Former prime ministers should mediate constitutional reform process - Smith

Political commentator Lloyd B. Smith
Amid concern that the constitutional reform process could end in a stalemate following statements by People's National Party President Mark Golding, a suggestion is being made for former Prime Ministers P.J. Patterson and Bruce Golding to act as mediators between both sides of the political aisle.
Speaking at the PNP's 85th annual conference on Sunday at the National Arena in St. Andrew, Mr. Golding reiterated that his party will not support Jamaica becoming a republic if the UK Privy Council is to remain as the final appellate court.
The government will require a 'yes' vote from at least one opposition senator to make the change to a republic.
The PNP has consistently voiced support for the Caribbean Court of Justice as Jamaica's final court, but the ruling Jamaica Labour Party has indicated that its position is not yet final.
Political commentator Lloyd B. Smith believes the situation requires a good deal of diplomacy to prevent the constitutional reform process from descending into chaos. 
"I don't know if at this time it's going to be practical to go the route of a local court of appeal because there's still the element of mistrust. There's the element of us not having sufficient confidence in some of our homegrown institutions. I think the Caribbean Court of Justice has already established itself that it has a great deal of integrity, that its jurisprudence is above reproach, and I personally - I make no bones about it - I support the idea of a Caribbean Court of Justice," Mr. Smith declared Monday on the Morning Agenda on Power 106FM.
PNP plans not detailed
In the meantime, the political commentator believes PNP President Mark Golding failed to use the platform at the PNP's national conference to detail how his administration will effectively implement its plans. 
"All these grand ideas that Mr. Golding has put forward, it's going to be a challenge as to how the Shadow Cabinet, for example, will be able to articulate these matters out there and to bring them more to the fore," he suggested.
In addition, Mr. Smith argued that there was no sense of team effort or a unified party position with regards to the plans put forward. Instead, he said, they appeared to be position of the party president. 
But Mr. Smith acknowledged a change in Mr. Golding's delivery, noting that he stayed clear of gimmickry.   
"I thought that Mr. Golding set a platform, moving in that direction, where the focus must be on policies and not on personalities and gimmickry - some of which the PNP in recent times has been guilty of. And I should hope that now that he has turned the corner, that we won't see much more of that coming from himself or his general secretary, because the people want to see a political opposition party in waiting, who is a government in waiting, and it must come across as such."  

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