Speaking at the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) constituency conference at the Stony Hill Primary School in West Rural St. Andrew on Sunday, Opposition Leader Andrew Holness appealed to young people to be agents of change and participate in the political process by exercising their right to vote. He encouraged young voters to look to the JLP for governance that is accountable, effective and responsive to the needs of the nation’s youth where employment, access to credit for entrepreneurship, skills training and education opportunities are concerned.
Mr. Holness says participating in the political process and taking an active interest in the governance of the country is the attitude the Jamaican youth must adopt. Mr. Holness said: “Sometimes the promises have not been delivered. Many times you have been disappointed, but our democracy cannot work if you decide not to vote. Not voting doesn’t change anything. What not voting does is to allow those who are in power [and] not doing anything to remain in power and continue to do nothing.”
The Opposition Leader remarked: “Unfortunately, some of our youth and those in the ranks of the uncommitted believe that it is a legitimate protest not to vote. Some believe it is their civic duty no to vote. But in doing that, what they do is to condemn Jamaica to a future of no progress, no growth and no change for the better.”
Holness continued: “The only way that we are going to change Jamaica; the only way that better will come; the only way that your life is going to get better is when the leaders know that you [the electorate] are going to hold them to account. When the leaders know that you are going to get up and walk to that polling station and mark your ‘X’ on that ballot and drop it in the box, that’s the only way change is going to come.”
Mr. Holness went on to emphasize that he wants young voters to look to the JLP and entrust the leadership of the country to him, not merely out of discontent for the present government, but more so because the JLP has presented a vision and a plan for Jamaica’s development that is “bankable, actionable and credible”.