We are irrational

| 17/04/2021 | 42 Comments

101 writes: After all the back door deals following the general elections, we are left with the PPM-led group having 9 members confirmed (Alden, Moses, Roy, Joey, Barbara, David, Julie, Dwayne and Isaac) and the Independents led group now having 8 members confirmed (Wayne, Chris, Kenneth, Sabrina, Bernie, Kathy, Heather and Andre). The final position of North Side’s elected member Jay Ebanks is uncertain although he was technically named in the letter delivered to the governor by Mr Wayne Panton. Therefore, if Jay hasn’t technically flipped over to the PPM as rumoured, we have a temporary stalemate situation. 

This leave us with that one guy as the very likely kingmaker over the next day or two. The level of irony cannot be overstated. The man who represents so much public contempt and negativity, especially over the past five months, is in the strongest possible bargaining position to determine whether this country has a new leadership or sticks with the incumbents.

He has done this before with anywhere from between two to three additional seats; i.e., his previous West Bay stronghold. He is now in the identical position with his seat being the only one. He has added a twist to this recently as he was seen with Jay meeting with the independents, probably convincing the younger, less experienced politician that negotiating as two is better than one.

How did we get here?

Collectively as a people, we are irrational.

We say we want independents, but what we are really saying is we want a group other than the incumbents. We don’t really want independents who will think individually about what makes the most sense for their constituencies and who might think independently about what form of coalition they wish to be a part of.  Ironically, we prefer a ‘group’  of independents, (refusing by any means necessary to call it, or vaguely recognise it, as a ‘party’ even though each general election this other side behaves more and more like one.

We are irrational because we continue to expect that a group of individuals will come together the morning after, find a common vision, develop strategies, decide who will take which positions in government while dealing with the temptations and horsetrading from the other side. We expect them  to somehow come out perfectly at the other end of this process, forming a coherent group, seemingly untouched by any of this activity. And before we start to celebrate, while the letter by Mr Panton is great progress over what occurred in 2017, we have all seen from the challenges that we are not there yet.

We threaten to protest with a taste of ‘capitol storming’, aided by memories of CNN and Trump fresh in our minds, our attitude suggesting that something has just been ‘stolen’ from us, knowing that the deals we are seeing played out are exactly the types of deals that play out every election behind closed doors, just with less social media awareness. And yes, knowing full well that our election process was fair and that nothing illegal occurred.

We do know better.

What we really want is CHANGE. And that’s ok. But we should just say that.

We are irrational because we accuse newly elected politicians of trying to ‘steal’ something from us when all they are doing is exercising (actually struggling to exercise) that ONE decision they are permitted to make in the early days. In fact, it’s the only thing they can do on behalf of the people before being officially sworn in; which is to decide how to form a government. We trust them to make decisions on our behalf by voting them in and then we take away the very first decision they must attempt to make as a leader by threatening them if we don’t like that decision. Trust is a two-way street.

We can find a way forward by admitting that we want better representatives to work collectively (not individually) and if the term ‘party’ still offends us, we can call them ‘teams’ if we wish to go back to those quaint customs from the past. 

But let’s not fool ourselves. If we do not change our political system, each general election we will continue to be in that position of waiting desperately (and increasingly so) for a group of individuals to decide how they will form the government. It will be extremely rare to find this in many other countries. As mentioned so often in recent days, it really does look like a banana republic.

We are irrational because we continue to say that the people voted overwhelmingly for independents. That they didn’t want the PPM, knowing full well that every PPM member was re-elected. If we respect that our democracy proves that the successful independent members were liked by the voters, how can we deny that voters also ‘liked’ what the PPM achieved and promised to do in the future by re-electing them? Everyone is elected by the same democratic process. We don’t have the luxury of having a respectable democratic process for every single independent, but a dark evil type of democracy controlled by special interest groups electing the PPM/Alliance candidates.

The system is so broken that our candidates behave irrationally too. First, they make it a point of deciding to run and brand themselves as independents precisely because they have trained their own voters over the years to think of a party as a bad thing (as an unintended by-product of criticising the first two prominent parties in early 2000s). And then they themselves behind closed doors are trying very hard to organise themselves like a party to gain some semblance of being ‘ready to go’ from day one. Why not give people certainty as a group BEFORE the campaigns start?

Our vote for ‘change’

The PPM has had eight years to make our lives better. With the sole exception of managing the pandemic very well, the country is worse off as too many serious issues have been left unaddressed.

We say that the alternative group looks inexperienced, but most of them are smart, have relevant experience and demonstrate leadership skills already up to this point. Five of them have already served as MPs. Andre is an attorney with excellent public sector experience. Kathy and Sabrina are smart articulate women that have shown that they understand many of the issues that this country faces. Sabrina has demonstrated that she has the character and strength to deal with difficult moments.

This alternative group may be exactly what the country needs right now: leaders willing to make the bold changes needed to make our lives better.

And yet we somehow managed to re-elect all of the seven incumbent cabinet ministers, plus David, Barbara and McKeeva, in effect telling them they have done a good job.

Just to be clear: voting for a whopping 10 of the 12 existing members of the PPM-led Unity Government that ran for office isn’t a bold sign that we wanted change; it’s an endorsement.

This, too, is proof that we are voting not based on the true merits of the person, but on personalities and handouts.

The best example of this is that 458 persons re-elected an MP who was recently convicted of violence against a woman. Collectively, we are irrational. Yes we are.

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Category: 2021 General Elections, Elections, Politics, Viewpoint

Comments (42)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    101’s opinion is well written and makes some very good points but I would argue that all Caymanian voters acted rationally in voting. What this election demonstrates is that we now have ‘two Cayman’ on thee islands, the have and have nots; those who have jobs/businesses and those who don’t, those who own a home and those who don’t, those who have hope and those who’ve lost hope, etc, etc. The ppm candidates were re-elected because they have not dealt with the social issues that have been brewing for years and continue to cater to dreams of the elite and wealthy while the average Caymanian is left to beg for the crumbs. The ‘two Caymans’ acted rationally, those who already have and want more voted for the ppm and those who simply want more than crumbs and want their dignity back voted for the independents. They both acted rationally.

  2. We'll See You Anon says:

    Time to remove the broken and replace with the new. Try this for size!

    The Cayman Islands are just that- a small, sophisticated, self-governing UKOT jurisdiction floating out in Taxhaven Seas and economically influenced by a nearby timezone-friendly capitalist economic powerhouse.

    So, abandon the districts and recognise Grand Cayman and the Sisters as a single community. Create a legislative House of 19 Members (or 17 or 15 or one per 3,600 residents) Members are voted to office nationally by a qualifying Caymanian electorate, which Members then decide by ballot the Leader of the House, who then forms his Cabinet of Ministers and Secretaries according to government needs as advised by Deputy Governor. Candidates may coalesce around policies or ideas and form parties, and as in any proportional representative government models, encourages effective coalition. Those not chosen as either Ministers or Secretaries, can then coalesce as an opposition to legislation as and when proposed in the House for assent.

    Create also, a Senate of 7 persons each nominated by 7 District Councils (WB, GT1, GT2, BT, EE, NS and SIs) who serve 4 years- DCs being elected by district mid-term similar to the US Senate). The House serves 6 years, as does the Senate. The Senate has powers limited to advising the Governor on assent of laws or otherwise- and may refuse to recommend assent.

    Voila! Political Stability…

    • Anonymous says:

      We certainly are not sophisticated.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t think k the senate idea will work. Remember Mac was thinking about that some years ago to follow Bermuda system. I think it would make things even more complicated IMO.

  3. Sellout says:

    Don’t worry too much the premier designate Wayne Panton will name his cabinet ministers on Monday snd this will be sorted.,Alden won’t accept defeat but trust me it’s coming

    • Anonymous says:

      Well today Monday and I don’t see anything yet, this might take much longer as nobody budging on any side

  4. Allourfault says:

    We have no one to blame but ourselves for allowing so many of the unity government to get back on. Smdh… look at what happen up in west bay with Mac after the man was convicted. Ppm is all about special interests snd I bet they a happy right now just waiting fir they employees to get back in

  5. PPM is for the rich says:

    We are also irrational in that we claim nothing changes, but then refuse to vote so things can change. The numbers are clear: 11,752 people voted for independents, 5,495 voted for incumbents. Was that because their constituency did not offer a PPM option? I don’t know. One thing is certain for me: beyond how Alden et al managed the pandemic (not alone, but guided by Dr. Lee and supported by Mr. Roper) the PPM sold these islands to the highest bidders with minimal compunction.and MUST be stopped.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agree with dat! People in those ppm constituencies did not come out to vote in numbers. If more had come out I think Mario would have won and also Alric too

      • Anonymous says:

        How do you know they would not have voted for PPM? The fact is, the ones who didn’t vote, obviously didn’t want to vote for Mario and Alaric either – no one stopped them to come out and vote,

  6. Anonymous says:

    Corruption, nepotism and incompetence have made people very concerned about the party system. People are simply hoping for better by electing what they think are independents.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Cayman politics has always been about personal enrichment possibly blessed by Jesus when it suits them.
    I cannot stand the blood-sucking, parasitic leeches who will somehow have a say without me where my taxpayer money is spent.
    Screw you all. Can’t stand the corrupt system.

    • Anonymous says:

      They will only be corrupt if we let them. We need to start standing up in caynan for our rights. Mac will end up running tings again you wait and see.

      • Anonymous says:

        Along with his criminal convictions and previous odious behavior, Mac is absolutely all about furthering his own wealth at the expense of his people.

  8. Anonymous says:

    101 did make a lot of sense but all of that has been said time and time again. Many of us could have written a similar viewpoint. What is going on here on this Rock is that too many of us have the dread about an organized party system. Time and time again it has been proven that the party system is the only mechanism that can give any semblance of cohesion and the PPM though not a perfect track record has managed to do the best of any other grouping so far, albeit with some alliance members. If we are to eventually mature into an island nation of sophistication and high regard we must research and understand the nuances of party politics. We cannot afford to be so disjointed, taking one step forward and two backward.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Look, it’s very simple. We want an organised government, but one that is organised around us. This is why People-centred is the first letter in PACT. The first two parties in modern times sullied the concept by organising around special interests. Caymanians will have no problem with parties again when there are two of equal strength taking opposite positions on the important issues and arguing them out. Yes we need to be clear that we mean independent of special interests not of affiliations entirely, affiliations are very useful and we need them. Like it or not until we have a party system like almost every other democracy in the world or an emphatically non-partisan system where there are no affiliations at all, we are just playing in the sandbox. That’s why you see so many toys being thrown.

    • Anonymous says:

      “People-centered” is the dictionary definition of a platitude. Any government can claim to be “people-centered”.

      The reality is that a government of independents will be total chaos. There is no reason to think these 8/9/10 “independents” will be able to reach agreement on where to order lunch from, let alone form a coherent set of policies for governing.

      Imagine how well a sports team formed like this would play? Exactly.

  10. Dan says:

    I refuse to believe anyone would be uninformed enough to vote for the man that literally bankrolled gambling at a casino with government money. Surely no one that foolish resides on this island.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just because we all seem to know what he does that is no proof that the others have not done the same or worse. Quite a few women beaters in the mix and many of them getting rich from making deals with the rich and famous and they also spending our money to bribe people for votes

    • Anonymous says:

      Face it, folks……. We have a high percentage of stupid folks here in the Caymans!

    • Anonymous says:

      What if he granted them status is return for an ongoing expectation of grace and favor?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Caymanians want a Government that will not sell the Country out to Dart and other rich developers!

    We want something left for OUR grandchildren and great grandchildren to have. Not just ten stories of concrete every where you look.

    We want a Government that cares about educating their people and doing something about the HIGH cost of living in these islands!!

    • Johnny says:

      Sell out to Dart???? your argument is so weak is so unreal. Government not the one selling land to Dart
      What you should be lobbying government to do is change the laws for lands be not sold out to foreigners but least.
      You should also be grateful that Cayman border stayed closed and we all enjoying a stable economy because of over 500 billion dollars construction going on and the strong position PPM put us in
      Hope you all crying for this change take notice that Wayne knows the fragile situation he’s in and the ones he put forward would be a crazy one.

      Invester only invest their money in a strong economy and a government they confident in, anything less we doom!!

  12. Sheriff says:

    101 – well said. Rational, logical, and well presented. Maybe you should be in charge of forming the government. 😃

  13. Anonymous says:

    Sorry 101 but I disagree with you when you say the independents are smart and have experience. You are wrong to say they are what this country needs. They are unstable and wouid cause breakdown here

  14. Anonymous says:

    I get your point, but there is not a lot of trust into the established political candidates, and into the system overall, that’s because of all the vote buying everyone is aware of. So maybe the reaction we are displaying and the rejection that especially the PPM is experiencing, is quite rational!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Cold hard facts here 101. What we say we want and what we actually do are 2 different things. CNS this one is for the soul, try put it in Facebook.

    CNS: It was posted on FB at the same time it was posted here.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Have they gone bonkers? No deals should be made, or even considered, with a convicted criminal.

  17. Anonymous says:

    My god 101.. where have you been? Wow. What a true and balanced perspective. We all need to do some soul searching.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think the ppm are the ones that need to look in the mirror. Nothing good has been done here for 8 years. And now they trying to take back power?

  18. Anonymous says:

    Probably the most coherent examination of the current situation. Further appreciated is the nuance and recognition that we all voted for many things, and the competing claims that we voted for continuity and change are ironically both true.
    Thank you for your level-headed contribution to the public discourse and my hope (albeit likely to be unrealized), that it will lead to more fruitful and productive discussions about our national interest and governance.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Excellent opinion piece that lays bear independent supporters belief that the election is a clear repudiation of the PPM. Cayman needs to mature and being anti party is simply the “woke” point of view that they all need to espouse rather than allowing Cayman to improve on a government that has been positive for Cayman. Are there things that can be corrected? Yes, but will it be done by a party of independents realizing a year in that they no longer like working together and blowing up the government? No.

    • Anonymous says:

      Can you see into the future? Maybe you can look into the past just a tab and if positive is trying to destroy GT Harbour and send us into a tailspin straight into the ground unless a certain group of Rascal ‘with private money’ vs our own money… Then clap your hands and pretentd this is balances. Irrational maybe they are off the rockers mad!

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