The Curious Case of Two Crawfords
It’s now official; 150 candidates have been duly nominated to contest Jamaica’s 16th General Election under Universal Adult Suffrage. While the Electoral Office of Jamaica has reported a smooth nomination process, I have taken particular interest in what I term the curious case of two Crawfords. The PNP’s Damion O. Crawford and a surprise independent candidate, also named Damion O. Crawford, will both go up against former NSWA head, Joan Gordon Webley, in the constituency of St. Andrew – East Rural. No matter what your political affiliation, you have to agree with me; this anomaly carries a solid stench of trickery and deception.
While it has not been proven that the new Mr. Crawford has sinister motives, I am uncomfortable with the perception. Where did this candidate come from? Why East Rural? Where has he been so far in the campaigning process? After one questions these things, we are left with one solid uncomfortable conclusion, this is an orchestrated plot to derail the candidacy of the PNP’s Crawford. In light of that, I want to use this medium to categorically repudiate and condemn the attempt to deceive and mislead the electors of St. Andrew East Rural. The person or persons responsible for such a low and dirty tactic, should never be elected to any office, let alone the House of Representatives.
This act, in my estimation, amounts to a deliberate, shameless and vulgar attempt to draw the constituency of East Rural St. Andrew back into the politics of the 1970s and 1980s; nasty politics which saw the assassination of a sitting member of parliament, politics which had the people of Mavis Bank, Bull Bay, Harbour View and other communities held hostage by armed thugs. It is despicable. What’s more, it betrays a certain contempt for the people in this constituency; that political candidates and parties would seek to divide and confuse the Jamaican people. It reminds me of the situation which obtained during slavery, divide and conquer. By dividing the vote in East Rural St. Andrew, these miscreants are seeking to conquer rather than be of any good use to the people. The Jamaican people must reject this kind of politics, we must demand more of those who would hope to sit in Gordon House.
What was particularly alarming to me is that this is not the first time this kind of thing has happened. Apparently, it occurred in Prime Minister Andrew Holness’ St. Andrew West – Central constituency. In 2002 the PNP’s Patrick Roberts found himself faced with another Patrick Roberts on the ballot; again this person proposed to be an Independent candidate. Once bitten, twice shy. It doesn’t look good. I call on the JLP, specifically the Prime Minister, considering the situation, to state definitively that it has nothing to do with these curious cases; failure to do so will result in serious damage to the reputation and public perception of the JLP.
I admire Damion Crawford, the original Crawford that is, for his vision of empowering the people and rejecting the old style of “buying” the electorate. Hold fast ‘Ras’, do not be swayed by these shameless acts of trickery. To the people of East Rural St. Andrew, I beg you to reject this type of politics where ever it presents itself, understand the importance of your vote and exercise it accordingly. Can this perceived plot work though? Or will it just be another solid waste of time? December 29th will tell.