Treating rules soften up

| 10/04/2013

egg-and-cress-sandwich-recipe.jpg(CNS): As it will be up to the RCIPS Anti-corruption Unit to enforce the elections law regarding ‘treating’ and the issue of refreshments at public meetings, elections officials have revealed a softening towards the provision of water, soda, sandwiches and finger foods. However, they said lavish catering, booze and excessive treating will not be tolerated and the police will be patrolling public meetings over the next six weeks of the campaign. With a clampdown on any kind of vote buying or inducement, the Elections Office is urging people to call the corruption hotline on 928-1747 to report infractions of the elections law and the anti-corruption law.

Police Commissioner David Baines has said that he will not be counting chicken wings served at the events but lavish hot buffet food and evidently excessive catering will not be allowed during the campaign period. Orrett Connor, the deputy supervisor of elections, said the Elections Office is taking any kind of voting buying or bribing seriously and as electors come to collect their voter ID cards they will be given a flyer which has formed the basis of the anti-election-corruption campaign launched last week.

“We want to be direct and blunt with the message and stop being diplomatic,” said the election official. “Infractions will be investigated and if confirmed people will be charged.”

Speaking to the media on Tuesday, both Elections Supervisor Kearney Gomez and Connor said they accepted the practical need for some refreshments to be provided at political meetings, as they can be very long . But the men warned that “lavish lunches and dinners” or excessive outlays of food and drink and entertainment, where everything is free, would not be tolerated.

Connor pointed out that in Hong Kong politicians were charged and convicted of corruption for providing expensive lunches during the campaign to voters. However, he said the office was confident that most candidates wanted to do the right thing as they have been calling the office for guidance on the issue of ‘treating’.

However, when infractions occur at meetings, especially if alcohol is being served, members of the public can call the hotline anonymously or send pictures of what they see from their phones to the police or the Elections Office.

The officials said the campaign should not be overshadowed by the food and entertainment issue but it was important that candidates staid within the rules and concentrated on delivering their messages about why the electorate should vote for them and not try to bribe them with cooked dinners. Any undue influence, coercion or bribery will trigger an investigation, Connor warned.

The incumbent representatives will have to be particularly careful as, despite the dissolution of the country’s parliament, they all remain on full pay until 22 May and are therefore still public officials subject to the anti-corruption law as well as the constitution and the election law.

Officials say no formal reports have been made yet but they are aware of several issues since the official campaign started on Nomination Day some two weeks ago.

No action has yet been taken regarding reports of alcohol being handed out at one district meeting and calls being made to new voters misinforming them that they could have their status revoked unless they vote a certain way. There have also been question marks raised about the level of catering at one meeting, where candidates pressed ahead regardless of the warnings issued by the Elections Office, while on the same night another candidate returned his food because of the clampdown. 

So far, election officials and the Anti-corruption Unit have reserved comment on the recent revelations that money has been doled out to churches from the Nation Building Fund since the official campaign period began.

Meanwhile, candidates in the upcoming elections who have yet to appoint agents are being urged to do so as quickly as possible to ensure they can take part in the Elections Office training sessions. Candidates themselves are urged to attend the same training sessions, which break down key aspects of the Elections Law. Training dates are 10 April and 6 May. Contact 949-8047 for more information.

Candidates are also reminded to declare financial interests at the Legislative Assembly immediately, and to submit any government contracts that they intend to be published in the regular Gazette no later than noon on 10 May for publication on 21 May. The regular Gazette is billed at 65 cents a word. Submissions after this date will appear in the Extraordinary Gazette, which is only published on Wednesdays and Fridays and costs $600 per insertion. For more information individuals should contact the Legislative Assembly at 949-4236 or the Gazette Office 949-8092.

The list of people registered to vote in the general elections on May 22, is now available in various public locations around each district, including libraries, post offices, district health clinics. Voters are urged to review their listing to confirm the polling station where they will be voting on Election Day.

Postal ballot applications for voters who will be out of the country, as well as mobile ballot applications for the elderly and shut-ins, should also be made as quickly as possible. The deadline for receipt of such applications is 9 May. Contact 949-8047 for more information.

Mobile voting hasbeen scheduled to begin in Cayman Brac on 10 May followed by East End and North Side on 13 May, then Bodden Town on 14 May, George Town on 15 May and finally West Bay on 16 May.

See anti-corruption campaign flyer below.

Category: Politics

Comments (39)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    i will do anything for a piece of chicken…. and i mean 'anything'……..

  2. Sticky Fingers says:

    A trick and a treat! And Halloween is so far off.

    Don’t be fooled people, a way to a person’s vote is not through the stomach. Tit for tat and butter for fish!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Guess there will just be big "parties" in certain areas where certain politicians happen to show up at the end and shake hands. Can we please have a toll free anon. tip line like crimestoppers to report all this stuff?

  4. Anonymous says:

    I dont know but if I am the only one thinkinglogically. How in God's name can police get caught up with sandwiches and chicken wings when you have people driving recklessly on the road,  and broad day light robbery taking place. Are you guys serious????  Seriously. And to think international observers having their eys on Cayman this year. They all most be rolling laughing in their chairs. Thats just rediculous.

     

    There are so many Caymanian out their that find it difficult to have a good meal everyday. Its serves them right to be treated  once in awhile. Its better you promote consious voting rather than  wasting precious time talking about sandwich and chicken winngs. SMH…. no sah. this  is the 1st.

    • R2D2 says:

      I think if they look like JABBA THE HUTT you should not vote for them.

      • Just Sayin' says:

        This thought process leaves North Side without representation. I like it.

    • Anonymous says:

      'It serves them right to be treated once in a while'? At election time?

    • Anonymous says:

      Wrong. Excessive treating is vote buying. And, there are plenty of jobs out there for anybody who is hungry. Unfortunate.y, they require some effort and work.

    • Bozzo the Clown says:

      You are not from these parts are you?  Reckless drunk driving is just what you have to do when you want a drink because the taxis cost too much.  Heck, even Government Ministers do it.

  5. Anonymous says:

    A small sandwich will be enough to influence my vote, as long as it is delivered in a fridge to keep it cool.

  6. Anonymous says:

    much ado about nothing…. thanks to the commisioner for using common sense….

    now can we get back to some real issues????

  7. Keen Observer says:

    "Election officials and the Anti-corruption Unit have reserved comment on the recent revelations that money has been doled out to churches from the Nation Building Fund since the official campaign period began"

    Is this for real?

    Yesterday I was driving along XXXXX in the area of the Church XXXX. I could not help but noticed a Big Blank sign in the Yard, granted the sign had no indication of what it would be used for; However since its election time, and signs are going up all over the place, I could not help but come to the conclusion that it was put there for the Political Advertisement of Candidates, or something of that sort.

    Now if the Church Board allowed a “Political Sign” to be erected on their premises by "A Political Party/Group/ Independents / Alliance, or whatever name they call themselves, knowing fully well the amount of Speculation and controversy surrounding the Nation building Fund- especially as it relates to “Church Grants” then this is most concerning and ought to be addressed, as inferences could be drawn that" the church “not necessarily the entire membership supports this party or group of political hopefuls- leaving one with no other choice but to believe- or speculate as to the true motives of the Grants.

    The question is where is the separation of Church and State? If the purpose of erecting this sign was to post pictures of “Political/Candidates/ Hopefuls”, then something is definitely wrong with this picture. "No Pun Intended".

    Keen Observer

    • Anonymous says:

      If anyone here attended this years Hero's Day ceremony in GT, then you will all know that JuJu and Co. declared to everybody there that she WILL NEVER seperate church and state as long as she has a say in the matter.

    • Anonymous says:

      We can expect anything as money talks. When we hear of property naming after people that was not even relevant to the propertys then we can expect anything else. By the way since the naming of the Watering Place deceased folks on the Bluff how about putting alittle face lift on Watering Place for us. The TURN as we call it should be named BLACKIES TURN after the late Mr Blackie Douglas, then the Park should be named either Sammy Scott Eli Scott or Septy Scotts Park. We dont have to like these people to do the right thing. Its time to make around here look better with the Post Office the unsightly Park and the Watering Place church. No one would have said anything about the NBF moneys being spent on these things as that is much needed. We trust that when Capt Mose is in charge again that he will take all this into consideration.

      • Anonymous says:

        I am hping that when Mr. Kinkconnell gets bach in the house that he and the rest of the Progressives will cancel the entire Nation Building Farce nd return the monies back to the relevant  Ministries to be part of ttheir budget for taking care of the  needs of the entire Country   This money should naver have been administered by the Former Premier and his minnions to dish out willy-nilly. It is just a breeding ground for corruption.  Now it appears as if the present Premier is following suit.  Shameful, shameful- she should know better.  How long are we as a Country going to allow these things to go on. 

         

      • Anonymous says:

        I would like to make a correction here. I meant to say that since the Watering Place Church and our Post Office is so close to the Park and what have you monies would be better spent giving alittle face lift to the District.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I think that is very fair.

    • Anonymous says:

      Indeed 22.01…but exactly where does one place one's order for best belluga caviar and Moet Chandon best vintage brut Champagne? In my life, these are the minimum bare essentials to even get out of bed and think about voting for someone. Simply awful that they dont publish where to go..bad taste and all that. Oh, well, if they can't get the basics right, perhaps not worth voting for any of them, what?

    • Anonymous says:

      Took a few minutes from work to listen to the debate today with Julianna. In my opinion she did not adress the questions asked. Because even if the churches asked for a donation why wait until so close to election to disperse the funds. Even a wooden eye donkey can see through this. Stop blaming Mack for everything as we the public are no fools and matters such as these goes to Finance Committee on tuesdays, so what the hell you all are there for to only rubber stamp things or what? She is just trying to make the church members feel sorry for her acts. But the churches has very intelligent members.

  9. Anonymouse Man says:

    This just what they should not do or say? There is no definition of lavish catering or excessive treating.

    If providing food is considered undue influence, then no matter how much food is provided at meetings, then this should be cosidered illegal. I am not sure the election's office has not made it impossible to claaisfy what is considered treating!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Mr Gomez and Mr Connor. if you are truly serious about stamping down on coercion, bribery and general vote-buying you MUST surely consider Julian O'Connor's donation, in such close proximity to the Election, of $100k from the Nation's public coffers as an attempt to ingratiate herself to potential voters within the large membership of the Red Bay Church.

    if this was NOT her intent, you need to ascertain whether the Church applied to the Government for these funds for any specific or urgent need. You need to know the precise details of such application and, if no application was made by the Church, then you should interview Ms O'Connor and decide whether in your opinion she has flouted the Law.

    She deserves to be cleared of growing public suspicion if she is not guilty but, she deserves to be punished if her motives were an attempt to buy votes.

    Your efforts are admirable and you have the respect of the community but, no point in focusing on the chicken wings if the country's assets are being plucked by some bad turkey who is trying to get back in to roost for another 4 years!    

    • Anonymous says:

      Just remember Mr Gomez was her  Assistant . Poor Lyndon was found wanting as he came on very strong, and was probally going to take her out by the looks of it. Sin is sin, and ju ju do not like competition.

    • Anonymous says:

      Amen to this!
      It is extraordinary how blatant this woman is, from the paving issue through to her CIG funded shopping trips. It seems she has a skin so thick to criticism that maybe she doesn’t even know she is doing wrong!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Boy, make I tell you I nearly choke on me egg salad sangwich last night.  It turn out some fool put a hundred dollar bill in it.   They needs to be more careful.  I might vote for them though. The last few years flushing money down the toilet seem to be the way we do things.

  12. Just Commentin' says:

    Water, soda, a sandwich, some finger food, and chicken wings, eh?  OK! Here's my proposed menu for a rally I'd like to sponsor to "educate" newly registered voters:

    Water: Kona Nigari Water

    Soda: Fentimen's Rose Lemonade with a muddling of organically-grown Mitcham mint, poured over Greenland mountain glacier cracked ice

    Sandwiches: Wagyu beef, black truffle mayonnaise, a smother of Serbian pule cheese, garnished with Chiltepin pepper and mustard confit, and sun-dried Pachino tomatoes.

    Finger foods: fried quail egg and Beaufort D'Ete cheese melted with champagne steam on hand-crafted shepherd loaf bread; Devon crab, matsutake mushroom and Beluga caviar tortes

    Chicken wings: organically-grown free range Irish chicken wings glazed with Kopi Luwak chicken wing sauce, with a dipping touopet of English White Truffles

    • Anonymous says:

      Where you say you campaigning again?? I coming by

    • Anonymous says:

      Comin' over to your house:)

    • Anonymous says:

      Only the small pork sausages are missing from the menu…….hahahahahahaha

      Very British like matey!

    • Anonymous says:

      My mouth is dripping with drool just reading this. Where do you want me to put my 6 Xs on the piece of paper? Hurry, give my the pen, I need another of thise great chicken wings!

      Actually you had my 6 votes until I bit into the chicken wings and then you tell me they are expat (same as Irish you know) chicken wings from Ireland.

      Why can't you use these good jucy local Caymanian wild (same as free range you know) chickens ? Or are they overqualified? We know they have education because they are smart enough to hang out in the street by Kentuckey Fried Chicken, and avoid getting eaten or run over. To say nothing of the fact that they get people to feed them, instead of them feeding the people. (kinda like some polititions)

      I changed my mind now …….. I need to taste everyone's chicken before I decide how to vote.

      Oh my God, I just realised that this decision by OC and Banes, will now force me to actually go to everyones meetings (one chicken wing can't full my belly) where I might have to listen to what each candidate has to say, just so I can get my free chicken wing, orange drink and sandwich.

      I think i will hold onto my 6 votes until I have tasted all the chicken, someone might just have a secret recipe that they are holding ont on until the last days. That one wil lget my 6 votes.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I coming for my jerk chicken and mannish wata. Make certain you have plenty swanky to wash it down….our election is a joke! Joey – seriously?

  14. SANDFLY says:

    This is a good thing. Too many uneducated voters think they must be paid to vote. I feel that government has done little to even educate the uneducated about their responsibilties as a voter and money or other things does not play any part in the election process.

    • Anonymous says:

      "…Too many uneducated voters…"

       

      Hmmm, no wonder Cayman's political environment is so disfunctional.

      • Anonymous says:

        It has nothing to do with being an educated voter, but all to do with ethics and integrity!!

    • Anonymous says:

      I think it is past time that this rhetoric about offering food at political parties stop.  There is so much more important  topics to discuss.  I personally see nothing wrong with refreshments e.g. sodas, figure food being offered to the attendees.  Some people attending these functions  don't get the chance to go home to refresh themselves after work  therefore having something to eat and drink  at a meeting is  reasonable.  Yes, offering  a drink and something to eat is what we have always done.  Some of us were raised  with very little money, but we always had enough food to eat and it was/ and still is our way of life to offer someone who might drop by a piece of cake or a lemonade or whatever was on our table for that day.   If folks make the effort to change theireschedules and drop by a candidate's meeting to hear what he/her has to say I think they least can do is offer some refreshments at the end of the meeting.  I don't consider it vote buying at all, after all are we that dense to  let that determine  who we would support.  Now giving out  fridges, microwaves and the like is a horse of a different colour.  Customs can give a look out if they see unusual items coming in for politicians or people who are not in the trade business and advise the police department so they can follow the drop off truck and catch them in the act. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Such a big thing like givinglarge donations to churches such as the Red Bay, the Hill side Chapel $50,000 and perhaps others that we havent heard of in C Brac warrants more debate. There was so many posts on that subject that it should not even be taken off as yet as people in the communities are very disgruntled about it. The question is why wait until just before election to treat the church? If it was given in good faith then we would all be appreciative because I support the work of our good Lord. But we are not stupid and know that the churches have the biggest control as the biggest organizations in the Islands. We are still hoping that this will be looked into although we understand that those two churches is giving the moneys back. But what about those perhaps that we dont know about.

    • Anonymous says:

      Politicians like Lyndon do not have moneys, fridges, tickets stoves, washers etc etc as the list goes on, but he always donate his time and help wherever and whenever necessary.  He dosent wait until an election eve to be helpful. That is why people like him because they see that he is genuine. It is so sad that a few would want to destroy him, but one thing they wont stop hid followers from wanting him to serve.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh yes it does!!!

      Since they cant feed them or buy them stoves and fridges anymore, they buy their votes with drinks after their meetings. What a Blast they (UDP) had on Monday night at the Cayman Cabana. 

      • Anonymous says:

        It was hilarious to see the UDP all come marching in to the Cabana and no less than 5 minutes later K.B. came in to put up his posters!

        Tanks for the drinks guys!!!!! But you can kiss my a** if you think you getting a wote from me.