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About Kevin O'Brien Chang

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Kevin O'Brien Chang, a Kingstonian by birth, grew up in the cool climes of Christiana, Manchester. He attended Campion College and DeCarteret College before migrating with his family to Canada in 1974. In preparation for his future in business, Ch...

Jamaica Compared to the World

Over 95% of people live in the land of their birth, and where you are born is a matter of chance. But who has not wondered what life is like in other countries and asked themselves if they would be happier or sadder elsewhere? . . .

PNP Unity, JLP Rift and a Generational Divide

To those who believe that a strong democracy requires a strong opposition, last Sunday's vibrant People's National Party (PNP) conference was a very edifying sight. There was a large and enthusiastic crowd, it was incident free, and Portia Simpson Miller gave perhaps her best-ever public performance.

Political Perception and Numerical Reality

Of the 10 contested general elections since Independence, the PNP has won six, outpolling the JLP by an average of 6.3 points. Which gives statistical support to the adage that 'Jamaica is PNP country'. Dig a bit deeper and the equation shifts. Under Edward Seaga, the JLP lost five of six contested elections by an average margin of 8.9 points. The other four elections saw three JLP wins, with an overall PNP margin of 2.4 points - 'within the three per cent margin of error', as pollsters would say.

Dreaming of a New Jamaica

All political lives, unless they are cut off in midstream at a happy juncture, end in failure, because that is the nature of politics and of human affairs. - Enoch Powell Powell was probably right in a short-term sense. Democratic political careers are usually ended by death, illness, scandal-driven resignation, term limits, electoral defeat, or impending defeat. An elected leader voluntarily stepping down while basking in glory as voters beg him to stay is a vanishingly rare sight.

How Stable is Jamaica?

Since becoming independent in 1962, Jamaica has remained uprising free, suffered no major political assassination, adhered to the rule of law, maintained a free press, and held regular multi-party elections in which the incumbent party has been voted out more than once. This might seem a rather common-place achievement. But over the past 46 years, few of the over 150 nations with more than a million people can make such a collective claim. In fact you can count them on fingers and toes: Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Germany, France, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Holland, Finland, Norway, Switzerland, Costa Rica and Jamaica.

God's Second Greatest Gift to Mankind

The following is an excerpt of a speech given at the National Library's 30th Anniversary Awards Dinner Sometimes in idle moments I contemplate life's blessings, and make a list of the things that bring me the most joy. Number three on my happiness list is cricket, lovely, cricket. No other game, and indeed few other pastimes, produces such moments of beauty. Watching a great innings unfold is, to me, like seeing a gorgeous painting being created before your very eyes. My idea of paradise includes Brian Lara batting at one end and Gary Sobers at the other, both playing glorious strokes all around the wicket. Although the way the West Indies are playing these days, I might soon have to find a new number three!

Golding's Record in Perspective

'There are lies, damned lies and statistics,' goes one argument. 'It's easy to lie with statistics, but it's easier to lie without them,' says another. At any rate, numbers only mean anything when put in perspective, especially economic numbers. Jamaica having 2.5 per cent inflation from January to June of this year, and our economy growing by 1.5 per cent in the first two quarters, doesn't really ring bells. But Jamaica having both lower inflation and higher GDP growth than the United States for the first half of 2011 makes you sit up and pay attention. When has this happened before, if ever? (Sources: BOJ, USBEA)

Davies, the Exchange Rate and Inflation

Yes, Dr. Davies, maybe I was unfair to you in some respects in my January 6 piece. As you wrote on January 15, it's perhaps not unreasonable for a finance minister to leave himself wiggle room in case of unforeseen.

That's the way, uh-huh, uh-huh, We like it.

It must be a miserable experience to live in a country with the world's highest homicide rate, and one of the lowest official GDP growth rates over the past 20 years. Or, maybe not. According to the February 24 Sunday Gleaner poll, 59 per cent of those living in statistically broke and murderous Jamaica say they are happy.