No escape on social media for candidates

| 17/04/2017
Cayman News Service

Ellio Solomon campaigning in 2017

(CNS Elections): The goldfish bowl effect of social media is changing the dynamics of election campaigning in Cayman and making it hard for candidates to keep skeletons in their cupboards, from the embarrassing posts about Matthew Leslie’s alleged infidelity to the pictures of Mario Rankin’s unexplained early morning single-car crash. The latest victim is Ellio Solomon, whose debtors are catching up with him online.

While Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and YouTube offer inexpensive ways to campaign, social media is also littered with cutting comedy videos, poster parodies and scathing satire. Candidates are using the space to connect with voters, comment about topical issues and promote their own messages, but local people are also using it to vent about candidates, expose their infidelities, bad behaviour and, as was the case for Solomon this weekend, outstanding bills and invoices.

The owner’s of Reflections have posted an invoice for more than $20,000 to the George Town West candidate which they claim has not been paid, over half of which dates back to 2013.

As Solomon uses the social media space to promote issues such as his idea for a medical research bill and criticisms of the current government’s pensions amendment bill, voters are reposting the outstanding invoices.

Facebook, which is particularly popular in Cayman, provides a platform for candidates to engage in debates, pick up supporting comments and ‘likes’, and even live stream public meetings and messages, but it also leaves them wide open to public exposure of genuine character flaws as well as false attacks and jibes. As politicians try to steer the message one way, they run the risk on social media of it being steered in a very different direction and having unpleasant truths being exposed.

Social media can allow candidates to circumvent the news media and avoid answering more challenging questions, as well as cut down campaign costs. But their attempts to go directly to the people online can be an unexpected minefield, especially for candidates that have issues they would rather voters didn’t know about or who are not as clued up as they should be on current affairs as they ask for the people’s vote.

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Category: Campaigns, Candidates

Comments (26)

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  1. Election Observer says:

    In the UK a question often asked of a candidate at a political meeting is:
    ‘When did you stop beating your wife’

    It is a catch-22 question as there is no clever answer: either “I haven’t” or “last month” both imply that the candidate does or did carry out that activity. To say “I don’t” is not answering the question.

  2. Anon says:

    Ellio, from 2013? Try pay Reflection’s back and stop this foolishness. Why are you running for office and running from bills at the same time? Deal with the bill first, then come back next election.

  3. Anonymous says:

    He has the name “Foolio” for a reason.
    That man should never be allowed to run anything in this country since he can’t run his own life

  4. Caymanian says:

    There are many others out there owing money to people including some newbie CDP peeps also…….20k Ellio tho….thats a lot of clothes or liquor….which was it?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Poor Dr. T – none of his candidates except for Kenneth looking anywhere close to being half decent.

    Guess he will have to cover this alleged debt for Ellio. Matthew allegedly has a few outstanding ones as well. A guy called into Rooster CrossTalk and told him pay his bill.

    What’s wrong with these candidates? They didn’t think to sort all this crap out?

    • Caymanian says:

      Aaaaah Kenneth half decent….aaaah no.

      • Anonymous says:

        Didn’t he also go to jail at some point?

        • Anonymous says:

          I was curious too, thought it was a rumour!
          Did some checking and only 7 years have passed and can’t help but think of the people who may have been so hurt by drugs.

          Based on what Marco Archer has shown his entire life, personally and his career, Marco would have to be my choice, no question.

          Though glad to know KB is trying to turn his life around.

          • Anonymous says:

            Thank you 6.28 for bringing Kenneth’s drug case out in the open. He certainly is not one to replace Marco…!

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s the problem: If a candidate a person endorses is exposed as a “poor quality” individual, it reflects back on the endorser.

  6. Anonymous says:

    And let’s not forget about Catherine Tyson – she was the first to take the brunt of Facebook scandals! WOW … why don’t they clean up their act before running for public office?

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah her story went quiet quick. If you ask her about it you’ll get an innocent watered down version..

      • Anon says:

        What happened? I’m late.

        • Anonymous says:

          Compromising photos and all!

          • Anonymous says:

            and claims of paying to take care of her and helping with kids,

            clearly we would guess some people are running for a paycheck, she took that government offer to take retirement package and not eligible to work for civil service so since private sector not working out…

          • Anonymous says:

            Say wha’??!

        • Anonymous says:

          She had a inappropriate relationship with a co-worker..
          Her significant other at that time posted raunchy pictures of her and exposed her infidelity..

          • Anonymous says:

            Yea, he had his receipts in order. That was something to behold.

            Now, she’s in church and on Christian stations trying to fool some old people in Windsor Park/South Sound to vote for her!

  7. Anonymous says:

    China port $$$ what is going to be said about that

  8. Anonymous says:

    Really would love if the rest of the current and future politicians skeletons were public.

    If they can’t manage their own personal affairs in their own household whether finances or relationships, then how can we expect them to manage a country.

    • Anonymous says:

      If only people realized who has children outside of their so called happy long marriage and in one particular instance how the wife got them kicked off the island. How that same family has children that are dysfunctional. One offspring arrested and a drug addict. Another that has previously commuted arson – not charged because of who they are.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Brilliant, but it needs to be across the board.