A senior People’s National Party (PNP) member has chalked up the party’s stunning defeat at the polls on Thursday (Feb 25) to arrogance on its part.
He made the honest assessment to media reporters moments after his party was booted out of office after only a term. The loss marks the first time in the party’s 70-year history it has served only a term.
“The party got too arrogant. They were too comfortable and didn’t feel like they had to do any work on the ground,” the senior party member said.
“The party started to believe that Jamaica was PNP country,” he added.
According to the senior Comrade, his party got haughtier after an initial survey last year showed it would win the pending general election by 44 seats.
In numerous interviews that followed the loss, various PNP officials tried offering their take on what may have caused the party’s thrashing by the opposition JLP.
However, none offered that the party had become arrogant.
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Ronald Thwaites said that the party’s austerity measures which made the JLP’s promise of no personal income tax for persons earning a gross salary annual salary of $1.5 million more appealing. Others lamented a low voter turnout.
Both lines were recycled throughout the night.
Still the assessment of an arrogant PNP was also made by Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) campaign manager and MP Mike Henry.
Offering a perspective on the loss, Henry told reporters that they “just got too arrogant, complacent and almost contemptuous of the Jamaican people who had put them in power”.
Henry said the decision not to participate in the national political debates was almost a fatal, self-inflicted blow by the PNP, “and I am still trying to figure out who made the final call on that matter, as it was one of the most illogical decisions I have come across in my long political career.”
Many Jamaicans are also fed up with one of the highest homicide rates in the world, mostly blamed on gangs. The country had at least 1,192 slayings in 2015, a roughly 20 percent increase from the previous year.
By comparison, Chicago, which has roughly the same population as Jamaica at 2.7 million, had 468 killings in the same period.