Finally the long awaited PNP report on why they lost the election is ready, it has even been passed around senior members of the PNP hierarchy. The little that has made its way to the public and comments from those who have seen it is damning to say the least, it speaks of political intrigue, factions, competing campaigns and plots usually the domain of the JLP.
Old habits die hard however, and it seems that the old guard refuse to budge. With many influential party members begging to either withhold the report or release a heavily edited version the party is at a moral crossroads.
The party put plainly is viewed as a bastion of corruption and epitomizes in people’s eyes the power of links. They are also viewed as dictatorial and deaf not only to outside calls for reform but also calls for reform from within the party. The people have not forgotten the advances made by Michael Manley, they have not forgotten the desperate past that we have come from, they are just despondent because the near past and immediate future look bleak and to be the polar opposite of the PNP of that time.
To not release the document, in full, to the public would be another nail in the coffin for the PNP as it relates to electability because it would confirm in people’s minds that the party elders are not open to scrutiny and more importantly its findings could be whitewashed and or implemented in a ham fisted fashion that would see the party continue to operate as is.
The release of the report coupled with the PNP reasonings could be a blessing in disguise for the PNP. The report will show that the party apparatuses need serious shaking up and the reasonings have shown the need for the party to find it’s ideological bearings, both agree (one more subtly than the other) that a change is needed in the party hierarchy (how far up still remains up for debate).
This can only be a positive if they use it. Using it means actually listening to people in the reasonings and publicly showing and debating the findings of the report. That will show to Joe public that you as a party take us the voter seriously and that will begin the process of slowly winning voters back.
The process will be slow, it will be painful and may result in a few electoral loses so it is therefore understandable for the old guard to want to both hide the report from the public and shore up their power bases. But if they have any love for the nation as they claim they will allow for public discussion on the matter, if they have respect for the party as they always state then they will allow for change, if not the party may be facing more than electoral defeat, they could very well face extinction.