By Jeniel Lamb
Our nation saw history being written on September 3, 2020. The Jamaica Labour Party took 49 of 63 seats in an election I dubbed in one of my previous articles as one of the most important in recent years. Jamaican people voted to keep the country under the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) administration – no small feat for any political party during a pandemic. It is commendable for any party to be able to show a nation that they can trust their leader during a time when everyone would prefer to point fingers and play the blame game.
Not only that, but many persons in a pandemic would choose to vote for the opposition since they might feel like the implemented restrictions should be blamed on the acting party. Even though it seems far-fetched, many people prefer to attack and ostracize the evil that they know.
While it can also be said that the low voter turnout is the reason the JLP won and that the cause of the low turnout was heavily due to the pandemic, it is still the case that the Jamaica Labour Party kept their place in the winning sphere.
The opposition, however, has seen a somewhat new kind of politics, being shown just how easily a ‘safe’ seat can be switched given the right motivations. This election, in my opinion, has given the opposition time to recuperate and time to try different ways of getting the people to trust them again. This is not the same type of politics that we have been seeing for the past couple of decades. There is a difference in voters wanting more from their Members of Parliament. This was shown clearly in the voting out of Peter Bunting.
This election has also shown us just how important the use of social media is to any society. The online community journalism during this election has been integral to many persons choosing their political leader.
Based on my personal opinion, it was fascinating to see just how many youth voices were heard in the recent election. It showed just how much power social media has in regards to making a difference and making a change for the betterment of the society. There is no more sitting back and letting things simply happen and fewer persons are becoming accustomed to the ‘die hard’ mentality. This is not to say that there weren’t manifestations of the ‘die hard’ mentality or examples of persons following family trends where party support or involvement is concerned. There will always be some level of peer pressure in regards to voting, as with making any choice. It’s human nature.
That being said, however, the results of the 2020 elections have left the whole country quite shocked. It can be said that we are in a new era of politics and voting and it should be quite a fascinating time ahead.
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