FB group in voter drive

| 20/08/2012

vote here 2.jpg(CNS): Following its recent success in galvanizing a large part of the local community to sit up and take note of the country’s fiscal crisis, the Facebook group Cayman United is turning its attention towards getting Caymanians to vote. Joining forces with the former OMOV team, among others, the new social media group which emerged from the campaign against the proposed expat tax says that it wants to persuade as many of the unregistered 10,000 people entitled to vote as possible to join the electoral roll and take part in the next election. Casey Goff, one of the group’s founders, said it was the people of Cayman, not politicians, that would lead the country from the current crisis.

Goff said the current financial crisis was multi-faceted, going far beyond the budget and the proposal for an expat tax.

“The pressing need for a budget is not the crisis nor was the threat of direct taxation and the resultant fissure in our community. These are symptoms of the crisis, which is maladministration,” Goff said, as he announced the group’s intention to get involved in a full scale voter drive, which will begin next month.

“There have been many times when the public, business community or other organisations have ‘lashed out’ against a proposal of government,” he said.  “It seems, however, that once these proposals pass or are removed from the table, the public interest in the issue dissipates. The group which I represent has no intention of allowing this to happen with regards to the recent issue of direct taxation.”

Goff explained that the group will be getting much more involved in the local political landscape in an effort to address some of the fundamental problems of poor governance, maladministration and the failure of policies.

“For far too long the citizens of Cayman have remained silent and complacently watched as a series of successive governments led us to where we now stand,” Goff lamented, adding that the general election in May presented an opportunity to elect leaders who are capable of addressing the crisis.

“It is not about the UDP, the PPM or otherwise; it is not about skin colour; it is not about background. What this is about is Cayman, and we must get it right," he said as he urged people to register to vote.

Since the constitution removed the requirement for Caymanian status holders to be naturalized before they can register to vote, there are close to 10,000 people who have the right to vote but who have failed to register on the elections list. According to the elections office, the number of registered voters below the age of thirty is 1,689, only 11% of the total number of electors. 

“This number can, and should, be nearing 5000,” said Goff, who explained that Cayman United would be working on a voter drive and a campaign to persuade people that they have the power to change things.

Goff also said that he and members of the group planned to work on a proposal to improve key policy areas, including immigration and the tax burden on small businesses.
Government is currently sitting on a major report from the immigration review team which emerged from the most recent public consultation exercise, in which the team, led by Sherri Bodden-Cowan, recommended the removal of the key employee status and a system to allow everyone who stays for 8 years the right to apply for PR.

According to Goff, the group will be focusing on innovative policies that can empower young Caymanians, stressing the importance of education and skills development for the unemployed, as well as ways in which the financial burden of government levied on small businesses can be lessened to help the economy.

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Category: Politics

Comments (28)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The reason I hear from many people that are not registered to vote is that they do not want to be called for jury duty so they don't register! Talk about pathetic!

    • Anonymous says:

      What is pathetic is the actual system.  You get called for selection, sent home called again, sent home called again over and over.  There is no parking in GT and bosses get pissed off with the time taken off work.  Now it may be an offence to fire someone for having to attend jury duty, but many contracts or work conditions allow termination without cause and that is what they will use.  Don't think it doesn't happen because it does.

  2. Anonymous says:

    If these 10, 000 cayman status holders get registered politicians will be freaking out because they can't control the electorrate as much as they want. even if its only 5,000 of them its still a huge deal. things are changing cayman!

    • Anonymous says:

      Good news the mass status grants have come around to do the opposit of what the politicians expect.  Although it has adversely affected Caymanians I am very happy to see what it is about to do to some of those politicians who gave away this country because they were willing to put political career and self before country.  Welcome to the new SA, I hope every politician and Caymanian who participated in the mass status grants of 2004 will be around to see the results in the next 5 – 10 years.

  3. Anon says:

    It makes me so sad to think that eligible residents in Cayman do not go out and vote.  Around the globe people have risked imprisonment and have died or have been willing to put their lives on the line just to gain the right to vote.  They have suffered such intimidation and violence that we can not even comprehend.  The desire of these people to stand up and exercise their right to vote and voice their opinions on their visions for their community and country no matter what the cost, should inspire the rest of us.  Why in Cayman can we not get off our behinds and drive to the electoral office to register to vote? Why can we not turn up on election day and tick a box?  Voting is the only way that the average citizen can have a say in what the people elected to serve us do for us on our behalves.  Whether you are for one party or the other, it doesn't matter.  Have your say.  Register to vote and make a difference Cayman!!!

    • SSM345 says:

      I have never voted becasue my choices were limited to the same moronic bunch of fools for the last 30yrs and if some new faces don't emerge soon i wont be voting in May either.

      See what happens when you vote for the current crop? Nothing, while they rape and pillage this country year after year.

  4. Caymanian 1 says:

    I work at a bank in town (which I will not name) with Caymanians and Expats. I am, too, a Caymanian. In the office, about 8 out of the 10 Caymanians do the following all day at work:

    1. Stay on their cell phone constantly

    2. Bring in their laptop so they can evade proxys – thereby being able to use facebook

    3. Crack jokes – nonstop until 5 pm comes.

     

    Whereas, the Expats which I work with are always working non-stop – taking initiative and asking for more work. An english woman I work with doesn't even take a lunch break because she's so dedicated to finishing the task. Never have I seen her take out her phone nor use any other program other than Excel or Outlook.

     It's definitely not that all Caymanians are lazy – because that would just be a lie. There are numerous hard-working and hoenst Caymanians. However, it is a privilidge (pardon my spelling – unsure of it) to have a job here, and it should be treated as one. Don't complain about being sacked when it truly is in the hands of your own actions.

  5. Anon says:

    Cayman United is on the right track!  I think a voting drive is an excellent idea! According to the Elections Office website the average age of female registered voters is 52 years and the average age of male registered voters is 51 years.  I beg the younger population to get active and register to vote!  It's your future and you have to power to effect change.  Your voice is so important in helping shape the direction of Cayman in years to come.  If you do nothing then don't be surprised when you get what you've always got! Do it on behalf of the rest of us who can not legally have say!!! http://www.electionsoffice.ky/cms/election-statistics/186-average-age-of-voters-by-district-for-july-1-2012

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Casey Goff should run for office he would serve this country well.  He is much better than the leaders of the UDP and PPM.  He is a man of action, he need to pressure the government in allowing expats that live here with status for 20 and more years to have the ability to run for political office just like they can in the UK.  If someone is able to vote when why are they not able to run for office?  A political change need to sweep this islands we need new people with new ideas not more of the same old.  Expats are more educated and have more experience in the world of business and leadership.  I would like to see many of the retired partners in laws firms run for office in this country as they will bring fresh and new ideas.  This countryis now an international high finance destination that needs the kind of leader with the kind of international experience that will continue the success of these islands as a leading financial center.  Caymanians are not qualified to run this country they will only run it in the ground like what is happening now and then it will be too late.  It was the hard work of many expats and a few Caymanians that make these islands the sucess that it is today and it's a shame to watch it being destroyed by some Caymanian politicians that cannot do the job. For every expat and Caymanian that love this country I say speak out  put pressure on the government to resign and let a qualified person with Caymanian Status run this country. 

      • Anon says:

        I am sure that Casey and his Cayman United team (made up of Caymanians too don't forget) would not like your assertion that "Caymanians are not qualified to run this country".  I think your heart is in the right place, it's just your prejudices and narrowed mindedness have made you express your opinion in this patronising way.  I'm really offend on behalf of my Caymanian family and friends. One bad apple does not mean the whole orchid is off.

      • Anonymous says:

        if you are saying that I can be on the voters list, have cayman status for 20 years and still cannot run for office then that definitely wrong. we can't have 2 classes of caymanians. I don't care if the number is 10 years or 20 years but we need to include that so its fair.

        however i don't know about all this othere stuff you are saying re expats built country and caymanians cannot etc. but I do agree that cayman status holders who have lived here for a long period must be eligible for office.

        Maybe the FB group should take that challenge up and try to get the change.

      • Anonymous says:

        When the constitution was being revised the local politicians put this in so that they could hold on to their jobs for as long as possible. we will be reaping the results of that very bad decision for the next 50 years.

      • Anonymous says:

        lets not goo too far with this casey goff thing. i mean i'm sure he is a very respectable guys and all that but all he has doen is create a face book group and doen some advocacy stuff. which is good.  he needs to prove himself like all other potential candidates.

        I dont think you are right about the voters thing though. Im sure that cayman status holders who lived here for long can run for office. thats how it is for long term citizens in most countries.

      • Anon says:

         How absurd to say that "Caymanian are not qualified to run this country"! There are some very good candidates that could lead this territory thank you!

      • Anonymous says:

        A leeetle bit over the top there brother.

  6. Anonymous says:

    It is sad to see the expat tax disappear, since it was the best solution, if:
    -ALL people on a work permit pay a tax on their income.
    -Additional property tax on foreigners owning property.

    There are three types of expats on this island:
    -the ones that send all there savings abroad.
    -the ones that enjoy the island and one day continue their travel/work around the globe.
    -the ones that are rediculously overpaid.

    The first group is draining the local economy, and can easily be replaced by unemployed caymanians.

    The second group will stay whatever the cost, because they are here temporarely.

    The third group will never leave, since even with 50% tax, they still make more than at home.

    THIS is the Cayman Islands, the Caymanians should therefor come first.
     

    • Anon says:

      What is sad to see is that these ridiculous and uneducated views are still seen as the answer to theproblem we find ourselves with.   I for one do not fall within your ludicrus "three types of expats". And my husband, who is Caymanian, would be the first to tell you that you would not be putting Caymanians or the future of this island and our children first if you implemented these "solutions". You need a reality check.

    • Anonymous says:

      It must be exhausting to carry around so much hate all the time.

    • Anonymous says:

      People like you would rather see Cayman sink than survive.

       

    • Casey Goff says:

      Perhaps the so-called Expat tax was the best solution, may I however ask why this is the case ?

      I agree that the Expats who send all of their savings abroad would likely have left.  I fail, however, to see your logic with regards to those Expats who are here to enjoy the island and will one day move along in their travels.  Knowing that this group of Expats has no permanent ties to Cayman and will gladly pick up and move one day, without ever lookingback, why would they “stay whatever the cost”?  To me, I believe this group of Expats would have immediately begun looking for a more favourable location and moved as soon as one could be found. 

      With regards to those on the top tiers of employment, they perhaps would have stayed but I believe other consequences would have arisen.  Let’s consider someone earning $120,000 a year.  They would have essentially seen their monthly income drop by $2,000.  Although those of us who do not have such high salaries see this as insignificant I can guarantee that those who do have the high salaries would find such a drop unacceptable.  Would they perhaps ask for a raise, and how much more difficult would it be for companies to recruit individuals of this caliber in future ?

      The real problem here is that our government is in the midst of a budgetary crisis, and cannot afford to lose income.  As work permit fees contribute so much to the revenues of our government any policy which stands the potential to reduce the amount of work permits is very risky.  Although I agree that Caymanians should be first in this country, and that our unemployment figures are far too high, this is a problem which must be handled over the medium term.  Our first step in that direction needs to be significant reductions in government expenditure so that our country may survive on less revenue.  Then we may begin significantly reducing the number of permits which are given out.

    • Anonymous says:

      You’re nuts!!

    • The Beaver says:

      Why are you people entertaining this person as if he/she was rational – obviously he/she is a sandwich short of a picnic basket or is playing a joke on you.  In case of the first, don't bother explaining a donkey table manners – donkey's don't understand, no matter how many times you explain.  In case of the latter, ha ha, good one; you got a whole bunch of people riled up.  Maybe you ought to run for Premier.  The Beaver

    • Anonymous says:

      I suspect that this was not written by a Caymanian but by an expat stirring up trouble between Caymanians and expats.

    • madazhell says:

      It is sad to see the expat tax disappear, since it was the best solution, if:
      -ALL people on a work permit pay a tax on their income.

       

      This quote suits simpletons such as yourself…

       

      "To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medication to the dead."

      -Thomas Paine

       

      Nuff said.