Unanswered questions to get us started

| 01/04/2013

We now have 58 candidates vying for one of the 18 available seats in the Legislative Assembly. For some the seat means a salary, for others it means social prestige and status and we all hope that for a few it actually means improving the welfare of citizens of this country. It's worth asking yourself: which reason best suits your current favourite candidate/ group?

For certain, we can tell from what we are hearing from some candidates that they don't actually appreciate that they are vying to be a 'Legislator' and that this means carefully considering policy problems, finding solutions with the help of technocrats and the wider public and using the art of politics to obtain support from fellow members of the LA so that real changes can be implemented.

For years we have heard of how 'honourable' it is for someone to sacrifice their otherwise comfortable lives so they can make a difference to ours. But what if all they are seeking is a bit of prestige in an area they have not 'conquered' before? What if they don't have what it takes to make a decent salary and the 10 to 12 thousand monthly benefit from being an MLA would simply be a great help to them right now?

The only way to truly understand where candidates stand is to talk to them or listen to their public statements very very carefully. A candidate who says "we need to invest in education" without telling you why and how is wasting your time with campaign rhetoric. If all a candidate can say about governance is that leaders need to be transparent and accountable, they might as well be telling you that Christmas comes in December or that it rains almost every Pirates Week.

But asking for details on just a few typical policy issues would be letting them off too easily. So we could ask them a few of the following as a quick start:

To PPM: how will you pay for the alternative to relocating the dump to Bodden Town and what are your SPECIFIC plans to get the economy moving? And why should we believe you will be better fiscal managers this time around?

To UDP: why were you not able to get one major project off the ground in 4 years and why could you not get through a single year without at least one major allegation of corruption?

To C4C endorsees: if you are 'anti group/party' as a matter of principle/policy, why now 'group' during the campaign in an effort to win? And if say 2 or 3 of you are successful, whatbinds you together as a team to promote the interest of Caymanians? (Saying you are fresh, honest or don't really need the salary are not sufficient responses). If you inadvertently came out as anti party/group due to C4C pressure (or just poor launch strategy), then please correct that position publicly now so we can all move on and then please answer the final question below.

To Frank/Lyndon/McKeeva/Kenny/Rolston: whether by association, perception or for real you are easily placed in the category of anti/deviant social behaviour. Why do you feel you are fit and proper to represent the people? And (to Dr Frank) how can a man of your stature be associated with a still yet unexplained (but widely reported and debated) gun shot incident?

To PNA members: you have a credibility issue to address publicly. You were part of a government that essentially failed, you now blame everything on 'Daddy' for forcing you to go along with everything. How can we be convinced that each of you individually will have the conviction and courage to lead as you are/were supposed to? Will you fail to act or 'man up' again or will you represent the people this time around?

To all non C4C independents: if you are truly independent tell us where you stand on: the ForCayman Alliance generally, the West Bay Road closure, the Legal Practitioners Bill, the rollover policy and fixing the government's fiscal imbalance. Then direct us to a source for the top 10 policies you will address/ introduce in your first 3 months (we assume you already have these written down somewhere since you don't have the burden of being slowed down by group/ party machinery).

Category: Viewpoint

Comments (42)

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  1. Anonymous says:

     

    We are all suffering the effects of the elected government’s poor fiscal management, lack of strategic policy, planning and development of the country resources and failure to build a more sustainable and stable economy. The most inept practices in responsible governance is evident everywhere more so now than any time in our history. This poor management of finances and resources by the elected leadershas lead directly to a decline in employment opportunities and an increase in real poverty.

    We have all seen the various Auditor General and other reports of the Government making large payments from the treasury, to people, organizations and companies, who have done nothing worthy to deserve such gracious benevolence. This is nothing but an irresponsible waste of tax payers and the people’s money. This type of behavior by our elected leaders and officials is creating a culture of criminal behavior and nefarious activity that is becoming accepted as the norm in or society. Daily we continue to see people in important leadership positions being accused of ignoring the laws and disregarding good governance. Over the years we have seen rising crime levels all over the island and in all areas of our society.

    We need strong leadership, we need educated and experienced leadership with quality characters, but mostly we need people with quality characters. If the candidate is of such character, that you would like your son or daughter to be like, if you are proud to have the candidate represent you, then vote for that candidate. Far too often we have heard of so many “pie in the sky” plans that seem almost too good to believe… and yet for years we believed. You can listen as much as you want, but when you Trust your candidates, please verify their character is of excellent quality, then vote.

  2. Last of the Sea Urchin says:

    Why is it that politicians are paid $10-$12K whilst our teachers and nurses only make a third of their salaries? Something is definitely wrong with this picture. I bet you a months salary if we were to reduce this to say by half, let’s see how many would actually declare their candidacy?

    I think we all forgot what the role of a politician is really about. It’s about country and people first and honoring thy God’s ways. When a country is poor, people are suffering and taxed just about for everything whilst politicians are having clavier dinners, body guards, travels to the ends of earth, we have a country of dictatorship. Do you think our current government is any different from Papa Doc regime? The only thing different here is that it is all covered up by our good ole social services. Take that away and see what we would have on our hands.

    I hope in May the elected officials take a pay cut to show their earnest instead of taxing the people. One more tax like the property tax that’s on the table would destroy this country beyond repair.

  3. Anonymous says:

    the election should be renamed a lottery… with $1000 dollar tickets…..

    the vast majority of caymanian politicians are just in it for the paycheque…..this is proved by their failures, inability and general incompetence……..

  4. Anon says:

    My thinking is we dont actually care whether its ppm or c4c but we dont want the udp guys back in. Because they screwed up so we need to give soneone else a chance. Why out these jokers back in? I see udp with slogan saying “we work”. Ok so now tell me what “work” have you actually done for us in past 4 years. Nothing.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hear, hear 101.  This isn't a "market for ideas", it's a freakin' beauty pageant.

     

    What shocks me is the amount of money each candidate is spending advertising their websites on CNS and elsewhere without any actual policies on their website!!  Believe it or not, I'm not going to vote for you because I've seen your picture a thousand times.

     

    The PPM doesn't even have a page for their ideas!  (at least this is in keeping with their style of governing).  To be fair, most other candidates have an emptypage or one full of platitudes.

     

    Believe it or not, I'm not going to for you because I've seen your picture a thousand times.

     

    Seriously, can anyone tell me one single actual policy that one single candidate or party has put forward?  (Here's a clue – "fixing the economy" is not a policy").

    • Anonymous says:

      PPM is the only party to state their positions clearly on their website home page (OMOV, Stop the Bodden Town landfill, Good Governance, etc), and announce the specifics at their conference which was open to everyone and attended by nearly 600 people and viewed by hundreds more on TV last night!

      • Anonymous says:

        I presume you're referring to this page?

         

        http://www.theprogressives.ky/services/jobs/

         

        There are no policies in there.  They say they will roll back government fees.  And replace them with what?  More fees on financial services one presumes.

         

        They talk about rebuilding the trust and confidence of the private sector.  How?

      • Anonymous says:

        Ok, I see two positions there. any others?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Wake up cayman. Politicians are not perfect. We have to accept bad stuff with the good. Mckeeva is still a decent man trying to help poor people. Just because he cant talk as good doesnt mean he is not serving us.

    Also why beating up on dr frank? Do you know how many he helped when he was minister for social services well it was a lot. I bet you that kenny cares more about caymanians that any of them. He made a mistake big deal we all make mistakes. But we can still live.
    Why do we always need to show caymanians in a barrel mentality?

    • Anonymous says:

      But, when he wasnt "talking good" was he serving himself or us?

      Same question for the doctor!

  7. Skep says:

    Sorry 101 but i dont trust too many of them. Most are in it for salary and prestige in cayman society.

    You will answers to the questions in 2022 if you are lucky.

  8. Anonymous says:

    The question on salary versus status or actually wanting to help people is a very powerful thing raised by this author. I think 8:44 almost got the list right. I would put wayne as status and i would say cg and jacqui are not really salary. Jacqui for helping people and CG for status because he liked the taste of being minister so decided to run for office again even though it was known he was about to quit politics.

  9. M says:

    101, an unanswered question that got me started and that has nothing to do with the welfare of our citizens, is the revelation I learnt this morning listening to the Independents Arden and Ezzard on Rooster 101 – THE CHINA HARBOUR (51 YEAR LEASE) DEAL!  We would have been really f%%% if this deal went through!  I can not see how anyone (including West Bayers) would trust any of the politicians who were involved in this deal ever again. From the 58 candidates, we need to seriously look into WHO these people are and not get distracted from party politrix, who has the bigger brain-knowledge, personality, and favoritism. It is crucial now that we elected upright candidates. 

  10. Anonymous says:

    101 you forgot one question to Bo miller. Bo whydo you keep running for office?

    • Anon Youth says:

      As a first timer who grew up listening to Mr. Miller being mocked for his political failure and having met him just once in my life, I have to ask the question why? If he gets my vote, it will be because out of most of the candidates, he will say what's on his mind, he has ideas, and while he may not be popular for whatever reason it is, I am interested that he is running. I can admire a loser with a vision, perserverance, and honesty. Rather him than the majority of the lot that recite the same, stale rhetoric.

    • Anonymous says:

      i'd take bo over foolio anyday…..

  11. Anonymous says:

    Sorry 101 but you will never get an answer from PPM on specific solutions to the economy. Thats not really their thing. They just like to spend money and bash foreigners. No change there with alden as leader. I dont think i agree with what people say about kenny. He deserves a second chance at life and the boy sounds like he really wants to serve the people. Have not heard much from joey hew so dont know where i stand with him yet. He might be one if those in it for social status though..

  12. Anonymous says:

    C$c should just admit they are at least a group and get on with it. Its so stupid to continue saying they dont like parties while doing everything that parties do. Personally i dont think it makes things worse just because they are a group, the only thing matters is the quality of the candidates. I agree it looks like they being misled by the c$c bosses. What a joke.

  13. Anon says:

    Like this. I think the ones not fit and proper should just get out of the way right now. Only in cayman you can be so close to jail and still run for office!

    Its like people dont care at all about honesty and character, what a banana republic we live in

  14. Anon says:

    Some very good questions but cant see any being answered with a straight face 101

  15. Say Wha? says:

    I think you're close; I mean, really, really close…  So here's my take:

    Salary:  All

    Opportunity to Benefit Directly/Indirectly from the Position:  All

    Status/Ego/Honourable for Eternity:  All

    Desire to improve welfare of own pocketbook:  All

    Crooked Smiles:  All

    Desire to improve welfare of anyone other than themselves:  None

    Accountability:  None

    Doing the Right Thing under Difficult Circumstances:  None

    Candidates slated to do what they promised during Election Time:  None

    Crooks:  I'll leave it up to each individual reader to draw his/her own conclusion on this one…

     

  16. Chris says:

    Anon 8:44 I like your analysis.

    Most people are let down by the party system and don’t seem inclined to vote straight.
    Absolute power corrupts absolutely and this is what you get if you vote straight.
    Each party/group have a number of very weak candidates making it virtually impossible for all but the most zombified party faithful to vote straight.
    In this election it may be most helpful to ignore the confusion created by party affiliation and focus on the candidate, their track record, skills and experience.

  17. Say Wha? says:

    Forseeable long answers to your excellent questions – in no particular order…

    UDP:  Huh?  Umm, duh…

    PPM:  Duh, umm, duh…

    C4C:  Say wha?  Umm, duh…

    PNA:  Daddy say wha?  Duh, dumm dumm dumm, umm, duh…

  18. Peanuts says:

    Allow me to answer as they are all busy with fridges/food and other things. From the Top.

    PPM – What Dump? As we said before Go East is the plan. We have no money to spend this time, so no worries.

    UDP We could not agree on the profit sharing split. Greed cause the holdup.

    C$C – Too many questions. Will you submit questions in writing. We need a quorum?

    Frank, Lyndon, McKeeva, Kenny, Rolston. Who will answer first, why Dr.Frank get 2 question. The truth is we like to party, remember the lord turn water into wine. 

    PNA – Who Dat?

    Non C4C –  If you asking Ezzard and Arden you must have been sleeping all thru the OMOV drive. The others – We running to help ellio and mike, were U been.

     

    Selah.

  19. Anonymous says:

    To the PPM, what message does it send that you are willing to put forward a convicted drug dealer as a candidate?

    • Anonymous says:

      That they believe in repentance and the power of redemption?

      • Anon says:

        Ok…so does the ppm repent for what it did to us last term?

        • uhm says:

          You mean all of that investing in your childrens future and building a better infrastructure for the country? 

          • Anonymous says:

            Not my children.  There is no way I would let them near the public education system.  That is because I love my children,

          • Anonymous says:

            you mean bankrupting cayman and its childrens future….

            • Anonymous says:

              Um, the only one who sealed the coffin in that respect was your beloved McKeeva.  From fixing our debt in 90 days to nothing to show and the mess we're now in 4 years later…. sorry buddy you are so wrong for dat.

    • Anonymous says:

      That they really know the problems in northward ..:-)

  20. Anonymous says:

    I dont pay servants of the people $10,000 per month.

    When  their salaries reached that level we lost the concept of being a servant.

    Plus 18 x 10,000 = 180,000 x 12 = 2,160,000

    no wonder we have to the cs thats a lot of dead weight.

    then after they cut they use the funds to feed their pet projects.

    and please give a true budget where you actually contribute to pension

  21. Anonymous says:

    great questions that won't be answered unfortunately……all we will get is a string of cliched buzz words like 'leadership, integrity, vision , experience, accountability'

     

    just look at the ppm for the last 4 years whereby they failed to offer any concrete alternative policy proposals…..

  22. Anonymous says:

    Very well put. 

    Each of these groups of would be MLA's has questions to answer, and the usual platitudes wont wash, or shouldnt!

    The ones that puzzle me are the C4C grouping, claiming to be independant of party, and for the most part proven business people, but how do they intend to form a government when by definition they dont actually share stated policies. I would like to vote for some of them, but dont know what they would do if in power, and some of them that I dont want in, are going to be bound together with them the ones I like, and yet they claim no common policies if they claim not to be part of a party. They need questioning very closely on their exact intentions!

    The ones I dont need to question are the old UDP, I believe the ones that arent in it simply to line their own nests are in any case too stupid to help the country. The new purple bunch are people who couldnt stand up to their old leader, and their new leader is devoid of any defineable policy, she does however have no shame where expensive and pointless travel is concerned, and really isnt worth considering for further public office. She will get in though, because she has a proven track record (paved track) of dishing out sweeteners to her electorate even if illegal! Please dont let her have any part in government!

    And so to the PPA, well leadership wasnt evident last time around, so a few questions to the new leader might help decide!

    • Anonymous says:

      C4C endorsed candidates are all vetted by the group prior to endorsement. They all follow a series of principles found on the C4C website for over two months now. They have agreed to follow those principles. When they get in they will vote for what is correct and what follows those principles. By the way being a part of a party does not stop legislators from voting contrary to the party–a good example was in December where the Fab five voted directly against their party leader, without even a party conference for reference. I am a lot happier to have someone in there that will vote for the people of the Cayman Islands rather than blindly following their leader and party. It worked for us perfectly from 1959 until 2001. It can work again. All the modern parties have done, both parties, over the last 12 years is take our national debt from $80m in 2001 to over $700m currently. If that is the result of blindly following some made up manifesto ( issued only for elections by the way) or blindly following some narsistic leader I will take independents every day of the week….and particularly on May 22. Think Cayman. Please think this time. For your children. Ignore the rumours. Ignore the party nonsense. Ignore the hand outs and vote for capable men and women who have the experience, who have the capability, who you feel has the ability to get on British Airways and go to London or Brussels or Hong Kong and represent us properly. Forget all else and if that means mixing your votes please do so. Our country needs proper representatives not coat tails. This election will see no party getting a majority if we vote properly so the more independents in there the better for us. Vote properly please. Very important election.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes you make a good point, in the situation where parties issue manifestos that they simply ignore, then a set of principles without a manifesto is preferable, fundamentally you are voting for representation through proven honesty and wisdom, and looking again at the list of C4C candidates I can see from those I know , we should get that! So for them I take back my comments above, but as for UDP new and old, and PPP I stand by my remarks!

  23. Anonymous says:

    This really makes you think about what motivates these candidates.  Here's my take:

    Salary:

    Bo, Dwene, Mervyn, Jacqueline, Lyndon, Capt Eugene, CG, Joey Ebanks

     

    Status:

    Roy, Jude, Winston, McKeeva, Alden, Juliana, Ezzard, Ralston,Stefan

     

    Desire to improve the welfare of citizens:

    Marco, Kurt, Sharon, Joey Hew, Moses, Wayne, Alva, Tara, Ray, Arden

    • Anonymous says:

      You are bang on when it comes to your salary list . I beg to differ on the status category. There are much easier ways to gain status withitn this country than putting yourself out there in the political areana.  Many of the names you list are accomplished and successful people, who in my opinion are running for the good of the country and are risking their community status by being grouped with corrupt criminals and people of such little character that is saddens me to think about the future of this country.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ezzard is definitely salary dude!

      • Anonymous says:

        Ezzard is the only MLA who isentitled to a pension who is not double dipping so that blows that theory to hell.