Election Day in Jamaica

As I mentioned in my Christmas in Kingston post, today is election day in Jamaica and based on very strong urging from multiple friends and the complex security, I’m staying off the road today to get some much need work and writing done.

Yesterday evening I walked up to the neighborhood grocery, Brooklyn, to buy some snacks and food to hold me over until the weekend. What should have been a quick in-and-out trip turned into nearly a 45 minute ordeal. There was no chaos, just a LOT of people and very long and slow lines. I guess everyone is really staying in today.

I don’t normally talk politics, but it’s been quite interesting to hear people’s perspectives on the¬†situation. Many I’ve come into contact have never voted and vow to never do so. They feel that regardless of the way they cast their ballot, their voice will never be heard. I want to argue the value of casting their ballot, but I get it. I’ve always voted, but I too have wondered at times what’s the point, but I’m still hopeful. Then there are those who are die hards for their political party, ready to engage in a healthy debate.

There are no campaign signs in people’s yards or bumper stickers on cars, but no shortage of TV and radio commercials. I’ve had to catch myself singing the catchy political songs in public.

I don’t have a TV, but have been following some election coverage on various sources on-line. This morning there have been reports of great turnouts in some areas and not so great in others like the Southboro community in St. Catherine, where a man opened fire killing one and an election day worker being stabbed to death among others. I seriously hope the violence remains at bay and Jamaicans get out and vote safely.

Jamaica, just like the US, has it’s problems and whether PNP or JLP, I pray the next administration takes seriously the task at hand to bring about much needed change in Jamaica.

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