Opposition to open debate on policy platform

| 07/01/2019 | 25 Comments
Cayman News Service

Ezzard Miller

(CNS): Opposition Leader Ezzard Miller has said the new alliance that he and his team will be working on this year is about attracting “independent thinkers” who will be able to openly debate the challenges facing the Cayman Islands and come up with real solutions. He said the aim was to tempt people into the political arena who can work together to shape policy on the basis of consensus and not existing rigid agendas.

Miller, who is now making a bid to be Cayman’s next premier, said he was not interested in leading an organisation where “two or three people call the shots and everyone else is expected to toe the line” but a group that will flesh out a new platform of governance for the whole country.

Avoiding use of the word “party”, Miller told CNS that the alliance he announced in his New Year’s message will be based on certain principles and a vision. But he will be seeking people who understand the problems facing the Cayman Islands and who are not afraid to voice what they believe are the answers. He said he wanted to attract people from across the community who will work openly together to create what will become a policy platform on which the group can contest the next election.

“What we have done so far is agree certain broad aims and a mission statement,” he said, but going forward it will be about seeing which ideas will come to the table from people wanting to join the new alliance.

Miller said that over the last two years he and the opposition members had been shadowing ministers and each member of his team had been following the work of the Cabinet, offering their opinion on developments in the relevant ministries and holding ministers to account.

“I have always said you cannot have good government without a good opposition,” he said.

He believes the opposition has gained the public’s trust, respect and confidence for their efforts, but now it’s time to begin the work that will lead to the opposition putting in place a full team of candidates for the 2021 General Elections.

Although this is more than two years away, he said the new alliance was not something that could be created six months before the next national vote. He said it would take time for the right leaders to emerge and between them create a policy platform on which 19 people representing the alliance can run in each constituency.

Miller said it would take time to shape the new alliance but he emphasised the need for open debate.

“I don’t expect everyone that joins the alliance to agree about everything. Members should be able to disagree and not fear punishment from the leadership,” he said. “You will be able to disagree with me; I won’t punish anyone,” Miller said, as he encouraged people to join the debate.

The idea of an alliance rather than a political party was to foster discourse on issues that matter to the voting public, he explained.

“People need the freedom to express themselves openly and I want to encourage an open debate so the public can see the process of how policy is developed. I’m not going out to select potential individual candidates as I believe in an organic process where new leaders will emerge as a result of the kind of discourse we are going to have.”

While there has been a strong public backlash against the concept of political parties in recent years, Miller is also well aware that without a team agreeing on the way forward, it is extremely difficult to govern. The concept that a group of entirely independent candidates can randomly come together to form a government is just as problematic as having a group of people rigidly sticking to a political party line regardless.

Miller wants a new kind of politics where independent thinkers come to a consensus on issues based on collective agreement.

Going forward, Miller said, the opposition will be creating a new website, and over the coming weeks it will be revealing how those who want to get involved in shaping the new alliance can join the group.

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Comments (25)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    its just a bunch of small minded independents who haven’t got the common ground or guts to call themselves a party.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Before this group is even revealed the PPM and CDP crowd will bash Miller and anyone even remotely involved because they are afraid of giving Caymanians another choice on the ballot

    By no means am I an ardent supporter of Ezzard, or any of the other opposition members, in fact I detest some members of the opposition almost as strongly as I detest Mckeeva and Alden

    But we have to admit the two party system here like in other jursidictions around the world has failed us ( I would say here more than most other place). We have 2 parties who take hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from businesses, business groups and the wealthy every election cycle and then proceed to rule only consulting those in the donor class or the politically connected.

    We don’t even pretend to have two sides of the political debate opposing in Cayman, we just have two right wing parties arguing over who’s conservative policies are conservative enough, it is why our opposition has always been weak in comparison to other jurisdictions using the parliamentary system both sides argue on appearances and rhetoric rather than actual policies.

    The people of the Cayman islands feel as if they have no alternative (that is why 2017 served as a rebuke against both official parties, sadly 8 unaffiliated independents cannot form a stable government without petty squabbling which essentially gave the reigns back to Alden and Mckeeva for 4 years. They might not like each other but they are smart enough to realize being on the inside of the castle with a former enemy is better than being stuck out in the cold politically speaking.
    As we can see the CDP and PPM integrated almost seamlessly after 2017, though I am sure there was conflict behind closed doors, they have still managed to keep the charade going for a year and half now

    Cayman needs an alternative, though I doubt with members like Anthony Eden in their ranks this might not be the change some are hoping for

  3. Anonymous says:

    Independent thinkers don ‘t last long in Cayman. You are actively discouraged from making a difference because that different would inevitably mean many Caymanians would lose their cushy jobs. No offense meant!

  4. Anonymous says:

    It would be amazing to be premier on the back of 359 votes in North Side.

  5. Sadbutru says:

    As all our politicians conform to the tenet – “You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours”, the idea of attracting independent thinkers is doomed before it gets off the ground.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Its a trap!

  7. Anonymous says:

    I’d be fine with Ezzard being part of an Alliance, but not he, McLean, or other serial loser helming it. That’s not a wisdom or action package we’d throw in with. The candidacy rules in the Constitution need to be changed to allow other (non-conflicted) Caymanians an opportunity to serve.

  8. Anonymous says:

    We will build a wall and George Town will pay for it!

  9. Anonymous says:

    An alliance…… I like it! Now, if we can just create the structure for voting people off the island, I know of a few crusty worn-out cabinet members that need to GO!

    • Ron Ebanks says:

      I think it would never happen that you can get today an Elected group to come together for the betterment of the Islands and everyone , and not be corrupt and self-centered. Just look at what in going on in the Islands and every where today .

      I hope that I am wrong , and the chosen few can come forward and prove me wrong .

      • Anonymous says:

        Your comments and others like you are exactly what is wrong with Cayman. You all never come up with any ideas worth mentioning but if any one else dare to you start pulling them down before they get started. Any of you out there who has a positive perspective go forward and offer your assistance to the Opposition. If you are tired of the way thing are ( and you must be by your constant rattling) go be part of the solution. Let the change begin with your participation. The constant complaining serves no valuable purpose. Instead of criticizing all the time get involved.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mac is here to stay bobo!

  10. Anonymous says:

    This would sound better and more believable were Ezzard not so temperamentally similar to McKeeva. He doesn’t seem to take disagreement well.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think Ezzard is the “bear” they always talk about when they say “don’t poke the bear.”

    • Anonymous says:

      He “doesn’t take disagreement well” but has managed to maintain an organized front with 4 separate other independent candidates for approaching two years now

      I don’t know where you people get your analysis from but it is not reflected in reality

      Simply saying something you heard or imagine does not make it true
      The opposition we have had since 2017 is without equal at least in my lifetime

      They have done a fantastic job and it is only a shame that Jon Jon and Austin decided to join the government they both spent months (and years) criticizing
      Jon Jon’s election facebook page still has posts up criticizing the government to this day

  11. Anonymous says:

    Will there be 19 different manifestos? Either its a party or not.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Why why Ezzardz??? Do we not have more important issues. My garbage not been picked up since Chistmas and you talking this shit?? If my garbage not picked up by this weekend i am burning it. Fire Station right down the rd from me. If it get out of hand i will call 911….

  13. Anonymous says:

    Ezzard is just a small town boy living in a lonely world. Do us all a favour and hop on that midnight train going anywhere.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Oh no!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Awesome news – Potent.
    May God be with you Ezzard, to guide you in saving this Country.
    The Sodom and Gomorrah values of Caymanians of any ‘papers’ and ex-pats must stop.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ezzard you don’t have to look far just check the talk shows, you will find the people you are looking!

  16. Anony says:

    Far out! Way to go BoBo! Now Ezzard get lost!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Oh hell no.

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