A 3rd Way for Cayman

| 26/10/2011

In a little more than 18 months there will be an election that will determine the future of Cayman. Pre-election positioning is already underway. Part of the current discussion focuses on the alternatives of Cayman reverting to electing independent MLAs and forming a new 3rd political alliance. Recent (unscientific) polls suggest that something like 75% of the populace view the current government as being somewhere between less than competent and disastrous.

Something like another 10% have a slightly higher view of the current government, but still would not vote for them in the next election.

Satisfaction with the official opposition, which seems content to lackadaisically sit back and watch the current government destroy the country, is not that much better.  Something like 35% of the population would prefer the somnolent PPM to the UDP, but then again the polls leave open the conclusion that about the same percentage would prefer to elect a box of frozen squid rather than the UDP.

The electorate’s views on independent candidates are mixed. Some point to “the good old days” when unpaid community leaders with no party affiliation were elected to represent their districts. Alliances among these old time politicians came and went on specific subjects as a path forward for the country was negotiated among people who actually had Cayman’s interests at heart. In those days MLAs were not obliged to support the actions of a single party leader, even when the actions of that supreme politician suggested some total derangement.

There is a considerable appeal in a return to those days. Needed legislation was passed and Cayman prospered. Sadly, a return to those days is unlikely any time soon simply because a return to those days would almost certainly require a change in the Constitution and neither of the current political parties would ever vote to limit their own power. The current Constitution simply gives far too much power over other MLAs to the premier and the party in power. It has also allowed the premier to assume excessive powers without implementing any meaningful safeguards to prevent the abuse of power.

The political architects of the new Constitution tipped the balance in favour of highly paid and often completely useless populist politicians who respond to the demands of the party and party bosses rather than the electorate. Those who designed the party system, and are dependent on it rather than the will of the people to stay in power, know this. That is not to say that those who designed the new Constitution did so out of malice. It is more likely that they saw the transfer of power from the people to party bosses and backers as a way of getting things done their way. I doubt that any of them had the foresight to see how far wrong things could go if the wrong person was made premier and the wrong party given such great power.  

What then are the arguments being debated? Sensible arguments coming from UDP supporters on the subject of maximising democracy in Cayman unfortunately seem less common than parrot’s teeth. The main argument that is trotted out by PPM supporters for supporting the PPM over independent candidates is a scare tactic to the effect that if people don’t vote for the PPM, then the drone masses of the UDP will block vote and the result will be that the UDP will be re-elected. PPM supporters point to the last election, in which many good independent candidates split the vote in several districts allowingthe UDP candidates to be elected despite having far less than 50% of the votes cast.

PPM supporters also point to the integrity of their leadership and argue that a political party is necessary to secure the votes necessary to carry forward an agenda in the LA.  It is no doubt the case that party organisations assist somebody’s agenda to be moved forward. Sadly there is little democracy in this approach as there are no meaningful manifestos presented to the people at election time. It is therefore the case that the agenda that is moved forward by the current party system is not necessarily what the people want.

How then can we improve democracy in Cayman? It is obvious that there is a desperate need to elect intelligent, motivated, energetic and honest legislators who are committed to community service and who will fix what is broken at the level of our Constitution for a start. Such people exist, as is evident from some of the signed comments on CNS. Absent a one man one vote system and any clear unequivocal and time specific commitment from the PPM to fix what is broken, it will almost certainly be necessary for civic minded independents to be put forward in each district.In order to be successful, it will also be necessary for independents to have town hall meeting based mini-elections before the official election. At these town hall meetings, only the minimum number of the best independents necessary to secure the seats available in each district would be selected by each district to appear on the official ballot to contest seats with the UDP and PPM.

Ideally, independents would be selected on the basis of specific commitments to implement the legislation necessary to minimise crime and restore the economy, but I will save what the ideal independent candidate would commit to for another day.

Vote in the CNS online poll: Which party would you like to see form the next government?

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  1. D. Ebanks says:

    I agree 100% with Tiny Indian.  Horatio. how do you explain schools not finish on PPM's watch and the country sinking into debt, which could have amounted more than 81 million because we have no proper auditing?

    • Anonymous says:

      The schools were started by the PPM late in their term. They would have been finished now if the UDP had not breached the contract with TJI which meant all worked stopped for a long time. There is no question that the PPM overspent but at least it was on capital projects that will benefit the country and not on lavish travel and perks and white elephants like Boatswain's Beach which cost this country some $65m to build and $10m in subsidies every year.  

      Like I said in a previous post we cannot put any store in this $81m nor in the supposed $25m surplus. They cannot both be true.     

  2. Horatio says:

    Some messages consistently allege that politics in Cayman now is all about the party. I don’t disagree with that but the obvious follow on is what is the party about? What is the fundamental ideology of the parties? To anyone with even the worst case of myopia it is very clear that the UDP is not even about the party. It is about a support system for one individual. It was created through a process of expediency to justify the 2001 "coup" and to hold that new coalition together. It has never functioned as a party and never will. It exists to serve the whim of McKeeva Bush. Over the last two years it has governed to serve the interests of the master and only a select few. There are a few crumbs thrown around which the rabid faithful have devoured in the wild expectation that in each case it was the start of the manna they were promised. It is not. It will never be. They are becoming more and moredisillusioned and will soon react very angrily. I do not believe the master and underlings will be ready for that.

    The PPM on the other hand appears to be a party whose fundamental ideology is about putting the country first – "for love of country". It has rebuilt Cayman, built roads and even built bridges, remodeled the education system and was building multi-functional schools that would have been fantastic assets to educate our children in. Hopefully when they are finished they will still achieve that goal. Through all of that there has never been any suggestion of corruption or improper conflict of interest or anyone in the party or government or its wider governmental organisations or boards etc that was arrested, charged or even rumoured to be on the take. I don’t mean McKeeva's rumours. I mean stuff that you can see the smoke from and know there is some fire somewhere. McKeeva and the UDP have not stopped campaigning from the day the UDP were elected. They have constatntly attacked the PPM and railed on about an $81 million deficit. That number rang up over a two month period like the total on a slot machine jackpot. If you can explain how that was arrived at I suspect you will have no trouble explaining how an anticipated deficit of $15 million could become a surplus of $25 million in 7 weeks as well. It seems the UDP have that trick perfected now. The problem is it is not a permanent trick. They will be rolling out many others. One of which is the vanishing independents trick. I assume everyone will have noticed where the vast majority of "independent" candidates we had in 2009 have set up camp? The irony is that the one independent who supported the UDP and was successful in the elections rejected them within months of taking office – reality was very convincing! Anyway, back to the original point, they have not stopped their campaign of misinformation because that is how the magic trick works! You have to be distracted by a consistently repetitive action so that the sleight of hand goes unnoticed! 

    The PPM have made mistakes and that is anyone's reality, successful or not. The question is whether they have made those mistakes while trying to help you or help themselves first. I think the facts clearly point to the correct answer. As far as I can tell the PPM are the only real party and certainly the honest ones. It remains to be seen whether they can convince the electorate that they deserve to be more than the safe default position. They need to provide clear proposals which address the issues that the country and the people are facing. I hope they can.

    One thing is clear, the country can no longer afford the quackery that has been masquerading as its current leadership.

    • Tiny Indian at the river says:


      You can be blinded about one party or the other as you are. It is clear that NEITHER group, UDP nor PPM, are real political parties.

      You are correct about UDP that they are centred around an individual. The same with PPM who gathered around Kurt Tibbetts-notice I did not say Alden on purpose. Here in Cayman we have Political Tribes. Plain and simple. Political parties have a central philosophy about their society and act from the BOTTOM up in most cases. We have tribes that act from the top down. The proof is that neither party even has a true mechanism to work that way.

      If you believe for one second that the folks in PPM act completely for the 'National Interest" you will also be surprised and disappointed.  No one puts the country in such debt knowingly and acting for the country. No one contractor can 'win' so many government contracts without some assistance and that happened on PPM watch. The tit-for-tat arguments can go on ad infinitum. What is clear is that tribal politics will not benefit the Cayman Islands nor our people.

      It is time for the Caymanians to realise that and dump BOTH parties at the poll next time around. Why exchange one tribe for the other??

      Go back for the simple choice of one Caymanian and another…when the tribes are controlled then we will move ahead again.

      • Anonymous says:

        The PPM functions as a party. They don't have a leader who makes arbitrary decisions and announcements to bind everyone else without having consulted them. Yes it did have a charismatic leader who rallies support but by no means is it the same as the UDP which one former UDP minister called "apersonality cult".

        A vote for an Independent is a vote for UDP to return to power.   

  3. Anonymous says:

    In response to person who posted Saturday at 14:57 and who appears to suggest that the opposition has done all that could be expected of it, and with apologies for the repost:

    It seems that you have taken an exceedingly narrow view of how destruction occurs. It appears that in your view the destruction of our country is being mediated in no other way than through votes taken in the LA, government regulations passing through Cabinet and government contracts issued God knows how. You seem to believe that there is no possibility of any manner in which the opposition could act to safeguard our country other than through what it does in the LA. I suggest that this belief, if it is yours, is wrong.  I suggest that there is one recent action of the opposition which proves this view wrong and I also suggest that if the view I attribute to you is correct, then there is no point whatsoever in paying an Opposition when there is a majority government in power.

    Most comments in relation to this Viewpoint take a very much wider view of how the destruction of our country is occuring;  These comments suggest that the opposition has a role in providing to the electorate a competent analysis of policy alternatives on an ongoing basis and in response to to each and every instance of poorly thought out government policy or the absence of government policy. By way of an example of how things are supposed to work, Alden recently set out a competent and indeed compelling analysis of the way forward on roll over. By doing so he raised public awareness, crystallised informed opinion and effectively limited the choices of the majority which controls the LA. In that instance the opposition acted to limit the potential for further destruction of our country. The acts of analysis, formulation and public presentation of alternatives isan example of appropriate leadership which we expect from the opposition. It is also an example of what the opposition can do to limit the destruction of our country. I sincerely hope that the clear solution proposed by Alden in relation to roll over was not merely intended to demonstrate that the PPM is a "government in waiting". IF that was all he was intending he should resign.  

    Our country faces many problems and the government of the day appears to have an unfortunate lack of competence and insight in relation to most if not all of them. The opposition has an obligation to limit the scope for our country's destruction by doing the work that is necessary to come up with and present to the public competent solutions to each of the problems. They also have a role in presenting their solutions to the public in such a way that all destructive options of the government of the day are limited. With the exception of the proposal on roll over the opposition have largely failed to do so. They have therefore repeatedly failed in their responsibilities in my view. By way of specific example, I recall that one writer noted the failure to date of the opposition in relation to the recent enterprise zone legislation. On the basis that the opposition has repeatedly failed to provide sensible policy alternatives, I agree with the Viewpoint.

    I am also sympathetic to the views expressed several times to the effect that part of the destruction of our country occurs when its people give up hope for the future of the country. Many on here are giving up such hope and want the PPM to speak up to show that there is a basis for hope. Surely offering sensible ways to a better future is not too much to ask of a well paid opposition, yet most seem to feel that the PPM has so far failed in this regard is well. 

    There still may be time for the PPM to take their responsibilities seriously and to turn public sentiment around. If instead they choose to content themselves with the belief that they went through the motions in the LA and that is all that can be expected of them, then I will be joining those who support the squid.

    • Anonymous says:

      The problem seems to be that you and others have misinterpreted my post as some sort of general defence of the PPM which it is not. I am not a PPM member let alone official. There was never any suggestion that the Opposition has done all that could be expected of it in general terms. Many of the points raised are valid but are not the very important question that I have asked based on the comments in the article.


      It appears that you don't in fact have an answer to the question so instead you have posed a wider question. So far only one poster has really addressed my question by saying that the Opposition has not taken up the matter directly with London. That could certainly stop the current Govt. from destroying the country but it could also mean a suspension of our Constitution and direct rule by the UK. We need to understand the implications of everything that we advocate.    

  4. Polly Tricks says:

    1) Expand the franchise.

    2) Expand who can stand.

    Better elections, better politicians.

    But fear and power hunger will mean it does not happen and Cayman will continue its slide downwards.  We have probably sunk too far to stop sliding all the way down now anyway.

  5. Anonymous says:

    In response to the question below about what the opposition can do immediately. The answer is – more than hold a bar stool to the floor and talk about fishing. The opposition members are being paid $50,000 per month in salary and benefits. I want to see them earn that.

    If they want anybody's vote in 2013 my suggestion is that they need to start NOW.  At a minimum the opposition should hold a press conference once a month and put forward a properly thought out solution to just one of the countries problems. We got plenty to choose from. Just one solution a month. Alden did an excellent job of putting forward a very clear solution to the roll over. But one clear idea in 30 months is not enough. One solution a month should not be too much to ask.

    An earlier poster already gave them ideas for the first 7 months if they need to get their heads around what some of the issues are and I know that at least one member of my family has given them an ear full about a couple of other things.

    I don't care if they can't vote the solutions into law because of the UDP. I want to see that they are not wasting my money and I want to see NOW that they are capable of solving problems. EIther that or we are going to elect some squid.   


    • Anonymous says:

      Don't waste your time. I don't think that the PPMers posting here want to understand. They are just a small group who spend their time telling eachother that they are right and congratulating eachother on a wonderful job of doing nothing rather than listening to what the people are telling them.

  6. Judean People's Front says:

    The desire to be a Politician should bar that person for life from ever becoming one.

  7. Anonymous says:

    If the PPM realy want to blow the squid and the UDP out of the water right now, they should ensure that  the civil service has some legal clarity on the limitations that the Government, as their employer,  can lawfully place on the exercise of their right to freedom of speech and other democratic rights. 

    If civil servant felt they could speak out, without jeopardising their livelihood, you can bet that that by itself will be a much better (and cost effective) constraint on  corruption in Government, least all be revealed.  We could also be certain that much of the details of self-serving actions of our Ministers would also be revealed.

    The PPM ought to sponsor a couple of high-level legal opinions (from QCs with Chambers in London) which spell out the clearly where the line in the sand should be drawn.


  8. The Chickens Have Come to Roost..... says:

    Now I am totally confused after reading all these comments I now understand that all politicians that belong to a party are in it for themselves……..and all independents are…….you guessed it…….it in for themselves!!! WTF!!!! Ok people lets face it……parties are not going away anytime soon so, do your research…….find out what all parties stand for……find out what all independents stand for…….then and only then make a choice!! If you are waiting to agree with EVERYTHING that a Party or an Independent stands for well then settle in and be comfortable…….because its going to be a long wait!! Choose the side you have most in common with and let that be the catalyst to your decision making. Get involved and hold your party / independent accountable for their actions……..because that is your job as THEIR boss. Most importantly…..make that choice and vote…….even if it is for the box of squid if they make it on the ballot!!!!

    Oh……and to the poster who spoke about an “Independent Party”…………well buddy…..that is a Party……hence the word PARTY!! I think a group tried that in WB last election as well…..

  9. The Prophet says:

    All of them are the same, or will eventually end up being the same.  I have been a prophet long enough to see the people have been fooled every 4 years for a refrigerator.  Feor Petes same how many ice cubes you want to make anyway?

    The prophet says pick a few from UDP and two three from PPM and a handfull from the IDP.

    bY doing this we should be able to mix good lemonaide.

    • Anonymous says:

      It was that thinking that landed us a with a UDP Govt. and McKeeva as Premier. May be that is your purpose now. Frankly all in the UDP are complicit in the poor goverannce in this country and I don't see any reason to choose any of them.

    • Jonah Principlr says:

      Poster8:30 you do gave some very pointed challenges that a mature,intelligent,opposition would be able to understand and handle. Unfortunately they are not mature,nor intelligent but are arrogant,big headed don’t listen and will fist fight you on a dime. I should however clarify that these comments are not meant for all of them,for Lord knows Mr. Kirkconell and Mr. Eden are seemingly from a different stock and would be able to lead a good group of candidates San those others mentioned. Nothing personal against AM and Am (see what I tell you almost A men choir) and KT,but we have given them a false sense of their knowledge and effectiveness. Politicians they are not but good ole boys,well that’s another story.

    • Anonymous says:

      Anybody claims to be a prophet needs to be seeing their mental health professional, and this post is clear evidence of that.

  10. Anonymous says:

    To the Poster who wrote:

    "Please get real! Independent candidates are all about themselves not the people."

    I say, All politicians are about themselves. The independants are the smart ones who can stand alone and enterprise on their own. The Donkeys are the one who need to belong to party but they are all the same


  11. Anonymous says:

    Be careful CNS, you already have one lawsuit for defamation of character, the box of squid will be submitting one next – because who wants to be mentioned in the same sentence as either one of our political parties?!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Very interesting poll here folks. The PPM is just slightlty less popular than a box of squid. I suspect that if the poll had substituted "ideal independent candidates" for the box of squid then the vote would have been overwhelmingly in favour of the independents. The people are speaking PPM. Are you listening? The UDP never listen so I won't even both asking them.

  13. Anonymous says:

    In response to the earlier post asking what more the PPM needs to do, let me tell you what I had hoped to see from an effective opposition and where the official opposition have failed. I should say that in the last election I voted for the PPM even though I could see that the UDP was going to win. I thought and still think that it is important for our country to have an effective, strong and outspoken opposition. So far the grade of the PPM on that one is way below an A or even a B. Those in charge of the PPM seem to think that if they say nothing they will not offend anyone and then they will win by default. If that is their real position I will work to prove them wrong.

    In a nutshell I want more leadership from the opposition. Banter and childish behaviour in the LA is not what I am looking for. The people live outside the LA and that is where we want to see our leaders. I don't agree with a lot of what he says but at least Ezzard get that.

    The PPM is blowing all the dozens of opportunities that the UDP is handing them. By doing that it is making me believe that I need to start supporting right thinking independents who put themselves forward in the media with answers.

    I must say that on  a couple of issues Mr. Arden is leading from the front and so is Mr. Moses. Mr Alden showed clear leadership in relationship to roll over policy but he needs to do the same on many other issues that are troubling our people.

    Here is what would show me that the PPM would be better as leaders than the squid in this Viewpoint. The PPM need to show:

    1) Leadership – A clear unequivocal promise that within 90 days of being elected the PPM will clarify the position of the civil service and their participation in democracy.  The PPM need to say that they will end the tyranny and the bullying. There are some clever lawyers in the PPM. Why have they not drafted a position on this issue which the PPM could publish. This issue is importantto so many families and would be an easy win.

    2) Leadership  in relation to law and order issues – particularly in relation to reforms to our criminal laws. We need a clear statement that within 90 days of being elected the PPM would ament the current soft laws on sentencing for violent crimes and the revolving door parole system which are contributing to the insecurity of our country. We need to change the laws to tip the balance to in favour of law abiding citizens and remove the criminals from the streets. Please note that this week even the UK has finally realised that and is itself adopting a two strikes and out policy for violent criminals.

    3) Leadership – in relation to the ongoing mismanagement (and worse) of public funds andother public resources. I had hoped that the Opposition would have latched on like a pitbulls in the recent PAC meetings to drag the truth into the light of day but that did not happen.

    4) Leadership – The PPM neeeds to do some basic policy and quantitative analysis of private deals done outside of the accepted processes and now being pushed down our throats. Crown land is being disposed of but only a few are benefiting. This is wrong. Why are the PPM so silent?.

    5) Leadership – The PPM needs to take a tougher position on corruption and conflicts of Interest. The current laws might have been well intentioned, but I agree with the two most recent Viepoints that our current laws have been shown to be completely inadequate in the past couple of years. The laws needs to be changed to take a much tougher position on corruption and they need to be changed to absolutely prohibit the current conflicts which are sucking the country dry.

    6) Leadership – We need the PPM to commit to changing the system for the appointment of public boards. The recent embarrassing disasters clearly show the need for change. If the PPM want to show people that they are awake they can make a clear commitment to reform the process as soon as they are elected and to set the reforms in law so that if a corrupt administration is ever elected in the future they will have a much more difficult time wrecking the country.

    7) Leadership – The PPM needs to re-start press conferences every couple of weeks at which they will educate the people on all of the above issues and others like the high cost of living, protecting the environment and the use of alternative sources of energy . The people need to see that the PPM has intelligent answers that they are committed to implementing.

    I guarantee you that if the PPM fails in the above then come the next election the PPM will probably find itself in third position behind both the UDP and the squid.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you for your thoughtful post. Those are some good ideas. However, I am afraid that none of your suggestions explain what the Opposition can do presently to prevent the government from destroying the country that it has not already done. That was the question. You are talking about policies that will be contained in a manifesto and campaigned on come election time.   

      • Anonymous says:

        Here is one suggestion. Make a public statement that if elected they will extend the benefits given to one developer in the form of Enterprise City to everyone involved in bringing in hightech business of the designated categories. That will stimulate the economy as then everyone will be looking for tenants and those with empty space can start to recruit new high tech tenants immediately rather than waiting 2 years or more. That is much better than leaving everything in the hands of one developer.  There was an entire Viewpoint on what the PPM could do immediately just a week or so ago in that regard.

      • Anonymous says:

        No actually announcing those things now will give hope to people now. At the moment we all feel that the entire political process has nothing to do with us. Announcing what they are going to do is about hope now.

      • Anonymous says:

        I think you missed the point. The PPM needs to start the press conferences now. Discuss the issues and talk about solutions now. Make commitments to fix things now.  If they are aftraid to put forward solutions in case the UDP grab them then the PPM are exactly the way the Viewpoint says. The PPM don't need to fear. The UDP couldn't organise a closet let alone implement whatneeds to be done. If the PPM is not interested in fixing the problems now then me and my family surely not going to be interested in them in 18 months.

      • Anonymous says:

        @ Fri, 10/28/2011 – 21:25. No, it is you that have missed the point. The questions was what can the Opposition do to prevent the current Govt. from destroying the country. That was based on the article's statement that the Opposition were sitting back and letting the govt. destroy the country. I still have not seen a single suggestion that would do that. Instead, you are addressing a different question: what can the Opposition do to convince us that they are the Govt in waiting and would be a better choice come next election. That is a fair enough question but it is not the one I asked based on the quote from the article.    

    • Anonymous says:

      Why can't the PPM do this now?? …Why wait? No balls, that's why!

  14. Anonymous says:

    You said: "Satisfaction with the official opposition, which seems content to lackadaisically sit back and watch the current government destroy the country, is not that much better".

    Please explain what you think the Opposition should be doing to stop the government from destroying the country that they have not already done. Tough questions in the LA about suspicious activities and absurd policies? Check. Exposure of criminal investigation of the Premier for alleged financial irregularities? Check. Organised protest and call for resignation of Premier? Check. No Confidence Motion in the LA? Check. Enlighten us, please.    

    • Anonymous says:

      This is a joke right?  If the PPM leadership actually thinks that this is sufficient I will be appealing to CNS to put up a link so that we can raise money for the squid.

      • Anonymous says:

        Answer the question, please.

        • Anonymous says:

          My two cents says the answer is something like the post just above. The PPM needs to show leadership otherwise it is just more of the same old same old Punch and Judy show.

          • Anonymous says:

            But you are still not answering the question. The PPM "showing leadership" is not going to prevent the present govt. from destroying the country. 

            • Anonymous says:

              You clearly are not getting the points that 4 or more people who have already posted here are repeatedly saying. The current government's activities are demoralising the people and making them believe that our democracy is a farce. Young people in particular think that politics is just another form of gang activity. That is part of what is destroying our country. If the PPM got their buts in gear and showed some leadership they could change that. I am at least glad that some very intelligent Caymanians like Mr. Wayne Panton and Mr. Andrew Reid are speaking out for Cayman. They are showing that there is hope and that they are capable of thought. I wish that the paid politicians had the intelligence and the commitment to improve Cayman that these gentlemen show.

              • Anonymous says:

                Look, I understand what you say about giving the people hope. Those are all valid points. But respectfully that is not question I am asking. Let me refresh your memory: what can the Opposition do that it has not already done to prevent THE GOVT. FROM DESTROYING THE COUNTRY. We do need an answer to this particular question.  

        • Polly Tricks says:

          They have not taken their objections to London.  If they were interested in stopping Mac and helping Cayman rather than scoring political points for domestic benefit they would have taken this step.

          • Anonymous says:

            A visit to London could result in a suspension of our Constitution and takeover TCI style. Be careful what you ask for.

            • Polly Tricks says:

              Sounds like a big improvement on the current mob.

              • Anonymous says:

                Nobody TC Islander thinks direct rule is a big improvement to democracy.

                • Libertarian says:

                  As much as I am against draconian methods, if the "outcome" of direct rule is to established direct democracy in governance and the Constitution, I am for it.  But if to subject them to a Constitution that will not fully represent the people, then I am against it. I am sorry, but for now, it is looking more like the later.

  15. Slowpoke says:

    This is a thoughtful post.  I would like to add that switching to "one person one vote" single member constituencies, would also significantly add to the democratic process.  I also agree with a previous post suggesting that the eligibility to run for office be reviewed to include all naturalized citizens.  It will simply allow a greater choice, if the individual is deemed to be too out of touch, they will not be elected.  On the other hand, we do have some individuals who do have a lot to offer but are currently not allowed to serve.

    • Anonymous says:

      "…the eligibility to run for office be reviewed to include all naturalized citizens".

      I am not sure what you mean. The Constitution currently permits naturalised citizens to run for office provided they possess no other citizenship (same as is required for natural born citizens). Please describe who do have in mind.   

    • Anonymous says:

      That would include thousands of non Caymanians being eligible to run. You either do not understand what naturalization is or have no understanding of this community.

  16. Dred says:

    I have what amounts to a radical idea and maybe it has some grounds that might make it work.

    The new concept I call an "Independent Party"….

    What is an independent party?

    – Members of the party are brought into the party by being nominated and voted in by the members of their community.

    – Each district will also give this candidate their agenda by way of voting on various items that is determined by the district in the same manner they were brought forward

    – The manifesto of the group will be a culmination of all these ideas.

    – The leadership is selected by team vote.

    – Each district will then bring forward a district council

    Why have an "Independent Party" to begin with? Simple. Strength in numbers. With an Independent party all districts will know who's alligned to the new group concept and who is TRULY representing the desires/interest of their people.  Let's also face the fact that in the larger districts independents don't really stand a fair chance.

    I believe this could work on two levels:

    1) People who are selected already know they have the people behind them so their personal confidence in running and succeeding should be evidence by the vote.

    2) People across the Island will feel more confident in voting for the independents who have alligned themselves as they know others across the Island also stand a great chance of success.

    I believe many people vote PPM and UDP because they don't want to spread the votes and let the otherside win. I believe with a strong people based movement we can restore the confidence in independent candidates.

    I'm interested to hear what people think of this.

    • Libertarian says:

      Dred, you have some bright ideas. However, a party ends up looking out for its own interest over the community's interest. Once a party is form, people have to rely on people, and to me, there are alot of greedy people, thirsting for power. I personally don't trust any man who says he is running for political office.  He will say one thing to get elected, but say something else when he is offered monies from developers and big shots. Let's not forget that the people ELECTED the members of UDP and PPM, and when the test came for them to reduce their own salaries by 10 to 20%, they all instead left the LA cutting the entire Civil Servants salary by 3.2% undermining the fact that such cuts would have negatively effected those CS servants who made below 2500 a month. With each one of them making over 10,000, they felt not a thing!  The Premier himself stated that he was cutting his salary by 20 to 30%, and he flip-flop on his word. When he introduced it to the PPM and Independent crew, they rejected the motion. The Premier well knew this was not going to happen, because (sorry to say) not one of them were willing to set the example. Dred, the constitutional system has to be changed!  There is no other way in fighting political and partisan corruption – no other way to ensuring "we" the people are fully represented on this island. We can't look to the branches… WE HAVE TO STRIKE AT THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM:  CHANGE OUR CONSTITUTION AND PROVIDE MORE "DIRECT DEMOCRATIC" PROVISIONS THEREIN.

      Kind Regards

      • Dred says:

        To be 100% honest both your idea of changing the constitution and my idea are both piped dreams. I really find it hard for us to sit here expecting politicians who are in parties to do something to damage their parties. And that's PPM or UDP.

        Politicians won't do what you are wanting and the people don't have the gumption (if even a word) to do what I am saying.

        I would end with this. An independent in GT, WB and BT has a better chance of winning the lottery than they do of winning a seat in those districts. People in those districts are simply too scared of voting independent simply because they don't want to split the votes and give the person they want removed a chance to sneak in the backdoor. I believe the only way for an independent to win in those districts is some sort of allignment with other independents but in such a way that it is clear they want to ban together to remove the status quo that is happening every election of UDP and PPM. This allignment is not to become a party but to remove parties from power and return the LA to the people.

        I would tell you to look at Ezzard and his district as the blueprint. It's working there quite well and he represents them.

        • Libertarian says:

          Dred, thanks for sharing your pipe. Indeed, Independants are able to represent their constituency way better than a party, and our political system will never be a perfect one. You still have Independants who will put self-interest before the people. Perhaps my smoking fogs the room too much.

          One of the things I dream about, is for the Cayman Islands becoming an Electronic Direct Democracy (EDD), where citizens would have the right to vote on at least 95% of all legislation, author new laws of national importance, and recall elected representatives.

          With the technology we have today, we can learn from online sites like Facebook and Twitter. We can have a secured network where we can easily implemented  electronic votes to be recorded for passing a major bill into law. The LA members role would merely be to propose the bill and sell it to the local people before they vote on it.

          ATM machines, the internet, and cellular phones could have options to provide such arrangements. This would be the UK's first step towards a pure democracy if they should amend or change our constitution and allow such a system to work. The power of making laws will be taking out of the hands of the MLA's, and the chances of corruption would be lowered because there would be no one who would be able to bribe an MLA to pass a bill into law. THE MORE POWER IS SHARED TO THE PEOPLE, THE LESS CORRUPTION THERE WILL BE.

          But I feel there will have to be provisions in the new Constitution to have computer managers, elected to managed the electronic voting technology with checks and balances in place for this to transparently work.

          Already in various places in the world, electronic voting is being practiced. In Sudan, citizens were allowed to use their cellular phones to vote in their general elections. I believe registered SIM cards were issued to citizens with electronic codes. I understand this was also done in several countries. My question is, why isn't the UK addressing the challenge of taking us from a controlled representationalgovernment we have now to a free and fair direct democracy???  At least, change the Constitution with more direct democratic provisions, and ensure that developers and certain elite can never buy out the members of government and undermine the wishes of the people. I am sure that the UK with all its professors from Oxford, can change history and at least develop more trust in the people of the Overseas Territories.  

          But perhaps Dred, you are right. What I am smoking may never come to pass. I see too much greed, power, self-interest, unwilling to change traditional stances, holding us back.

      • Anonymous says:

        You guys need to go out for a beer and get this straight for us

      • Anonymous says:

        "The Premier himself stated that he was cutting his salary by 20 to 30%, and he flip-flop on his word. When he introduced it to the PPM and Independent crew, they rejected the motion. The Premier well knew this was not going to happen, because (sorry to say) not one of them were willing to set the example."

        You got the first sentence right but not the second or third. The PPM did not reject the motion because it was never brought by the Premier. In fact although he had made his boast about cutting pay it was the PPM that insisted on bringing the motion.   


        • G.Towner says:

          I am still dissappointed in the PPM. They missed a golden opportunity. When the UDP refused to make such 20- 30% cuts, the PPM should have announced there willingness to make a sacrifice for the country. Instead they talk and talk and talk about the value of sacrifice and that was all you got from them. The PPM members should have paid 20% of their salaries into a trust fund to be used to help the unemployed and those needing help in their education. That would have made a stark contrast between UDP and PPM, but they too showed weakness in not following through for the principle they stated they stood for. Still, they could make such an announcement, but funny, we haven't heard a word from them since.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I really hope that the idea of each district selecting independent candidates in town hall meetings takes off. I also hope that some of our bright young people at UCCI and ICCI and the Law School and even the high schools run their own town hall meetings so that we can get our people used to speaking at such meetings and participating in politics.

    • Anonymous says:

      Please get real! Independent candidates are all about themselves not the people.

      • R.U. Kidden says:

        You're probably right.  But then, what makes you think they would be any different from party politicians? 

        Politicians are:

              1.  For themselves

              2.  For their party

              3.  For getting re-elected

        We elect these politicians to represent us, to make our country better, and to make a future for our children.  Don't make the mistake of believing they're going to do it.

  18. Anonymous says:

    It absolutely does not matter what political system you choose.

    Politicians are big ego trippers, who are only there for themselves.

    The western metality stays the same: The rich get richer, the poor get poorer.

    The best thing to do is to stay home and don't vote at all.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with your first three sentences. But the last sentence about staying home and not doing anything, I don't think that is helping the situation. There is a constitutional meeting tonight, attend and voice your concerns. Stand up and defend your rights. Certian good people in the uk is willing to help you, but how if you dont say anything.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you don't vote, then don't complain about what you get.


      Or…..If you aren't part of the solution, you are a part of the problem.

  19. Anonnymous says:

    A coalition of young, educated candidates, who are honest and upright God fearng men and women, would be refreshing.   Our MLA's are well paid so even tho some not be financially independent, hopefully everything they do will be for country and the people and not for self gain.

    • Anonymous says:

      God fearing ??

      You want to go back another 100 years ?

      That kind of mentality has brought us where we are now.

      • Anonymous says:

        No it hasn't. There is a only a pretence of being God-fearing by some.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I would like the townhall meetings to air on tv so that way the people that were unable to attend can watch at a later time.  Whether they record and watch later or the tv stations allow for airing the show another time allows for a broader audience. 

    That is 'if' townhall meetings are organized.

    • Civil Servant says:

      I don't mean to say this to discourage others, but I am a civil servant, and I am dam scared at attending such meetings where there is the press and fellow Caymanians. I am scared because I have a family, and can't afford to lose my job if I should to speak out my negative views against the Constitution. Cayman is a small place, well controlled I think, and I know others would think twice in government before voicing their opinions against the MLAs, UK administration, and the Constitution. To be honest, we didn't attend the meeting for that reason. 

      • Anonymous says:

        That is why if it was televised you would get the information and be informed.  Maybe we can up the ante and have the program live for the first instance and have people email, text or calling in with questions.  That way your face is left unknown and you can be identified by a pseudo name.  Would that help?

  21. Anonymous says:

    Setting up and running town hall meetings would be great real world experience for any  students interested in politics. I am willing to help. I think we would need probably about 4 people for each of GT, BT and WB. Probably 3 debates on different days in each district with the vote to choose the best independent candidate at the end of the last debate. Great experience for organisers, great experience for candidates and a great way to be involved in making politics better in our country.

  22. Anonymous says:

    we need to allow non-caymanians to stand for office….open it up to holders of PR and Status……they're not all evil, and they're not here for the short term….and most of them are here because they are highly educated, succesful and involved in the community

    • Frodo says:

      Fat chance….many Caymanians would rather this country be brought to ruin, then allow a successful naturalised Caymanian to run this country successfully. Sad but true. 

      • Anonymous says:

        The poster wrote about status holders and permanent residents. Not quite the same as "naturalised Caymanians" who can run for office provided they have no other citizenship.   

    • Anonymous says:

      Why on earth would we do that?! Is there a precedent for that anywhere? If a person does not have the commitment to this country to become naturalised and renounce any other citizenship he or she should not be eligible for office.   

  23. Anonymous says:

    Well at least this disposes of the suspicion that you are in fact the PPM party Chairman who shares your initials and half of your last name.

    You said: "The main argument that is trotted out by PPM supporters for supporting the PPM over independent candidates is a scare tactic to the effect that if people don’t vote for the PPM, then the drone masses of the UDP will block vote and the result will be that the UDP will be re-elected".

    Whether that is intended as a scare tactic or not there is, unfortunately, a great deal of truth to it. That is indeed precisely what happened in the 2009 elections. My view is that we need to discourage those Independents who are simply not credible from entering the field as they stand no realistic chance themselves but serve only to split the anti-government vote. That is particularly true in West Bay. But perhaps that is the point. We also need to sift out those candidates who are true Independents. It is quite clear in light of a number of appointments that at least three "Independent candidates" were not in fact Independent.     

  24. Anonymous says:

    an la full of independents like ezzard would be a disaster…..their small minded backwardness would ruin the country…..

    unfortunatly cayman has choosen to exclude the most educated, well respected, hard working members of society (expats) due to their nationality…..


    • Anonymous says:

      Why suggest "like Ezzard"? There is no other person independent or otherwise like him.

    • Power of the People says:

      BECAUSE the country those expats LIVE in is called CAYMAN. So CAYMANIANS should be the ones to vote – not someone from another country who has NOTHING to lose by staying a few years and then leaving as they please. 

      If ALL expats were allowed to vote, think of the chaos we'd have then!! SOOOOO many different cultures, agendas and political affiliations. 

      It is the way it should be. Caymanians can be held accountable for their own votes. If you (or any other expat) don't like it – then go home and vote THERE, in the country of YOUR birth. 

      Cayman has enough problems, not to have to deal with being twisted into someone else's idea of what Cayman should be like. The REASON people started coming here in the first place was because they LOVED the culture, people, crime-free state of things. So MORE people came from other countries and brought their cancer to our shores. NOW look at us. A festering cess pool of anarchy and hate. 

      Please – if you don't like it just go home. We'd be better off without the commerce and money – we were doing just fine before it came ashore. But I suspect the thumbs down will come from people who did not know Cayman in the 60s, 70s or 80s. What we see now is just a mini America/UK…we were so much better than that before…

  25. Libertarian says:

    See this system and the system of the world like the pyramid on the U.S. dollar bill with its "All Seeing Eye" and its title below, announcing "the new secular order" in Latin. The pyramid represents the world, but in our case, it represents us. Those on top of the pyramid, are the 1%, the wealthy, the bankers, the UK / Caymanian elite. Those who are at the base of the pyramid, are the 99%, the middle class and those who have little and struggling to pay their expenses and CUC bills. The "All Seeing Eye" is ver significant. It represents the ever seeking nature that is within us. People, 99%, are always seeking to get rich, to get more, to walk on others to get ahead, and they are so caught up with society and education that they have fogotten to attend and spend time with their children and love ones. Indeed the saying pertains to them:  "For the love of money, is the root of all evil." But those who make up the 1%, they already know that they have the money, but it greed and self-interest that torments their soul. They could care less for the populous or inhabitants of these islands. The saying pertains to them:  "For the love of power, corrupts and corrupts indefinitely."  Why?  Because there is a tendency within us to identify ourselves with money, possessions, and power. And there is this ever seeking and striving for more; and the fear of losing. Certain members and special interest groups of the top 1% are so identified with wealth accumulation, that the only interest they have, is their own. They would promote wars, deliberately cause the reduction of populations, cause the outbreaks of deases, use the colonial advantages they have to ruin our economy in order for them to secure what they have and to attain more. Once, you understand the nature of the ever-seeking beast, there is no way, you can believe that our Constitution was written for our best interest, seeing that the very document itself lack so much "direct democratic" provisions where we only have a mere referendum. What is that???!!! A mere referendum???  Our Constitution is poor, it does not represent us, and the Governor through Her Majesty's Interest, can at any time dissolve our elected leaders, who themselves don't represent us. This is a very poor situation, and just shows that our democracy is an illusion amongst other illusions. 

    • Anonymous says:

      There may wel be something in this so do not be so quick to dismiss it.

      Lately, there have been hidden messages displayed to only a few in the population.

      The strange, symbolic displays consisting in daily changing gravel and plants placed on to rocks mainly appear on roundabouts leaving most drivers wondering what it is and what it should be if it is ever finished.

      These are symbols known only to the Illiterati, who are controlled by the vatican.

      The rest of the conspiracy features the Colonel who started Kentucky Fried Chicken, the UK, Expats and Alien artificial intelligence.

    • Anonymous says:

      LOL   I too laugh at the people who take libertarian words lightly

    • Anonymous says:

      Stop redefining the symbolism of our American "All-seeing Eye!!" I'm not going to argue with your philosophy but would ask that you hijack your own symbols to further your arguments. Surely you could go with the pirate turtle.

      • Anonymous says:

        The All-Seeing Eye is suppose to mean God, but I think it is an adulterated view of God to reduce Him to an Eye, and I think in this regard Lib uses the symbolism well. God is much more than that.

        • Anonymous says:

          Actually it's a representation of the all-knowingness of God, not a representation ofGod. Are there no Masons on Cayman? Why do you all even care what our dollar bill symbols mean? It ain't a conspiracy, we're very upfront about world domination.

          • Anonymous says:

            As the superpower on our doorstep with which our economy is intimately linked and the dollar to which our dollar is pegged we should care.

            The point is that we don't include their symbols in our institutions and the seat of govt.

            A number of the U.S. Founding Fathers were Freemasons and since these symbols have not been changed we must assume that they represent the beliefs of the U.S. establishment. 

            Back to the original poster, "Novus Ordo Seclorum" is Latin for "New Order of the Ages", and synonymous with the "New World Order". The word seclorum does not mean "secular" in classical Latin.

    • Anonymous says:

      What are you talking about? Please land before you discuss further political thought.

      There is no heady confusion about the masonic symbolism, the down to earth reality of Cayman politics is a young democracy growing and finding its way toward maturity. The concept of rights and freedom of speech and thought is still relatively new. When we first came to Cayman the talk radio concept was relatively new with Val on air respectfully promoting personal responsiblity and not pushing for personal advancement unlike the talk radio of today.

      The political party system is still in an embryonic stage mostly being seen as the personality driven group represented by their leaders. There are no clear cut ideologies that separate the parties rather name calling and mud throwing in tribal political environments. Rumors of bribes and voter payoffs abound and election laws need to be enforced throughout the country.

      All democracies go through a maturation process and Cayman is such a small voting population with gossip and rumor abounding it is difficult to really know what the public want or believe.

      I think there is a very vocal of group of anonymous voices that make a lot of noise. What the majority think or believe is difficult to know. Unscientific polls are rubbish and largely meaningless.

  26. Anonymous says:

    A three-way is a great idea!

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree.

      A two way always runs the risk of being a hung house and leaving all motions stuck over a barrel floundering.

      A three way demands some flexibility but generally brings new ideas to the party.

      • Anonymous says:

        Stuck over a barrel floundering…hmm depending on your persuasion that might not be such a bad stance, politically speaking of course.

    • cow itch says:

      nah nah nah… too many options… to me, it is just cow… no yeng no yang, just coooooow

  27. Anonymous says:

    Marl Road say dat the UDP call up both their suporters an tell dem to wote in this poll and dat de young PPM sent out dem BBMs. What I wan know is how dem squid so well organise. De PPM and UDP ought to take note. 

  28. Anonymous says:

    “…somewhere between less than competent and disastrous.”

    Herr Dictator won’t like that Duck-person… here come the next lawsuit….

    You are of course quite right in all that you say. Good well-educated people must rise up or this is all over.

    • Anonymous says:

      Being well educated does not mean fair, decent and not willing to sell out the country ……… we have to look at the individual, and please look at the membership of these parties then you'll see if and where the 1% is throwing their weight.

      Ironically, many persons seeking to be well educated are very likely materialistic and might even advocate 'love of money' so we'll be back at same position if we don't examine more than education, or claims of it, as the basis of good leadership.

  29. Anonymous says:

    All I know is that after the election we could use the squid as bait. That is a lot more useful than anything we got out of most of the ones we elected last time.

  30. Anonymous says:

    I love the idea of town hall meetings of the people being used to select the peoples' candidates. Let the parties choose who they want. We the people will select our own candidates. I love this Viewpoint.

  31. Anonymous says:

    So far the squid are way ahead in the popular vote which seems about right to me.

  32. Anonymous says:

    You are right. I would rather vote for squid – frozen, thawed or live.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for another excellent Viewpoint. I particularly like the idea of district level town hall meetings being used to select the best independent candidates to contest each district election. Something like that already happens in North Side and that definitely seems like the best way to improve the choices we have on election day.