Political cults of personality

| 19/08/2020 | 67 Comments

Johann Moxam writes: The Cayman Islands does not have political parties which are distinguishable based on some clear political ideology or vision for the country. The current political parties are best described as “cults of personality” led by a dominant public figure or a big personality, for example Mr McKeeva Bush leads the UDP/CDP. The genesis of the Progressives was, and remains, the “emotional leader” of that group, Mr Kurt Tibbetts, who transferred political leadership to Mr Alden McLaughlin in 2014/15.

The irony of this is that the supporter base of the Progressives are largely persons opposed to the legacy and leadership style of Mr Bush and vice versa. Yet in 2017, when it was politically expedient to do so and advantageous to both the leaders of the Progressives and CDP they merged in order to consolidate their power and political survival by negotiating a deal that satisfied both personalities and the positions they both felt they deserved. This fragile alliance holds firm today while both sides seek a better deal or counter deal with incumbents and potential candidates for the 2021 elections. The definition of a government of National Unity.

The next government in 2021 is likely to be a coalition government as well. Therefore, voters need to educate themselves about the candidates and incumbents that will put themselves forward:

  1. What do they stand for?
  2. What have they done in leadership roles?
  3. Who do they represent?
  4. Examine the track record of their personal and professional endeavors and be prepared to publicly ask them the tough questions and their positions on various key issues.

We have seen that multiple political deals are the norm and the veterans will say and do anything to keep their positions, powers, compensation packages and perks. For many individuals getting elected is like winning the lottery. Hence, we are able to understand in part how most decisions are made and policies justified.

Does the country want qualified candidates with a proven track record of success or will they give another chance to incumbents desperate for a job as the they make deals that are best for themselves, their pecuniary interests and political financiers or sponsors?

Each voter has the power to be a part of the change that Cayman needs or stick with the status quo that has accelerated the divisions that currently exist in our country. Do we want leadership or representation that believes in and supports principles of accountability, transparency and good governance, or is the status quo good enough for you?

The best part of the democratic process is we all get a chance to use our voice. The country ultimately gets the type of government and representatives it deserves. The power rests in the people.

This comment appeared in response to Hew: ICT and transport weakness are priorities

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Category: 2021 General Elections, Elections, Politics, Viewpoint

Comments (67)

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  1. Nicholas Robson says:

    We badly overestimate the strength of our democracy. We would rank as a “flawed democracy,” if we were listed in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index.

    That means that democracy still functions, but in a kind of stumbling, faltering, haphazard manner — because institutions are broken, civil liberties are regularly infringed, the opposition is feeble, norms are weak, and, crucially, levels of political participation are low. All those are eminently true here in the Cayman Islands.

  2. B. Caymanian says:

    Johann for someone who believes in people democracy and voters, I just hope when it comes time for the people to vote whether same-sex marriage should be legalized, you support the democratic process ! We don’t know the future. But it will be remembered how same-sex laws were PUSHED on this country (without a time of consultation) disguised as “rights,” and local politicians welcomed it.

    Let’s see if youre not saying one thing, and doing the next.

    • Anonymous says:

      It has been made abundantly clear (like it ever needed to be spelled out): nobody’s going to be voting on basic Rights. Minority equality is not subject to popularity contest. Laws that are repugnant to fundamental Rights, Liberties and Territorial Obligations, WILL BE changed, whether it’s voluntarily, or by Orders in Council. Religious affiliations and beliefs are subordinate to Territorial governance, as you will shortly witness (again).

    • Anonymous says:

      How do you think it would have went if we had a majority vote to allow inter-racial marriages and women voting a century ago?

      Grow up. Open your minds. Evolve.

    • Anonymous says:

      Pretty words Moxam, we really tired a hearing the same old thrashing of the policeman’s. You get in you will be the same.as those you criticize. These subliminal messages of yours ain’t working man, get out in the street where people can see you, where people can see you at work with the people. The referendum on the port was one thing, but you not visible bredren, sitting in your office writing nice prose don’t cut it bredren. Get up and wake up and go to work with the people if you truly want to make a difference, why wait until you get on a pkatgorm. Anyone can do that .

  3. Anonymous says:

    Should we do away with politics, it’s not working. Politics like religion only serve to divide and conquer. People wanting to serve must be selected base on the best persons fir the jobs as in the private sector.

    • Anonymous says:

      To 3;36 ,one day soon the Christians will be gone ,can’t guarantee about the religious nuts as you say ,cause God ‘s not dealing with religion,he’s dealing with righteousness., you are for God or you’re not, either way my friend he’s gonna have the last say and YOU can’t do anything about it. I’m praying for ya.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I wish all the religious nuts will just go away even if the result is only I remain on this Island.

    • Anonymous says:

      There are hundreds of idiots, but not thousands or even tens of thousands. The last anti-gay rally at Lion’s center drew perhaps 1200 plus all usual narco-religious gangster MLAs.

      • Anonymous says:

        So you are one of the haters of your creator?

        God sent Jesus into the world for people just like you, to love and guide you.

        Well please let me know who you are so that when I pray God can be asked to give you Jesus’ love, peace, compassion and understanding.

        • Anonymous says:

          Lols. How about this one, earthly gay-judgers:

          Matthew 7 :: “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you”.

          See you in Hell I guess.

        • Anonymous says:

          I would strongly suggest accepting that it is wrong to obstruct and interfere in other people’s fundamental rights (since it’s not your role to officiate Heavenly qualification, and judging is of course a sin). With the comfort of that knowledge and peace, stay in your spiritual lane, and focus prayers on your own religious practice and salvation. Maybe some of this religious energy and tithing could be freed up to do some good old fashioned Christian penance in the Cayman Islands, like: feeding the poor, clothing the unclothed, and housing the homeless? Ironically, the rest of the GOOD people (religious or not), are out there, trying to tend to that work, filling the incomprehensible voids neglected by the >200 registered “churches”.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes 6:19, but when government held public meetings about education developments or crime issues, how many showed up? Usually less than 50. We are OBSESSED with these damn fundamental biblical issues which have no relevance to life in the 21st century.

    • Anonymous says:

      NO, YOU GO!

      I just bought your ticket, please let us know who you are, your phone number and home address to deliver your ticket.

      I man born ya, I man na gwyan leave ya!

      Tek dat.

      • Anonymous says:


      • Anonymous says:

        Phone number? Home? Why? …I bet you are sitting there salivating on how you could just do harm to this individual in the name of your “Evil” God.

      • Anonymous says:

        @9:12 pm
        Fool! I was born in GT Hospital in the 60’s lived here all my life…So take your plane ticket, and stuff…

        It’s amazing how idiots you don’t know, never met, always concerned about you not worshiping their God. One would think that if Heaven is their end game… why are they so concern with overcrowding it with strangers?

  5. Anonymous says:

    I live in West Bay and need a new refrigerator. Prominent politican then obliges. Cheers mucker. I’ll vote for you! Ad naseum/ad infinitum.

    • Anonymous says:

      Take the fridge and vote the way you want. What’s A little lying when you are already well down the bribery trail.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sadly the vote-swaying trigger price is far lower than you may think: CDP plies faithful votes with frozen turkeys and bags of groceries at the annual senior’s ball. 25yrs and counting. Multi-million dollar NBF payments get skimmed and kicked-back to the hastily wound-down private gambling Foundation.

      • Anonymous says:

        PPM are the masters of beef, turkeys and ham politics. They are now including vouchers to Fosters and $10 vouchers to MacDonalds. Voters need to accept all the gifts and still vote them out in 2021

  6. Anonymous says:

    I think we need political parties with manifesto. Going for ‘someone you like’ means that you fundamentally have no way of assessing their progress. Like how we don’t have a proper development plan because then there would be a measure by which our politicians will fail.

    Vote for policies and not for faces.

  7. JTB says:

    This is a well stated piece, and the issues it highlights are very real.

    There isn’t a single member of the current legislature that I’d employ to make the tea. Sadly, they’ll mostly be returned again next time round because of tribal voting.

    Cayman deserves better, but until its people realise that, and realise the power they have to improve their own position, nothing will change.

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly why there is no improvement in education.

      • Anon says:

        It s worse than not being any improvement – it has gotten worse. The standard in public education has dropped since I left school more than 30 years ago. The state of our education system alone should mean this Government is not re-elected in 2021.

    • Anonymous says:

      Which is exactly while Cayman needs to have the ability to elect status holders regardless of their citizenship origin, to be voted into government. Until that happens , nothing that Johann suggests to make a change will happen.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Everyone is assuming that there actually will be elections next year.
    This is a dangerous assumption during this volatile state of global affairs.
    I am just wondering if the governor knows something we don’t hence his decision to tool up with his personal standing army?
    It is also common knowledge that the requisite firearms for the militia are already on the island having been unloaded from the airbridge flight that bought in the 9 Commando tacticians who have since returned to the UK.
    I hope I am wrong, but when the sky is gloomy it generally means bad weather is on the way.
    Brace yourselves, brace yourselves, brace yourselves.

    • Anonymous says:

      The sky is falling!

    • FairProportionateRational says:

      5:34 am. What you have said doesn’t make sense to some. BUT let’s just look at the sky.

      *Not that the Regiment wasn’t needed since after Ivan, however all of a sudden it was priority over more critical “people issues” and a “UK” team hired to implement.

      * The MoD has NEVER given a Caribbean Regiment this “blank cheque” support before. They MUST have BIG interest here.

      * A Regiment or paramilitary group has NEVER been started in the British Caribbean without a Law/Regulations to govern it’s operation. (Talk about “Rule of Law”).

      * This “Caymanian” unit whose 2 TOP Commanders are English, was rushed through (less than a year) without the politicians or people fully and transparently understanding what it is.

      * NONE of the media houses has investigated why there wasn’t a Bill debated in LA and subsequent Law/Regulations to start the CIDR. There MUST be a legal document for it’s terms of reference, which means it’s “Unlawful” as it is. They cannot give a lawful commamd to a civilian (well each other too).

      * All we have heard the Gov say, “I have discussed with the Premier”. This Duo is not enough with this and other issues in this 21st century.

      * The Gov either has BAD advisors or something. Otherwise he would NOT make this statement, at the Passing Out, “It’s up to the Premier, Cabinet and People of CI how it’s developped from here”. The people don’t know what CIDR is about so you know, all left to the politicians.

      * The Law would clearly state that the Governor is directly responsible for the Regiment (same principle as RCIPS). NO Regiment is EVER placed under a politician.

      Anyway lets hope these critical passovers are just tactical errors on the part of the CIDR commanders is just smoke from the burning dump and NOT storm clouds as you are suggesting.

      • Anonymous says:

        Just be careful while you’re wearing your tinfoil hat during the storm in case you get struck in the head by lightning. Actually…keep that hat on – maybe a lightning strike would help bring you back to reality.

  9. Anonymous says:

    How about a party that has written standards that its members must adhere to, like disclosing financial interests properly and submitting itemised receipts for expense claims etc? I’d vote for anything that might weed out the “lottery winners” you described.

    • Beware of wolves in Sneep Garb. says:

      What’s sob great about the diatribe , it’s rhetorical context , or is it that he has chosen to use slightly different verbiage to that of other musings, which is what they are. The public is more aware than Missa Moxam seems to believe that it’s his time now…It is his choice to run as it is for any other “qualified” individual, but not for one moment should he think that he is the be all, know all, Saviour . As they say in some quarters dem know I’m an what I’m really is. Selah.

      • Johann Moxam says:

        Mr. Sneep Garb

        I agree with you 100% there is no such thing as a political “savior” in Cayman or the world.

        I do not know all nor claim to do so. I try to live life basic principles including “respect begets respect”. I inform myself on issues then speak my mind using various platforms on those issues that are of national importance. I have done so for over 15-20 years as is my right as a citizen of the Cayman Islands.

        In my opinion, any person that attempts to pass themselves off as a savior in any context especially politics should be considered “a false prophet”

        Best regards

        Johann Moxam

    • Anonymous says:

      All of that is a requirement now! Standards in public life !!! It’s now in place

  10. Anonymous says:

    All this is blindingly obvious, but it’s nice to see it spelled out in print.

  11. Observer says:

    I’m not religious but, Amen!

    It’s an opportunity to clean (the) House.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Bro if you campaign for recreational cannabis you have my vote

    Sick of seeing our people locked up for a plant that you can get legally prescribed now man. That money could be used elsewhere and we could apply a retail tax to make money to fund NAU instead.

  13. Bishop Nicholas Sykes says:

    Time to be constitutionally accountable.

    Johann Moxam’s article is overly kind to the outcome of the 2017 Election, which being the first OMOV election was supposed to give increased accountability.

    The point about having a constitution is that it is supposed to limit such arrangements as deals made for the purpose of political power. Such deals are made behind closed doors and are not accountable to the electorate.

    Cayman’s Constitution actually makes the post-election 2017 deal, that he writes about of combining two parties, impossible. The constitutional way of selecting the Premier in the case of no party gaining a majority is clearly set out in s 49(3) of the Constitution. This was not done.

    This was not the fault of the Constitution. It is a very serious matter, because in 2017 right after the Election, the intention of the voting public was set aside by powerful individuals in order to preserve political power.

    The only way of putting this right is to hold a General Election immediately and see to it that a Premier is appointed according to the Constitutional requirements.

    Before this happens, any new legislation that might be arrived at from whatever source, would be invalid.

    • Anonymous says:

      Gordon Bennett, Mr Sykes! Seriously?! So if a government of like minded elected MLAs cannot be formed after an election, we just go on and on having another election until finally we get such a government? Can you point us to any country where this practice actually occurs?

      • Anonymous says:

        The rules were different in 1662, the time in which he lives. Don’t poke the troll.

      • Anonymous says:

        At this current time – yes, that other oppressed UK Colony, Northern Ireland, has been unable to form a government.

        • Anonymous says:

          Another place where extreme religious views get in the way of sensible living and getting on with life in the 21st rather than the 17th century, 9:05 pm.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dear Bishop, The constitution is like the Bible more than one interpretation. Mine is not the same as yours.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is painfully obvious that Caymanians were not ready for self-government. The widespread lack of education and class, the old-school ignorance and ugly underbelly of the fundamentalist Christians, the corruption of process


      Cayman is nothing more than a third world country that appears evolved at first glance, only because Dart and many expats exploit the tax haven. Otherwise, it’s a disgusting un-evolved society that really needs Britain to rule it, or it all turns to this.

      CNS: Sub judice.

    • Donnie says:

      You are correct Bishop Sykes that the Constitution was not adhered to in May 2017. It would have been appropriate after 3 years to identify and point out who contravened it. The contravention was not caused by the adoption of OPOV.
      Contrary to your assertion, the contravention was not the done by ‘powerful individuals’. In my opinion, Governor Helen Kilpatrick alone was responsible for the contravention. She inappropriately exercised authority under section 49.(2) and appointed the current Premier when the condition “a political party gains a majority of the seats of elected members” had clearly not been met. That authority vests in her office; not in ‘powerful individuals’.
      I can share with you that such was my concern that she would do as she did that I actually wrote to her on Sunday, 28 May 2017, and pointed out to her why I felt she could not appoint someone as Premier under that section and why she could only appoint a Premier after the provision of section 49.(3) had been followed. And I offered her a short press release which I urged her to issue. Needless to say, I got no response and she did exactly as I had anticipated.
      Clearly Kilpatrick’s actions pleased some who would fall into your category of ‘powerful individuals’. The Cayman Compass reported on 04 March 2018 that at her farewell function, “Mr. (Alden) McLaughlin called Ms. Kilpatrick “the best governor the island has ever had.””
      While I agree that Governor Kilpatrick should have been ‘called out’, I believed then, and still do, that it is reasonable to assume that the members who chose to align as they did and form the government as was formed would still have done so on the floor of the LA had section 49.(3) been allowed to play out.
      And I suggest that you are absolutely wrong to say that the Constitution makes two- or multi-party governments ‘impossible’. What the Constitution does not allow is for the Governor to be the inspector and certifier of such deals. They must be done publicly on the floor of the LA as per section 49.(3).
      I cannot support your suggestion that a general election is warranted and consider it rather late to seek such a solution. I leave it to readers to form their own opinions to whether the timing of your ‘diagnosis and prescription’ may be linked more to recent events than to those of late-May 2017.

      • Anonymous says:

        Excellent analysis, Donnie, and what a scorcher of a last sentence!

      • Bishop Nicholas Sykes says:

        Hello Donnie.

        Thank you for your analysis, which is substantially correct.

        I agree that Governor Kilpatrick must carry the ultimate burden of responsibility for acceding to the infringement of s49(3) in 2017. She was one of the persons I tried to communicate with at that time, but I received no reply, and so I’m unable to assert categorically that she received my communication. As I wrote at the time, she should have received her pleaders graciously and sent them away after tea and crumpets.

        Others who I suppose must share that responsibility would be her legal adviser or any other advisers, and of course the others directly involved who could and can have no excuse of not being able to appreciate the force and application to that situation of s. 49(3).

        If you read my submission carefully you will I think note that I did not say that a two-party combination was impossible in general. I was saying that the particular deal that Johann Moxam was critiquing was constitutionally impossible. It cannot happen constitutionally before the open vote for the Premier by all members of the House.

        There are a number of others who know very well that this has been a serious concern for me for several years. And actually, the genesis of this problem was in 2013, though not carrying the same democratic deficit then as in the post-2017 years. It has nothing to do with the change to OPOV. The irony I was pointing out is that OPOV was intended to deliver a better democratic accountability.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Johann Moxam for GTN!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Joey Hew is done in GTN when Moxam finally declares. Finally a candidate in GTN worth voting for that the country can trust!

    • Anonymous says:

      Ha Johann only wishes. He can’t move Joey. Be real now

      • Anonymous says:

        Joey is a joke a dim bulb that cannot compare to Yohann. Joey is paid for with no substance we see that. Moxam is self made and straight as an arrow

      • Anonymous says:

        Joey is a joker and sellout!

        • Anonymous says:

          4 years and he has said nothing about THE DUMP which is right in his constituency.

          And he is the Minister of Infrastructure.

          Can somebody ask him his position on THE DUMP?

  16. Anonymous says:

    Moxam you have earned my support because of your actions. Your time is now

  17. Anonymous says:

    I see a bright future in politics if you continue this type of honest discussion and sharing your views. I admire your consistency and logic approach to politics in Cayman

  18. Anonymous says:

    Well said Mr. Moxam I hope you will step forward and contest the 2021 elections.

    • Anonymous says:

      I wish he would too so he can finally run instead of always talking about it and never doing it. He needs a taste of the real world and to come out of that fantasy land he lives in.

  19. Team Unity Representative Distress Signal says:

    Samsung or LG this time please. None a dat American brand junk from Mexico.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Great article Mr Moxam, as the Cayman islands will need new leadership and persons who are people first attitude to run for elections.

    I think it’s time for a change, as you articulated how the same people have been at the wheel without any real balanced progress for all..the same people that got in this mess cant be the ones that get us out….hope you are running in GT north this up coming election

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