Country First

| 31/05/2013

As I listen to the discussion over the past couple days and I hear the criticism of the independents not acting in a manner or with the expediency that some of the public seem to want or feel entitled to, it really makes me wonder if we, the public, are being reasonable. I say this because: 1) Roy, Winston and Tara have never been greedy, nor are they doing this for personal gain.

2) Roy, Winston and Tara were all elected to use their best judgment and make sound decisions, and in order to make sound decisions one must consider all sides and not just take what seems to be obvious as fact.

3) All three of these people have pledged to put what is best for the country first, so I can only assume that the time it took to make these decisions and any negotiations were with the intent of putting the country first and not a personal or group agenda for personal gain.

I continue on with my thoughts of whether we, the public, are being reasonable in our expectations as we are now all living in the age of instant information. Never before has the “Marl Road" been more efficient. Regardless of fact or fiction, we get the gossip faster than the speed of sound. I would offer the argument that if we had the current level of communications and media involvement in military activities during WWII, we might very well may have a different world and potentially much worse than we live in today.  

We, the people, want information NOW! We want to know exactly what is being said minute by minute, as though we are watching “Ed TV”. I personally think we, the public, are making demands that really are not necessary or appropriate, especially during the negotiation stages of these type of decisions.

I will offer a metaphor. I would say that if my car stops running, I am going to call my mechanic. When he tells me what is wrong (your transmission is shot), what it will cost and how long it will take to fix it, that is all I need to know. What he does to fix it, what tools he uses, and the when and how he proceeds with the work are not things I concern myself with. I just want my car back working for the amount and on the day agreed upon.

I would also offer the additional complication to the above metaphor for a person like me. I don’t want to admit it, but I am a person who knows how to do simple maintenance, knows what the transmission is, but have no clue how to rebuild a transmission. Risking serious condemnation, I would say that what I have learned over the past two years is that the general public is in the same position politically as I am mechanically. We, the voters of Cayman, really don’t understand how our government is structured and is supposed to work, yet we have expectations of actions by our elected representatives to act in a manner that is dictated by us but simply doesn’t fit into the format of our legislative structure.

Roy McTaggart has come under heavy fire recently for sitting on the opposition and has been labeled everything under the sun. This to me shows that we simply don’t understand our government structure. I will refer to the use of a metaphor again, and I will use my marriage as an example.

My wife and I both want the best for our family, however my perspective on where our funds should go on occasion does not line up with the perspective she has. A short discussion results in the facts being laid out on the table and the right decision being made as to what should or should not be priority (typically she wins). Her opposition to my perspective is healthy and is in the best interest of our family. It is opposition that is done in the context of the mutual respect and is openly accepted upon the facts being realized. 

Now I will also offer this: if my brother and I had the same conversation with the same facts, the outcome very well may be completely different, as the personalities and delivery would be completely different.

I feel completely comfortable with Roy making the decision he has made. He is a very level headed individual and he understands the legislative structure. He also has what is best for the country at heart.

At the end of the day, we need to trust in the people we have elected that they have the best for the country at heart and they will make us proud. We need to give them our support, and support them by enlightening ourselves to the facts prior to perpetuating negatives.  

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  1. extra terrestrial says:

    it just blows my mind as to how everyone makes comments and statements as if they are a matter of fact! I am painfully aware that we are young in the world of party politics. heck we are young in the world of basic politics/ democracy. but are we still in the embryonic stage?? it seems that way. what burns me most is the so called “educated” being the biggest transgressors of the lot. please for the love of god, shut the hell up, read, ask meaningful questions with an open mind, and educate yourself before you comment. remember, the higher the monkey climb the tree the more……….. would love to see how many and what type of comments would be posted if proper identification of author would be required. its definitely a doubled edge sword.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Kent, I will attempt to get across the same message in an uneducated way. I know where you are comming from by saying that the general public does not seem to understand the political system, so any moves that are made are taken out of context as to what the purpose. For example, the people voted for Tara, and she got in as MLA, however Alden being absent minded took a chance to include her into Cabinet. So the people that voted for her are suggesting that she take the seat, that they need a "Bayer" in Goverment to have representation. So this is mindset #1. Alden also worked behind the curtain on a deal to have JuJu cross party lines, To join PPM. The public are looking at this a Jumping Ship, or that Alden is doing somthing they did not vote for PPM to have a PNA join. This was a simple political move to avoid being out-manuvered by the independents and c4c, was a very necessary move. This is seen in a very different way. mindset #2. Roy dicides to sit on the back bench opposition and is seen as joining forces with Mac. mindset # 3. Winston sits with the Goverment side and is looked at as trying to join PPM or supporting PPM. mindset #4. and by the way if the political moves were not done as they were we could have well seen a Mac led goverment made up up so called independents. This is not all bad, but they would have all been power hungry and made a goverment that they had to be looking over there own sholder every minute. This is still the case with Alden, he is aware of the mess that is involved. If there is public awareness of the political system and how each peice fits together then we can all understand what is going on when we see what we think is back stabbing and ,inclusive and opposition, and joining the goverment, and independent. As I close off, we can all admit now, there is no such thing as independent, after even Edzar will support Arden, and Tara will support Roy and Winston, and so forth and so on. either way, in the end all I want is to have my district included in Cabinet, and if you are in opposition you are against my Goverment, and if you jump ship from one to another, you are undiceded and would do anything to keep position. This is not the case, but , it is the case in this case. Next time lets all vote PPM straight. then no further confussions.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for reminding me why I don't like C$C. The condecencsion and the shallow thought.

    • FYI says:

      Kent, does not sit on any committees, boards nor is he active with C4C and does not speake for.  His words are his own. 

      • Anonymous says:

        What possibly could you be putting thumbs down for?

        • semi pro says:

          What could you possibly be putting thumbs down for the questoin "What coudl you be putting thumbs down for?"  Or is it just in your personality to disagree?

          • Anonymous says:

            My "thumbs down" was for not being able to comprehend the concept that other people might think differently to you.

            • Hopeful says:

              But if a fact is a fact, how can you disagree?  eg. 2+2=4 .  I know Kent, and he has not had any involvement with C4C many months, that is a FACT!

    • Anonymous says:

      Which are you? The pot or the kettle?

  4. Say wha says:

    Kent, I am going to give you some advice that will assist you and the country in the future. Stop trying to sound and or endeavouring to across as intelligent. Some may be gifted as good orators, however, that does not necessarily translate to being intelligent.

    Your writings and articulations clearly identify that you are wanting in terms of deep and constructive thought. Coupled with a plethora of consistent contradictions that not only confuses the reader, listener and yourself thus turning you into a laughing stock. So for your sake, take a breather. The elections are over and you are unfortunately still stuck in the negative mindset of campaigning. Before us is hope for brighter days ahead, let us not destroy that optimism with narrow-minded Party localities as you are expressing.

    Just to lend another perspective; you have been harping about about the negatives of Party politics, yet with every occasion you are given or take you preach the Party line when it comes to the C4C!

    The majority of the Cayman Islands after this immediate past election have proven that they are engaged and not ignorant as you consistently express.

    To preach Party Politics are over is groundless because that is all that got elected;

    The two so-called Independents are not independent. Ezzard in the 2009 unambiguously communicated on numerous occasions that he would support a UDP government over a PPM one. Therefore got in on the wave of that Party’s popularity and support base. This time around he utilized the same tactic, you vote for me and Arden we will support a C4C led government. A true independent should not have not to align themselves with any Party as defined in the Elections Law but he and Arden consistently chooses to.

    The record will show that not one independent candidate came close to getting a seat this election and in the 2009 one as well. So Mr. McTaggert do some soul searching and then when complete urge your C4C Party to come clean and stop misleading the electorate if we are going to be prosperous as an overseas territory.

    • semi pro says:

      Your rant about Kent repeatedly refers to his references to parties.  I think you need to reread the viewpoint and do so without your preconceived notions of who you think Kent is and what he is saying.  I have read his viewpoint and it says absolutely nothing negative about the parties, and if you have read any of the other posts he has made since the election you will see that he has given full support to the new government.  You also speak of him perpetuating negatives, ironic when I read your post, as it strives to personally attack him, with giving absolutely no possiblilty of any merit to the message actually being delivered.  I guess Haters and going to Hate.

    • Anonymous says:

      Do you want me to edit YOUR missive?    Give the man a break;   he writes conversationally and spoke his thoughts.   

  5. Anonymous says:

     ‘If (in this book) harsh words are spoken about some of the greatest among the intellectual leaders of mankind, my motive is not, I hope, to belittle them. It springs rather from my conviction that, if our civilization is to survive, we must break with the habit of deference to great men.’

    – Karl Popper, from his book 'the open society and its enemies'

  6. Kato says:

    Kent you make no sense. Actually it’s all nonsense. If Roy, Winston and Tara all swore they would never worked with a certain party or person and as soon as they are elected, they jump ship and stray from their various manifestos. For example if Roy got up on the podium and at every meeting or gathering said he was going to ensure that every Caymanian has employment and he will ensure as an independent he would guarantee this as the other parties indicated they would ensure they give every expatriate work under the constitution guidelines. Roy is elected by the people as an independent and on the basis of his promises. Now he wants to aligned himself to the ppm or the opposition which clearly are against a Caymanian work force. So by joining either party, who gets screwed? The people. As I see it, Roy gets his honorable title, a salary and possible free trips around the world.

    So before you commence your campaign for 2017, please don’t be asking the public to not expect too much from our politicians. We have suffered enough over the years with the back and forth with this party system whilst our politicians live lavishly and large so large that they can hire Lear jets and head off to the closest casinos. Kent I am not certain about you but there are a lot of people hurting, unemployed, children hungry, homeless and sick and don’t have insurance.

    I will give you another scenario. My father retired last year June from government. His pension is $435 per month. Due to hurricane Ivan, he had to re mortgage his house so he could rebuild. His payments are $775 per month. Utilities are $300 and this haven’t even factored in groceries. He has searched endlessly to obtain employment but no wants to hire a 60 year old man.

    So our last administration had the balls to go to the LA and voted on giving themselves the “honorable” title instead of passing the retirement extension law. Now let see, we have someone who will become dependant on their children or on social service but the ministers at the time sought it fit to pass the honorable law. What a pile of BS!

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually Kato it is worse than that.

      They said they would work with NO party.

      But they did not have enough candidates to field one themselves.

      Then Tara is given the oppertunity and then they want to strong arm the PPM.

      Guys still a party – Dont forget if it qucks like a duck.

      PS dont feed the dog duck food.

    • both ways says:

      The issues with your father are unfortunate and unfortunately not unique. What the last gov't or previous governments did has little to do with Kents viewpoint.  As for Roy and his "promises " of jobs or employment, it has been less than 2 weeks since the elections, and in fact none of the newly elected government has been officially activated. What do you expect him or anyone else to do to this point?  As for the independents saying they would'nt work with Mac or Alden, what would make you happier, them work for the country with whatever gov't the public elected, or do as you suggest and work with neither side?  I get the feeling you are the type that cannot be pleased.  Just sayin

  7. Anonymous says:

    You have made several assumptions about Roy McTaggert's motives that I cannot make given his very public utterances about not being part of a government led by Alden.

    Given his feelings it is best he remain Opposition. At least the government and the people will know where he is coming from.

    Alden please be careful. These C$C reps have shown they have no love lost for you. I  know you want to be inclusive, but be wary of them. They can walk away from your Government at any time or undermine it from within.

    As a voter I will never forgive them if they do this. This is not why the people of West Bay and George Town voted for them. They have been given a chance to show whose interests they will put first. Time will tell if they really believe in Coutry First or if they just borrowed the slogan from the American presidential candidate John McCain.

    Your slip is showing Kent McTaggert and please spare us the stories about your matrimonial budget its really quite boring.

    • Anonymous says:

      I know Kent and if he believes in something he says it, there is nothing to hide. I also know it isn’t his slip, it’s more likely him dropping his pants so you can kiss his posterior.

    • Anonymous says:

      McTaggart with an a not an e. You need to spend more time in the history books.

  8. Anonymous says:

    You have confused metaphors with anecdotes.  Your mechanic/car example has anecdotal value in that it asks us to trust our elected representatives and not scrutinise their decisions too closely.  I completely disagree with this position.

    It is only by the citizens of Cayman taking a keen interest in the activities of the elected that we are able to hold them to account and thereby ensure that they act in our best interest as they now know that we are constantly watching and demanding to be provided with reasons for their decisions and actions. Close scrutiny is a useful tool to inform our representatives and one that our represtatives should embrace. The alternative that you suggest would be to wait another four years and change them out. Cayman cannot afford this and we need our representatives to be effective now.

    Cayman has elected the most educated representatives in recent history. These individuals are undoubtedly capable of making positive contributions to our country but they will only be responsive to the needs of the citizens if we are continously scrutinising and nudging them in the right direction. Close scrutiniy  provides a useful tension that informs them of the concerns of the citizens they are representing and elevates their awareness of the need to be ready to give reasons, that are rational, lawful and proportionate, for their actions and decisions.

    • Kent McTaggart says:

      I cannot argue with you superior knowledge of the english language.  However I think if you read my entire viewpoint and take it as a whole rather than picking parts to comment on, you will see that the last paragraph really deals with a fair bit of your post.  The electorate educating themselves prior to being critical is key.  Once there is a firm grasp of the government structure and how it works, I feel that constructive criticism is nothing other than healthy and necessary.  But without understanding the details, it simply is not constructive. In my humble opinion.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree!  Fellow Caymanians, it is only by our active scrutiny and comments that we have been successful in collectively voting in our educated elected representatives who we believe will uphold our values of honesty and integrity.  Also by our scrutiny and comment we were able to expose, at least some of, the corrupt practices of the previous administration. We cannot afford to sit back on our laurels now.  We absolutely must keep on scrutinising and commenting if we are to help our newly elected representatives do the best jobs for Cayman. Our scrutiny and commentry help to expose facets of issues that they may not have considered and therefore helps them to make the best decisions for our beloved Cayman. My clarion call to my fellow Caymanian is; 'Do not descend into apathy..keep on scrutinising and commenting…help our elected representatives to help Cayman'.

  9. Sasha Grey says:

    I  believe that the reason voters are so upset with C4C elected members is because Caymanian voters are very used to the getting something in return for their vote. Something tangible – a washing machine, a paved driveway, a Christmas ham, a bottle of liquor, a job, etc. As far as I know, C4C did not provide any "incentives" for the people to vote for them. Strike 1 against C4C.

    Also, I believe that most voters are genuinely shocked that the C4C elected members made their own decisions. Most Caymanian voters are so used to the party system (and I use that term loosely), thatvoters cannot believe that politicians are capable of making their own decisions without consulting 15 other people who all wear the same colour. Strike 2 against C4C.

    Lastly, and I am sure that I will get a million down votes for this point, I believe that the reason most voters dislike the C4C elected members is jealously. Most people will never reach the success of these elected members for various reasons. However, there are too many reasons for me to list here. Strike 3 for C4C.



    • Anonymous says:

      Ummm….C$C was a party. It fulfilled every definition of a party including the definitions in the Constitution and the Elections Law. They obviously made collective decisions and felt bound to each other. The united for the purpose of contesting the election. They claimed to have a common vision. They clearly did NOT make their own decisions. All of this anti-party rhetoric is naive and ridiculous. If there had been no party this time around forming the govt. would have been even more horrendous. This experience taught us why we need parties. 

      The reason most voters do not like C$C is because they are not honest that they are a party or about whose interests they represent, because of the underhanded campaign tactics towards the end and the power hungry behaviour in trying to wrest power from the PPM through strong arm tactics and defeat the clearly expressed will of the people.

      Clear enough for you?   

    • Anonymous says:

      Ms Grey it is very offensive to me to speak of being paid for my vote. I will grant you that a lot of it goes on here in Cayman but it also goes on all over the world. But personally I have never stoop to such a level.

      So you said the C4C made the decision by themselves. Yet with all the rumours going around it does not remotely sound so. They looked after each other just like a par###.

      As for your last comment I am not jealous. I know each of these three elected C4C members and they have tremendously increased the talent and educational level of the political candidates. It is because I know them and everyone else knows them that the people are dissappointed in how they are going on.

      This country voted in the PPM to run this country. It was the decision of the PPM leadership to bringTara on board but they did not have to have her. Now everyone is going on as if each individual member that run as C4C is a bag of chips and more.



  10. Anonymous says:

    I think we can draw our own conclusions about what happened and why. It happened right in front of us . As far as trust is concerned there is no particular reason  we "should" trust the politicians, and there are good reasons not to. Trust is something that must be earned. Right now there is no one out there that has really earned it based on their actual past performance. There are grounds for optimism at the moment but we'll have to see how it goes.

    • Kent McTaggart says:

      I agree in principle, however if you have elected people that you do not trust, then you have elected the wrong people.  (admittedly I feel there is one of the WEST that really contadicts my theory) The problem is we have come to accept it normal that "politicians" are not trust worthy.  We need to demand otherwise when we vote, and make the standard one of trust, with the exception being the snake in the grass. I will tell you that from my experiance if you look for fault you will find it, if you look for reasons to not like someone you will find it. I am not suggesting that any of these people are perfect, nor that they will make the right decisions more than wrong ones (according to you or I) on average.  I will say that I "Trust" they will weigh all sides to the best of their ability, and make a decision based on what they think is best for the country considering the facts.  Once again in my humble opinion.

      • Anonymous says:

        Kent, what you don't understand is that whether I voted or not, 18 persons were going to be chosen to represent us in the Legislative Assembly.

        The fact that I voted for 4 doesn't mean I found 4 that I could trust, it means I picked the best from the bunch that was on offer so that I could have a say in who my representatives were going to be.  

        I agree with the poster, trust is earned, the fact that I voted for you doesn't necessarily mean I automatically trust you, I just made some lemonade with the limes I had. Now I'm hoping to drink it with that breadfruit from Cayman Brac

      • Anonymous says:

        I would agree that there is a presumption that most politicians are not trustworthy. There is ample evidence to support such a conclusion. All we need for the perception to change is for the politicians to BE trustworthy. Maybe that will happen, but it is far too soon to lower one's guard.