West Bay’s wind of change

| 06/05/2009

(CNS): Embarking on his third attempt at securing a seat in the Legislative Assembly, Bernie Bush asked the voters of West Bay not for another chance after eight years, but for just one chance to serve them well. Having come close to being elected twice before, Bush is hoping for third time lucky and in a calm presentation on Monday evening in Hell he told local voters that he felt the wind of change blowing through the district. Telling the audience to vote smart and not straight, he said he would set a new standard of service for an MLA in the district.

“Be wise and vote smart not straight. This should not be about green and red as this tribal system is pulling us apart and dividing the country. Tell your friends and family to give Bernie a chance,” he said.

Bush noted that his record of serving his community for almost 30 years demonstrated that he could get things done and that he cared about his people. In a presentation focusing on the needs of the community and the issues he would like to address, Bush avoided insulting or directly criticizing any of his opponents.

He told the audience that the country had historically failed to invest in its ownpeople which was Cayman’s most precious natural resource. Bush lamented the local tendency to undermine one another and for people to put down those who were successful. He said the community needed to be supportive of those who did well. He noted how other communities around the world supported and protected their own, which in turn fuelled their success, and he said it was something Cayman needed to do.

He said education was incredibly important to the country’s future and noted that the early years were the most significant for children and that resources were badly needed for kindergarten education. He said the calls for more after school programmes were unfounded as the programmes were already there, but the problem was getting young people involved, something that he had spent most of his life doing and if elected he wanted to be able to utilise his skills to being more people together and get more young peopleengaged.

Bush also noted that the problem with unaudited government accounts owed much to the introduction of the Public Management and Finance Law, which he said was cumbersome and expensive to implement and had been copied from New Zealand, where they themselves were now reconsidering its implementation. He said there was an idiotic amount of bureaucracy in government and that agencies did not communicate properly.

When it came to the numerous issues concerning the financial services sector, he said he had been talking widely with those working in the industry and said it was clear there was a need for more innovative thinking and new approaches. He said there were also untapped opportunities for Cayman’s economy to diversify.

“Some people tell me the lawyers and accountants have been running things for too long and they cannot think outside the box,” he said. “There are ways for us to come up with new approaches for economic development. Eco tourism or sports tourism are just some. We have talked about this for years and I know it can work, I’ve seen it work.”

He explained that these two areas could have a significant impact on tourism overall and Cayman was well placed to encourage both.  He also agreed with the thoughts of a number of other candidates on the trail that part of Cayman’s problem with regards the decline in the tourism business overall was the lack of Caymanian faces in the business and that somehow this had to be tackled.

Telling everyone he was his own man and not part of the UDP or the PPM, he said his hands were not tied and asked for a chance to serve.

In 2005 Bush polled over 36% of the electorate, the highest percentage of the vote by any independent candidate other than Moses Kirkconnell, who joined the PPM a few days after the election.

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Category: Election 2009

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  1. Caymaniam says:

    To: – A Smart West Bay UDP Supporter

    So you think that spending three hours getting from W Bay to GT was a good thing? And you buy McKeevas line that the new bypass was just to provide business to the new store at Governor’s square? I hope, maybe, one day I can be as smart as you!

    • A Very Intelligent West Bay UDP Supporter says:

      I don’t need McKeeva to think for me, my thoughts are my own. About being as smart as I am, take a hint .. pull your head out of the PPM sand and think for yourself, look around.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Vote Bernie! Forget the party system the bad get it with the good. Vote for the ones whodeserve it not who PPM or UDP tells you to vote for.

    • Anonymous says:

      Vote Choppy! Vote Woody! Vote Paul! Vote Lana!

    • Anonymous says:

      Listening to Choppy on Rooster this morning. Must say I am quite impressed. He definately deserves your vote in West Bay. Well done Choppy!

    • A Very Intelligent West Bay UDP Supporter says:

      In other words you’re telling the people of West Bay to only cast one vote. You see we have already figured out the PPM have their canidates in West Bay.

  3. Anonymous says:

    You go Bernie, you have Watercourse Road Votes!!!!  Its your time now!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      OK Watercourse Road, its time to get some more roads to vote with you. West Bay is in dire need of new representation.

  4. Anonymous says:

    West Bayers – be smart. The party system is killing us. Give some independents a chance. UDP and PPM had their turn, now it is time for a new wind and fresh ideas. Let some Indpendents in.

  5. Anonymous says:


    I make one final attempt to dismay any rumors that have surfaced regarding Mr. Bernie and him belonging to UDP or PPM.

    I recall that in 2001/2002, there was an articled posted by him in the Caymanian Compass, that warned us of the dangers of the "party system", and so far as I can see it seems a though he’s been right all along. You think he would join with something that he is so against, c’mon give him more credit than that!

    Bernie has been around for 30 years and has worked for the good of this country and has seen the islands make lots of head way with his help, he is a man of integrity and humility.

    He is the ONLY candidate since deciding to join the political arena has NEVER criticized or slandered any other candidate….that my friends is a true politician.

    He has the ability to work with ANYONE as long as it will benifit young people (his passion) but the Cayman Islands on a whole.

    He has spoken with the leaders of both party’s and they have agreed that if he is elected and brings a motion to the LA that will benifit the islands, they both agreed they would support it…. now how that for a representationI say STELLAR PERFORMANCE BERNIE!!

    At a time like this, we need to stand together and not be divided, we are in perilous times, BERNIE has this country”s best interst at heart, and he IS the best man for the job!

    If God sees fit that he is elected, I am confident that he will be the bridge between this countrys division.


    What you see is what you get, he’s not for sale. he’s not for rent a, REAL INDEPENDANT.

    On May 20th VOTE #2 BERNIE BUSH!

  6. People For Realism says:

    Bernie, thank you for the clarification and I stand corrected. They have been a long time coming but I am extremely happy that they have been able to be completed.

    As a result of your efforts and your polite and conscise response to my pseudo-attack, you have my support, may I be so bold to suggest that the other Candidates follow suit and respond to criticisms and suggestions in such a manner going forward.

    I wish you all the best in your endeavours

  7. Wu Doh says:

    I wish Bernie well. But West Bay voters are not that smart. 

    You can not expect them to vote smart! 

    • Anonymous says:

      No you seem to be the "Smart" one, that is why we are in the mess we’re in now. You had the "sense" to vote PPM

      • Anonymous says:

        PPM has not got you into any mess, it has shown you PROGRESS. The whole world is in an economic downturn. And if there is a mess the last people we should look to is the UDP who have proved their reckless disregard for the interests of Caymanians with a Cabinet with "substantial reasons to suspect corruption". I would vote for every independent before voting for UDP.  Do that and watch us go the way of TCI.

        • A Smart West Bay UDP Supporter says:

          Do you have the same dictionary that everyone else uses? If you do then obviously you need glasses because the word "progress" is sure not what the PPM has given us. Let me show you what the dictionary would have told you in bold letters, obviously you have a problem with seeing:

          PROGRESS : to improve; to become better or more complete

          PPM has not done any of the three

          I don’t know what district you are from but I know you are the minority because I know most of Cayman has now become smart and you are only one of the few who have chosen to remain with your head in the sand. We will see the smart ones vote UDP come May 20th 2009.

          • Anonymous says:

            PROGRESS : to improve; to become better or more complete

            You got it! PPM has done all three. Improved by providing more openness and transparency with a Freedom of Information Law that actually works. Commenced and completed new negotiation for draft Constitution which UDP started but didn’t finish. Signed up 20 Tax Information Exchange Agreements (including unilateral mechanism) when the UDP failed to negotiate any (but is now blaming it on the PPM). Improved and completed negotiated deal with CUC. Improved and completed roads.  Improved and provided better governance so there are no substantial reasons to suspect corruption. Building needed infrastructure which the UDP failed to do (which UDP is now blaming them for spending on). The list is too long to finish.   

            You are not so smart if you are voting UDP (Urge to Destroy Progress).  Don’t believe the hype – there will be no UDP Govt.

            • A Very Intelligent West Bay UDP Supporter says:

              Are you sure the FOI works? From what I have gathered  the only info to be disclosed is what they want to go out. Four years to prepare for the G20 and had to rush at the 11th hour with something that couldn’t even keep us on the White List. Oh yes the deal with CUC, let’s not forget that one. This was their biggest achievement .. CUC can slap increases on us anytime they feel like it. XXXXXXXXXXXX Mmh btw what happened to the Matrix deal? Building infrastructure, let’s go there. I would love to own a mansion, but what would happen if I started building and had no money to complete it, that would leave me with no roof over my head. Good sense would be, i can only afford a 3 bedroom house, let me build that so I can have shelter for my family. The list is too long to go on. Wake up and stop dreaming PPM is out and UDP is back in and Cayman Islands will once again be the Pearl of the Caribbean. A place we can all be proud of and a place without the stress of hardship.

              • Anonymous says:

                I am absolutely sure it works. There have been a number of news stories founded on information gleaned this way, e.g. the number of police officers who have left the service recently. If the Govt. dept or agency in question is reluctant/unwilling to release information there is a Commissioner in place for that to require them to release it unless one of the exceptions genuinely applies.

                The UDP equally had four years to sign up agreements and did absolutely nothing. In fact the UDP resisted implemeting the EU Tax Savings Directive a type of TIEA. So it looks like the score on that one is PPM 20, UDP 0. FYI, We were never on a white list, only not on the black list (it was Messrs Tibbetts and McLaughlin that negotiated us off the blacklist).

                Under its Licence CUC can’t slap increases any time it wants. There is a rate cap mechanism in place. Rates are reviewed annually. Any increases reflect increases in costs using a percentage of CPI as a proxy for costs. Right now CUC is around 9% return on rate base. Under the UDP deal they could have earned up to 24% return on equity and would have been entitled to a  big increase last year May. Under the present deal if CUC earns 13% return the customers get a rate decrease. PPM – A, UDP- D.    

                I didn’t see anything else worth responding to.     


  8. Caymanian to the bone says:

    I’m a strong supporter of the UDP and I have voted straight for them in the last (2) two elections here in West Bay.  I’m sorry but this time around, I have decided that I will spit my vote and give (1) one independent a chance. (Bernie or Choppy)

    I will vote my conscience which honestly tells me that I have not received the proper and ideal representation that I expected from Capt. Eugene Ebanks in the past 8 years. If you cannot prove yourself in 8 years, why should I give you another (4) four years Captain Eugene ??? Why ????

    Your representation is basically giving away $25-$50 dollars to senior citizens at Christmas time and bringing them a bit of coffee, sugar and cream. That is not the representation that I expect from an MLA.

    If we needed that kind of representation, we should hire (2) two unemployed Caymanians around christmas time to do the same thing for the senior citizens which will cost the tax payers maybe a weeks work around $ 800-1000 CI, as opposed to the captains salary of around $8,000.00CI per month or equalling a fat $ 96,000.00 CI per annum. This is unacceptable Capt Eugene.

    You are a fine gentlman and I have never heard any corrupt about you, but I’m sorry you are NOT the person that I can honestly say who fits the profile of a member of parliment, whom should be giving me and others full time representation that I truly deserve, especially in critical times such as these. Let’s face it, you wouldn’t have served a day in parliment as an MLA or collect a Government pension in your golden years had it not been for Mckeeva urging the people to give you a break. Am I not correct ??????

    I have no qualms with McKeeva, Rolston or CG whom I will vote for without hesitation.


  9. Anonymous says:

    I really hope West Bay does not fall for the same trick this time, Bernie is a good man and for them to leave him out and keep that same 4 in there would be plain silly. Bernie deserves the opportunity to lead us, he has proven his dedication and commitment and I think he would make an excellent leader.

    We need to be careful voting for all party candidates, because both parties are running candidates who have no business in politics and who need to step aside and admit that are not up to the job. Bernie is prepared, has good ideas, loves Cayman and I know the UDP feel threatened by him, thats why their supporters are out talking negatives about him, they ridicule the things that threaten them.

    Go Bernie.


  10. Decider says:

    Here’s my prediction for West Bay – Mac, Rolston, Choppy and Paul…..yes Big Mac your time as a political Leader is up !!! Goodbye

  11. CaymanLeamon says:


    I like you but I can’t vote for you.

    I heard you on the debate a few nights ago and you said you were on the immigration board. One of the major problems we have now is the immigration board not looking out for Caymanians.

    The other issue is when I heard the UDP Candidates saying that a vote for the Independents is a vote for the PPM I didn’t believe them but you confirmed that for me. If you are sitting on the PPM’s immigration then that would indicate that you were a supporter of the PPM (we all know the boards are political appointments) and the fact that they have not removed you in four years is confirmation that you are a PPM. I heard your justification that someone had tried to remove you, not sure who that was because we know if you had lost favor with the PPM they would have definately removed you because they have the power to do so. What you did was confirm to me that you are there because you were and still are supportive of the PPM and I sure can’t give the PPM my vote down here in West Bay.

    A Smart Straight West Bayer


    • Anonymous says:

      CaymanLeamon, that idea you have about you have to be PPM to be on a board is bunk. That is UDP thinking but not PPM’s. Lots of people have come on or stayed on boards just because they of their knowledge or experience.  

      Interestingly I suspect Bernie is a UDP plant because he’s not attacking McKeeva and McKeeva is not attacking him. 

      Your whole idea of voting straight is not smart, so your sign off is a contradiction in terms. Vote for the right people whichever party or non-party they belong to. Time to retire Capt. Useless.     

    • Anonymous says:

      To CaymanLeamon "An ignorant Straight West Bayer"

      You should request the minutes of the Permanent Residency Board meetings under the FOI law and then pen an apology to Mr. Bush because I am here to tell you that you have no idea how he has worked to protect his fellow Caymanians (including you)!

      What I have found is that people who are voting straight have much in common with our local parrots, they are endangered, and they make a lot of noise and can only repeat what someone else tells them (bird brain)! Do your own reading/ research, education is a powerful thing!

      I wish I could vote for you Mr. Bush, you have a god given gift to help the yout of these islands and I know that it did not come about just before teh elections as almost 30 years of leading by example is your proof.

  12. Anonymous says:

    While I also agree that Burnie is a good person and has done a great job with the youths of west bay –  I think that he will best be suited as a sports administrator and not a politician. Burnie is good at motivating the teens and encouraging them to get involved in the area of sports – he is best suited for a board of some kind in a ministry and not actually leading the team from the front.


  13. Anonymous says:

    Go Bernie! By far one of the most suitable candidates. Vote wisely Cayman.

  14. Anonymous says:

    The only person from the UDP team I would vote for in WB is Rolston but the rest of my selections would be independents!

  15. Anonymous says:

    I must say that if I could vote WB I would vote for this man as he has done a lot and he is just not made of FALSE promises.  Please WB don’t vote straight for UDP or you will be missing out on some of the best candidates.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I remember BernieBush coming to the Brac for soccer camps and the likes.  He was inspirational to many here.  It didn’t matter if you were talented at football or basketball, or not at all. Sorry couldn’t resist that one.  He made the best of would could be ahumiliating and painful expirience.  He found somethng constructive on the field for you to go-a position to play-learn to ref etc.


    I think he is a remarkable man.  Best of luck Bernie Bush.


  17. People For Realism says:

    Bernie, Bernie, Bernie. I hope you are elected, I really do. You are for sure one of the four most suitable candidates for the District to West Bay and I am sure you will do great things for "de yoots dem", but do yourself a favour and stop talking about audited accounts until you are able to produce those of the CIOC for which I believe you are still the Treasurer.

    People of West Bay, you are not required to cast all four of the votes that you are entitled to, vote wisely, A vote straight is a vote for hate.

  18. shyvon hydes says:

    I have had the priviledge of knowing Mr. Bernie bush for the past 15 years and he has become like a second father to me.

    Mr. Bernie is a man of  honesty and integrity. He has been there for the people of West Bay through thick and thin but more importantly the Cayman Islands on a whole. He is not anti-anyone but PRO-CAYMANIAN, a stance all Caymanians should take.

    He does of his own free will and give endlessly of his time and resources, his dedication to this island is superior, and he doesn’t doesn’t feel the need to brag about what he has done.  In my opinion he is the best man for the job.

    I humbly ask my fellow West Bayers to give Mr. Bernie a chance to make a difference, I’m sure you will have a stellar representation and second to none. 

    On May 20th, Vote #2, a vote for your children your  neighbor, and you!

    C’mon West Bay VOTE SMART, give Bernie the chance he derserves! 


    • Bernie Bush says:

      C.I.O.C. Financials and Bernie Bush

      I would like to say a special thank you to individual who for the second time has mentioned the Cayman Islands Olympic Committee financials on this website. It would have been easy and simple to call myself or the Olympic Committee office and ask for the financials. But I guess this is the Political season so it is what it is.  

      The books were prepared by KPMG and audited by Deliotte. They have been at the Olympic Committee Office for a while and if the person so desires and is so concerned I will personally deliver them to him or her. My number is 326 3169. Cayman Free Press also has a copy of these audited books.

      One can see that not only are the books in perfect condition but that I used my own money on more than one occassion to help young people. Thanks for bringing this percieved problem to my attention so that I could address it and at the same time allow me to show once again what else I have done in the community.

      God Bless and Thank you

      Bernie Bush

      Cayman Islands Olympic Committee Treasurer.