Gordon Swaby

Oh sweet Jamaica…

Earlier today I made this tweet, ” I’m not sure if some people realize that the Government includes both the PNP and the JLP and not just the latter.”.

An official Diplomat of Jamaica subsequently responded to this tweet disagreeing with me. You would think that an official representative of our country would know this, but alas.  I will not include the name or  twitter handle of this diplomat, if only for his sake.

If you’re not familiar with the structure of the Jamaican Government please go here, here or here.

Feel free to follow me on twitter: @gordonswaby

N.B His name is replaced with “Guy” in the discussion:

Gordonswaby:I’m not sure if some people realize that the Government includes both the PNP and the JLP and not just the latter.Guy:Huh?!Gordon: ?

Guy: When somegood happens who gets the credit…?

Gordon: Whoever is the ruling party at the time. Right now it’s the JLP so they get the credit.

Guy: exactly the minority have no real control over the decision making.. This system very centralized

Gordon: That was not the premise of my tweet. The fact still remains that both parties make up the government.

Guy: they do not.. They make up the legislature.. One party forms government…its basically about who makes final decisions

Gordon: I’m not talking about who has the power and who doesn’t. Obviously the ruling party has the power. That’s why they’re the RULING party. I’m not disputing that.  But the Government of Jamaica consists of BOTH parties.

Guy : the vast majority of decisions like money matters are taken by simple majority vote…

Gordon: You’re digressing.

Guy : Jamaica has had one party in parliament already.. The oppositions absence was not felt

Guy : a think u have it wrong– the parliament while having the highest authority is not the government —

Gordon: I never said that Parliament was the government. I said they make up the government.

Gordon: Here’s some reading for you: http://bit.ly/qh18Uw You can go and read the constitution after too.

Guy : u know all that.. But it no other country can any minority party consider themselves part of a govt unless there us a coalition

Guy :the british labour party would tell u that…

Guy : u said both parties make up the govt.. And they dont

Gordon: Give me your definition of the government.

Guy : Those who formulate policy, make decisions and execute

Gordon: So tell me, What does the Upper House and Lower house fall under? What is it apart of?

Guy : the upper house only deliberate and recommend but can be ignored

Guy : still parliament — but only the lower house can approve things relating to money– hence the power–

Gordon: And what does parliament fall under? It doesn’t fall under anything?

Guy : no it’s the legislature from which the govt is drawn—

Gordon:  And it’s a legislature which operates under a parliamentary system of the GOVERNMENT.

Guy : basically when u refer to the govt. U can’t refer to the opposition

Guy :  opposition and govt have two different role.. The former supposed to be a check on the latter

Gordon: And to do that they have to have a seat in parliament. Parliament is apart of the Government.

Gordon: Not according to the Jamaican constitution. Unless there’s some change that I don’t know about.

Guy :  govt is drawn from The legislature.. U can’t oversimplify it..

Gordon: Bruce Golding is the PM of Jamaica because his party has more seats in the government

Gordon:The government pays the leader of the opposition because they have seats in parliament.

Guy : All MPs are paid

Guy : suppose u had 6 or 7 parties is parliament /- all of them would be considered govt.

Gordon:No dude, They wouldn’t be parties in parliament unless they have a seat. There are 60 constituencies in Jamaica

Guy: the MPs are not govt employees sonirsca simplification to say govt pays them

Guy :  suppose yu have a 28-5-5-6-4 split in parliament after an election — what then

Gordon: The 28 would be the ruling party.

Gordon: But anyway, I’m done. You’ve apparently formed your own definition of what the government is ignoring what’s written in the constitution in the process.

Guy : and the rest opposition /- the second largest faction would be leader of opposition

Guy : the constitution very clear on the roles of legislature and govt.

Gordon: Oye, Guy , Go read this: http://bit.ly/qtagfpHigh School knowledge. It’s the structure of the GOVERNMENT.

Guy : that’s broken down for high school students — very very simplified —

Gordon:  Wow. Dude, simplified doesn’t mean wrong.

Gordon: Ok, let me try again. This time it’s from the Constitution. The STRUCTURE OF THE GOVERNMENT OF JAMAICA: http://bit.ly/qtagfp

Gordon:  You have diplomat in your twitter bio and you don’t know that the PNP is apart of the Jamaican government…SAD.

Guy : cause they not

Guy :  it say the government can only exist if it has the support of the majority of MPs.If they all in it why would u need a majority

Guy : it nuh wrong it misleading and would give a wrong impression especially when relations between both sides get fraught

Written by Gordon Swaby

Gordon Swaby

Founder and CEO of social learning service EduFocal.com. I’m passionate about technology, the internet and the use of technology in education. I am a recipient of Governor General’s Youth Award, the PSOJ’s 50 Under 50 Award, The commonwealth Youth Award and many others.


Lovingly made on Sunday, July 24th, 2011 at 12:37 pm. Filed under Interesting, Jamaica/Politics, Personal.

  • http://www.jamaipanese.com Jamaipanese

    diplo who? #giggle

  • http://chatimout.wordpress.com/ Faada Chatimout

    What was the point of the original tweet? If you were making a matter of fact statement, then the exchange was a waste of time… 

    In people’s minds, as is the reality, the opposition has little/no clout. Acknowledging that they are part of the government is therefore of little consequence—unless, again, you were merely stating a fact. 

    • http://gordonswaby.com Gordon Swaby

      People should at least know that the opposition is apart of the government, whether they have clout or not is a non-issue. Maybe it was naive of me to think that a diplomat should know this; adding insult to injury he did not think he was wrong. 

  • Bobby

    I am so concerned that you referred to this dude as a diplomat it really scares me. His comments about the upper house shows just how ignorant he is i would like to also inform him that the Judiciary is also a part of the government …but based on his definition they aren’t …really embarrassing. 

  • Anonymous

    Gordon, at the end of the day, it all boils down to semantics. In the truest sense of the word, government would embody the running of a sovereign state, its administration and policy-making etc. In our version of democratic rule, the Westminster System, the ruling or majority party in parliament is often times said to “form the government”. 

    The difference in uses of the word lies in its context, nothing more. It should not implied that the ruling party is the sole organ of government…the phrase “form a government” in the context of the Westminster System is inherently misleading, but is still correct in its usage.

    • http://gordonswaby.com Gordon Swaby

      I agree, When somebody says for e.g ” This government is horrible” we assume that they’re talking about the ruling/majority party, because they are after all the policy makers, so blame would naturally land at their feet;  that’s all fine and dandy. But when a Diplomat of our country is going to unequivocally state that the opposition is not apart of the Government then that’s a problem.  

  • Anonymous

    Oh dear… Ignorance is a bliss and arrogance makes it comical.
    There are some people in this world I just want to smack upside-down. I hope you sent “Guy” the link to this post.



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