Ego and politics

| 17/04/2021 | 13 Comments

‘Public Servant’ writes: The ongoing saga of the formation of the new government may be resolved by the addition of Roy McTaggart as minister of finance (with the additional designation as Deputy Premier) and return of Isaac Rankine to the independents’ fold.  However, party politics and pride will prevent these two chess pieces from moving into winning positions.

Party politics

Having been appointed as the new leader of the Progressives, Mr McTaggart had a natural expectation to become premier if the  Progressives managed to obtain the required number of persons to form the government. Unfortunately, the Progressives were unable to obtain the required numbers. Ideally, he could now be asked by the independents to join them, thereby creating an inclusive government. If that scenario was to play itself out, Mr McTaggart could find himself as minister of finance again as well as deputy premier for the first time.

He might also be able to negotiate having one of his Progressive colleagues (possibly from Cayman Brac, to ensure Sister Islands representation) tag along with him as a part of the transfer over. Ultimately, the person currently proposed as speaker may also concede to make a deal happen in the best interests of the people (as the speaker-designate is publicly and demonstrably known to act). 

The greatest battle here, however, is not the application of common sense but the overwhelming desire of the relevant individuals within the political party to wield their power over those not aligned with them, to fulfill the party’s promises to special interests and to carry out their mandate by any means necessary, no matter what long-term damage could ultimately be doled out to the Caymanian people and other residents who have been welcomed to these Islands. Hurt feelings from an election loss are also great barriers to making the right move.


Ultimately, members of the political party do not want to admit defeat. Existing pride makes them focus on the emotions following their loss rather than practical choices that could move the country forward.

The games

Instead of putting hurt feelings aside, the political party has engaged in a series of psychological games. These include the previous claim that the party had sufficient numbers to form the government.  But as confirmed by the governor’s press release, the independents were the only persons who had adequate numbers and who had been accepted by the governor to form the government. Notwithstanding the facts, supporters of the political party continue to fuel rumours to foster distrust in the independents and to sway public opinion in favour of the political party. So far, this strategy has not  worked and is largely ineffective and insulting to the collective common sense of voters.

Difficult decisions

The refusal of certain members of the political party to make compromises to play a role in an independent-led government and the failure by Isaac Rankine to return to the independent fold will lead the independents to make very difficult choices. It ought to be considered, for example, whether the current numbers give the independents real security long-term and, as a result, more persons may need to be invited into the independents’ fold to shore up their foundation.

One or more of the persons who may be willing to come to the table may not be the most desirable, according to public opinion, but the reality is that difficult choices must be made. Such choices could be avoided if voters in George Town East were to successfully convince their elected representative to take a seat in the independent-led government, regaining his seat as minister of finance but playing a reduced role as deputy premier. The public will have to wait to see what prevails — special interests and party politics or love for country and the long-term best interests of the Caymanian people.

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Category: 2021 General Elections, Elections, Politics, Viewpoint

Comments (13)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I hope that your civil service role does not involve policy development or analysis

    • Anonymous says:

      2:08, since you don’t know the difference between “public servant” and “civil servant” ( “civil service role”), I suggest you refrain from sarcastic comments such as this one.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The best doctors in the world spent considerable time in school, then residency to gain practical knowledge before becoming a qualified doctor because there is real world benefits to that procedure. This same approach should be followed for any politicians. we need to be able to identify kids with talent, send them overseas to get the best education, give them the practical experience working in whatever ministry they have an aptitude for. The country would now have a batch a qualified candidates to choose from every election.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Lame narrative – Yet another straw false dichotomy of ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys’- particularly when the supposed good guys have decided to dance with the Devil

    • Anonymous says:

      Would it be foolish of the Independents to lose the government only to not work with Mac? Interested in the answer to that question.

      I’m sure the PPM would use Mac if it was between him and them getting the government.

      • Anonymous says:

        They called early elections to protect him and even supported after his conviction.
        The hypocrisy of the ppm is shocking.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The problem is that all the plum PACT Cabinet positions have been bought and paid for in exchange for support. Anybody forced out of a potential PACT cabinet seat will almost certainly seek a better deal from the PPM.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps Wayne could be persuaded to re-join the PPM as Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for the Environment and Planning. If he brought Heather with him in a Ministerial role, and the Ms. Wilks from West Bay the PPM would have nationwide representation, the balance of power within the PPM would be shifted to a more centrist position and the PPM would be reformed with an absolute majority.

    That is at least as likely as Mr. McTaggart agreeing to leave the party he leads.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Great article!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Public Servant – This same article could have been written in the exact opposite manner.

    If it weren’t for the ego of a few independents, we would have a government in place with the strength of the last government and the addition of a few strong newcomers. Opinions are one thing, but assuming its only Roy that should move is laughable.

    We are at 9 – 9 now with Mac seemingly the stale mate. Will the independents take him on and reject any “she is supported” credit?

    I guess we will wait and see but for the best of Cayman we need to stay the course and add to the bench. Chopping it up, building it with balsa wood and saying it was as strong as before is simply foolish.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Shallow one-sided analysis. Recognised the problem – pride & unwillingness to compromise – but failed to recognise it in all sides. And the common misconception that ‘independent’ is somehow the name of a party.

    • Anonymous says:

      Totally agree!
      A very one-sided analysis indeed. All those saying that PACT represents the will of the people leave out the fact that PACT has no Sister Island representation and neglects the fact that PPM (excluding Alliance members) won back every constituency in which they campaigned all except for GTC in which they neglected to field a strong enough candidate. I too am a public servant and my vote was for a PPM incumbent. I voted not along party lines but with a clear heart because from experience I know that he is the better choice. Others felt the same as me because that candidate won back his seat by a clear margin. To me the fact that more independents won seats than PPM is not a clear indictment against the PPM as they won 7 of the 8 constituencies in which they campaigned. Perhaps PPM’s mistake was not fielding sufficient candidates in more districts?? If either of the two emerging leaders of PACT and PPM truly cared about Cayman they would put aside egos and form a true Coalition Govt that is inclusive of the brightest and best suited candidates for each Ministry, There are far too many inexperienced members on the PACT alliance. Now is not the time to put inexperienced members in Cabinet.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Because, of course, everyone agrees what is in the best interests of the country. This is why clearly defined policy platforms are needed before the elections. Or are you saying it should be so merely because you know best?

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