Ezzard throws down gauntlet

| 27/03/2009

(CNS): One of the most unpredictable campaigns of the 2009 Election is likely to unfold in a district that has been conversely one of the most predictable in recent times. Over in the quiet, genteel community of North Side a firestorm is brewing as three candidates begin the battle for a now empty seat following the retirement of Madame Speaker Edna Moyle. Facing off against the People’s Progressive Movement’s late selection and director of the Turtle Farm, Joey Ebanks, as well as Oswell Rankine, Ezzard Miller has already offered “a head to head to head” challenge to his opponents.

At his first district meeting on Thursday evening, Miller, a political veteran and former health minster, asked his opponents to join him at some point on the campaign trail in front of the people of North Side where they could openly answer and debate the questions that the electorate put to them. “I am asking them to come and stand here with me and debate. I’ll even pay for the hall,” he said last night in front of a small but supportive crowd.

Whoever wins the North Side seat could have a significant influence on the formation of the next administration, a vote for Ebanks is a vote for the PPM, and although Miller is running as an independent he has stated openly that he will support a the formation of a UDP government. However, he said it will then have to win his support for each and every bill as he will not join the party ranks under any circumstances.

A plain speaking candidate who has even included a testimonial in an advertisement campaign that said he wasn’t very likeable, Miller believes that aside from his experience and track record his honesty, integrity and straight talking attitude will see him through to seat in the Legislative Assembly.

At his first public meeting, moving away from the topic of immigration on which he is normally very outspoken, Miller chose to speak about education and the need to include disaffected young people and to be more inclusive with those in trouble. He said the community had to be more creative and committed to dealing with young people

He criticised the Minister of Education, Alden McLaughlin for not debating the entire contents of the Education Bill with the public at large before it was passed and said he would like to see the people of North Side taking more control of their district and suggested leasing North Side Primary School from government to make it the first charter school in the Cayman Islands.

Although the new Cayman Islands Constitution, if passed, will provide for the election of district councils, Miller has already created one and is proposing to work through them to organise the needs of the district of North Side and, promising a new kind of democracy, he says he will discuss all of his parliamentary decisions with the residents in the district.

“I intend to come back here and discuss everything that I will do in parliament with the people of North Side,” he said. “We need to make sure that what government does is good for North Side and good for Cayman.”

Demonstrating his democratic credentials he also faced a question and answer session last night jumping from the problems of excluding students from the school bus to the state of the North Side Hurricane Shelter. Running on the slogan "Cayman for Caymanians", Miller, a former chair of the Immigration Board has been exceptionally critical of the number of work permit holders in Cayman, which he says is committed to reducing. He has also raised the idea of a national lottery to help raise revenue for government coffers.

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Category: Election 2009

Comments (27)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I look forward to a face off between the 3 candidates in North Side.  I hope that the people of North Side realize that just because Mr. Miller is not new at this does not mean that he is the best at this!  Listen and make the best decision come May 20th.  God help us if the only solution that we have is a national lottery!

  2. Anonymous says:

    So let’s legalize it!

  3. Twyla M Vargas says:

    BELIEVE IT OR NOT

    Did you know that in the district of Bodden Town, the private Sunday Lottery is backed up by someone who is representing us in  the Legislative of Assembly.   I bet you that person will not speak out against Gambling.  People buy from his seller every Sunday morning on Cumber Avenue.  Check that out if you want something to do.

  4. Anonymous says:

    One of the things the new government should start with, is demanding that the savings on duty free food items be passed back to us the consumers. If you notice that the most expensive things in the supermarket is DUTY FREE, such as milk, cheese, ceareal, rice, flour even the simple codfish, baby food, milk etc., there is more but I can’t remember.  The stores DO NOT pass back those savings to us what they do is make their biggest profit margin on those items.

    If  the supermarkets are made to pass those savings on to us, this is one are that will help us. If you go to supermarket in jamaica the same box & brand of cereal that we buy here for $5.00,   it cost  US$2.90 in Jamaica.  Even for say Mrs. Dash seasoning that is like US$1.93, Velveta macaroni w/broccoli  US$1.92, so much more, I can’t remember all of them.

    Talk about shocked that was me, the first time I went in a supermarket in Jamaica and worked out the price they pay for the same American imported products. It was this reason that I started buying a month or more supply (depending on my size bag) of those food products that I found so much cheaper every trip I take to Jamaica. When I worked it out it is cheaper for me (if I could afford it) to catch the flight once a month to shop in jamaica than it would cost me at the supermarkets here, for the non persihables.

    I don’t understand how they can import the same cereal from the same manufacuturer  and it cost so much less at the supermarket there than Cayman & Cayman Brac its worse, I went in the Moses Kirkconnell supermarket and nearly died , how do they live over there, one bottle of cooking oil CI$7.00,  country crock margarine was CI$7 & cents for the medium one & CI$9.00 for the large one and that was before paloma, so imagine now? Maybe somebody fromthe Brac reading this can tell us what their prices are like now.

    It is plain to me that the supermarkets that are in jamaica pass on the savings to the consumer, (maybe its demanded by their govt, if someone knows maybe they could tell us) . Not rob them blind. This can be  a start for the new government make sure we get the benefits of the breaks that they give the supermarkets on food items, it might help some people from starving, with the way things are going. But I guess it will remain the same cause all the talk most people get up they have no real guts to do what it actually takes to help the ordinary joe.

    On election day I hope we get it right this time, cause this is a last chance scenario.

     

  5. Team Cayman says:




    Mr. Miller sir,

    You don’t have to keep apologizing about you not likeable etc.

    You were like that from the beginning of your first political stance years ago. Even before you raced cars, you were always a fighter in what you believed in.

    You see, not many Caymanians back then had that flair, that fire of self assurance that was not yet developed in them as it was in you. Now after 20-25 years later they have found what you are, what you were talking about, and that is, “tell it like it is”! Live and Direct.

    Most Caymanians today can handle such direct thoughts and feel true and committed in your belief. Because it’s the same trust and belief that will propel us to reform ourselves and to reassure our rise in this country.

    So, no need to neither apologize nor fell depraved Mr. Miller, about the way you felt and they way you said it. If we had that aptitude years ago, we’ll be much further ahead as Caymanians I believe. It is a truly refreshing to see it still in you after all this time. You did it your way, you did it our way!

    Go with God’s blessings on May 20th for a better Cayman!

    G.T. Voter  

  6. Anonymous says:

    Go Ezzard Go! You are a national leader and respected by all acrose the Islands. During your time you improved the lives of all Caymanians. I have had the honor of working with you and can attest to your love for this country and Caymanians. D. Ezzard Miller for the Cayman Islands. Never before was your style strong leadership needed. –  

  7. Anonymous says:

    I am morally oppressed by gambling and not because I realize it is a "suckers game" rather that I realize there will be people who spend money on the lottery instead of buying milk for their children.

    You will probably respond with they do that already illegally and that may be so but I don’t want a nationalized lottery that gathers money mostly from the marginal members of society who cannot really afford losing.

    And yes I care about that.

    Lets leaglize gambling, prostitution, drugs because they are all in Cayman now let the government make money off that as well.

  8. noname says:

    I think Mr. Miller has said two sensible things in the past 20 years, one was that we should consider a National Lottery, I can’t remember the other one.

    Might as well get something back from the gambling that goes on irrespective of the antiquated and bigoted laws.

    For those who are morally opposed, please consider not participating.

    • Anonymous says:

      "Might as well get something back from the gambling that goes on irrespective of the antiquated and bigoted laws.

      For those who are morally opposed, please consider not participating".

      "Bigoted" seems to be a word much in vogue these days especially when used to demonise those who seek to uphold certain moral standards of the community.  The issue is not simply a personal one, my friend, it affects us all. Usually it is poor man who, ignorant of mathematical probabilities, purchases his lottery tickets religiously in the hope of striking it rich. His poor family suffers as a result and we as a community must bear the burden of supporting them.  I take your point that this is happening already with the numbers racket. But let’s explore the logic of this. Will you also legalize prostitution and charge the prostitutes business licence fees so we can get something back because it is already going on? Does that make you bigoted? If you are morally opposed, please consider not patronizing the prostitutes.  

      • Anonymous says:

        Prostitutes, preachers, gambling, we are all throwing our money away one way or another. Legalize them all, lets charge a licence fee for the Churches too.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Some people are dreaming or most of them are playing that illegal lotto including some of them holier than thou crowd, that is why they do not want a national Lottery ask them for solutions to this island’s economics hurdles  they will suggest prayer and while that is what we should all do about this very dire situation we are in.The good lord always helps those who try and help themselves. These illegal gambling  operations that are being run here is benefitting a selected few who are dumping most of these monies into overseas assets/bank accounts in other countries. How is that helping Cayman?

  10. Lottsoflaughs says:

    Crunch the figures and you will soon realise that the lottery idea is hopeless.

    Even if 30% of the population spent $5 on tickets the gross income stream would be tiny – $75,000.  As a small lottery operating costs would be high – $20%.  Assuming a prize fund of 50% then the contribution to public funds of the lottery would be $22,500 per week, a little more than a single high end work permit. (And Ezzard wants to drastically reduce the number of those).

    Economies of scale mean the idea of a Cayman lottery is doomed.  Those who play the big foreign lotteries still will do so for the simple reason they offer "life changing" jackpots. 

    Lotteries are a form of regressive taxation.  The poor tend to contribute a much hgher proportion of disposable incomes on lotteries than the wealthy. At a time of financial stress this problem is exarcebated.

    I am all for new ideas.  But the lottery is not the magic bullet some of the posters think it will be.

    • Anonymous says:

      To crunch the figures – you obviously dont know how much is being spent and won each week in the Cayman Islands on "numbers".  Far Far more than you can imagine. I say go for the lottery.

  11. Anonymous says:

    It’s very obvious from the reply thus far, that NS people have forgotten about the WORD "INTEGRITY". I guess NSiders also forget when people switch and jump the train trackS LIKE ALL THE OTHER POLITICANS THE LAST TWENTY YEARS!

    We need fresh faces in the legislature, not ones that after getting in, the system caters to their Policital Agendas. I will be voting for Oswell Rankine!

    He is a man that "INTEGRITY" can be spoken about. Mentioned in earlier replies about Oswell Rankine not around being. That is joke if ever there is one! Where has he been. I tell where he’s been, living in Frank Sound for the last twenty years, been an active member of the "Boy Scout" club, has also assisted w/young caymanians in finding work from North Side. Active in the community through various church functions,etc..

    As usual people will continue to vote for people, who change like chameleons!

     

    GO INDENPENDENT CANDIDATE OSWELL RANKINE!

  12. Twyla M Vargas says:

    SUPPORT A NATIONAL LOTTERY?

    Of course, how else are we going to find money  to pay back all the debts that we owe.   Taxing the people, dont even think of it.  We cant buy food or pay bills now, much more tax.  A national lottery would assist with road building, health insurance for the elderly and needy, social service payouts, eduation and much more.  The plain fact is that 95% of Cayman is buying lottery.   Try and stop it.  Yea!, we might as well say we are going to stop eating  food, and that wont happen.

    BELIEVE IT OR NOT.   At least 2 million dollars in hard cash leave Cayman every Monday morningthrough different avenues of lottery.  We have the HONDURAS  LOTTERY, playing every Sunday, we have the BELIZE LOTTERY, playing every night, We have the JAMAICAN LOTTERY,  playing three times a day.   What do you think? the money is staying here? No it is not.  So  why cant the Government use this money to help with needs of this country.   Anyone who do not want to buy lottery does not have to buy, just shut up, and watch TV.  you will receive the benifits sooner or later.

    I believe Mr Ezzard will be a good candidate for North Side.  He knows the ropes and we do have to put some who have been there before.  Those who can come with fresh ideas, smart intelligent, for the people, and of the people.    I would like to see candidates getting togeher for a better Cayman, not just for the Money.,  Help your district people and make your district look pretty.  Blessed

    • Anonymous says:

      North Siders please vote for Ezzard Miller.  This country needs him. This is no time for ‘learning on the job’ so we can’t afford to invest in the newcomers.  Ezzard knows the job – we need people who, from day one will know what to do.  Please think about how serious things are.  Joey is a good man and his time will come – it’s just not now.  Ezzard is the man for the job at this critical time in our history.  We need a serious Rx to remedy the situation and Ezzard is a medicine man.  Wish I could give you my vote Ezzard but I’m a "towner" – the most I can do is try to influence all the Northside voters that I know.

      • Anonymous says:

        "North Siders please vote for Ezzard Miller.  This country needs him. This is no time for ‘learning on the job’ so we can’t afford to invest in the newcomers….Wish I could give you my vote Ezzard but I’m a "towner" – the most I can do is try to influence all the Northside voters that I know".

        I assume then that you will be not be voting for any on the UDP candidates or independents in GT (all of whom, except for Dr. Frank who is unelectable, would be learning on the job) and will be voting for the PPM slate, all of whom are experienced. Is that what you meant to say, or did you wish North Siders to apply a different standard?   

  13. Anonymous says:

    Nothing better than the lottery if you want to tax the poor

    • Anonymous says:

      Not only the poor my dear – the very rich politicians and others dont miss a chance to gamble.

  14. Anonymous says:

    The only way Ezzard is getting my vote if he can help me first, since he thinks he can help his north siders, when he used to help it was nice but after he left north side and moved to either town or west bay, the only time we saw him in north sideif he came up to look for is parents or for any family gathering.

    Until he can help the people of North Side then he can have my vote otherwise, i do not think he will be getting my vote.

    As for Oswald he is not getting my vote because i have not seen him doing anyhing for our little district.

    As for Joey he might be just the man North Siders need, he has me vote for sure. GO JOEY GO. North side wake up, Joey was and still is, there for us, look at how many young people that went to him and he help them find jobs? he has help alot of us and i think he deserve all our votes.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I agree totally that a national lottery would be a great way to generate funds for the government and what is wrong with having a dream.  Without dreams what do we have.

    The government could mandate use of the proceeds for college scholarships,  technology for classrooms, improve our roads etc. 

    If I was still registered in North Side I would vote for Ezzard.

     

  16. Anonymous says:

    Lotteries sell a dream to the poor and the desperate, and those with a poor understanding of probability, in exchange for their hard-earned cash. Make sure to set aside plenty of lottery $$$ for debt counseling, gaming addiction, and the associated social impacts on the families and friends of the players who become dependent on winning. Lotteries generally seem like a great idea to those who really don’t need to win.  

    • Anonymous says:

      You make it sound like this is the first the Caymans have heard of lotteries. What about those illegal sellers all over the island? The house holds who want to gamble do and those that don’t want to don’t. The only difference between making it legal and illegal is, legal Government will get more than a measly $250 from the sellers who are caught. This is what the PPM have left us with, thinking of all areas the new government will get us out of this hole that the "Poor People Mistake" (PPM) have dug us into.

  17. Anonymous says:

     

    I think the country needs Mr. Miller back in the house, looking back in hindsight his health plan would have had the country’s health system in a MUCH BETTER state than it is now.  So North Side please put him back for our districts sake and a much more importantly, for our country’s sake.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Lets get casinos as well

  19. Anonymous says:

    Ezzard will return.

    The National Lottery he proposes is a no brainer of a revenue stream, it will can fund the continual short fall in Health (which cannot pay for itself as structured and scuttled …severly shortchanged by all including the govt.) and education.

    Currently the unofficial lottery funds the unofficial orgnaisers and winners hands down. The pipe is running in our back yard.

     

  20. Anonymous says:

    i think mr miller is correct we need a national lottery