Premier begins own campaign

| 26/04/2017 | 7 Comments
Cayman News Service

Alden McLaughlin

(CNS Elections): The premier and leader of the Progressives, Alden McLaughlin, will be launching his own constituency campaign at the weekend alongside his PPM colleagues who are standing in the neighboring constituencies of Prospect, George Town East and George Town Central. Kurt Tibbetts, McLaughlin’s long time political colleague and the PPM’s ‘vote magnet’, will be speaking in support of the premier. While he may have decided to give up his LA seat, the party’s founding leader has promised to join the candidates on the campaign trail.

McLaughlin has already been on the hustings launching the party’s national campaign on the Brac and in George Town but this is the first time in his own constituency.

The premier surprised many on Nomination Day when, instead of turning up to meet election officials to register as a candidate in George Town Central, he appeared unannounced in Red Bay, while Marco Archer arrived at the capital’s town hall.

For many months, when asked, McLaughlin had indicated he would be running in GTC, where he grew up and where his father still lives. McLaughlin now lives in Prospect but it was Red Bay that he selected to run, where he will be up against Frank McField, the only candidate in the entire pack of 61 that could be considered left of centre. Kurt Tibbetts’ brother, Denniston Tibbetts, is the third candidate standing in the district and he is running on the CDP ticket. 

The premier is tipped to take the seat but he has faced considerable criticism for his decision not to take on Kenneth Bryan, his former political assistant, in GTC. McLaughlin sacked Bryan in March 2015 after the young would-be politician was involved in an affray outside a nightclub when he attempted to intervene in a situation to help an off duty police woman who was being threatened by an ex-partner.

Now facing Finance Minister Marco Archer, considered one of the PPM’s most popular members and the Caribbean Finance Minister of the YearBryan, who has been campaigning for more than 12 months, is still confident he can take the George Town Central seat.

As a former TV reporter he has been using his skills to produce some slick campaign videos. Having been on the campaign trail with the PPM in 2013, Bryan recently produced a video addressing McLaughlin’s criticisms of him using the premier’s own words (see here).

With the campaign heating up all round, McLaughlin will still be hoping that the PPM’s strength lies in its collective approach. Fielding 15 candidates, he has an advantage over independents because he can present a policy platform that has already been agreed upon by his entire team. The message is: vote for us and we can deliver what we promise as we have the numbers.

Speaking in George Town last Saturday night, he pointed out that no one knows what will happen if a mixed bag of independents with no common platform or connection is elected. He asked voters how a group of ten independents would form a government and what their education, health, financial or infrastructure development policies would be.

“All of them have a different plan, so which plan are you voting for?” he asked rhetorically, as he pointed to the PPM’s policy platform.

Speaking from experience, McLaughlin recalled his first year in office in 2000, when the government lasted just 12 months because the group of individuals who got sworn in had never sat down together and worked out a plan for governance and each person was pulling in a different direction.

“Government needs a unified group of people,” he said. “They should come to you (the voter) with a policy document that says this is what we will do if elected,” he said, noting that the electorate could then hold a government to account once in office.

The premier’s first public meeting in Red Bay will be on Saturday 29 April with Lucille Seymour, Marco Archer, Roy McTaggart and Kurt Tibbetts. The meeting will take place in the vacant lot by the Seafarers Hall, starting at 7:30pm.

It will also be streamed live on Facebook. For more information on the event or to arrange transportation, email info@ppm.ky or phone 945 1776.

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Category: Candidates, Political parties

Comments (7)

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  1. Unison says:

    For Red Bay, after watching them speak – Frank McField impressed me the most with his answers, with PHD being the most educated. Whereas Alden McLaughlin represents the same 4 years. And Denniston Tibbetts an old and slow man – politics is not for him.

    If I make a bet, it aill be a tight race between Frank and Alden. PPM may very well see their leader out this time.

    • Anonymous says:

      Alden should be ashamed of himself, picking the easiest place to run, he is so weak he should back out.

  2. Anonymous says:

    First question: how many millions will the PR lawsuit settlements cost the public purse and how long have his inner Cabinet core known about this liability? Surely they have some extrapolated expectations of the worst-case exposure to the public purse, right?

  3. Chris H says:

    We need fresh new ideas. His government wasn’t progressive.

  4. Sharkey says:

    I think that he is going to have to call in some bigger guns than Mr Tibbetts. I think that he is trying to run on recommendations and party not achievements because he knows that’s a touchy subject.

    • Anonymous says:

      He did not give the poor old seamen no raise, they were the ones that started this country on the right track, EG the Waiver/visa was started for the seamen and still enjoyed by all Caymanians today, they sent their money home and kept the Government and private sections going. He gave the Civil servants a good raise (which is good) but the pensioners and seamen got nothing. Mr. Bush promise that he will give the seamen and old people a raise, so vote CDP.

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