Finger to the people?

| 29/05/2017 | 63 Comments

Cayman News Service101 writes: Thousands rejoiced last Wednesday night on the triumph of the large number of independents being elected. Steve Tomlinson’s Reporter boasted its “Independents Day” headline featuring only the Independent candidates on its front page. This euphoria would last no more than five days, as the CDP and PPM parties merged to form a government on Monday morning, which is essentially a PPM government.

Firstly, that Mac provided the numbers to Alden while he (Mac) rides off into the sunset with the second or third highest salary in the LA (and therefore, according to the rules, pension) after his last four years, and all while ‘sticking it to Arden and Ezzard’ one last time, should not be lost on anyone.

Secondly, Mac said he reneged on the first deal because of the outrage by his own people. So why revert to the same deal? Has the outrage suddenly disappeared? This was carefully thought out and not, as pronounced, ‘in the interest of national unity’. No one should be surprised if it’s discovered later that there is more below the surface here.

That Alden would pull off a political masterstroke, which means that he continues with his existing government without McKeeva being part of the Cabinet, should not surprise us either. He has relegated his nemesis to the confines of speaker, where he can bumble and stumble through the proceedings while they make fun of him occasionally.

The party

The PPM has a lot to celebrate. They can spin this easily to their satisfaction. They are not in government with McKeeva really; he is just a speaker and they don’t have to deal with him on a day-to-day basis. They may have to give Bernie something as part of the deal but they have ‘used’ their lifelong enemy.

As for the CDP, they are finished as an organisation. The country desperately needs another credible political group which is as organised and as professionally run as the PPM.

Collectively, the two parties were able to outmaneuver this ‘annoying’ Independent movement. By merging to form the government, they have made them pretty close to irrelevant, at least for the next four years.

Independents have demonstrated, ironically, what both parties criticised them of: that they do not have enough cohesion to get anything done; that they are all coming from too many different angles with too many varying interests, with no leader, no true direction; that they cannot, in fact, come together in the best interest of the country.

They have demonstrated that the old days are over; a large group of Independents in modern times would create confusion for many days after being elected, leading to too much uncertainty for the country. They don’t seem to have whatever those other guys had up to the late 1990’s, when individuals used to come together. Even for the most optimistic, this recent experience of so-called independents (even if many were financed and beholding to the same person) has turned many of us off completely. It looks like this just won’t work.

Eastern wisdom

Unfortunately, for all their talk, self-described strength and fighting spirit (vocally at least), the men from east (Ezzard and Arden) with their many years in politics cannot actually bring people together. They could not manage others in a manner that kept them feeling like part of a team.

It was a massive failure of leadership on their part and they have already made a clear case for being voted out in 2021. It could easily be argued that they (not Mac) ‘cocked things up perfectly’, but they cannot shoulder all the blame. It is said that several newly elected members who would have done well to serve as councillors in their first terms were adamantly demanding Cabinet positions. It was all about ego and self: me, me, me and then some. Everyone wanted something for something, but that ‘something’ never seemed to be for the people.

“Well, one of us had to do it!”

Austin Harris might be forgiven for thinking he could give that as his explanation for why he participated in this coalition (why he got picked off). After all, he can easily argue that he tried to work with the Independents but after several days of failures, he switched to the other side, where he would no doubt have been offered some senior involvement/capacity to keep him happy.

He could not stop this deal in any event, as the two parties had the numbers, but it would not have been as strong a coalition if he had stuck with the other Independents. His supporters may see things a little less kindly: he did criticise the PPM for many years and Prospect voters supported him under the assumption that he would be part of the change (away from the PPM led government). Instead, he has ensured that the status quo remains in very good health. Thanks, guy.

We the People

As for ‘we the people’, we should take a breather and rethink how we are reflecting on this situation. The public did not vote overwhelmingly in favour of Independents; they voted in more party members than Independents. What they did was indicate strongly for the first time in twelve years that they wanted Independents to be part of the next government. With nine Independents elected, it cannot be argued otherwise.

But once you have elected your leaders, it is left to them to form a government. Whether someone was elected as part of team Cayman, national team, PPM, CDP or independent, they all have equal standing the morning after the elections. It has always been that way in Cayman.

Being unhappy with the choices they made does not mean that anything is wrong with our democracy. It just means that some of the people you choose are not making the decisions you thought they would. And if you are one of those that voted blindly along party/independent lines, of course you wouldn’t have properly evaluated their character or qualifications anyway, so you cannot expect anything in return.

And that brings us to the final issue: We do not always choose our politicians on the basis of their policies, their plans, how they will address challenges facing our country. Many of us fail to compare them on their future vision for our children. Thousands of us are still choosing based on the colour of the free t-shirts they hand out or how many times they paid our utility bills or how much cash they gave us. Those persons, too, must face the hypocrisy of their own behavior. You get what you put in. Every time.

This does not mean parties don’t have a valid place in our democracy; it just means that we must think before we vote. Doing that would force parties to enter more credible candidates in each race.

At this stage, no amount of protest and ‘sadness’ at what has occurred will ever change that. That red shirt, green shirt divisiveness has not only torn our community apart, it has also just demonstrated that it (those colours) has no true foundation.

Because, you see, when it comes down to maximizing the size of McKeeva’s salary (handing him a golden exit) or maintaining Alden’s grip on power, these colours magically fall away. If the colours meant different polices, they would make sense, but as we can see today, the colours don’t really matter.

Some within the community over the years have begged for these colours to fall away, but this was to genuinely bring the community together, not for political expediency, as we have just witnessed.

Many of us may feel ‘played’, but democracy has also worked. It is a powerful lesson on what to consider when deciding how to vote on the next occasion. And given the unlikely and somewhat volatile merger we have just witnessed, this chance to vote may come even sooner than you think.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


Category: 2017 General Elections, Elections, Politics, Viewpoint

Comments (63)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    this sums it all up perfectly. but I don’t think we will ever get change until voters stop taking handouts. the main problem is when people are in a bad situation they can’t help but take the help.lots single parents out there suffering and can’t pay bills. the other problem is education. politicians keep people uneducated so they can control them better and give them handouts.

    • Anonymous says:

      Voters will always take handouts as long as the police stand by and let it happen. It’s not like we are not all aware it’s happening so why no one gets prosecuted?

      • Anonymous says:

        10.11am Where’s the proof?

        • Anonymous says:

          12.11pm Exactly. We hear a lot of flapping of the lips but where is the real proof. Proof that can stand up in court. My personal belief ( since I have seen zero proof)is that some of this may be happening , but on a much, much smaller scale than some would have us believe.

  2. Anonymous says:

    You better believe the chance to vote will come dinner. Mckeeva said on tv that the speaker role is not as neutral as we think. Sounds like trouble to me

  3. G Nowak says:

    Just another day in Paradise

  4. Anonymous says:

    No matter which story you hear all of them have one thing in common. Arden, Alva, Ezzard and Anthony really messed up everything with selfish behavior. Why did Alva think he couid be deputy premier ? And Arden insisting on premier and Ezzard saying he won’t sit in cabinet with Mac? Pure bs acting like children

  5. Rp says:

    To have the most capable and proven candidate (Marco archer) not elected again, makes me wonder about the ability of the people to vote. To have McKeiva reelected so many times given his past performance and scandals leads me to the same conclusion. To have HARRIS and Bryan elected with no experience and their past police records indicates same.

    For the same reason we do not allow children and criminals to vote, we need to ensure that those charged with voting are capable of doing so. What policies are in place to ensure the voters have adequate IQ and ability to analyze candidates and form an intelligent opinion on their voting choices?

    If people cannot read and write, should they be allowed to vote and similarly should they be allowed to run? Why are people with alleged criminal behaviors allowed to run and vote?

    We test foreigners in English ability before we grant a work permit, should we do the same with the candidates?

    Should there be minimum education standards for people running in the elections or should someone with just grade 5 education be allowed to lead our country?

    The problem as I see it is that both the voting block and many candidates do it have the skills to perform their duties.

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly!!!!! We are plagued by idiots voting in idiots!

    • Anonymous says:

      I wish we could restrict new candidates to those that have already been successful in a career and already making more than an MLA salary. Some of these jokers would NEVER make that kind of money in the private sector because of lack of education and business experience. Therefore, it is the thought of the paycheck that sucks those types of candidates in. If someone is willing to take a paycut (lawyers, accountants, etc) they’re not in it for the money.

      Don’t even get me started on the criminal element that has been allowed to run. It shouldn’t only be crimes of dishonesty that affect eligibility. Any crime that is evidence of poor character and a lack of self control should bar candidates from running.

      We HAVE to find a way to prevent unqualified candidates.

      On the plus side, given the Election Day success of some of these candidates, barely literate students and special education students now know that they can be MLAs too!!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Interesting take 101 but I would not count out the Old Fox -Mac just yet. If I were a betting person, I would be betting on a political coup orchestrated by the speaker or a vote of no confidence around the timing of the ill-fated FATF review in December. Isn’t the vote of no confidence brought about by the speaker? Interesting times.

    • Anonymous says:

      12.36pm A Motion for a vote of no confidence is usually moved by a member of tbe opposition, not the Speaker.

  7. Anonymous says:

    101, this is a truly sad day for Cayman. Its a huge middle finger to all of us because we wanted some change not the same thing again. yes I am very disappointed but unlike some others I will not turn my back on the government. everyone still have to live here and we must support them. better luck next time if we get more new people in.

    • Anonymous says:

      The overwhelming majority of votes are now represented in the new government.

      How else would you expected to do what the country as a whole want? With john john now onboard almost 80% of the voters have representation.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Maybe the next Election , if Dr T want to mingle in the Election , people should let him know that if he wants them to vote for the Independents he would have to pay them too .

    • Anonymous says:

      lol then we will see more transparency behind the elections. observers say that there is no financial transparency. It makes sense that he was expecting something from them I am sure. we won’t know what that was but he would not give them all money for nothing.

      • Jah Dread says:

        yeah 10:51 AM, he was expecting to be able to control Medical research industry. Some of his cohorts had that mandate to vote on if they won. On eof them who thankfully lost did speak to a motion he would be bringing to the House on this once he was elected. Fixing fixing and looooost!

        • Anonymous says:

          He completely fooled Mr. Tony. I’m certain that a man with his Christian values would never have agreed to join the DrT group if he understood about the medical research and taking embryonic stem cells!!

  9. Anonymous says:

    This viewpoint needs to be printed in all the newspapers. The electorate needs to learn from its mistakes .vote buying and ignorant politicians is hurting our country

  10. Anonymous says:

    Excellent!! I could not have said it better.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Excellent viewpoint, and excellently written. Hopefully this is the end of McKeeva Bush and the CDP and also the Tomlinson Independent’s Party. Bush has confirmed to us all what we already know and that is he has absolutely no integrity or honour whatsoever and the Independents confirmed to us what we also knew that there is no cohesion in the group and that they are just a bunch of insecure egotistical maniacs who could never work together let alone form a government.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Well said. My thought for the day:

    Being unhappy with the choices they made does not mean that anything is wrong with our democracy. It just means that some of the people you choose are not making the decisions you thought they would. And if you are one of those that voted blindly along party/independent lines, of course you wouldn’t have properly evaluated their character or qualifications anyway, so you cannot expect anything in return.

    • Anonymous says:

      mine too. we should all paste that quote into our Facebook profile from 101. its a sad fact of life in cayman that we complain but we are still behaving the same way.smh

  13. Anonymous says:

    John John had a meeting last night with his constituents to ask them whether he should join the new coalition government.

    Do you know what they unanimously told him?

    They said “we elected you to represent us, we did not vote for an independent party, you go take that seat and make sure you take care of the people”

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually at the gathering Jon Jon ask the people to stand up.
      I thought he was going to say a prayer or something similar.

      Next thing I know he saying that because we stand up for him it means we support his move. He did not ask for anybody opinion. He simply stated that “Jon jon” had accepted the offer to do what Jon jon does best. It is a good move as long as it’s an honest attempt and not a temporary set up situation.

      Very slick or sick move. Depends on how you look at it.

      Please do not make it seem as anything otherwise. Jon Jon is politician to the bone.

      His campaign managers do not even have the sense to send a congratulation message, Just before the election they asked for help and people came out to support him. Did not hear from them again until last night when they said he has important emergency meeting another message come around.
      No follow up messages again to state the meeting outcome. so we wait again.

      Fool me once, but Fool me again, he he he.

      • Anonymous says:

        You bitter bitch; go home.

        We are happy with JonJon.

        He DID ask the people, stop spreading lies!

      • Anonymous says:

        10.51am When you say that Jon Jon did not ask attendees for an opinion, you flat out lied. He first asked for everyone to stand, then secondly he said that if you did not want a Minister in Cabinet (him)you were to sit. If you remained standing then it meant that you choose to have him join the Cabinet. Sorry if you missed that part; but then again you said that there were no follow up messages stating the outcome of the meeting which suggests that you were not even at the meeting.I am not a supporter of Jon Jon’s and do not live in Bodden Town but I did follow that story and you got it wrong.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Austin made the best decision he could for the country and his constituents.
    It sounds like Jon Jon has as well.

    • Anonymous says:

      And people need to remember that, he and Jon Jon did it for love of country not what he was going to get in the end (we hope) but how many of the independents can say that? Clearly not Ezzard or Arden. They would have been great in certain ministerial posts but no, they wanted more and the word “compromise” didn’t seem to fit into their vocabulary, for love of country. Very sad.

  15. Anonymous says:

    As long as Dr Tomlinson does not form a group for the next elections called “Coalition 4 Independents” that is a party that is pretending they aren’t a party, but they all have the same yellow t shirts and billboards (yellow by the way was a fitting color considering their character in the end).

    He played us for fools this time but people should wake up by the next time.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes we were played but won’t be fooled again . I for one will be watching Austin and Kenneth closely if they don’t do right thing my family will not support them next time

    • Anonymous says:

      There were 3 Parties running. CDP. PPM. Independent. Come on folks, the name independents was the name of the party.
      Can you guys understand that. They said it loud.

      We are PPM.
      We are CDP.
      We are Independent.

      That makes 3 parties and 1 or 2 lone wolves out there.

      Whatever the motive of Dr.T. It had to be serious enough to try to put his own Government in place. Instead of the regular style of waiting for the outcome and then influencing them with silly money. With those those type of politicians a few bills would let their minds see green all over. If the bill Dr.T is trying to make happen is that important. Why is it he cannot have it presented to whichever Government is in and see if he can give a good pitch to his plans. There just got to be more to this.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yep. I hope those he’s been funding through the campaign season will continue to hit him up with open hands until they suck him dry.

  16. Poll Parrot says:

    We need a nationwide vote. That is the only solution. And no more than ten MLAs.

    OMOV is a massive con foisted on the unwitting by the parties.

    Koolaid is not really that sweet. Is it?

    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman needs to be treated as a county in England or Ireland where, in affect, they are run by a county council which is elected by 25 to 40 thousand people… East End is only 27 miles from GT so why the need for tiny little localized support? All these politicians will affect the way everyone lives.. The people with the most first preference votes past a min of say 1,000 votes are in with the remaining gov members made up of those who don’t reach the min number on first but second preference are taken and the first 19 past the post are in.. The thought that someone can earn upwards of $150k after receiving 330 votes strikes me as a little frivolous to be honest!

      • Jah Dread says:

        8:27 AM ya tea got cold on ya. Sorry old boy or old girl, we are a colony not England. We strove hard to build this land where you sit and tell us what we should be, rather impertinent of yu . NAh, stop it no just suuuush?

        • Anonymous says:

          Last I checked Dread you were still a British Overseas Territory no? Fully aware my opinions don’t count. Doesn’t mean I haven’t got one! You didn’t build anything.. someone getting paid ~$9 an hour did and the island is a natural formation which through government and civil service ineptitude you’ve tried to ruin.. You voted for the last government and the one before to represent the views and needs of the people of Cayman. When they don’t do what you want you have nobody else to blame but yourselves.. You made them!

      • Anonymous says:


        Grand Cayman is, in fact, only 24 miles long and 8 miles wide at its widest point!

        27 miles? Where did you get the additional 3 miles from; did you get stuck on one of our many roundabouts!?!

        Other than that, the rest of your post is just peachy and I agree.

    • Caymanian says:

      I don’t agree with you in that it’s too early to tell how good or bad OMOV really is. This is the first run of this system and SOME were confused and maybe simply because they are so use to the old system.

      I still think the pros outweigh the cons. It was crystal clear that PARTIES cannot simply carry people into the house anymore in this system as shown clear to the CDP party machine who got West Bay only. Their weight could not carry Mike or Johnathan through in GT or Robert or Stafford in BT.

      In this system the people spoke and the independents were able to make serious inroads into the party’s strongholds as evidenced by John John in BT East, Chris Saunders in BT West, Austin in Prospect and Kenneth in GT Central. To me that shows OMOV works the way we hoped it would. It evened out the Party Machine vs the little man.

      The horsetrading cannot be removed by a voting system.

      In my view I honestly believe the OMOV worked. Can it be tweaked? No doubt.

      I think the system needs another two elections under it’s belt so as to help everyone get use to it. Maybe a few tweaks here and there.

      One tweak that might again weakened the party’s grip is that candidates can only run in areas they reside in PERIOD. This means party’s can’t simply place candidates where they want so as to maximize their seats. It means candidates for an area are CONNECTED to that area and have a vested interest in it’s improvements. It means you don’t have to drive to North Side to visit your rep for Red Bay as an example. Or we could place a distance such as within 2 miles. I am not sure within a district helps as much because parties still can do moving around their GT candidates for instance.

      I am sure there are other things we can do. Some have suggested voting for the Primier also and possibly main ministries. Would love to hear your suggestions.

    • Anonymous says:

      12.27am No to national vote which would highly favour the bigger districts and leave the smaller districts on the outside.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Independents let us down. After all that crap about parties being selfish now we see true colours of some of the independents. I still haven’t heard anything yet from Alva who I supported. Tonight John John had decency to have a meeting in BT east

  18. Anonymous says:

    Excellent viewpoint 101. The part about how we vote in this country is spot on. That is what needs to change I don’t even mind party politics as we at least know who will be premier

  19. Anonymous says:

    Writer, I could not have said it better myself!

    • Anonymous says:

      who would give a thumbs down to this? don’t like the truth plain and simple. or upset that your CDP fell apart?

  20. Anonymous says:

    The more things change, the more they stay the same, or so it seems. I would have liked to have seen at least one more”independent” join in, but that may still happen when the reality of their true irrelevance sinks in!

  21. Anonymous says:

    I am going to form the Expat Party, or the Work Permit Party. We can’t get elected but we could, errr, party?

    • Anonymous says:

      And you shall son. I first and second your nomination. Now go forth and continue to not get elected. You shall serve by putting into the honeypot, but never taking out of the honeypot. That is your lot.

      • Anonymous says:

        OOh can I be speaker of the house? I will pave your driveway and gamble with the peoples money. PLEASEEEEEEEEEE

  22. Anonymous says:

    How can you include ezzard, Arden, Anthony and suckoo in your wanting for change? They’ve been with PPM and in governement for years. They don’t represent change, they are all the biggest dinosaurs in there.

    • Anonymous says:

      Anything away from ppm would have been a change. Hoped it would have been with more independents though

      • Anonymous says:

        11.17 Well you got away from only PPM. Now you have ,PPM, CDP, and independent. Quite a change.. However your first sentence sums up the majority who voted in Independents.Like a local politician is famously quoted as saying ‘We could pick a broomstick to run in a certain area and tell our people to vote for it and they would do it’.Too many of you were so prepared to vote for anyone not a PPM member , that you would have voted for that proverbial broomstick. Unfortunately in the days immediately after an election you see how foolhardy that choice can be.

  23. Anonymous says:

    How can you fail to mention Dr Tomlinsons influence and bought off fake independents in this viewpoint? He ruined the electoral process by pushing his personal agendas in order to try dictate health policy. Why do you think his main guy Kenneth got Health Ministry every scenario he proposed? Kenneth knows nothing about health policies.

    • Anonymous says:

      Who is this fool saying Kenneth was asking for health ministry. Kenneth was doing no such thing. He’s humble enough not to expect a ministry. With all the old heads being disrespectful and childish, he held his own, and stood his ground in a mature respectful manner. Stop with your lies PPM.

    • Anonymous says:

      Kenneth Ministry of Health??? Ha! Ken Ken wouldn’t not even recognize diarrhea if it hit in the face!? That would be Dr T’s Ministry, behind the scenes that is

  24. Anonymous says:

    It’s an excellent Viewpoint but guess what ? By the next 4 years all of what you have just said will be long forgotten and then it’s back to same old political bull shit where people will beat their drums and show their gums. Around and around the merry go around we go !!

    • Anonymous says:

      You are so right these idiots have short memories especially when it suits them. More vote biting again next time

  25. Anonymous says:

    Regret voting for Austin. Would had preferred giving my vote to Lucille or Matthew instead. At least we know what bed Lucille was already laying in and Matthew would had at least a track record of getting things done so Prospect at least has a chance at benefiting.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why posting that Austin changed sides? Tara did the samething? I don’t get it. The people of Cayman voted for change, it showed 9 Independents, 7 PPM, 3 CDP. That should have been it. But, than the problems come up, one of the 9 (Tara) wins but goes back to PPM…why didn’t she just run PPM. The country got the same old crew in which they wanted gone…it really doesn’t make any sense what so ever…Pension changes which will cause a mass exodus out of cayman “it will give more jobs to Caymanians” BS!!! The $6.00 an hour didn’t give more jobs to Caymanians. The only thing that the Pension change will accomplish is businesses losing good employees and not be able to replace them. 2500? it may be more than that. Oh yes the employees have to be gone by Sept 2017 not December 2017 for the pension has to be processed. Did they forget to tell everyone about that? The most stupist thing this government has ever done. Lets not sugar coat it. This will not give Caymanians more opportunities. Government itself hires work permit holders. Planning Department for instance.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have to agree with this statement though I would say Matthew did cheat on his wife and that ultimately cost him badly at the polls due to the bad publicity it brought him but I do agree he would had been more on the ground and for the people. Austin is too arrogant and we will see that over the next 4 years. Also he is a woman beater. I rather take a cheater over a beater. As for Lucille I am surprised she did as good on the polls but the PPM loyalist went to her side. We shall see if this government sinks us or keep us afloat another 4 years.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.