Ja­maicans at­tend US pres­i­den­tial de­bate

Jamaica Gleaner - - BUSINESS -

A TEAM from the Ja­maica De­bates Com­mis­sion (JDC) was among the hun­dreds of in­vited guests in the au­di­to­rium at the Univer­sity of Ne­vada Las Ve­gas (UNLV) last Wed­nes­day wit­ness­ing the fi­nal pres­i­den­tial de­bate of the cur­rent po­lit­i­cal cam­paign tak­ing place in the USA. The five-per­son team com­prised JDC Chair­man and ViceChair­man Noel daCosta and Brian Sch­midt; and JDC re­source per­son­nel Trevor Fearon, Eleanor Henry and Brian St Juste.

The JDC, a part­ner­ship be­tween the Ja­maica Cham­ber of Com­merce and Me­dia As­so­ci­a­tion Ja­maica, has or­gan­ised pre-gen­eral elec­tion po­lit­i­cal de­bates lo­cally in 2002, 2007 and in 2011, as well as a pre-lo­cal government elec­tion de­bate in 2012. Its ef­forts to stage de­bates ahead of Ja­maica’s 2016 gen­eral elec­tion col­lapsed with the re­fusal of the in­cum­bent Peo­ple’s Na­tional Party ad­min­is­tra­tion to par­tic­i­pate.

The Ja­maican team and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of de­bate or­gan­is­ers from 27 other coun­tries at­tended the US de­bate at the in­vi­ta­tion of the US Com­mis­sion on Pres­i­den­tial De­bates (CPD) and the Na­tional Demo­cratic In­sti­tute (NDI). The CPD has been re­spon­si­ble for stag­ing all pres­i­den­tial & vice-pres­i­den­tial de­bates since 1987 and has part­nered with NDI to pro­vide tech­ni­cal sup­port to non-par­ti­san de­ba­te­or­gan­is­ing bod­ies in nu­mer­ous coun­tries


The in­vi­tees at Wed­nes­day’s event in­cluded teams from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin Amer­ica and the Caribbean. In ad­di­tion to Ja­maica, the Caribbean was rep­re­sented by teams from Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Haiti, the Do­mini­can Repub­lic and Cu­raçao. All are mem­bers of the De­bates In­ter­na­tional net­work which was formed in 2010. Ja­maica is a found­ing mem­ber of the net­work.

The over­seas del­e­ga­tions par­tic­i­pated in a range of sym­posia and other events dur­ing their time in Las Ve­gas, in­clud­ing shar­ing best prac­tices, con­ver­sa­tions with or­gan­is­ers and mod­er­a­tors from ear­lier stag­ing of US de­bates, as well as dis­cus­sions with po­lit­i­cal thought leaders. They also par­tic­i­pated in lec­tures with the UNLV fac­ulty and stu­dent body.

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