Youth Par­lia­ment can trig­ger change

Jamaica Gleaner - - @ISSUE -

THE EDI­TOR, Sir: THE MOVE to res­ur­rect the Na­tional Youth Par­lia­ment of Ja­maica, where young peo­ple like me can gain valu­able po­lit­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence and par­tic­i­pate in pol­i­cy­mak­ing and gov­er­nance, is a bold move to­wards re­form­ing the po­lit­i­cal land­scape. I am beam­ing with pride.

But more needs to be done! Youth leader Keadar Sharpe re­cently urged the Par­lia­ment to move to “kill that ugly dragon called crime and vi­o­lence”. I want to fol­low Mr Sharpe’s al­le­gor­i­cal wag­gish­ness and make my own call for a po­lit­i­cal change. Re­tire the old di­nosaurs who have laid siege to Par­lia­ment and gov­er­nance of our coun­try for years.

It is time to es­tab­lish term lim­its for the prime min­is­ter, mem­bers of par­lia­ment, and lo­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tives. It is time to make changes to how se­na­tors are ap­pointed. In­stead of be­ing se­lected along party lines and serv­ing the in­ter­ests of party, se­na­tors should be di­rectly elected by the peo­ple.

PROPER IN­VEST­MENTS

It is time to stop the pol­i­tics of hand­outs, curry goat, and white rum and Pepsi. We need to in­vest tax­pay­ers’ money in in­fra­struc­ture and sus­tain­able com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment. It is time for our lo­cal au­thor­i­ties to be held ac­count­able for the proper use or mis­use of the coun­try’s lim­ited re­sources.

The Youth Par­lia­ment ini­tia­tive will be a waste of time if we main­tain the sta­tus quo. We need to en­sure that the coun­try’s bright­est and best don’t leave to serve oth­ers, never to re­turn be­cause the old di­nosaurs are pre­vent­ing growth and ad­vance­ment.

We mil­len­ni­als have a lot to of­fer. Just give us the chance! The fu­ture of our coun­try de­pends on it. MARIO THOMAS Mas­ter’s Stu­dent Yale Univer­sity

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