Jamaica: In A Democracy Sometimes You Lose, But I Shall Return -- M.P. Damion Crawford

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Damion Crawford

[Global: Jamaica]

There are two things that generations have been sure about when it comes to democracy: The first, is that it is not perfect, but the second and most important variable is that it is the best system we currently have.

I am indeed extremely grateful to my supporters because your voices and actions have helped to soften the blow of the selection defeat. I understand the feeling of powerlessness you feel, because, many of you were not selected as delegates. As you are well aware I  didn't even have a vote on the day. However, let us not ignore that the political management of the constituency is by the PNP's practice, the member of parliament's responsibility. Therefore, I must take the blame for having ignored that aspect and whatever negatives came with that.

We went in as a team to the selection, trumpeting the work we have done and our many achievements, to which you, the constituents, contributed greatly. It cannot be ignored that as a constituency we improved in every area of GSAT between 2010 and 2013. It cannot be ignored that those students who attended the literacy classes had an 86% mastery compared to the constituency average of 56%. It cannot be ignored that we had 51 students fully financially covered at the pre-university, all of whom passed at least one CAPE subject.

It cannot be ignored that 1000 East Rural St. Andrew residents were trained by HEART at the expense of the Constituency Development Fund. It cannot be ignored that the Adult Night School had a 92% pass rate in POB. It cannot be ignored that places like Taylor Land, Bayshore, Melbrook, Windsor Lodge, Cottage Hill, Mount Charles and Bobo Hill have received infrastructural improvements that some have never even dreamed of and others have never seen before.

However, with all this said we equally cannot ignore that at the close of proceedings we had less support in the form of delegate votes than the other candidate. I do not in anyway take the votes of the delegates as an indication of a constituency-wide rejection of my programs and the directions we took. Indeed, I remain confident that most constituents of both sides of the political divide appreciated and applauded my efforts.

Nonetheless, at the close of play on Sunday, I was weighed, measured and found wanting. The delegates rejected my stewardship for reasons that cannot negate my achievements. Some of these reasons were contrived in the campaign, but others might have been real issues that were unknown to me and some remain unknown to me. It is however, the responsibility of the party to select the best candidates to represent the seat and we have faltered at the first and most important hurdle.

There are however other rivers to cross and if at the end of those rivers the delegates' decision is upheld by the party, I ask you as I will, to put your full support behind the party's candidate. I am therefore pleading to my supporters to stand down from any further street protest actions and while I am disappointed that there is a strategy being employed to seek to belittle my efforts and my approach, I wish every success to Peter Blake and his team.

In conclusion, I remind my supporters that I was schooled at an institution that holds the motto, "The brave may fall but never yield". I tried to do things differently with full knowledge of the risk, and I hope in the future the children and indeed the people of East Rural St. Andrew will call me blessed for my efforts.

 

Mr. Crawford is the incumbent Member of Parliament. He lost to businessman Peter Blake in his bid to represent the governing People's National Party (PNP) in the St Andrew East Rural constituency in the next general election.

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