JIS News

Parliamentary Secretary in the National Security Ministry, Senator Kern Spencer, has dismissed arguments that Jamaica is a failed state.
“Jamaica is not a weak, failed, nor a collapsed state,” he said, while pointing to the country’s many achievements since obtaining political Independence in 1962.
He however conceded that there were challenges that were in need of urgent attention and the civil, corporate, spiritual and political leadership all had a role to play in charting Jamaica’s way forward in the 21st Century.
Senator Spencer was giving the main address on at a one-week training seminar for student leaders held on June 24 on the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies.
The Parliamentary Secretary, who spoke on the topic, ‘Styles of Leadership’ said he believed that Jamaica was at a crossroad in its evolution as a nation and there was much to be proud of after surviving 300 years of slavery and colonial rule to become a sovereign independent state.
He pointed out that 21st Century leadership, must of necessity, be all-inclusive and participatory, and involve partnership among the political, economic, labour and social directorates.
He noted that while the Westminster model had served the nation well, the time had come to modify the model and to “Jamaicanise” it. Furthermore, he said the time had come for Jamaica to have its own Head of State, which he said was a “critical and symbolic step.in the creation of a stakeholder society at the political level”.
Closely related to this effort, Senator Spencer said, was the promulgation of the Charter of Rights, to confirm the inalienable rights of all Jamaicans. He noted that any ambiguity, which might surround the justifiability of these rights, must be removed.
The National Security Parliamentary Secretary also called for term limits to be placed on the executive branch of government, noting that three consecutive terms should suffice. He noted also that, “the people should be able to remove a non-performing representative whether a councillor or Member of Parliament.”
“Jamaicans should have the power outside of the election, to remove the representative especially in instances where they violate the public trust or have lost the moral authority to lead,” Senator Spencer stated, noting that as the Westminster export model was modified to make it culturally relevant, procedures relating to the no confidence vote should be strengthened.
He pointed out, that this measure would prove to be more effective than an impeachment procedure. Explaining, he said that the vote of no confidence would prove to be useful in checking the power of the executive and would be easier to implement.
He further urged students to ensure that leadership programmes encouraged consensus, cooperation and collaboration rather than competition and conflict.

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