By Joseph L. Patterson
Why did I choose to live in Jamaica when I could simply enjoy the good life of Canada. It's a mouthful, but here is my reason:

I choose to live here because I want Jamaica to be a safe, clean and orderly society that protects our individual liberty and promotes personal responsibility; so that we may all enjoy freedom, security and prosperity in our own country.

We cannot all come home just yet, but we can all turn away from the partisan political system of the past 75 years and embrace the UIC system for a new and better Jamaica.

Some say I am a Capitalist or a Libertarian. I will not accept any such labels. To me, there are only two political ideologies: that which respects individual liberty or that which does not. Whatever label you may choose for yourself, the basic question remains: do you respect the right of the individual to be free or not?

I prefer to accord to every human being their inherent right to individual liberty; to choose for themselves as individuals, while not denying others the same equal right. This does not deny you the right to believe and do with your life and property as you see fit; but it prevents you from doing with my life and property as you see fit. Do you desire such a freedom for yourself? If yes, don't you believe others deserve the same? Or do you believe that some men ought not to be free?

I see my self, not as a socialist, communist or capitalist, but as a "Freedomist" - a word I made up of course. Freedomism is an ideology that makes clear my love of freedom and the idea of "doing unto others as you would have them do unto you." I want to be free, therefore you should be free. That is what our national heroes, Nanny, Sharpe and Garvey, fought and died for, and that is what I choose to live by.

To that end, I want government to focus on protecting my freedom (and yours too). I oppose any attempt by government to manipulate my life or control my economy. Its role is to provide public safety, cleanliness and order (not to dictate or manage my economy). My role is to provide for myself and my family via voluntary exchange with others and to voluntarily engage in any other pursuits I see fit; so long as I do not infringing on the equal rights of others.

The prosperity of our nation depends on the prosperity of each of us as individuals. We must each be free to do what we think best in order to achieve our own prosperity. This means the role of government must be limited to efficiently using our taxes to guarantee the public safety, infrastructure and public order that we all need and share to achieve our various goals.

The freedom and security of such a system of governance will mushroom into an abundance of quality products and services for our enjoyment of life. The diversity, creativity and productivity of each of us will thus contribute to the combined wealth of all of us. There is nothing like freedom!

This is what the UIC's nonpartisan democratic republic of Jamaica will be - a safe, clean and orderly nation of equal opportunity, equal rights, and equal justice. This is the foundation for lasting peace and prosperity.

I am Joseph L. Patterson, and I am a proud member of the United Independents' Congress of Jamaica (Uic Jamaica). Your donation to the UIC is a vote for a safe, free and prosperous Jamaica. Thank you!

Over the last year, as I prepared to transform our politics, I have met a number of fellow Jamaicans who have openly declared to me that

they are "done with Jamaica!" Some migrated years ago, some just recently, and others are hoping to migrate soon.

These are nice, educated, accomplished folks. And I understand the pain that led them to this point. Yet, it pains my heart to hear my fellow countrymen and women say "dis yah country doom!"

Maybe I'm living in denial - just maybe; but I cannot bring myself to accept that "all is lost." I know it's not easy to actively concern yourself with Jamaica's plight while trying to survive in these tough economic times. True, our families come first, but what about our country? Shouldn't we try to help our country too? Isn't it our larger family?

On the global stage, many of us are championing various human rights issues. Many are actively engaged in worthy fundraising challenges. Some of us have joined the political campaigns in other countries where the people of those nations, in earlier years, have fought and died to create the nation they now enjoy. Shall we not set aside a little time or money to help make our country, Jamaica, a great place to live, raise a family and do business too?

Just last week I sat with Wayne and his family in his small yard in rural St. Elizabeth. The husband of one wife and father of five has worked all his near 50 years cutting sugar cane, building fences, and burning coal for a living. With bloodshot eyes, the big man cried as he recounted the difficulties he faces daily in trying to feed his family and keep a roof over their heads. His wife, though sick in one eye and unable to pay for proper medical care, was still proud that a son was able to pass six CXC subjects, despite the odds of having two parents who are unable read or write. Unfortunately, that son has little prospect of further education.

Yes, there is no doubt that Jamaica is in very bad shape and that the large "have nots" among us are suffering greatly. Our leaders have failed you, me and our relatives. Yet, while the first world nations of the world are more civil and affluent and offers more hope, please do not give-up on your country. You don't have to sacrifice too much; please donate any amount you can at www.uicjamaica.com to help me and the UIC go to work for you to create a #NEWJAMAICA.

P.S. I wrote this on November 8, 2014 and it is still very true and valid today.