Liberal and conservative mean different things in countries outside the U.S. but in Jamaica, the only party that resembles what we would call conservative is the Jamaica Labour Party.

The website Discover Jamaica describes the JLP this way:

The JLP is considered the more conservative and consistent party and has always espoused the free market system. During the 1970s and 80s it was vehemently anti-communist and pro-U.S.A.

The JLP just won control of the nation’s government by running on job creation and tax cuts.

Reuters reports:

Jamaica’s opposition wins general election as voters tire of austerity

Jamaica’s opposition narrowly won a general election on Thursday, with its message of deep tax cuts and massive job creation winning over voters weary of years of tough IMF-mandated austerity measures.

The Jamaican Labour Party (JLP) led by Andrew Holness had won 33 of the 63 seats with almost all votes counted, according to the electoral council website. Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller’s party took 30 seats.

The sound of airhorns filled the JLP’s headquarters in Kingston as a jubilant crowd of supporters in the party’s signature green waved flags and partied to dancehall music, including a song called “Bye bye Portia, bye bye”.

“We will grow the Jamaican economy. We will create jobs. We will give you an accountable and responsive government,” said Holness, 43, adding that his government would address a laundry list of issues from water to housing and healthcare.

“Our mission is to move Jamaica from poverty to prosperity,” he said as supporters rang bells, a party symbol.

Here’s a video report from the Jamaica Gleaner:

Here’s more from The Gleaner:

Ja Goes Green – JLP Prosperity Message Trumps Ruling Party

Despite the cheers, JLP Leader Andrew Holness soberly took the stage at the party’s Belmont Road, New Kingston, headquarters after the party he leads secured victory in the polls.

“I want to thank God for this victory and the people of Jamaica for investing in me the opportunity,” he declared.

“It has been a long journey.”

Added Holness: “We have carried a message and the people of Jamaica accepted our message, but this is not the end, it is just the beginning.”

The JLP leader promised that the Government he would be leading would change the way things are done as “we have been given stewardship of the country and we stand to be held to account. That is the cost of victory”.

I feel a song coming on…

Featured image via YouTube.