Ian Randle Publishers
Elections and Governance: Jamaica on the Global Frontier: The Independence Years
Errol. L. Miller
Politics & Social Sciences
Elections and Governance: Jamaica on the Global Frontier: The Independence Years
US$ 28.00
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Elections and Governance – Jamaica on the Global Frontier is presented in two books: The Colonial Years, 1663 to 1962 and The Independence Years, 1962 to 2016. Together, they sketch elections and governance in Jamaica as a colony within the British Empire and as a nation-state from 1962 to 2016. Being on the global frontier locates Jamaica in the practice of elections and governance within the Western world but from the perspective of peoples subordinated in that world yet resolutely defiant of domination because of their firm embrace of freedom.
The Colonial Years chronicles the emergence of the English as a people, describes each element that formed the structure of governance and the practice of elections, beginning with Magna Carta in 1215, up to the Civil War and Interregnum in the 1640s and 1650s. English families connected to the victors that restored King Charles II as monarch formed an oligarchy determined to appropriate the lives, liberty, and labour of the rest of the people for their benefit, and that premised the rights of Englishmen and parity of the elected Assembly and the House of Commons. 
The Colonial Years also describes governance and elections among the Akan of Ghana, the Igbo and Ibibio of Nigeria, and the Congo of West Central African during their coerced and cruel transportation to West Indies as enslaved. Cultures clashed, creolized, and contended violently. Minority oligarchic power was countered by the power of overwhelming numbers, courage, cunning, and at times reciprocated brutality. Multilateral co-option, Christian denominations, and free press championing competing segment of the society expanded access to education, unrestricted sexual unions, enjoyment of rum and bacchanal, and the mobility of the population all contributed to a sense of shared humanity. The Colonial Years documents repeated failure of oligarchic governance, the triumph of the excluded marginal majority in achieving universal adult suffrage, the fear of despotism by all, and the creation of a two-party parliamentary democracy.
The Independence Years, 1962 to 2016 chronicles how the nation-state has struggled with its colonial history. It highlights the dilemma of winner-take-all governance; the inherent flaws of democracy in its umbilical connection with elections, in that elected representatives can constitutionally and legally appropriate the sovereign power of the people; and outlines Jamaica’s unique attempt to resolve the paradox sustained so far by the electorate and elected representatives. The Independence Years identifies limits of elections and the political process in decolonization, subversive effects of some successful forms of resistance of colonialism and slavery to building a viable state, moral society, and authentic democracy, as well as the risk of regression to oligarchy. It challenges the Jamaica Umbrella Group of Churches, starting with itself, to take the lead in continuing transformation of the Jamaican nation while avoiding nationalistic Christianity.

Acronyms and Abbreviations
1. The Birth of the Jamaican Nation and Its Antecedents
2. Falsehoods, Gerrymandering, Boycotts, and State of Emergency
3. The Inherent Flaws of Democracy: Jamaica’s Unique Remedy
4. The EAC in Its Infancy: Jamaican Democracy Tested to Its Core
5. Positive Consequences of Complacency, Division, and a Battle Royal over Politicians on the EAC and on Consensus
6. The NDM, Beta Tests of EAC Inventions, and the Reputational Cost to Selected EAC Members
7. Engaging the People in the Nitty-Gritty of Electoral Reform
8. The EAC, 2002–2006: Achieving Its Mission and Causing Its Demise
9. The Transition to the Electoral Commission: The 2007 General Elections and the Dual Citizen Saga
10. Advancing Electoral Reform and Contending with the Bastions of Power
11. The 2011 General Elections and Continued Assault on the ECJ
12. Jamaica’s Unique Democracy Sustained by Factions Supporting the ECJ
13. Disillusioned Liberals, the 2016 General Elections, and US Comparisons
14. Consolidating Electoral Reforms and Expanding Jamaica’s Zeitgeist of Governance
15. Paradoxical Global Rankings, Existing in the Orbit of US, and Freedoms as Choices
16. A Fresh Blasphemy for Godly Society and Bread
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