C4C candidate steps aside to avoid controversy

| 23/03/2013

Kent McTaggart candidate for Bodden Town (225x300).jpg(CNS): Kent McTaggart, who had announced his intention to run as a Coalition for Cayman candidate in Bodden Town, has pulled out from the political race and will not be seeking nomination on Wednesday. McTaggart told CNS that he did not want to cause the country unnecessary controversy, and acknowledged there could be a constitutional question over his candidacy. McTaggart has not been resident in Cayman for the last seven years because of the medical requirements of his special needs son. While there is an exemption for a candidate not to have been resident because of his own health reasons. it does not necessarily extend to dependents. 

McTaggart said this issue needs to be examined as the constitution is not providing for the special circumstances he faces, contrary to the bill of rights. McTaggart explained that, given the wording of the constitution, he felt it was best he did not run but the issue that is barring him as a Caymanian from running could also prove to be barrier to others in the future.

“I do not want to cause any more controversy for Cayman and so this time I am going to step aside and withdraw from the election race itself,” he said. “However, this issue needs to be examined. While there are exemptions for airline pilots, among others, it seems at odds with our values of supporting family life that I am excluded because it was for my son’s medical needs, not my own directly, that my family and I have had to live overseas.”

McTaggart explained that while his son was young his condition was such that he needed specialist medical care. Once he was a little older, however, the McTaggart family were able to return to Cayman but this means he has fallen foul of the seven year residency requirement.

“I am being prevented from running because I have a son with special needs and that cannot be right,” McTaggart said, noting that the problem is with the constitution and not the election law. McTaggart believes it is a human rights question because he is being denied the right as a Caymanian to run for office as a direct result of his son's disability. As this is a constitutional edict, it appears to trump Cayman’s new bill of rights, McTaggart said.

The would-be C4C candidate said that, although he could fight the issue, having taken extensive legal advice over a long period, he did not want to be the “one causing controversy when Cayman has already had more than enough of that.”

He added, “I will step aside this time and wait until 2017 but in the meantime I hope I can become involved in helping the country move forward after this election in other ways."

Disappointed, McTaggart said he hoped the authorities would take a close look at the constitution and consider rewording the document in order to provide for those who may have unique and special circumstances that deserve to be taken into consideration.

Category: Politics

Comments (68)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Nice when you can afford to live overseas for medical reasons.

    Most people don't have that oppertunity.

    They suffer in quietness . . . . . .

    • Assuming are we? says:

      You obviously are making assumptions out of ignorance, if you knew Kent you would know the statement you made is the polar opposite of the reality of it. But do what you must to attempt to throw a cloud over the fact that the community has lost a real opportunity to have honest capable representation.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I don't know Kent very well but what I saw of him during OMOV really impressed me. How sad that those with integrity will withdraw rather than cause controversy or embarrassment to their group or party, whilst those who have no integrity will remain as leader until the justice system removes them for corruption offences. The law needs to be changed. Students can go overseas for education and still vote but a dedicated parent can't take their child for treatment? SMH…..

  3. Anonymous says:

    I must agree with the person who said Kent has spent more time in Cayman last year than McKeeva!

  4. Anonymous says:

    I am upset because he had my vote!

  5. Anonymous says:

    This is a "country" where good parents cannot stand for election but convicted drunk drivers and self-admitted liars can stand.  Says a lot.

    • noname says:

      The draconian law of disqualification by dual citizenship is absolute nonsense!

      We are going to lose the most brilliant minds because of this. Hopefully this will be changed with the new government removing this inept law from the books as well as amend the constitution. Its not comprehensive, only xenophobic. A Caymanian who was born overseas because their parents happened to be in another country at the time mummy was hit with childbearing pains, should not be penalized by having to give up dual citizenship, it is unfair.

      This is nonsense. The constitution must be changed to allow Caymanians born outside of Cayman to run for office., Or else we'll continue to suffer by having ignorant uneducated, and inept politicians leading us into constant crisis over and over again.

      We need the most brilliant and best minds. Ms. Sharon Roulstone is an example of the kind of female candidate we need to elect in George Town. She should not have to give up her US citizenship. Pure stupidity.

      Also this nonsense and xenophobic law of being absent for 7 years disqualifies a good educated and qualified candidate is another piece of horse sh*t!  Caymanians overseas are more politically involved and contributing more to Cayman's society than those morons that remain on island and refuse to stand up or fight for themselves. It is those overseas that are trained and capable of handling those Yankee Carpet baggers that are stealing your land and buying your governments going against the will of the Caymanian people. Caymanians educated, and trained and working overseas are more qualified to lead than those who have never left the island. They are equipped to put people like Dart in his  place, put the brakes on him and put checks and balances in the government systems as Caymanians with international experience deal with these kinds of unscrupulous developers and white collar crimes regularly and are trained how to deal with and handle them. They have solutions. Our homegrown legislators are afraid of people like Dart, they are subservant to Dart because of his white face that scares the day lights out of them because of their ignorance, they have never left this little rock and are afraid of foreigners. How stupid, we cannot allow frightened legislators to continue to lead us into the swamp while they hand over our pristine beach property to rich white developers.   It must come to an end. 

      • Anonymous says:

        That is a standard disqualification in the constitutions of many countries and with good reason. Anyone who is truly committed to serving this country as a legislator will be more than willing to give up any foreign citizenship that would prohibit them from standing. Sharon Roulstone has shown that.  An unwillingness to do that immediately tell me that they have divided loyalities.  

        • Anonymous says:

          The only loyalty any citizen can have it is to the United Kingdom before all else.  Anything else is treasonous.

      • Anonymous says:

        what about the 25% of native Caymanians that are white?

      • Anonymous says:

        What has Dart done that was unscrupulous?  It's the CIG that negotiated and keeps silent on their development plan.  By honouring their side of the development plan (in record time) they are now painted as unscrupulous?  Doesn't make sense.

  6. Caymanian woman says:

    Hopefully now, we will see Kent actively involved in the BT Community and ready for 2017!

  7. Despicable You says:

    A far classier gentleman than the two who walked out of a funeral service yesterday. Disgusting yet not unexpected.

  8. Anonymous says:

    There really needs to be a change in the Election Law. No parent should be punished if they have to take their child overseas for medical care. 

  9. Anonymous says:

    Well if this is the type of leadership that they’re offering, I don’t want it. There are several lawyers who are involved with ther C4C and they must have known what the requirements for eligibilty were. So that means that they must not have cared and were trying to pull a fast one on us and the elections office like the UDP did with Mark and Dwayne in the last elections.
    I’ve had enough of the UDP style of governance in which they think they’re above the law…C4C needs to be careful that they’ve fully shed the UDP cloak.

    • Anonymous says:

      God forbid we should vote for a loving and doting positive male parent role model.  Bring on the deadbeat dads and kung fu fighters…so sad!  I feel sorry for you!

      • Anonymous says:

        Of course, that is what Cayman wants.  Thanks to my experiences at court, it seems that they are all for deadbeat dads.  It makes no sense to be good and do what is right here.  

    • refocus says:

      Ifyou can’t focus on the person over the apparent distain you have for something you obviously do not understand, you should really reconsider utilizing your right to vote as you are focusing on the wrong things.

    • Anonymous says:

      Did anyone committ a crime???? I dont think so!!! At least the gov wont have to spend time or money researching this one. Kent im sorry you had to withdraw, but i truly respect your decision.

      • Anonymous says:

        You are missing the point, Country First is not trying to deceive or trick Voters, or put the election result in doubt…..great decision Kent, some of the other C4C Candidates could learn from your example.

        • Anonymous says:

          You were on point until you limited it to C4C. We cannot forget the past so readily, the ppm put us in debt, and the UDP dug the hole deeper. There are players in both of those camps who do NOT deserve a second chance!

  10. Anonymous says:

    With all the lawyers C4C has they couldn’t get that simple thing right? They didn’t know that this boy was ineligible? SMH.

    • Pain-n-Plane says:

      Boy, really?  So at what age does a "boy" become a "man"?

    • Kent McTaggart says:

      Understand this, C4C endorsed me they do not control me, the same as other groups and individuals that endorsed me.  The decision to run or to remove myself from the race is completely mine.

      • Anonymous says:

        But Kent my friend, C4C have said that they will ensure that their ‘approved candidates’ do not stray from what they feel should b done for the country or they will ‘ shame them’. They are also funding the websites etc for their candidates. So please, and I mean no harm by saying this, but please lets be truth full with ourselves. You may truly believe you are independent but in reality to my eyes you cannot be. You mean well but my reality says that you are misguided. I know you and do not wantt to believe that you will deliberately deceive but if you persist in stating that the c4c and its candidates are not a form of party then this is what you will be doing. And they are trying to buy the election. Open your eyes man – please. I prefer to vote for a real party. I know the policies ahead of the election and can vote on policy and not personalities. I will know who the leaders wiill be if the party wins. I am betterr off voting PPM or Progressives than I am voting for any c4c candidate. PPM are transparent- c4c are not.

        Peace my brother

        • Anonymous says:

          A bit myopic to suggest the candidates are in it for the free website (if that is even the case).  What the C4C candidates all have in common is that none of them are UDP or PPM – that may be enough to split the balance of power in some districts, and actually generate intelligent knowledge-based conversation in the LA for once.  Given the recent history of these islands, that scenario would be a very welcome improvement.

          • Anonymous says:

            Sorry.. but you are deliberately choosing to miss the bigger point and not seeing the forest for the trees.  

            Its a bit myopic to believe that one can be truly independent when you rely on others (individuals or companies)  – not known to the public – to pay for your election and who will tell you what the policies are suposed to be and will shame you if you stray.  This means they will also remove you from their funding list next election  

            So in my view – what the c4c candidates, and thanks for truthfully stating that indeed these are c4c candidates, have in common is as follows:

            (1) Their main message is that political parties are bad and that the c4c candidates are not a party and thus are better suited to represent the people.  This is a diservice as they avoid debating the real issues. 

            (2) They have all been founding members of C4C and set the rules for how the organisation would be run, including what the candidate selection process is.

            (3) None have told us what the qualifying requirements were to get selected as a c4c candidate.  Perhaps being a founding member is all that matters?

            (4) They all say they are putting country first and are able to work in concensus with the other c4c candidates and with other elected members who will put country first (whatever that means.).  But they are not telling the public where they stand collectively on the major issues and so we are voting blindly. 

            (5) They are all telling us to vote for personalities and not for policies.  I prefer to vote for policy first andpersonality second.  And by policy, again i mean what will the group pledge to colectively do if they win. 

            (6) They are not telling me who will be the leaders should they win enough seats.  

            (6) They receive funding and advice on issues  from unknown persons and are thus not transparent – indeed they have been untruthful in my view.  Telling lies about the small things to get elected make me wonder  if I can trust them when elected to be truthful about the things that really matter. 

            To end.. It is myopic to believe that voters with a brain prefer to vote for uncertainty in the c4c rather than certainty with a party.  Even the UDP has some certainty – Bush will rule and his party will continue to sink into the abys of corruption.  

            In my view the PPM are not only honest but addressed many issues during their 4 years – including Hurricane Ivan rebuilding.  

            I cannot vote and hope that the C4c will come up with the right policies for the country- tell me before what I am voting for.  i cannot vote c4c and hope that they will select the best leaders to be in cabinet.  I want my say.  I cannot vote c4c and hope that they will not be puppetts pulled by unforseen strings.  Hope is not a strategy.  I will vote for certainty and for transparency.  regrettably this is not the c4c or their candidates regardless of how nice a person they are individually. 

            Peace. 

    • Anonymous says:

      The only thing that has dissapointed me with the C4C is that they published their poll results. This shows immaturity. They should have kept that knowlege to themselves and shock the piraticians and incompetents come election day.

       

      • Anonymous says:

        That asumes that their poll results are a realreflection of public sentiment, which I doubt. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Boy? 

  11. Anonymous says:

    I am really glad to see Kent pull out, very honorable.

    • mccarron mclaughlin says:

      Very honorable,  but it demostrates the guy along with the group that was backing him may have a serious lapse in judgement. Why throw you hat in the race and then back out under the reason you did? 

      • Kent McTaggart says:

        Hey, I am "the guy" and if you would like to discuss it feel free to email me and we can set up a meeting asap, as you are making assumptions and not speaking based on all the facts.

        Kind Regards

        Kent

        kent@spscayman.com

      • Anonymous says:

        My guess is no normal person would think the law would punish one simply because he has a special needs son. But to your point, that is naive in a country where laws ignore humanity ,on the whole, and C4C should know this before hand if they want to play the game. 

         

        • Anonymous says:

          The issue isn't what you think normal people believe but what the constitution says. Candidates should read and understand it.

      • Anonymous says:

        Very true but Kent had enough common sense to realize the C4C were using him, ask BoBo and Austin. Great decision Kent, you are still young.

    • noname says:

      I would have rather seen him in, and then as one of our MLA's but not being willing to put our country risk of negative media, shows exactly why I really want him as an MLA.  Honor is a rarity, and he has it.

      • Anonymous says:

        To run under the cloud of controversy is not honorable, it’s stupid. Good decision Kent takes a big man to make these types of decisions.

  12. Peanuts says:

    Wish somemore would also step aside, drop out or whatever. GT with 25 or more, WB another 12 or 14,  Do these people look at thenumbers? Who know's them you need like 2,000 votes to get a seat this time round. Beg you so check yourself.

    • County First says:

      I would also like to see those who have had mediocre political careers, and careers surrounded with negative exposure (controversy), or pasts that reflect what we don’t need our future emulate.  I think if all of the potential and incumbent candidates would truly look at themselves and measure their reasons for running after they remove their egos, their need for a paycheck, their love of their party and strictly look at what is best for the country, they would find that a very large portion of them would do the same thing Kent has done.  They would look inside and realize that there are other ways that they can serve their country from the background, and that there are far better options for Cayman than for them to be on the front line at this time.  This is not to say that many or all of them don’t have some good ideas, or good intent just as Kent does, however unlike the majority of them, Kent is the type of person that actually lives what he speaks, and he has done what is best for the country!  I beg each and every candidate to do the same soul searching and ask yourself the hard questions to find the answer to the question “are you putting the country first?”

  13. Slowpoke says:

    Just more support for a comment I made to an earlier article, that this law is designed to "exclude" rather than "include", all and potentially, the best candidates.

  14. Anonymous says:

    So disappointed that Kent us not able to run! He is the only candidate I was committed to vote for in BT. No other candidate is as familiar with the real life issues of Caymanians…really hoping that some if the candidates running would take a page out of his book!

  15. Rorschach says:

    Kent,  I am disappointed to see someone with so much potential drop out.  However, I respect your decision and the reason behind it.  Perhaps, if ordinary citizens can start to see some leaders exhibit a decree of ethics, even ones that are NOT elected, then perhaps the general attitude of Laissez Faire may again, fall out of favour.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Good question, I'll be interested to learn the answer

  17. Anonymous says:

    My one vote done!!!!! No other good ones in BT to vote for now.
    I do have one question andhopefully someone can answer this.
    You are not allowed to have duel citizenship, so if you have a cayman passport and an EU passport, which all of us Caymanians are entitled too and I know a lot of us caymanians have two passports. Well the question is, are persons who have EU (British) passport allowed to run for for a political post?

    • Chris Johnson says:

      Sorry to hear that Kent will not be standing. From what I read in his CNS blogs he would have made a good candidate.

    • Anonymous says:

      That is a UK passport which while it allows one the right to live and work in the EU does not give one citizenship of any other country besides the UK. British citizenship is permitted for candidates under our Constitution.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not if the EU (British) passport is all they have, in other words they do not meet the requirements that a person would need to have (family, residency etc). Having a Caymanian and a British (EU) passport does not constitute "dual citizenship" in the same way that holding a Caymanian passport and any other would, always assuming this to be possible. There is a distinction. Were Cayman to become independent of Britain the situation would inevitably change as far as eligibility to run for office was concerned, but I would imagine some allowance might be made in regard to those in possession of a British passport prior to independence.

      • not on my watch says:

        if Cayman seriously considers parting ways with th UK, I am out of here.

      • Dr. Anonymous. says:

        There is no such thing as a Cayman Islands Passport.

        • Anonymous says:

          Pedantic fool. "British Passport – Cayman Islands". In the 1980s and 1900s when you travelled to Heathrow for them it was a Cayman Islands passport and you could not even enter the British passport queue.  

          • Anonymous says:

            LOL Johnny come lately don’t know that bro….ask him what a smoke pan is 🙂

      • Anonymous says:

        Very true.  In fact you can read the law on the elections web site.  the part tht applis here reads: "and in this subsection the words “other citizenship” do not include British citizenship acquired by
        virtue of the British Overseas Territories Act 2002(a)."

    • Anonymous says:

      I pretty sure the word is dual.

      The election law specifically states that the holding of a UK passport by virtue of the rights granted to a Caymanian citizen is not included in the dual citizenship consideration.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is total BS. Mac has been away more in the past 4 years than you were in 8, and he is allowed to run?????????

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually, hopefully he won’t be allowed to run, but for other reasons

    • Voter 2013 says:

      Your BOTC passport is a right by birth, so yes it is fne to have both.  All of the UK and Europe are "open" for Caymanians.

       

    • Anonymous says:

      Does the top of the "Cayman" Passport not say 'British Passport'? Take a good look at your passport again and tell me.

  18. Anonymous says:

    So sorry to hear that this loop hole has pushed a decent and honest person out of the race.

    I remember Kent from school (here in Cayman) and was so proud to see him stand up to assist his country. 

    He has done the right thing at this time, but hope this law will be fixed in the very near future. 

    Hopefully others will be as honorable in their political career and behaviour.

    Thank you Kent for showing what it looks like to lead and be a positive example.

    • Anonymous says:

      Kent, the people of Bodden Town and Cayman have lost out. You would be an excellent representative.

  19. Anonymous says:

    And Article 8 of the ECHR trumps the Constituion.