Our parliamentarians over the years have refused to address the issue of constitutional reform. However, the time has come for civil society to demand more representation from those who choose to serve in this capacity. It is no longer sufficient for our elected parliamentarians to have only a constituency office in their respective area where constituents may meet with them at scheduled times. While each person has the right to choose where he/she lives, the primary residence of those who sit in Gordon House should be among the people they represent without any exception. This amendment should be enshrined in the Constitution.
Each consistency is unique and as a result each constituency has specials needs that must and should be addressed by the elected officials. For example, our parliamentarians should be exposed to the nightly noise which has become a common feature of urban dwelling despite us having a Noise Abatement Act.
As a society we should be resolute and demand more from our elected officials. Our parliamentarians should experience the same inconveniences and nuisance the practice of night noise creates for law abiding and taxpaying citizens on a nightly basis.
Our members of Parliament should have the pleasure of driving on the same pot hole riddled roads to reach their homes which is the daily experience for all of us.
Our Parliamentarians should experience what it is like to pay rent for their own homes to criminals as is the current situation in some parts of Eastern Kingston. Until our elected officials live and experience the same issues of discomfort and stress they will not be in a position to adequately represent those they seek to serve.
Our Parliamentarians should be made to experience the horrors of having a child go through a shock because of constant gunshots being fired by marauding gunmen and the resulting stress this places on a family. Any individual who refuses from living in the constituency in which they seek to represent should be barred from representation politics. For the most part our politicians are far removed from the realities of life for the average Jamaican. One cannot ask one to sacrifice unless one is willing to sacrifice of the same quality.
We will not have true political representation until the Jamaican constitution is reformed to ensure the empowerment of the Jamaican citizen. We need as a society re-commit ourselves to the principle of social justice which embodies a society that is equitable and in which all members are physically and psychologically safe.
We will not have a just society until we create and foster a culture of fairness and equality for all Jamaicans. As citizens we must and should demand more representation from our elected officials.