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Critical issues not addressed in Tuesday's social debate, says commentator


Source: Jamaica Gleaner

Image caption: The JLP and PNP representatives in the social debate await the start of proceedings on Tuesday.

Political commentator Shalman Scott has said said critical issues were not adequately addressed during Tuesday night's national debate involving the Jamaica Labour Party and the People's National Party.


The debate focused on social issues.


Mr. Scott said the members of both teams should have placed more emphasis on where resources would be found to carry out the various plans and projects being touted by the political parties.


Mr. Scott said healthcare was one area that needed further ventilation. 


"We know that they are not doing an economic debate but it was important for us to hear them recognising that it is not only to come and make promises but that everything in life has a source, it has a cost and it has a destination and we know how some of these things would be dealt with differently from a strategic economic perspective, and that was what was lacking," he contended.  


Mr. Scott argued that while the debate was "better than nothing", it was a "lackluster" performance which made it difficult to separate the parties or declare a winner since none of the teams was able to move the discussion from "just competing, to making promises, to say to us how some of these promises would have been fulfilled."


The commentator said he was also hoping to hear how the parties would tackle corruption. 


"...Especially the latest series of corruption which involves over $14 billion. I think that there should be more emphasis on the need in the political arena for not only tremendous education but tremendous integrity," he said. 


For Thursday's debate involving Finance Minister Dr. Nigel Clarke and Mark Golding, his opposition counterpart, Mr. Scott is hoping for specific responses on how the promises made by both political parties will be fulfilled.


He also wants issues related to the public sector addressed.


"In the last 30 years, we have had so much corruption and there is a statistic available that over $1 billion per year is lost to corruption and cronyism in the country, and so that's what we want to hear. Not about how wonderful things have been and all the rest of it, but how we are going to be doing things differently. What sort of change in attitude is going to come? And so, that's where the assurance needs to come from and followed up with action," he insisted. 

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