Who did this and why?
For too long we have sat on our verandas, or even on social media, and talked about the state of democracy in Jamaica. It is time to Do Supm.
This page was developed by non-partisan Jamaican citizens who want to inspire change in Jamaica. This change involves inspiring hope in citizens that Jamaica can improve through a better democracy. To achieve that better democracy, we must understand governance, including the plans and promises of our government. We should be able to track those plans and promises and hold our government accountable. This venue will achieve many of those aims. We will track promises, including when they are “In progress”, and when they are “Fulfilled” or “Broken” via media reports on the matter. Everyone is invited to participate by submitting updates, and commenting below each promise. The promise tracker bars make it easy to observe the accountability process at work.
With a new government elected in Jamaica, after two consecutive single-term governments, the time was ripe for this accountability initiative. While voter turnout is at an all time low, it is evident that the new Jamaica Labour Party government was elected based on their manifesto and the numerous promises therein. We do not necessarily agree that all of the promises will result in a better Jamaica, however, we believe that political parties should be clear about their intentions and should keep their word. We anticipate that this initiative will encourage future candidate parties to be very clear about their intentions with the knowledge that the citizens will be examining them in detail and have the means of tracking their fulfillment.
A critical question arose in developing the platform - “what is a promise?” We admit that the manifesto posed significant challenges to the development of the definition, as it was often difficult to determine whether a statement was a true promise, rather than merely aspirational or exploratory. We applied a strict definition, in which we sought to avoid imputing our own understanding of what the new government intended. Within the context of this metre, a promise must have five (5) elements: There must be a declaration or assurance, there must be a commitment, that commitment must apply to something or an identifiable outcome, this must be both breakable and achievable, and we must be able to determine a definitive starting point. Thus, there were several statements that were omitted because they did not meet this criteria. This should not be interpreted as giving excess room to the government, rather, we have developed the list of promises in accordance with the limitations of this platform. It is extremely important to us that citizens understand that aspirations should not be discarded. Thus, for example, while the stated intention of the government to place “emphasis on the boy child” is not a promise, we are well aware that many in Jamaica do hope that policies will be developed to help young men become functional, law-abiding, educated citizens who make meaningful contributions to society. Critical to note as well is that we have opted not to consult with the Jamaica Labour Party to verify the promises. We are of the view that the ordinary citizen should be able to pick up the manifesto and determine what is a promise and what isn’t.
We are grateful to Covosoft, Dom Bernard, and the team behind the TrudeauMetre who graciously donated their code to our team for use in Jamaica without encumbrance. They have credited the Morsi Meter, arguably the first website of its kind, for inspiring the TrudeaMetre. The code for the TrudeaMetre was developed from scratch by Dom and we are grateful for his charity in making it available to us, and to similar websites in Argentina and Belgium. He will surely be remembered for his contribution to democracy.
The advertisements on this site are intended to fund the hosting fees for sustaining this project, and not for profit. Our team has dedicated countless hours reviewing the manifesto in detail to produce the final work that is displayed on this site. We hope that accountability will improve.
Together we can!
This is a project of "Do Supm - Jamaica". Read more...