How to have a successful career in politics (Jamaican style)

Here are 4 techniques for ensuring a successful career in Jamaican politics, despite misguided voters, financial scandals and other mishaps……

Technique No# 1: Not a favourite with the voters ? Facing mutiny within your own party ? Cultivate a hard head and “strong ears”

Seaga Edward Seaga (in younger days)

The most successful practitioner of this technique is, of course, former Prime Minister Edward Seaga. Despite losing 4 general elections in a row (and a few local government elections along the way) this gentleman never doubted that the polls were wrong and that his fellow JLP M.P.’s were an ignorant, treasonous rabble.

Current practitioners: Bruce Golding, Seaga’s successor as Leader of the Opposition. Bruce demonstrates the use of this technique by his refusal to discuss the polls showing that he and the JLP will definitely lose the next General Election. Right now, this looks admirably like bravery and keeping a stiff upper lip.

A2479 Bruce Golding, Opposition leader

Remember, this behaviour will only translate to “pig headed and tone deaf”  after he has led the JLP to 2 consecutive election defeats.

Technique # 2: Election coming up ? Unpopular with the party hierarchy ? Cross the floor and take a seat elsewhere in the House, ignoring Party lines, previous loyalties, your constituents etc……

This technique is generally well understood and has been widely practiced by many politicians including Madame Rose Leon (JLP, PNP, JLP ?), Karl Samuda (JLP, PNP, JLP), Bruce Golding (JLP, NDM, JLP), Brascoe Lee (JLP, NDM, PNP)…….

However, aspiring politicos should note that crossing the floor even once will pretty much signal the end of your hopes of ever becoming a Maximum Leader.

Karlsamudab20031125Rb Karl Samuda, JLP General Secretary

If forced to seek a more comfortable situation, do as Bruce did, and seek it in a no-hoper third party, from which you can return without much ado…….

Technique # 3 : Public demands that you be fired from your Cabinet post ? Destroyed your own credibility by a vanity run for the party leadership ? Continually assert your own brilliance, general public’s stupidity ……and then digress……digress……. ….digress…..

This technique is best employed by politicians, such as the current Minster of Finance, whose natural facial features allow them to adopt a perpetually self-satisfied expression.

Omar Dr. Omar Davies

Whether explaining that only he is capable of

A. keeping good ship Jamaica afloat despite a mountain of debt, or

B. piling up more debt,

Dr. Davies has perfected the condescending tone necessary for explaining that the electorate (and the Opposition) are “Oh-so-reducing-a-complex-issue-to-a- simple-equation….”

The public may think that Massive debt + No way of repaying it = Disaster, but successful adopters of this technique will know that a long digression into “Scandals Whitehouse not costing the country a penny because we going to pay for it using money lent to us by Chavez and not repayable until 2090 when I will have been six foot under for longer than I have now been Finance Minister…..” will sufficiently confuse and bore enough people that they will move on to harassing another politician…..

Technique # 4: Have no economic program ? No plans except to be in power ? Facing tough socioeconomic issues ? Cultivate your personal attractiveness and charisma to the exclusion of all other qualities

Michael Manley A Michael Manley (long time ago)

Images-1 Sir Alexander Bustamante

This technique has been perfected over many years by the present Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller. However this technique was also extensively practiced with great success in former times by Prime Ministers Michael Manley and Alexander Bustamante.

RecortePrime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller

Unfortunately, unless total strangers already routinely flock you at cocktail parties, aspiring politicos may find this technique hard to adopt……..

(For other how-to’s, please visit Problogger…….)

“Sean Paul – Duttyology (Explicit Version)” (Sean Paul)

“Modern Blackness: Nationalism, Globalization, And The Politics Of Culture In Jamaica (Latin America Otherwise)” (Deborah A. Thomas)


“Cool Runnings” (Jon Turteltaub)

[posted with ecto]

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