Cayman flip flop

| 17/05/2013

As a first time voter, I have made a solid effort to watch, listen and read all the different debates in regards to the upcoming election – and I must say I am extremely disappointed by everyone involved. I really hoped that in this election, some candidates (whether party or independent) would have had the guts to speak the truth, but unfortunately, everyone was beating the usual campaign drum as this is just the easiest and most popular thing to do.

So here we go once again, anticipating the new government, which will be the savior of everyone and will miraculously and single handedly, turn around the economic state of the Cayman Islands. The promises are big and as one could expect during every election all over the world: more development, more jobs, and lower cost of living …

The truth is that no matter what government will be put in place (and for all it’s worth, I really hope it doesn’t involve any UDP/PNA candidates), they are likely to fail just as the previous governments have because they have failed to realistically manage the people’s expectation during their campaign.

Unless people’s mindsets shift, we won’t be making any progress for the better. There has to be a message to the people that in the first instance, everyone is responsible for themselves and must do for themselves accordingly. If people want progress in the long run, there must be changes, and those changes may be uncomfortable at first. Cut backs and true enforcement of existing legislation will impact everyone and it may not be to the liking of many – but it will be necessary. If communities want to improve their district, they have to band together and put in the hard work themselves – don’t wait for government to come and do it for you. You want your beaches and streets to be clean, you will have to go out there and help clean them up!

Many people are suffering and struggling to pay their bills. Whilst they are many who really struggle despite trying their best, there are equally many who just continue to live beyond their means and have their priorities screwed up. Government must be able to distinguish and provide or deny assistance accordingly.

Business owners, who want their business to thrive, must be prepared to put in the work themselves accordingly. What I seen in Cayman is that Caymanians want to own a business, employ cheap foreign staff and sell a crappy foreign product to outrageous prices – and are then genuinely surprised that their business fails and hold government responsible. Unless you are prepared to be out-of-pocket for a number of years,  you sell a good product for a fair price, deliver great customer service and distinguish yourself from your competitors, your business will not likely be successful in the long run, no matter how much government will reduce red tape for you while setting up shop. That is a reality throughout the world.

As a society, we must stop looking to government to provide the answers for everything, to provide the funding for everything, to make things easier for everyone because we need to look at ourselves first and do the work accordingly.

I really wished someone would have made this very clear to the people before they head off to the polling stations next week. While it may have been a hard message to send, it would have been a very honest one. I am not sure how others feel, but I would have preferred the honest and realistic route rather than the empty sounds of the usual campaign drums.

The way things are going now, I would not be surprised whatsoever if in four years time we flip flop back again to another government because, as usual, the promises which have been made during this election campaign will be very unrealistic to keep and fulfill over the next four years. In the long run, the people will once again feel let down and betrayed because in the heat of the usual campaign trail madness, we have once again missed the opportunity to realistically manage the people’s expectations for the next four years and to make it clear that government alone cannot do it.

But I guess as a country we just don’t seem to want to learn and have never learned to look any further than tomorrow.

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  1. Freebird says:

    Sweat Pea – you have observed a change in attitude that I would like to add on to, although not necessarily in the political context simply because its not a popular school of thought and most likely not, what voters really want to hear at a time like this.  SP commented on the supposition if people, business owners and the like were to do more of their own work themselves, thereby supporting personal responsibility, we could in time, see shifts and improvements in many aspects of our lives and have less of a reason to look to the Government to perform a complete bail out when perhaps just a hand up would suffice.  The shift in Caymanian attitudes has taken place right under my nose and I find it reallly difficult to swallow. 

    When I came here to reside permanently in 1988, in my Caymanian neighborhood, homes were being built block by block and it wasn't until the house was all the way up to the "belting" that families then went to the bank to finance the completion and putting on the roof.  This way, the homeowner had already put in approximately 80% equity into their home and although it seemed very painful for the owner to actualy go to the bank for that last item, I was always told that no one liked being beholden to the bank and the quicker you could pay them off and get rid of them, the better. 

    Also during that time, I wasn't even aware that social services existed.  I have since found out that yes, it was in existence, but it's true purpose was to take care and provide assistance to those that were the most vulnerable in our society, such as the elderly, the infirm and perhaps a few families were there were widows and children.  Fast forward to today, where we have young Caymanians that obtain 100% financing and a trip to Miami to select their furniture.  Mostly intended for young, married couples with dual incomes. 

    Some would say this is progress but all it takes is one loss of job, or a divorce and that household is in huge trouble.  The potential for a housing collapse in this country, as it happened to our neighbours in the North East is not an impossibility in this country, but right now that's another topic.  I myself found myself unemployed last year and after spending all of my savings and money that came from family and friends whilst I hit the pavement everyday applying for jobs, finally landed me at a job where my annual salary was less than half of what I had previoulsy made. 

    It was a huge wake upcall and I had to make some serious changes pronto.  Given the hand I was dealt, I was able to pay my mortgage, but not much else.  I juggled every month to see what I could do to not get something cut off.  So then, i was offered a weekend position for $6.00 per hour and trust me, its not a lot of money, but guess what?  $6.00 is better than $0.00.  Out of the weekend job, I could put gas in my car to get me to my weekly job and it helped with food as well.  I still had to get something cut off monthly, but my point is again, $6.00 per hour is better than $0.00. 

    The icing on the cake is that when I started the second job, it opened up a whole new world in terms of it being in hospitality as opposed to my always working in the financial industry, but I met some of the nicest people who provided so much encouragement to me and for first time, my encounters with guests and tourists was a lot of fun.  The whole experience really boosted my self esteem and made was what a really awful and hard time in my life, so much more bearable. 

    Thankfully, through perserverence, I now have another full time job and I had to say goodbye to the weekend job.  Its just one example whereby a hands on shift in attitude had long lasting effects.  My heart breaks for the numbers of Caymanians that are out of work right now; I personally know how hard that is and what a toll it takes on one's psyche.  The depression and stress that financial issues bring into a home is no joke. 

    So, following on to Sweat Pea's comments, yes, by all means, please invest yourself in yourself.  Do things in your business or in your community that in time build better characters, better citizens and allow our Government to be a better government.  Candidates are out there now making all sorts of promises to their constituents, but I challenge you as the citizen on the street and in your communities, to make promises to yourself, to at least try to be the change of what you would like to see in society as a whole.  A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. 

    Those that are in a position to help out by offering opportunities or mentoring or just opening your hand to your neighbour to give them a word of encouragement are all things we can do ourselves.  No candidate or political party can do that for us.   

  2. Anonymous says:

    No previous regime has been burdened with the accountability that will be required going forward.  The spending continues to go on unchecked, no audited financials for over a decade.  If we carelessly cast votes for the unaccountable and their teammates, then the party politics free-for-all will continue for years to come – that is a guarantee.  In as much as I respect many PPM's running this election, I cannot support their party's eagerness to spend public money we can't borrow.  We need Independents that understand how to reign in spending, and that pares the field down even more.  I have only one candidate in West Bay that I can vote for in good conscience.  I will be spoiling the other 3 votes.

    • Anonymous says:

      Then don't use the votes.

    • Anonymous says:

      The FFR will rein in spending just fine.

      I am not sure what you mean by "spoiling the other 3 votes", but if you spoil your ballot you will spoil it for everyone. Just to be clear, not voting all 4 votes is not spoiling your ballot. 

  3. Anonymous says:

    I will vote for whoever I consider offers me the best prospects of short term economic gain.

  4. A-Z says:

    PNA is the best option, because if it wasn't for them, we would have had a Chinese deal by now and God knows what else. So I applaud them and our first time woman Premier. I will mix my votes, but for sure the PNA members in West Bay are getting my vote. UDP is link with corruption, and PPM with mismanagement of the country's funds. Why put in the old when there are the new like C4C and PNA.

    • Anonymous says:

      A-Z if the PNA had their act together from the start we would never had been put through the entire last 4 years. And they already passed on 2 no confidence votes. What they did was done too late. PS can someone get John John from under the bus. Its election time.

    • Anonymous says:

      A-Z I agree with you, I definately will vote for the PNA.  independent,  and C4C.   I really do not think the PPM is up to it now.  Kirk, I do not believe sounds too interesting and lost the leadership twice. besides he an Anthony is in competition for snoring in LA,  an  Alden cannot manage it.   The people have lost trust in them and definately the UDP need to come out of the race completely.   I have  listened to the UDP candidates running for Bodden Town.  Theresa Pitcarin  and Chris Saunders.  I hope the people of Bodden Town do not trust her.  I would not trust her two steps.  In fact where has she been for the past five years.  People of Bodden Town said that they have not seen her since last election.  Chris Saunders talks out of the both sides of his mouth cannot trust him.  Anthony Eden need to hang up his coat now, too old and keep going to sleep in LA,  and who is Wayne Panton.  Al Sukoo would work with a team, Ozzie don't even need to run, because last election he commented in the crowd of people that "He and his family is fine and that is all he cares about"  Bad talk.I believe Ezzard, Arden, Juliana, Rolston and Cline Dwayne Seymour, Mark Scotland and some of the independent team from West Bay and George Town would make up a good team with a good government.

    • Anonymous says:

      If the PNA was doing their job we would have known all about the Chinese deal before it cost this country two million dollars.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The writer is somewhat realistic but overall pessimistic.  Also seems they are unaware or have forgotten that the UDP administration did away with the Distric Beautification Committees. You know the ones that used to spruce up the neighborhoods here and there and clean up the Beaches with the help of the communities.  It was not that long ago that they were out in full force.  Still, that has not stopped independent groups from organizing clean ups from time to time or is the writer unaware of those efforts also?  Good times can return to Cayman but we need enthusiatic, positive leadership who are willing to work with the people and take in their feedback.  The UDP has proven time and time again they are excluded from the list of candidates who are cooperative willing to work with the people.  

  6. Sixth Sense says:

    I believe most politicians are genuine with what they hope to achieve, whether stated in a manifesto or any document not called a manifesto or speeches at meetings. The reality is that if they succeed in being elected, and then discover the true state of government financial affairs, reality then hits them. Most of them are ignorant of the financial state of government (except PNA and they are not saying anything). I have been listening to some of the so call independents, especially the accountants, who seem to talk alot about cutting the work force of the civil service and using their abstract accounting principles to convince us of how they will do it. I have been paying close attention to what Roy McTaggart is saying and it sounds good, but he has failed to consider the human factor. Is Mr. McTaggart  prepared to tell each of those civil servants, personally, that they have no more job, when like most of us (who are not millionaires like him), have family financial obligations and mortgages to meet every month and living from month to month on the salary they receive? I would like to hear an answer from these "want to be" politicians. Decisions made about peoples lives cannot be made on an abstract spreadsheet, and that is all accountants do (unless it is affecting their own pocket).

  7. 4 Cayman says:

    Dear Sweet Pea you raised some good points however I must challenge you on the matter of Dart. You see our existing government thought it fit to give this multi billionaire lots of concessions and tax breaks. On the other hand our government raised everything for the small business owner just to cover for everything they gave away to this guy/group. How can the small business community compete and compete fairly? What are we to do? The obvious thing is to complain and hope for change. As I see it, our government is allowing the rich to get richer and the small businessman to become poorer. Ultimately if this continues a lot of businesses will have to close as we can not compete with Dart and the ever increasing taxes, on work permits, pensions, medical, CUC, duties and the list goes on…

    We can only hope come may 22nd that there will be a change for more transparent government, a government for its people, a government that believes in good and fair competition and government that has Caymanians and generations to come including our environment at heart.

    May God continues to bless these islands and give the voters come next week the vision and clarity to vote right.

  8. Anonymous says:

    'I didn't know' and 'no one told me" should be Mac's mantra.  Come on Cayman (Barefoot included) let see if we can make up a song about that.

    • Anonymous says:

      It wasn me

      It could never be

      My hands are clean

      If you know what I mean

      And my heart is pure

      We know that for sure

      Must bin the PPM

      Don't ever wote for dem again

      Eleven counts of piracy

      Just has to be a conspiracy

      Lets give Cayman to Mr. Dart

      Otherwise we're not worth a fart.

      Would someone please take us to court again

      Ain't had this much fun since I don't remember when

      It was Richard that sent that fax, not me

      I was counting on CHEC you see

      We all know I can't read nor rite

      So buying that PhD was bright

      Wote for me if you need a fridge

      Together we'll cross whatever bridge

      They say I'm rong for nation building

      But they'll get over it God willing

      And now that I'm forever honerable

      Surely that makes me a little more tolerable

      Lets give some more Jamaicans status

      Dey'll wote for me and you'll be gratus

      Dem PNA's is all crooks too

      Not just me, I hope you'll see

      Cayman is doomed if they put me in jail

      Please give to foolio without fail

      It wasn me, It wasn me

      If you open your eyes I know you'll see 

      Wote for mee, wote for mee

      We'll all be broke for eternitee.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I agree with your UDP/PNA sentiments. Most have hung together to over 10 years because of the unseen benefits. No one changes their spots that much in 5 months.

    However, the reality is that any candidate telling the voters what you advocate will be rejected before they get a chance to make the changes you desire. I am quite sure that some of the new candidates think like you do and will do their best to bring about these changes. Once in government then they can begin the process to change this culture which took decades to become ingrained.

  10. NJ2Cay. says:

    @14:32 – So, if there are a mix in the LA after the election what will they do ? By saying they will not work with any UPD folks it sound like they are saying either you pick us all or to hell with you. People in these positions need to be willing and able to work with the others members no matter who they are for the embitterment of Cayman or they should not be considered a good choice. It seems that Bush is the only one that has the ability to put aside his personal feelings about other members and work with whoever is there to get things on track no matter what he feels about them or what they feel about him. That to me shows commitment. With Alden it just seems to me that there will only be another four years of finding something wrong with every suggestion made by anyone else. He just sounds bitter. [see link –

    • Anonymous says:

      NJ2Cay – What C4C and the Independents are saying is that they will not support the UDP to form a govt. That is a very sensible position which they are entitled to take. The issue has nothing to do with bitterness and personal feelings; they clearly consider, rightly in my opinion, that another Bush premiership would not be in the best interests of this country particularly given the criminal trial hanging over his head. You, and other Bush supporters, are trying to spin this to make Bush into the "good guy" while the othersare bad.  And yes, I know you will deny being a supporter of Bush but it comes across very clearly that you are if anyone follows yours posts both here and on another forum.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your problem is that you take McKeeva's words to be truthful.

  11. Just Commentin' says:

    Very well said! Bravo!

  12. Anonymous says:

    This post is well-intentioned but hopelessly naive. The simple fact is that if candidates say the things you suggest, they won’t get voted in.

  13. Anonymous :)) says:

    Mr. Turtle, PNA are heroes and I hope many people give them the credit for what they did.

  14. Sr. Turtle says:

    Don't tie UDP with PNA. They are not the same. They have a good plan for the country, and I trust they will deliver. C4C / PPM are unwilling to work with other members in the LA assembly and that speaks volumns.

    • Anonymous says:

      The PNA members did not do what was right until it served them to do so.  If they were really looking out for the people they would have done it long ago they Are still cut from the same cloth as MAC.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think you completely missed the point of the entire view point!

    • Anonymous says:

      They are exactly the same. PNA is UDP Lite. 3 of the current PNA Cabinet ministers were a majority of the UDP cabinet. They have continued the same nation bldg fund church giveaways. etc etc.   

    • Anonymous says:

      I don't know why you folks are pressing the thumbs down button. PPM did say out and clear that they WILL NOT BE SUPPORTING UDP if its members should get seats in the house. I heard this from the horses mouth himself on Cayman27

    • Grandfather Troll says:

      I never did think turtles were very smart.  Go back to the sea, Sr. Turtle, because you sure don't know what's going on here on land.

    • CayStudent says:

      Well, let's examine this:

      1) C4C/PPM working without the UDP sounds good and;

      2) C4C/PPM running a coalition government sounds good to me too!

      No complaints here. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes it speaks confirms they will not be seen with sycophants to impropriety.

    • Anonymous says:

      What speaks volumes is that the UDP candidates are willing to condone corruption, malfeasance and division.  Anyone who is backing or willing towork with people of that kind of ilk should not be elected nor let anywhere near the Legislative Assembly.