Ronnie Thwaites, former PNP Member of Parliament for Central Kingston, says he is rejecting Prime Minister Andrew Holness’ suggestion that better representation and improved behaviour in the chamber will help to curb with voter apathy.
Mr. Thwaites argued that more than 60 per cent of the electorate did not bother to vote in the latest election as they take their democratic rights for granted or don’t see their interests connected to the outcome. He stressed that they were not “frightened away by the coronavirus or fear of violence”, as some politicians had claimed, but just simply did not see the point of making the effort.
According to him, for especially many younger voters, their vote ‘seems to be one of the only tradeable commodities they possess’, and so was ‘reportedly for sale’.
“The price range this time around, it is alleged, was between $10 to 15 grand. A little lower than what you have to pay for professional mourners at a dull funeral and a little less, so I am told, than the tariff for a slightly ageing whore,” the Catholic Deacon declared.
Mr. Thwaites, who is also an attorney-at-law, made his comments in a newspaper column on Sunday. He said in relation to the behaviour of Parliamentarians, he had, long ago, proposed a plan for restructured seating arrangement, which would guarantee better conduct of MPs. This proposal he said, had been ignored.
“As for respect and manners across the aisle, the ergonomics of the chamber invites hostility. I left an undebated motion to reconfigure the seating so members would sit according to alphabet or parish, irrespective of who was ‘green’ or ‘orange’,” he said.
“A small gesture, but at least members might be seen to engage others across party lines and reduce the inbred tribal animosity of the Westminster model which we love to criticise but do little to change,” he added.