of his competence and suitability for the first-scratch list.

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Panajar
03-18-2010, 10:52 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: evanovitch =Mark Wignall</div><div class="ubbcode-body">:<span style="font-size: 14pt">In his stint in government from 1980 -1989 Seaga operated with huge majorities and although he had exceptional second-tier leaders then, <span style="color: #FF0000">by operating as if the JLP was his personal fiefdom, any perceived threats to his leadership were put down early and many potential leaders of the JLP during that period and beyond were destroyed as men long before they were defeated in their quests for leadership</span>... Seaga used the force of his intellect and coupled it with <span style="color: #CC0000">fear</span>,...Not so Seaga. In between wanting a last hurrah as prime minister and seemingly, <span style="color: #CC0000">leader-for-life</span> of the JLP, he depleted the JLP of potential leaders and made his exit only when the young Turks in the party sipped his own brew and made the going much too hot for him.</div></div></span>

Well here is some of the info you have been demanding from me, hope this help to clear up any lingering doubts you had.This came from none other than Mark a well know JLP mouth piece,he is in the best position to answer such questions. http://www.jamaicans.com/forums/images/smilies/notworthy.gif to Mark.