HIGHER LEARNING: It’s official! Senator Floyd Morris is now Dr. Floyd Morris. The visually impaired PNP stalwart who sits in the Upper House graduated from UWI Mona last Friday with a PhD in Government, with special focus on political communication. Former Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller was among the first of his colleagues to shower him with felicitations. Meanwhile, four outstanding Jamaicans were conferred with honorary doctorates at the two-day graduation ceremony this year. Professor Emeritus John Edward Greene, Wesly Hall and Anthony Keith Edmund Hart, the noted businessman, were given the Doctor of Laws, while Olive Senior, celebrated novelist and poet, was honoured with the Doctor of Letters.
AT WHAT PRICE POLLING? To what extent did the illegal practice of vote-buying affect the margin of victory in the recent by-election in South-East St. Mary, where the JLP’s Dr. Norman Dunn defeated the PNP’s Dr. Shane Alexis by over 900 votes? For commentator and former parliamentarian Arnold Bertram, the continued practice of vote-buying is an ugly stain on the electoral process. “The important lesson to be learned is that an electorate comprised of the most dependent in the society will always be vulnerable to the kind of extensive vote-buying strategies deployed by the JLP in a single constituency,” Bertram noted in a Sunday Gleaner column. “The PNP, however, should not allow itself to be demoralized by this result, nor should it seek to compete with the JLP in corrupting the electoral process. Vote-buying on the scale evident in South East St. Mary can hardly be repeated in the majority of the 63 constituencies in a General Election.”