An open letter to the voters of West Bay

| 16/11/2011

Are you satisfied with life in West Bay these days? Is the crime rate in your district acceptable to you? How about drug abuse? Are you content with the education that all West Bay children are receiving? What about spouse abuse and alcoholism? No big worries there either?

The rest of the Cayman Islands can only assume that the voters of West Bay are happy and content with the status quo. Why else would you keep electing the same man to represent you, over and over? Since 1984 the majority of voters have elected McKeeva Bush to lead and protect the district of West Bay. Surely you would have changed course by now if you weren’t happy with the state of your district, right? It’s been nearly 30 years of Bush and one can only conclude that West Bay has been shaped to his liking. What we find hard to understand is how it’s to your liking. 

What is it you see in the nearly 30-year reign of Bush that we don’t? What exactly are you getting out of this man’s incredibly long win streak? West Bay is home to many fine Caymanians, of course, but these days it also appears to be home to a nest of lost boys who shoot first and think later. If the Marl Road can be trusted (and we all know that it often can be), West Bay has a serious drug and alcohol problem as well as a crisis of dysfunctional families.

I know what you are thinking: “George Town has problems too!” Yes, George Town seems to have more than its share of criminals these days as well. But at least George Town voters don’t keep reelecting the same person, across decades, hoping against all reason that the same action will produce different results.

Cayman’s ridiculous and unfair version of democracy is set up in a way that almost guarantees we will end up in the situation we find ourselves in. A small block of voters in one district can elect and reelect the same person over and over who then, if he or she is skillful enough at backroom deals, can become the leader of the entire country. The result is that we have a national leader who is entrenched in a district and does not answer to the people of the entire society.

Why would Bush or any other premier care about what the voters of North Side, East End, Cayman Brac or anywhere other than West Bay say about his words and deeds? They don’t vote for him. One can only chuckle when a furor rises every several days over something our premier does. People repeat the same question: “How can he get away with that?” The answer, of course, is that he can get away with it because most Caymanian voters don’t live in West Bay and have no direct impact on his political fortunes.

Clearly the Cayman Islands need national elections for national leaders so that someone at the peak of power has to always keep in mind the needs and concerns of all voters. Until that change comes to pass, however, we can only hope that you, the voters of West Bay, will pause long enough to look around and assess the state of your McKeeva-made district and rethink your habit of voting him back again and again for more of the same.

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Category: Viewpoint

Comments (67)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    To paraphrase what I wrote in a post elsewhere, the next elections will give the people of the Cayman Islands an opportunity to remove the festering sores from the political landscape.

    There will be great jubilation when those sores are removed, but if we continue to just treat the symptoms rather than cure the disease then in the end we will be no better off because of it.

    Giving the people’s money to a different set of churches, or the same OLD people still expecting to receive fridges, stoves, money to pay utility bills, etc. from the NEW politicians will make the disease more resistant to any cure that is eventually applied.

    We have a brand new Committee for Standards in Public Office, or something to that effect, and they themselves claim that they have no teeth. I don’t need anyone to tell me right from wrong; most of us knew that before we were through with kindergarten, and I’m sure most politicians know as well but they just don’t care.

    What we need to do is elect politicians who will give teeth to this Committee, taking care to distinguish between politicians who promise and politicians who deliver on their promises, and then get a Committee who will bite the a$$e$ of those politicians who think we are just here for their enjoyment, and perhaps to cast a vote every four years.

  2. Anon says:

    If I remember correctly, there were four independants at the last election and they got under 200 votes each. If only they had got together two weeks before election day and agreed to stop competing and put all their efforts behind one of them. Maybe, just maybe, one of the small fries could have been squeezed out, and this country would be on the road to recovery.

  3. Libertarian says:

    A Constitution is never perfect, but this one of ours, need amending so much that abolishing it for a better one, may be Cayman's only hope for a direct democracy. I agree that a a national slate of candidates who should be voted on by one person, one vote, is Cayman's best option, and would mean that the smallest of districts may have little representation compared to the larger districts. However, I don't believe that the solution to majority versus minority, is to divide the Cayman Islands into electoral districts. I can't see how a district territory can represent someone. Rather, it would be more representative of a person, if the people of Cayman is divided by "necessity." For instance, the minority, which include those who are physically disabled. A candidate from amongst this group of people, would know their needs alot better than a candidate of a territory. This may sound strange to some on this forum, but in conjunction with the one person, one vote, the people-majority and minority would be more distinctly represented, I feel. All I know, is the Constitution we have now, either need serious amending or need to be abolish for Cayman's best interest. 

    • Anonymous says:

      SOMETHING needs to be abolished for Cayman's best interest, and I don't think it's the constitution at all.

  4. verticalpig says:

    I'll tell you what it needs to clip McKeeva's wings – the Governor to do his job around election time! Based on the last few ribbon-cutters do you think that's going to happen?


    Even Governor Jack, who, at the drop of a hat, would set up a commission of inquiry to investigate reports of fairies at the bottom of his garden, when faced will clear electoral irregularities, did … jack.


    How about this? How about during the next election getting UN observers in to do what Governors have proved reluctant to do – investigate fraudulent practices and publish any evidence.

  5. Anonnymous says:

    West Bay has four representatives – who voted in the other five? Someone suggested the writer was making a joke – I hope that's the case. 

  6. GT Boy says:

    While the intended audience is still reading this, please also remember that crack is bad for you and you should stop stealing from the rest of us.

  7. Anonymous says:

                       As a West Bayer I agree he and fellow colleagues must go.

    However the majority of West Bayers only elected 4 members of the Government, the other districts elected the other 11 the majority of who gave him the power.

    He went to every district told everyone to vote for his party with him as the Leader most of you did so and now you complain.

    Everyone knew what the outcome in WB would be, therefore by voting for his party in the other districsts you all gave him the go ahead to form the government and run the country.

                        I'm sorry to say do not depond on the majority of WB voters to remove him.

    In your district,  next time do not vote for anyone that is affiliated with him including the silent ones and the country will be better  off.  

                    Just reminding all that a very large section of the 7MB residential area                     are included     in  WB so you see, oh well $$$$$. 

  8. Red Flag says:

    Why in hell doesn't the rest of the island go ahead and cut a channel through the island from 7 Mile beach where Dart is getting the Marriott Courtyard(Mac's gift to him) through to the North Sound, put up a ceremonial guard house to demark the departure from the Cayman Islands to the new country of West Bay and let Mac and the West Bayers run their own country.  Not only would the rest of Grand Cayman be rid of him but it would also be a lot easier for the watersports guys to move their boats to a good hurricane hole without having to go around Northwest Point and through rough seas in the channels into the sound.  And Mac could use the land given him by Dart to build a new glass house and his OWN government buildings.  Not only would West Bay get a new cruiseship pier built by the Chinese, but there may be an airport in the offing.Hummmm………worth thinking about…


    This article is a prime reason why their leader said "YOU DON"T NEED EDUCATION" and this is what we get. How many UDP MLA's have a college degree? Three out of nine? That's why they are failing at almost everything they do. Jesus help us.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Whilst I commend you for speaking out , you have basically called all of us West Bayers stupid and ignorant..I am not a McKeeva supporter and have never voted for him but that doesn't mean that in his district he hasn't stood by and taken care of his people. That is why I think he gets elected every time. He is there for his people unlike the MLAs in the other districts. he know where his bread is buttered and makes sure that those who vote for him never forget him.

    Umless we can find a way to divide the people from him, which I think is the intent of your letter, he will always get elected. Do I think we need fresh blood, yep, always have, but it's not going to happen through letters like this one because although well intentioned you have just managed to piss off a bunch of well educated, intelligent West Bayers.

    • Jack B Quick says:

      On behalf of everyone who liked this artticle the way it is, I apologise to the three of you. I’m also wondering though if living in West Bay itself isn’t actually proof to the contrary? Could be. (Sorry again.)

      • Anonymous says:

        I am a an EDUCATED, INTELLEGENT CAYMANIAN from the District of  West Bay. I am not a member of either Political Party. I do not sell my vote, nor do I allow anyone to to manipulate, or brainwash me, as to whom I should vote for. I have always voted intellegently, and will continue to do so. I find your letter and the comments of your cheerleaders, rather offensive, to say the least.

        However, Cayman Conscience, if you are in anyway connected to the Frozen Squid, which I have been reading so much about, of recent, and by the way, had even peaked my interest. I suggest you go back to the drawing board, start afresh, check out Political Science 101. Check out the behavior of the voting public. Because if you think, that your scenario of the behavior of West Bay voters, applies only to WB, you are very naive or extremely stupid. I suggest another approach, and while you are at it, maybe check out Psychology 101 as well.

        I wish you luck.

    • I TOLD YOU SO! says:

      See,  You still don't get it!   Well educated maybe!  But intelligent? There"IS" a difference.  

      Try thinking before you vote next time!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Fridges talk.

  11. Anonymous says:


    Stay Out Of The Bush!!!!

  12. Anonymous says:

    I would like to see a list put together by each individual elected member to state what accomplishments they have achieved to date (not just Westbay – all of them). A simple bullet point list.However, I must say that I am especially curious to read the list put together by Captain Eugene.


    • Anonymous says:

      captain whogene?

    • Yo Mama says:

      Who is Capt. Eugene?

      • Anonymous says:

        He's the only UDP member that hasn't caused the Cayman Islands and it's people any suffering and embarrasment whatsoever. Very well done Cap'n!

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually I am beginning to think that Capt. Eugene is the best of the four elected members in West Bay. If he hasn't done anything, then he couldn't have done anything wrong.

      I don't recall seeing him on the Bahamas vacations. I don't recall seeing him on World tours. I don't recall seeing him inspecting bridges in Jamaica. I don't recall seeing him out eating, drinking, and pi$$ing away everything the country can afford.

      I'm not even sure if he really exists since I haven't heard him say anything either, but he would be a good example for the rest of them by not saying anything if they don't know what they are talking about.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I am a middle aged West Bayer and to tell you the truth, I don't understand why the older folks were so smittened by McKeeva.  Yes, he has helped to arranged for their benefits, yes he has helped paid some of their bills, yes he is overall a nice generous man, but he knows shit about Tourism, Finance and about running a Government.  He is from the "old school". We now needs leadership with savvy know how and intellect.  McKeeva lacks that!  He was once known as the people's person, that my friend can no longer run a complex Government. I totally agree, we need a BIG Change in the West.  People are afraid to run against him, because he exposes what he has done for the Grandmas, the pappas and other family members.  He exposes personal favours he has done and this embarrases the competitors.  XXXXX  We need him out NOW, before he completely destroys these Islands.  He has done more damage to these Islands than any other POliticians and I hope you all are not thinking of putting up any statues of him in Heroes square.  No Siree!!!

  14. Lachlan MacTavish says:

    What an incredible, insightful viewpoint. I commend and thank the writer for the letter. Under the present system the only way I can see change is for the other district MLA's to ban together, stand up for real change for Cayman and the people and get the majority of the voters to create a petition for a referendum. Under the system created by Bush and others with their millions and cronies withmillions the election will change nothing. Press on for change Cayman or the spiral down will continue.

    • Dred says:

      The only way to remove MB from WB is for PPM actually fielding a WB team. Outside of an Island wide Independent coalition I do not see independents taking him out. What will happen is he will retain his core followers and votes while the rest of the votes are split up between the rest of the independents.

      I have proposed this before. What I could see working is a loose coalition of independents from across the Island in all districts where they would ACT like party but are not BOUND to vote intandem with others of the party on issues. 

      The loose coalition would operate under a certain set of guidelines. They would sign on to the coalition showing support for the base concept and ideals.

      • Anonymous says:

        Your "loose coalition" sounds like what we called "Teams" from 1976 to 2000. How do you think they did?

        The DPP's office may be our best hope of removing McKeeva.   

  15. Anonymous says:

    My church in WB is all the better for McKeeva being in power, thank you!

    • Anonymous says:

      I am sure the building is much better.  However as a church goer you should not feel pride that the church effectively was granted money due for the public purse and provided to predominately one church.  Granting a million or two to one church is fine if it were providing aggressive servicesto the public.  However that is not the reality. 

      In my humble opinion, Wesleyan Church with all the money provided to it should be the aggressor in the community advocating community awareness. They have the money to do it.  Meals on wheels no longer need to request funding from the community at the moment because Wesleyan should be able to fund it in their sole capacity.  What about the pines?  Every church patron should be providing services to this organization as well as all the other charities! WHY?! Because they have the money that should have been given to the charities!

    • Anonymous says:

      And you are the PERFECT PROOF of the point the writer was trying to make. Thank you, West Bayer, for writing and telling us that.

    • Anonymous says:

      We hope you're praying for forgiveness for your church.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Wake up Cayman conscience to your political hypocrisy with the fact that crime and alcohol and drug abuse are found in all districts in this country. Just like domestic violence is found everywhere here.

    Point your finger all you want but remember you have 3 fingers pointing back at you.

    • Anonymous says:

      Of course there are problems, but other districts are trying to elect a new government to deal with them. But as long as West Bay keeps electing the same person, we will keep getting the same government.

      We tried to change the government in Bodden Town but two MLAs who were NOT legally elected, (their paperwork was late) got in anyway because Bush, et al, are in charge.


      • Anonymous says:

        With you BT, we tried in GT too but two MLA's who CHEATED by having "ballot papers" handed out (which is illegal) and they got in anyway because Bush, et al, are in charge.

    • hrmphhfff says:

      Another Mackeevite, I hope you are ready to sink with the ship because the Captain wont be around.



  17. Anonymous says:

    there should be 24 hr roadblock and checkpoint at the 4-way……

    • Anonymous says:

      It should start by the firestation and use the fire truck to block the road.

  18. Anonymous says:

    'it's those northside punks''….

    mckeeva is a joke…west bay is a joke…..

  19. Libertarian says:

    If we didn't had a Constitution that splintered the "unified" concept of all three islands, we wouldn't have been in this mess. I have said this before, a national slate of candidates who should be voted on by one person, one vote, was Cayman's best option. But our politicians pushed the document through on the same day of General Elections where voters were persuaded to vote for it along party line. What folly… a complicated electoral system where not everyone's vote will count!

    • Anonymous says:

      Vote along party line…huh, if that were so we wouldn’t have the mess of a govt that is the UDP. UDP was against it while PPM were for it, yet the constitution still passed.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are confused. The vote for the Constitution could not have been along party lines since the UDP was elected and the PPM who proposed the Constitution were not.

      The United States is unified too but Congress still has representatives from individual districts within a state. Your idea would mean that NS and EE and may be CB/LC as the smallest districts would have no representation. Instead they would all come from GT, WB and BT.   

      You are right on one person, one vote though.  

      • Anonymous says:

        But come on now, Cayman is soooo small. we talkin 23 miles long and the Brac 14 miles long.  How can you compare Cayman to a U.S. state? Get real!

        • Anonymous says:

          A general principle is involved, that's how. Don't get confused by the scale. There are always local interests and concerns at a local district level. You cannot get away from that. You missed the real point I was making. Even though it is election to the U.S. Congress which will pass laws for the entire United States the Representatives in the House are elected in individual congressional districts within each State. California has 53 congressional districts.

          Can you give me even one example of a comparable size country/territory where there are only territory wide representatives? Bermuda is even smaller by land mass (about 1/3 of Grand Cayman) but they have 36 representatives all elected in single member constituencies plus 12 senators. 

  20. Lookin' out for Justice says:

    These votes were bought by conditional sales of appliances on credit, where the payments were forgiven immediately upon the election of the representative who put the scheme in place. Everyone knows this, though why the Governor hasn’t intervened is beyond the scope of reason. Why would a population so willing to be bribed for their votes care a whit about the chaos around them? Selfish and lazy are the words of the day for them, selling out the whole of Cayman so they don’t have to work for the money to buy a fridge. Nice article, but don’t expect too much here.

    PS – Governor, anything to say?

    • Anonymous says:

      2 words.  Third world.

      • Lookin' out for Justice says:

        Yeah, except this level of blatant and open corruption suggests that the perpetrator is actually too stupid to do it in secret, which is thus an insult to the tin-pot dictators of the third world who mostly keep corruption behind closed doors. This is more like a sad, sad cartoon. If it weren’t real, it would be beyond belief. It’s remarkable that it is real though, and very well known.

        What really gets me is that this is a OT of the UK, not a failed/failing state in Africa or Central America.

        We’re all very proud of you for this one Elizabeth. Bloody good show!

      • Anonymous says:

        Saying "third world" does not help us.  

        • Anonymous says:

          Saying it may not help….but it should get your attention cause thats exactly whats happening to these islands. We are coming in for a Big Mac crash landing….put your head between your legs and kiss your fanny goodbye.

        • Judean People's Front says:

          Ok …. so we all agree that it is now called a 2.95 world?

    • Anonymous says:

      Any politician who would buy your vote will SELL YOU OUT!

    • Anonymous says:

      Aaah. Now I get it. So the prospect of having a free new fridge motivates you to not only vote for the candidate but to get others to do so as this enhances their chances of winning and therefore the chances of the debt being forgiven. It will not help you to pretend to have voted for them. Now it makes more economic and political sense.   

      • Lookin' out for Justice says:

        Glad to assist and happy to see this ventilated in open for every last person to understand.

        Next item: At the time the Ritz was approved and build, guess who received 2 condo units in the Ritz and paid exactly nothing for them?

        Governor, still nothing to say? Anytime now would be good.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Of course we do!!! That's why we keep electing him!! We LOVE Kee-Kee and will keep him there as long as he wants to be there!!! 🙂

    Have a happy day now you all!


    West Bay Massives

    • Stiffed-Necked Fool says:

      You 15:14, sound as educated as McKeeva, so no wonder you keep electing him as "birds of a feather, flock together" and poor Cayman suffers!

      • Anonymous says:

        Dats right tee-dee!!!! Big up we West side crew. Why una blaming de West? Una can't get no good politicians in power yuh side awah? How only one seat a man hold mek so much war?

        • Anonymous says:

          Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the electorate of the Cayman Islands. Invest your money accordingly.

        • Anonymous says:

          Na worry man, werry soon da man no hold da seat no more. An den da war stop. Dats right tee-hee!!!! Das a good ting, a tell ya man, coss wid the savings on dey CUC bills da Bayas can buy dey own friges n still put nuff moola in da bank.  

  22. Anonymous says:

    I say keep the currenting voting as is.  Let the West Bay idiots vote for who they want.  Then allow for the entire island for the Premier and Deputy Premier as a separate ballot.  Also I think it would be in the best interest of the islandto allow for the entire island to make this vote….meaning residents.  It may even go as far as allowing for work permit holders…But that may be taking it too far. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Amending the Constitution in order to accomodate your suggested changes would be a lengthy process.  I doubt that permit-holders and many residents would vote as many don't  vote in their home countries (eg Canada @ 61% turnout)

      Under existing conditions the voting can still be influenced by a large turnout of informed constituents. Ensure that our families are registered to  vote, encourage them to educate themselves, and to actually, physically, vote. This last one is a beggar.

      On election night I cook lots of food and lock up the house. Then I only let in children/family who have voted. 'Works every time!


      • Polly Tricks says:

        Amending the constitution would only require one or two paragraphs being changed through an  order in Council.  It could be down in days if not weeks.  Jersey lets all residents of 2 or more years vote regardless of nationality.  They seem to be doing better on the corruption and good governance front than Cayman is.

        • Yo Mama says:

          Any changes to the Cayman Islands constitution will always take a long time because it must be approved by the preachers first. And they take forever because they have to spend months if not years analyzing it to make absolutely sure there is nothing init that would give two men the legal right to hold hands on Seven Mile Beach. They also have to talk over all proposed changes with God and sometimes he's too busy causing earthquakes and spreading malaria in other parts of the world to respond in a timely fashion to Caymanian concerns.

        • Anonymous says:

          Following Jersey in that respect would be to the great detriment of Caymanians. But that is the point, isn't it?

          • Loopy Lou says:

            And it is that narrow fear based power hunger that has left Cayman with Mac as Premier, a bunch of jokers as MLA's, no decent other options, a civil service we can never afford and a national debt of over $1bn.  How can anything make it worse?

            • Anonymous says:

              Actually it seems that the "power hunger" is coming from the expats who are making all sorts of outrageous demands for the right to vote, stand for office etc. We already have the power.

              Our ridiculous multiple vote system is what has landed us with Mac as Premier and some jokers as MLAs.   

              It wouldn't make it worse for you, just worse for Caymanians. Not all fear is bad or unreasonable. Fear can preserve your life.   

      • Anonymous says:

        Fair enough.

        However the politicians should not be the ones to choose the premier, the people should.  That choice should be made directly and purposely, not a hope and pray that who you generally voted for gets in and then follows through to vote for the person you want.  The people should choose specifically.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Hear Hear !  Best piece I have read in a long time.  Something is wrong with a system that allows this to happen time and again.  Time to change your system Cayman.