Speaking on the party’s national and foreign policies, he said Jamaica should not have a foreigner as a head of state and his party would be pushing for Jamaica to become a republic. He believed it was also unnecesary to have a head of state and a head of government.
“So we will be pushing for a combining of those two positions into one: having a democratically elected president who does not run under a party banner but runs independently and offers his or her views to the country and is elected on that basis,” Patterson said.
On the controversial call for the repeal of the buggery law by some groups, Patterson said it was the Jamaican citizens who needed to decide.
“As I have always said... it needs to be something that is put before the people. We need to have a good debate in the country whereby those who advocate for a certain lifestyle have a chance to clearly explain how they think that will benefit the country and those who are opposed to that lifestyle have a chance to clearly indicate why they oppose that position,” he explained.
Commenting on whether Jamaica should abandon the UK-based Privy Council as its final court of appeal, Patterson said the solution was “very simple. Once you get rid of The Queen as head of state and have a Jamaican head of state you would have dealt with that problem. We need to make sure that Jamaica is a sovereign nation,” he shared.
However, he questioned whether Jamaica could boast of being a sovereign state when it was currently operating under the dictates of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“After 53 years of being a so-called independent country, we now find ourselves where our policy makers, our legislators are actually acting on behalf of a foreign power in practically all the laws we have. Every new law that is introduced is one which is instigated, directed and required by a foreign power and my goodness we must not stand for that,” Patterson declared. “We need to say to ourselves enough is enough, we want our country back and we must understand what got us to where we are. A bad system of governance brought us here and we need a good system of governance to take us out of it.”
As it relates to Caricom, Patterson said he had always supported the position of National Hero and founder of the People’s National Party Norman Manley that there should be a Federation of Caribbean States.
“So if I had my way, I would be voting back then for a federation and I would vote now for federation. I believe the Caribbean people need to unite. We need to have one country, one set of resources, and become a powerful economic bloc in this area,” he said.
He noted, however, that Jamaica does not have the appetite for a federation now, hence the focus must be placed on uniting Jamaica. “If we unite as a country we can go out and help to unite the other countries and form a single, not just a market, but a nation of people because we are all related,” he said.
Patterson said he would definitely include Cuba and Guyana in that community because of the cultural connection, but pointed out that it would be up to individual countries to decide.
Guyana is already a member of Caricom.
“What I like about Cuba, while I despise communism, is they have stood the test of time against an aggressive power that has sought to prevent them from being who they wanted to be... I disagree with any international body or country trying to force another country to follow one path or another,” he said.
Patterson said his party intended to use various mediums to get his message out to the people, both those he is seeking to represent and the wider Jamaica. He noted that a core method of dissemination will be to connect with the people at the local level.
“As a result of that, from time to time we will be brought to the national fore like now,” he said, adding “In due time the message will be so powerful that we will hardly have to do anything. There will be people all over the place who want to share the message with others.”