Chamber opens debate

| 15/04/2009

(CNS):  With candidates on the campaign trail so far only presenting their own positions, the real debate finally begins this week when the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce starts its candidates’ forum in East End this evening. Throughout April, Wil Pineau, the Chamber CEO, will chair the forums in each of the districts where questions submitted by the electorate will be placed before the candidates, forcing them to address the issues that concern the voters. (Left Sandra Catron and Gilbert McLean face off at the 2005 forum)

Candidates will be encouraged to discuss the national, business and district concerns in front of the local audiences and face the real questions in a debate format, giving votersthe opportunity to decide for themselves who has the answers and who does not. Pineau said that this is the sixth election where the Chamber has offered this public service and it is the only platform where candidates are engaged in an open debate with each other.

“This is the only opportunity where the electorate gets to hear the different positions of the candidates from the same platform during the campaign,” he said. “We encourage the candidates to respond to each other’s answers and debate the questions that are put before them. Every single candidate has been invited and we hope that they will all attend.”

Closely guarding the questions that will be put before the candidates during this year’s eleven forum events, Pineau explained that at each of the district meetings the questions will differ slightly as there are specific issues relevant in each of the different constituencies.   

The forums will be broadcast live and everyone is invited along to hear the candidates make their case for the people’s vote. In the past, the chamber debates have thrown some interesting topics into the arena for discussion, from trade unions to the impact of the status grants on Cayman society. At the 2005 most of the candidates welcomed the forums and said they had forced them to think on their feet.

They have also placed on the record some interesting opinions from familiar political candidates.  In George Town, for example, Ellio Solomon, who was at the time was campaigning as an independent, said that the United Democratic Party government, the party of which he is now a member, had “unfortunately sacrificed democracy".

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Category: Election 2009

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Good luck Sandra! We are behind you 100%.