Don’t stop the party

| 23/05/2013

Wherever you stand on this morning's election results, one thing is clear: party politics is here to stay. The C4C had a good showing but truth be told there were only 4 "real" independents that won seats last night: Ezzard, Winston, Tara and Roy. The others, while loosely speaking are independent, are either until recently members of a party or just individuals dominant in small or single member constituencies (such as Arden and Julie). Ezzard escapes that description only because he left the party system over 5 years ago.

Political parties got 12 of the 18 available seats (and if you remove Julie and Arden from that, the argument becomes even more compelling). One party was strong and the other as expected very weak. But both benefited from the block votes from the vote straight strategy and this was clear as independents and newbies just got swamped slowly but surely as party members got lots of "coat tail help" throughout the evening.

But while parties may be here to stay, the results also show us that the party concept can only be demonstrated on a national scale with one of the existing parties, that being the PPM. The UDP, as has been charged for several years now, proved that it remains a party for one district only with last nights results.

We also learned another important "party" lesson from the C4C: that clearly if they did not work together (ironically just like a party) they would not have had the success they achieved this morning. So the days of sole individuals working alone with their CI$35,000 budget seem to be behind us. Everyone now knows, based on the campaign, ads and posters, etc, that the C4C did not operate like seven sole individuals and anyone who tried that strategy (aside from those in single or near single member constituencies) was left in the dust.

The C4C, if it is to continue, must reconcile its anti-party message with its clear display of group/party type strategy and operational structure and it may be able to grow as a credible institution. Its confusion likely hurt several of the candidates, and if you look at the facts closely, it must discount some of the credit that it may rush to take regarding the success of some of its winners (for example, some say Tara's win in West Bay is a surprise, but we must recall that she did extremely well "all on her own" in that district two terms ago).

As for the UDP, it must find a future with a leader of integrity, strip itself of those members considered "baggage", and become far more professional as an organisation (hopefully a democratically run one). All of this will require almost gutting the organisation with a few exceptions.

The PPM have demonstrated that they are a very well organised political machine. They won and they now have a lot of hard work to do.

We now wait to see how the horse trading exercise goes but should not expect too much fireworks because Alden only needs one independent to step up to assist him in forming a government. But as the country's next premier, he will now need to demonstrate that, after all, he is the leader that many have charged he has not been during the past few years. The country has taught us since the introduction of the party system that it simply swings from one party to another if the country does not improve.

Alden and his team run the very same risk that the pendulum swings the other way in four years if they cannotget a grip on the current extremely difficult challenges that this country faces. The switch did not occur in 2009 because of corruption within the PPM (because integrity remains one of their strengths), but as we all recall, it did occur because of failure to manage the economy and government finances effectively.

We should all wish them luck so that the Cayman Islands situation improves.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I believe we should try to sell the schools. A private school group who can charge students . So that parents make sure their children go to school do their homework, study, take their exams. Otherwise education is useless. There is no discpline for children to excell.

    To those ofyou who don't agree. What can guanrantee value for money? Is there a law or contract that parents or children would sign? Dying to hear your alternatives.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Spot on 101.  After the debacles under both UDP and PPM admins, this election was C4C's to lose.  Had they just run as a party with a consistent message and platform (instead of an incoherent cacophony) they would be in a position of real power right now, instead of facing four years of obscurity.


    To the C4C ring-leaders, your reckless and naive strategic gamble has put the nation in real jeopardy at a critical time.  You have effectively handed the keys back to the very people who drove the country into a ditch last time.  What an enormous waste of good people's potential, time and money. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Anon 1404 then we held the vote and we saw that the end of the two partys was not to be.  Your problems are that most of the well known politicions belong to one party or the other.


      In BT for example the top independent was Chuckie and he finished 6th

      Sister Islands Bodden distant 3rd

      best showing in GT with the 3rd and 5th spots

      EE Arden

      NS Ezzard


      You have a very long way before the independents run the Cayman Islands.


      • Anonymous says:

        Sun, 05/26/2013 – 07:35 You conveniently overlook Roy McTaggart's strong number two finish in George Town, Tara River's compelling number 2 win in West Bay and Winston Connolly's strong win. I never saw the other C4C contenders as likely winners and so I was not surprised at only these three winning. That said, I believeTara, WInston and Roy have proven that independents can make it to the top.

        • Anonymous says:

          Anon 1429 please note that I have in GT Roy/Winston finishing position.

          What I missed out was Tara. Perhaps I like just about everyone were stunned that she did that well. I suspected that she would get in but to finished within shoutingdistance of Mac was very impressive.

          However the point is that while the independents/C4C made in roads they are a far way from shutting down the partys.

          And only the blind would referr to the C4C as independents.

        • Anonymous says:

          Winston was 5th. Hardly strong. Tara is the only one worth anything in the C4C.

  3. Unison says:

    I know that the UDP party handled the country's deficit by resorting to making deals and starting private-public projects to inject monies into the country. But with PPM, will they resort as well with making deals with private entities?  I am hearing that instead of deal-making (correct me if I'm wrong), the PPM's aim, will be to slash the civil service numbers and implement more austere measures, such as increasing fees or duties. And if they fail to make these cuts, how will government get the monies to do anything during their four years in power; unless, the PPM resort to following UDP's footsteps and make private-governmental deals like they did with overseas entities and Dart. 

  4. Anonymous says:

    Next time leave out the PPM (you have to be a party to win) slant and I might agree with you.

    First we had one lone indipendant elected to the house, then Arden jumped, increasing that to two (100% increase). Today we have 5 non party independants elected, or 6 if you count Julie, who is indipendant by default (an increase of 600% over last election)

    It seems to me that independant candidates are on the raise and with any luck they will win the Government next election.

    Remember the next election will be fought in single member constituances, therefore $35,000 is quite enough to run a campeigh in these smaller voting districts. It is evident from the success of Ezzard and Arden that the amount of money allocated to each candidate is sufficient.

    I am sick and tired of people who take factual data and twist it to their "party" way of thinking. I am also sick of people telling me that you need to be a party in order to fund a successfull campeicn. Using the UDP as a case study proves positively that that is not so. The PPM "victory" is equally as telling because if the party is the ONLY way to go in th efuture, then why are they scrambleing to get the extra vote in order to form Government?

    In closing, obviously it is the independents that have cause to celebrate as overall they are the group that is ascending.

    • Anonymous says:

      You've got to be joking.  You seem to have drawn the 100% wrong conclusion from the outcome of this election.  


  5. anon says:

    sorry 101 but I am soooo not ready to accept this and support the government. that may be the right thing to do but something about the idea of alden running this country just seems off to me. anyone else feel this way?

  6. yardie says:

    we dont like corruption either as you would see. I was really ticked off with all these people saying that status holders would give vote to udp because of status grants like we have no brain cel.

    a bad man is a bad man regardless of what he does or claims to do for you.  retire now mac and let some younger players with honesty take over the UDP.

    • Anonymous says:

      Unfortunately that was true in many cases. A visit to the UDP's public meetings, or a conversation with the average yardie grantee told you that. That was reflected in the first BT ballot box vote count.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Spot on.   I value my (first-time) vote — it is a real hands-on priviledge where I can actually see the impact of my vote.    To assume that I would mindlessly give my precious vote to ANYONE simply because of a public perception of a favor rendered is insane.   I qualified for my Status, I did not purchase it.     I see.   I live here.  I think and chose the people I thought would best benefit this country as a whole.   We can't get to a better place with favoritism and quid pro quo backroom deals.   We can only get to a better place as a nation with aboveboard clarity, integrity and professionalism in our government.   It's not a lot to expect………. it's the bare minimum we should expect from our government.    I hope I've helped to elect people who care as I do about the Cayman Islands and will exceed the bare minimum outlined above.    I want them to tell the truth, and what better place to begin than by a complete and vetted audit of the CIG's finances.   Pleased or frightened, we must know the truth.   They OWE us the truth.  

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you so much for so clearly stating the position of many people who obtained status, be it by grants or the application process.

  7. Anon says:

    laud hav mercy pon mi.

  8. Anonymous says:

    well well here we go again. udp then ppm then udp and now ppm. but country still in decline. i want it to improve and will do whetever to support the PPM. I seriously praying that it does improve because we in pretty deep XXXX right now.

    I wonder who will be minister for education? thats a key one maybe alden again.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Well said! 

    And congrats to all. A major obstacle has been overcome (that being the UDP) and hopefully with some new successful PPM, C4C and the experienced (including the Independents) we can build on Integrity. And past lessons learned as it relates to finances and of including all residents of Cayman.

  10. Anonymous says:

    There is absolutely no reason to suggest that Arden is not a true independent. Even while still a PPM member he considered his positions independently of the leader which is one reason he left. Why belittle "individuals dominant in small or single member constituencies"? That has nothing to do with lack of independence.

    Both Roy and Winston were previously UDP supporters. I am told that Winston almost ran with them in 2009.

    • Anonymous says:

      That allegation of Winston almost running wtih UDP is completely false.

      • Anonymous says:

        Are you Winston? I heard from a close friend of his that he seriously considered running as UDP in 2009.

      • Anonymous says:

        Mmm that's not what the neighbours say when he was meeting with them. Do you think McKeeva just appoints people to chair boards who are not aligned with him?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Well we can expect all boards to get the ppm political appointments and any progress to be reversed just because it was done by previous govt etc. so no real change then

  12. Anon says:

    Spot on, if c4c had a better launch they would have got 4 seats in gt. mervin was not the right selection to go up against big mac. This is not the perfect result because a coalition would have been better for cayman.

  13. Indy says:

    I say go independents! I voted for c4c and very glad i did that. I cant believe sharon did not make it as she would be a good representative and so would jude. Most important position i think is minister of finance. Please make it someone credible. I think marco not experienced enough but maybe roy or wayne.

    Change is a coming!

    • Anonymous says:

      Marco has more qualifications and experience than either Wayne or Roy who have never worked in Government. I also recommend that ken jefferson retires and maybe replaced with Jude Scott

  14. Not good says:

    Sorry 101 but i not looking forward to the next 12 months much less 4 years. I expect that the ppm will face a split within 2 years as they dont fix anthing.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Yes siree, the parties are still hrer to stay. I think the c4c should form a group and encourage young members so that the government has a strong opposition to make things credible. I am glad the udp especially mac as leader is gone, but a bit nervous about the ppm. What a night! Now lets get to work. And i mean all mlas not just ppm ones!

  16. Anon says:

    Hear hear 101!

    I hope you continue to post these viewpoints because i have a feeling we will have many issues to comment on goingforward. I also agree we should hope for the best with the ppm.