Parties lay out plans for future government

| 26/03/2013

alden_1.jpg(CNS): This weekend the PPM and the UDP both gave a broad outline of how they plan to tackle the economic woes faced by Cayman if they are elected to government in May. The Progressives finalized their 15 member team, while the UDP confirmed the 12 people it is fielding in the three larger districts. A number of very similar policy plans were outlined by the parties as they made early campaign promises. Alden McLaughlin for the Progressives and both Walling Whittaker and McKeeva Bush for the UDP spoke about  micro-financing for small businesses, the need to attract new investment, plans to redevelop the airport and find a partner for the cruise berthing facilities, as well as the replacement of the rollover policy, but there were also notable differences.

McLaughlin spoke about the need to renegotiate the ForCayamn Investment Alliance with Dart and keep the West Bay Road as a through route, while Bush promised more foreign investment. McLaughlin rejected any proposal to relocate the dump to Bodden Town, while Whittaker, who had been a champion of that move, back-pedalled on the Dart proposal and promised to reveal the UDP plans for the dump later.

While the UDP promised a 100 day plan that would reduce unemployment by 25% in six months as a result of a multi-faceted emergency job creation programme, the Progressives spoke about the need to roll back many of the hefty taxes imposed by the previous administration.

The UDP claimed that almost 300 people had attended their general assembly to hear what plans the UDP now had in the face of the party split, following McKeeva Bush’s fall from office as a result of his arrest in December and subsequent charges earlier this month. Meanwhile, the PPM laid claim to well over 500 attendees at their party conference, which included a keynote speech and performance from country star Jimmy Wayne, entertainment from local cultural icons Daphne Orrett and Quincy Brown, as well as an endorsement from former MLA and minster Norman Bodden.

During his speech to the membership the opposition leader spoke at length about the need for open and transparent government and to rebuild trust after the last four years.

“I gave my personal guarantee … that any government that I have the privilege to lead will remain true to the highest ideal transparency and accountability,” McLaughlin stated. Referring to the international news headlines about the former premier’s arrest and charge for theft and corruption offences, he pointed out how damaging this had been to the reputation of the country. "If you were a credible investor, is this the place you would feel that your money is safe?” he asked rhetorically.

McLaughlin promised that the first order of business for the Progressives would be to restore confidence in the government of Cayman Islands both locally and internationally. “Investors must have certainty that the Cayman Islands is a country that plays by the rules and that those rules are equitable and transparent.”

Meanwhile, Mckeeva Bush also made a commitment to integrity in office and announced the introduction of a code of conduct for all of the UDP MLAs.

McLaughlin and the former premier also converged on the need for attracting investment in order to create jobs and get the economy moving again. McLaughlin spoke about the need to strive for a balanced budget to pay down debt and fund government's underfunded pension liability and its liability for healthcare. He also said the Progressives would seek public private partnerships in order to carry out much-needed infrastructure improvements.

Bush spoke about making Cayman attractive to foreign investors and said that a UDP government was an inclusive government that would not turn anyone away. He promised that the UDP would work very hard for everyone in Cayman — all 126 nationalities. Bush said he had always been a hard worker and the 12 candidates that would be running on the UDP ticket would also work hard for the people.

The former premier made a number of passing references to the recent and very public split between himself and five of his party members, who are now holding the helm of the minority government. Speaking about loyalty, he said the people in West Bay had been saying, “Don’t vote for cut throats!” and he hoped out loud that there would be no split among his new team.

The candidates who were confirmed on the UDP ticket included the addition, as expected, of Bernie Bush to the West Bay team with Velma Powery-Banks to complete the slate in McKeeva Bush’s own constituency, along with Capt. Eugene Ebanks. Just two UDP candidates were confirmed in Bodden Town — Theresa Pitcairn and Chris Saunders. Meanwhile, the George Town candidates were confirmed as incumbents Mike Adam and Ellio Solomon, who will be joined by Jonathan Piercy, who ran with the UDP in the last election, newcomer Rayal Bodden, Walling Whittaker, who ran as an independent in 2009, and finally Renard Moxam, a local business man who has not sought political office since the 1990s.

Both political parties have enough candidates to form a government and the numbers to deliver on their policy promises if they are returned. However, both face a split in their votes by an array of independents and the new interim government candidates. Although the lone candidates are disadvantaged under the multi-member system and unlikely to win seats in the larger districts, they and the former UDP members will undermine the straight fight between the parties.

The Progressives leader and the UDP boss, who remains at the helm despite speculation that he was considering handing the baton of leadership over as a result of his legal difficulties, spoke about the virtues of party politics. Bush said the party system worked, given Cayman’s adoption of the Westminster model of government.

McLaughlin said that the Progressives were the best team to take Cayman forward and that he needed them all with him, as he highlighted the 15 members’ mix of skills, talents and experience, both inside and outside the political arena.

The party leaders both urged their respective membership to go out and spread the word and vote for all of their candidates,signalling the start of their campaigns and the goal to win ten seats or more to avoid the need for horse trading and compromise — a situation that could easily follow on 23 May if neither party has a clear majority.

Category: Politics

Comments (42)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This is a new election year the beginning of the end of cronyism and giving away of lumber ,washing machines ,cash ,special favors, liquor ,soil ,asphalt ,etc.

    This is the new year of honesty, transparency, hope, responsible Gov't . Members whose first law should be: when there is a member of parliament , who believes they can get investors by travelling to a country should be fired.

    Second law: Members who commit crimes should have a no confidence vote and fired.

    Third law: Members who take money to push special interest person or groups fired.

    Fourth law: If somehow they were still able to allow a person or group to have special concessions it should go to a referendum whether or not it is good for the populace. If no then no.

    Fifth law: If one is found giving presents or bribes during election period then banned from public life forever.

    Sixth law: One cannot be voted as a member of parliament if one does not have a college degree in political science, history, economics, law or accounting.

    If we can get these couple of laws through then Cayman can only go up.

    Now I know that some of you will feel upset if some of or all these laws were to pass. But it is high time to move forward and look for the future of our grand children. These laws will protect their future.

    Besides the observers coming………………..

  2. St Peter says:

    Oh no! The UDP is promising to turn the economy around in 100 days this time?

    Why?

    The last time they promised to turn the economy around in 90 days…

    So why the 10 additional days?

    That is like if you are fishing and catching fish over and over with the same bait.

    Then why would you increase the size of the bait?

  3. Anonymous says:

    If you people are blind enough and say these people have done nothing over the past four years to help the country, that's why you're voting for C$C,  then please list at least five (5) things the C4C candidates did in the past four years to help the country? Please explain to me where these so-called independents when they were needed?

     

    The only reason they arerunning now is because UDP couldn't get the job done, so they come to get it done themselves. Ohh and did anyone of them happened to mention "I love traveling" in their bio? Obviously that's why they are here. Free round trip around the world and no cost of living for the next four years. While you blind people suffer and watch these people eat, sh!t and sleep with your money. Congrats Cayman!

    • Anonymous says:

      You cant blame C4C. We the Caymanian voters are to blame, because we voted and put he country in incapable hands. I am proud to see C4C come forward, along with individuals like Wayne panton, and Marco Archer to help make a positive change for our people and country.

    • Anonymous says:

      These so called independants realize what everyone else does. We voted/employed the wrong people for the past 12 years and now it is time to TERMINATE them!!!! The country/company needs a new board of directors.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Be carefull people a vote for anyone but independants is a Vote for Party Politricks… 

  5. Anonymous says:

    alden is 100% right about independents….. however he must take responsibility for their current popularity and the reason so many will turn their back on the parties…..

    it is not only because of the last 4 years of failure by the udp….

    it was the failure and economic mismangement of the ppm that bankrupted cayman….

    it was also the dismal performance of the ppm as an opposition over the last four years where they were unable to capitalise on an administration that could not go 24 hours from stumbling from one embaressment to another…….

    • Anonymous says:

      I am getting sick and tired of reading how the PPM bankrupt the country.  Pullnyour UDP heads out of the sand and think.  A world recession hit the Cayman Islands, not the PPM.  Idd they bankrupt the county, how come McKeeva nd Julianna had the money to travel all over the world numerous times on our dime and give away such large financial grants to certain churches.  If you cannot write the truth, stop writing drivel.

      • Anonymous says:

        i'm no udp…..

        the ppm bankrupted cayman by overspending, it had nothing to do with a worldwide recession…..

        • Anonymous says:

          Since you believe the UDP propoganda there is no help for you. The former FS along with the UDP changed the law to prevent those years from being audtited…What does that tell you??

  6. Anonymous says:

    Don't blame the PPM for the West Bay road disaster, blame the UDP and the UDPLite. PPM had candidates out there protesting against the closure. PPM is the West Bayers best choice in May, as they are the party of doers. Don't be fooled by the C4C either, they have lived in the Ivory Towers and whilst there, they were only concentrating on making money for themselves and how many of that trickled down to unnah poor people? none. With PPM they do their job and that is to make laws and policies. Thankfully they had some laws in place before the destructive UDP got in, as those laws allowed you, the general public to see some of the dirt/wastage they were doing. Don't forget the tax they put on you, don't forget the money they have cost these islands and now they are going around saying they are for Country, maybe for selling more of it, but not for the people. The Nation Building Funds they were handing out like Robin Hood, were suppose to go in to the Government coffers, but instead they were using it to buy unnah votes. That money was not McKeeva's, but he used it like his own. West Bayers please don't be fooled again, cultivate some sense and vote PPM.

  7. Gen. Idea says:

    I have been in the military for over forty years.  In that time, I have never once heard a politician give specifics at election time.  Is it a learning disability they have?  First off, they list the problems "we" are all facing except… they aren't the ones facing them. And, if they're elected, they're hoping they won't face them.. ever.  Or at least for the following four years. Because they'll have high paying jobs. And no matter how incompetent, they can't be fired. Nice work you had four years to finish your work and you still didn't get it done!  Then, they vaguely state some things they might do.  Such as… improve the economy. That always works. Sounds good also but tell us.. how did the economy get so bad?? You were running it. Remember? The answers usually are "it wasn't us! it was the other ones!" or, if it was actually them who were the other ones.. "we didn't get enough time to impliment all of our policies." And how would we know..they didn't tell us what they were.  There is always also some "hot button". Here, it is those old hats "roll over" and "the number of work permits".  They know folks are concerned about both and they're going to "fix".  But they don't say "how?"  But, the biggest hot button of all, and what people are really concerned about at the moment is the lack of transparency and openess in government. The answer? "We're going to be the most awesome transparent and open government you've ever seen!"  My response to that is:

     

    If you want to be so ""open and transparent"…start now.  By telling uswhat the hell you're going to do!"

     

  8. Anonymous says:

    Again with all due respect to CNS for their reporting, I didn't read a word of this report on the basis that anything these politicians say is likely to be incomprehensible gibberish, and anything that is capable of being comprehended is, in any event, a lie.  What really gets me is the voters who don't seem to be able to understand this, and keep sending these jokers back for another round of gorging themselves at the trough.  No – I'm not cynical.

  9. Anonymous says:

    PPM bragging about them having around five hundred people at party conference,ha..ha..ha,what a joke, you all had to bring in a country star from the USA to help out,imagine if the UDP had bring in a dancehall act from Jamaica,PPM your little hearts is gonna be broken again,the UDP is the better way forward and is stronger than ever.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The PPM position on the West Bay Road is simple pandering to voters with a shameless rediculous plan to lower the speed limit along a reopened WestBay Road.

    Anyone who believes this piffle, I have a bridge to the Brac I'd like to sell to you.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Alden four years later and you still have not spoke about real solutions we know what the problems are… We need solutions and I believe the greatest problem is these parties! Get them out ! They all get voted in on one man coat tail! And they get in there to sleep in them comfy chairs not this election bobo! Una done!

  12. Anonymous says:

    I still think parties are the way to go. I hope the George Towners, the West Bayers and the Bodden Towners will not be fooled by the C4C Independents. Most everyone knows by now that they are ALL connected to the UDP. If they gets in and any UDP members are there they will join up. Do NOT trust those Independents. C4C has this vendetta against the PPM and I ask the question Why? Why are they looking for the PPM Solutions? Why have they not produced their Manefesto and Solutions? Why have they not asked Mckeeva Bush and the UDP for their solutions? Why? They are all in it together. PPM do your thing, according to the books and do not allow C4C to get to you, sway you, disrupt your agendas and slander you. Stick to doing what is right for the people and for the country. You are the party of doers, whatever your manefesto says you accomplishes, do the right thing. C4C are not to be trusted in anyway. I am wondering who's agenda they are pushing, who are their lobbiest? who are behind the C4C? They are scary, people!

    • Anonymous says:

      I heard the C4C are going to endorse Ezzard and the Arden at thier next meeting..

    • Ma1963 says:

      Stop talking nonsense!  Please provide us with the evidence that these candidates supported by the C4C are aligned to McKeeva Bush???  Where is your backing???  If you can't back what you say, then stop spewing political garbage on the site!  Nobody wants to see PPM back into power to drain the publics funds for their projects. Maybe you CNS readerswould love to see them in, but not my George Towners and West Bayers, the majority of Caymanians I know would prefer the Independent candidates. May I remind you our whole UK-Cayman soured relationship, started with the PPM administration on the issue of our auditing, debt, and transparency and then it progressed, it flowered and got worse during the UDP years with our first Premier charged for corruption. Shameful. The party system has only divided Caymanians against Caymanians and has not caused MLA members not to make the best of decisions for their country.

  13. needlecase says:

    My entire family and I hope none of the parties get.  PPM caused the economic downturn by ignoring the effects of an incoming global recession and spending out of hand, which caused the FCO to prevent us from borrowing; and UDP made matters worse, corruption, travel, corruption, travel, and more corruption, running to big shots like Dart to get us out of the mess and ignoring the small business owners.  Please vote NO to any party member, don't for one minute listen to any of them on their "vote straight" slogans. Once they get into power, all they want to do is follow the leader. Bunch of sheep, all of them, lovers of money more than people – so vote your conscience, Cayman!

    • Anonymous says:

      Help us understand how you and your family is any different from the control the party has on its members when you seem to control your family votes? Obviously they have to toe the line..

  14. St Peter says:

    So after all of these years he is telling us that our MLA's need a code of conduct?

    If hypocricy was money, then Cayman would be the richest country in the world…

  15. Anonymous says:

    Again the same faces with the same promises and no idea of how to fill them..Are any of these two parties fit to run the country ? Cayman needs change to take us forward, it's time for a new generation of government that are independant thinkers and know how to work together and get along. The PPM vs UDP/UDP vs PPM fight needs to come to and end.

    Reopen West Bay road…………How, Dart owns in now, are you just goign to take it back?

    100 day solution to unemployment ….How are you going to do this and stop the rollover policy, Are you going to create jobs out of thin air.

    Roll back duties…OK maybe but how will the bill get paid.

    Attrack Foriegn Investment………Why would anyone trust the CIG after all the deals they screwed up.

    Financing for small businesses… With what money

    Cruise Berthing…….Here we go again.

    Reject the dump move….OK but what are you goign to do with Mouint Trashmore

    Code of Conduct….HA

     

     

  16. Anonymous says:

    Introduction of Code of Conduct for all UDP MLA,…ROTFL! You mean to tell me, you missed the Code of Conduct For Persons in Public Life, Anti-corruption Law, drawing from the Civil Service Code of Conduct, Good Governance principles. UDP code of conduct was already introduced 4 years ago! Time for real Code of Conduct. Office of Integrity, hmmmmm. Don’t need another 4 years of that kind of integrity. Start with Exiting stage left, with grace and integrity, please!

    • Anonymous says:

      I think it's a good idea. At the end of each day they could tally their violations, and the weekly winners would accompany Mac on his travels.

  17. 4 Cayman says:

    Code of conduct for MLAs ….. You got to be kidding?

    • Anonymous says:

      Excellent idea. Should be very basic so even they can understand, perhaps I could suggest:

      1. Turn up for work, 09.00 is preferable.

      2. Do some real work, preferably benefitting Cayman.

      3. Lunch is 12.30 to 13.30.

      4. If tempted to benefit self instead of Cayman, beat self up until such thoughts go away.

      5. Do some real work, preferably benefitting Cayman.

      6. 17.30 Go Home (to wife or husband preferably)

      7.If country needs you out of office hours, just be there and do it.

  18. Anonymous says:

    LOL.  The UDP now has a 100 day plan to reduce unemployment.  How ludicrus!  Their 90 day plan to turn the economy around still hasn't materialized and we must believe that they have the ability to do this?  LOL.  You guys got a lot of gall!  It's bitter as hell too!  LOL

    Try to disband.  You have no credibility!  Hear what we say, "NO UDP!"

     

     

  19. Anonymous says:

    Not Quincy Jones but no worries because Quincy Brown was on his game and provided fantastic entertainment. Mr Norman was the master of ceremonies not just an endorser.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Parties or Pirates?

  21. Anonymous says:

    I have just one thing to say, same old same old and oh thank you for tanking the small businessmen of the country with the new health law and the 11th hour free reign of deciding for US which jobs should be and should not be restricted to Caymanians but written so broadly it is wide open to put “the cost of doing business” money in to private pockets, otherwise known as bribes to ensure jobs that need to be filled get filled if you want to stay in business. The campaigns haven’t even really kicked off andI am so disgusted and dismayed I can’t even deal with it!

  22. Anonymous says:

    more vague soundbites especially from ppm…..

    their opposition to dart and the re-location of the dump is backward pandering to small sections of the electorate…..

  23. Anonymous says:

    Progressives…Where's the beef?

  24. Anonymou says:

    If the Progressives, the rebranded PPM, are planning to roll back taxes imposed by the previous government just how do they plan to balance the budjet?

    What is their stand on direct taxation? Property Taxes?

     

    • Anon says:

      They won’t balance the country’s budget. The ppm party bank account was in overdraft at december 31 2011 and 2012. What does that tell you? What did they do last time they were in power? Hint: spending spree. They are still spending our money through the interest we’re paying on the debt day in and day out. They have already proven that they cannot balance a budget nor have the ability to produce annual accounts for the govt. They do not get the point that the govt cannot live outside its means and in order to determine those means, timely and accurate financial information is needed.

      Furthermore, they want to reopen the rd and reneg on agreements already signed with dart. These actions will cost us more money and taint gov image. Where is the money going to come from? They probably didn’t think it through that far.

      • Anonymous says:

        Funny you say all of that, I wonder how they had not just balanced but SURPLUS budgets in 2006, 2007 and 2008 even while including $15 million per year to pay down the public service pension liability?

         

        Sounds like fiscal competence to me!

      • Puleeeze says:

        The PPM operate a small overdraft $10,000 becaue they do not accept cash from just anyone! They coudl just as easy accept a million dollar check from some rish developer but that would be allowing them to buy influence. The party instead is funded by small donations from the members.

         

  25. Anonymous says:

    Nearly 1000 people attend so much for the death of Party Politics, especially with everything else going on on Saturday.

    • Anonymous says:

      Out of 18,000 or so voters I would say that is pretty dismal

      • C4C Launch says:

        Wow that was a pop and fizzle. Where are all those brilliant solutions ? I listened to C4C last night and all I heard was "Wwaaaawaaaawaaaawaaa" boring, drivel no solutions just sound bites. If that is the best they can muster at this point, God help um!