The following is an article submitted to the Letters to the Editor in the Jamaica Gleaner. It was written by Yvonne McCalla Sobers (Families Against State Terrorism).
Impressed With Portia
THE EDITOR, Sir:
In the December 20 leadership debate, Portia Simpson Miller impressed me with her courage and her willingness to acknowledge human rights as inclusive of all, regardless of sexual orientation. I also took seriously her commitment to inclusive governance with a team approach and with citizen participation.
Andrew Holness, on the other hand, seemed prepared to deny human rights to some persons, based on their sexual orientation. He seemed keen to distance himself from his team, claiming to be on the periphery when Dudus-Manatt decisions were made, or projecting himself as the one who will deliver change.
In the debate, Andrew seemed the more sophisticated, and Portia seemed the more sincere. Recent experience with politicians has caused me to favour sincerity over eloquence.
At the constituency level, André Hylton, the PNP candidate, has proven accessible and responsive to my concerns and my suggestions for constituency governance. The new JLP candidate has not.
But my vote comes with a price. I expect the party/candidate I vote for to provide in return:
Courage to take hard decisions;
Respect for the human rights of all;
Responsiveness to citizens in and out of election time, even/especially when views are critical; and
Adoption of a team approach.
YVONNE MCCALLA SOBERS