Hanover can­di­dates call for di­vi­sional de­bates

Jamaica Gleaner - - WESTERN FOCUS -

WITH THE first of two lo­cal gov­ern­ment de­bates set for to­mor­row in Kingston, coun­cil­lor/can­di­dates in Hanover say de­bates should also be man­dated at the di­vi­sional level to en­able vot­ers to make in­formed de­ci­sions on elec­tion day, come Novem­ber 28.

A to­tal of 23 can­di­dates were nom­i­nated in the parish on Fri­day, in­clud­ing eight in­de­pen­dents, the high­est num­ber in the history of the parish.

For in­de­pen­dent can­di­date in the Cauld­well Di­vi­sion Dahlia Spence, di­vi­sional de­bates are nec­es­sary, espe­cially due to the large num­ber of per­sons vy­ing for seats in the parish.

“This is where you should en­able the vot­ers to hear: ‘What are your plans for us at the lo­cal level? If we send you to coun­cil, what will you be do­ing?’ We would like at the lo­cal level for us as can­di­dates to be able to let the vot­ers hear what we plan on do­ing,” Spence, a school­teacher and for­mer PNP con­stituency sec­re­tary, said.

The PNP can­di­date for the Sandy Bay Di­vi­sion, An­dria De­haney-Din­ham, said she, too, was in sup­port of par­tic­i­pat­ing in a lo­cal de­bate.

“Con­sid­er­ing the num­ber of can­di­dates, it would be good for the peo­ple to have an un­der­stand­ing of what each can­di­date is plan­ning on do­ing for the di­vi­sion in terms of pro­grammes they are plan­ning to put in place and what they are plan­ning to do for the di­vi­sion,” De­haneyDin­ham, who is a school prin­ci­pal, said.

A LEVEL OF TRANS­PARENCY

An­other in­de­pen­dent can­di­date, quan­tity sur­veyor Paul Trench, of the River­side Di­vi­sion, said he had been call­ing for de­bates in the parish at the di­vi­sional and con­stituency lev­els for many years. Trench, who had con­tested the lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions on a PNP ticket twice in the past, said in many cases, can­di­dates are voted in on a party ticket with­out pos­sess­ing the req­ui­site skill set and the ca­pac­ity to lead.

“I be­lieve that per­sons should de­fend their po­si­tion; tell the peo­ple what are their plans. Why are they run­ning? Be­cause many times, the peo­ple are shafted be­cause peo­ple just run­ning on a party ticket and they don’t have any plans for the di­vi­sion, but be­cause there is a block of votes that is al­ready there, whether you come with plan, yes or no, peo­ple are go­ing to vote for you be­cause you are rep­re­sent­ing a party, and I

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