Governing beyond crime and the economy / THE EDITOR, Madam:

I did not imagine that this would need to be stated, but there’s more to running a country beyond managing crime and boosting the economy. I say this because of the recent suggestion that a conversation about whether Jamaica remains a constitutional monarchy with the Queen of England as our head of state or become a republic like our Caribbean sister, Barbados, should be reduced to questions about the impact it may have on crime or the economy.

It is reductive thinking and harmful, when we consider that there are other tangible and intangible reasons for making that shift.

Let me say from the outset that crime and our economy are major issues that require our Government’s utmost attention, and in many respects, most governance issues will have at least an indirect link to reducing our high rate of murders and criminality, or boosting our economic performance. However, when we address corruption, for example, we don’t do so primarily because we want to fix our national bottom line; we do it because it’s a public good that requires doing.

When our Charter of Rights was amended in 2011, we didn’t do it only because of whatever economic impact it may have, but because our citizens deserved better. There are certain things that are flat out just good to do, such as improving our education system, strengthening the healthcare system, and protecting the environment. The fact that these have a knock-on impact on our economy and crime statistics is ‘bratta’.

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