CDP candidate questions purpose of forums

| 01/05/2017
Cayman News Service

Denniston Tibbetts at the Chamber Forum

(CNS Election): Denniston Tibbetts asked what the Chamber of Commerce candidate forums have accomplished, after he struggled at times to answer questions and to understand elements of government during the forum in Red Bay last week. He said he felt like a “cornered cat”, as he criticised the forum in his closing remarks. Tibbetts did have his moments during the event, where he sat with his opponents, Premier Alden McLaughlin and former minister Dr Frank McField, but he stressed his lack of political experience throughout and seemed to imply the process was pointless.

Technical difficulties with the local television station prevented the live broadcast of the candidates forum in the constituency of Red Bay but it was recorded and transmitted Sunday evening on TV and is now available online. However, it proved to be one of the more interesting forums so far, with some clear differences in opinion emerging among all three candidates, giving voters an insight into what they will be voting for on 24 May.

As well as criticising the entire exercise, Tibbetts, who is the brother of former PPM leader Kurt Tibbetts but running on the Cayman Democratic Party ticket, complained that his opponents were politicians and he wasn’t, and claimed that the premier had “an unlimited bank roll behind him” while he did not.

He also complained that all of the questions asked by the moderators were “rhetorical”, though it was not clear if that was what he meant, as the candidates gave very different answers on many of the questions.

One answer that Tibbetts gave which drew significant applause from the audience was that if he was elected he would ensure the release of the controversial and secret Ritch Report — which was commissioned by the premier with public cash to examine the problems relating to immigration.

Despite this moment of audience approval and generally having the chance to reiterate his policy positions on issues, he made it clear that he felt the forum had not accomplished anything and the voters had not learned much.

Nevertheless, the audience did learn that Tibbetts believes education should be government’s major spending priority, that he supported corporal punishment in schools, that he has strong support for Christian values and is not keen on some human rights. However, he also articulated his strong support for Sunday trading, as he claimed there was nothing in the Bible that said he couldn’t buy a gallon of milk or a piece of lumber on Sundays.

He said he wanted to be the community affairs minister if he was offered a ministry, though it was apparent that he was not terribly aware of the government structure and appeared to confuse the financial services ministry with the finance and economics ministry.

Tibbetts seemed nervous next to the premier, who appeared calm and confident, and the very experienced political activist Dr Frank McField, but was nevertheless able to present his position on some topical and local issues.

But he said, “Every debate that the Chamber has conducted… the same questions have been asked and the same answers given only in a different form. So what is the point of having these forums… I feel like a cornered cat… and I came out clawing. I don’t believe the forums are necessary,” he said, before he thanked the Chamber for the chance to participate.

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Category: Candidates, Election News

Comments (31)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I like Mr.Tibbetts. He’s a decent man but I reckon he’s a bit out of his depth.I attended the Red Bay forum and he seemed at a loss on a few occasions. His stance on Sunday trading did not resonate at all well.This (and more so his aligning himself with Mr.Bush) means I cannot even consider voting for him. Voting for Alden is out of the question due to his general attitude and the mess he made of education …………..which leaves Dr.Frank and the crackpot public housing scheme involving metal houses designed by Italians and built by Cubans. What the dickens: Dr.Frank – ever seen a rusty car?!!.But at least he’s talking about taking care of Caymanians and the less affluent. Oh, dear, what a quandary. I want to vote but ………!

    • Caymanian says:

      He is in the Marianas Trench with lead on his feet and sinking fast. For CDP he is like a sacrificial lamb against Alden.

  2. Anonymous says:

    So why did he go to the forum? What did he think was going to happen there? This is plain stupid..

  3. Anonymous says:

    Off topic I know, but would somebody tell JJJr that his party, the CDP, has as their colour light green, whereas all his signs have posts in the colour blue. Just saying: perhaps he is colour blind!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Cayman does not need this gentleman or any of his extended family.

  5. Anonymous says:

    It’s so scary that he found two people to nominate him.

    UDP has put forward their worse set of candidates it’s it torrid history.

    I’m predicting they might get two seats.

    • Caymanian says:

      Naah they will get more than 2….Big Mac, Bernie, Mike and possibly 1 more…Maybe Piercy…Who knows maybe Eugene too….but after that it get’s really thin on hopes…

  6. Anonymous says:

    Tibbetts brother has finally retired, God knows Cayman doesn’t need another another nepotism specialist like kt.

  7. Anonymous says:

    In the words of Nancy Reagan, “just say no”.

  8. India says:

    I wont said that Mr. Deniston is a experienced politician but he was honest and quiet frankly about what he need to said . We do not need to criticize or judge someone by given their honest opinion about their thinking for the forums. In regards to all candidates that are running for a seat , I must said that we need more Action and less words . Remember that you can talk nice to your children/spouse in front of others but what is going on inside the house only you and your children/spouse know about it. We need fruits and to have fruits the three need to have and strong root by watering everyday and add soil now and then . PEOPLE OF ACTION !

    • Caymanian says:

      I know him….He is family and God knows if I was voting in Red Bay he would not get my vote…He is in a bad spot on so many levels….

  9. Anonymous says:

    Well I guess IF he were elected and IF he would have a ministry and IF he would have to represent the country overseas he would need to receive all questions upfront and only those he likes cause otherwise he would maybe feel “cornered”.

    Complaining, complaining, complaining – not offering any solutions and not able to do any sort of public debating on a very tiny small stage. Perhaps politics not for you?

    • Caymanian says:

      Yeah. Highly ill equipped to handle anything of consequence….just end up being another Eugene….aka seat warmer…

  10. Anonymous says:

    Hahahaa.. “he claimed there was nothing in the Bible that said he couldn’t buy a gallon of milk or a piece of lumber on Sundays.”
    Really bro

    • Anonymous says:

      The man knows as much about the Bible as he does about the Governemnt.

  11. Concerned Caymanian says:

    If you are going to put yourself out there and ask for my vote then I want to hear what your views are, what are your plans, how are you going to deal with certain current situations the Government is facing…..this is the purpose of the forums.

    Anyone can have a public meeting, spout off rhetoric that brings applause from a crowd but when you are asked pointed questions, this illustrates your ability.

    Mr. Tibbetts not being a politician is no excuse, every “first timer” use it. If you want my vote, at least give me some indication that you have a clue about the structure of the Government.

    It’s like that typical question they may ask at a job interview, “Why do you want to work here? What do you have that makes you the best person for this job?’

    The forums are the interview process Mr. Tibbetts.

    They will separate emotion from sense. You don’t vote for someone just because you like them and they have a good personality, are they capable of doing the job?

    Like some potential employees, you could have been one of those who knew his stuff but just don’t interview well but you came across as someone who has no qualifications, no experience, don’t know much about your potential employer or what your job might entail but you are asking me to trust you and give you my ONE vote.

    Sorry, I can’t risk it.

    Red Bayers, I am not going to ask you to vote CDP, PPM or Independent. I am asking you vote with your brain, not your emotion but above all Please get out on Election Day and vote. Your ONE vote does count.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is by far the best comment I have ever read on CNS.

      Political Candidates: Please read!

      To Cayman’s Voting Population, like Concerned Caymanian said: Your ONE vote does count.

    • Caymanian says:

      Honestly you will need to ask Mac what Tibbetts ideas are and what Tibbetts wants to do…cause they are not allowed to think for themselves

  12. Anonymous says:

    His performance or non performance was the worst I have seen. I suspect Bernie will not be far behind him. How these two got on the UDP ticket is a real concern. One will be an embarrassment if elected and the other already is.

    • Anonymous says:

      A Stafford Berry was not present at all at the BTW forum – no explanation given.

    • Unison says:

      Denniston is a bit slow. After watching them, I would say the best candidate I thought perform and answered the questions well, was Doctor Frank McField.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Denniston is completely unqualified (like too many others running)

  14. Anonymous says:

    Every party has their “bankrollers.”

    • Anonymous says:

      Out of interest, which one of these are you considering the bankrollers??

  15. Vote For Me! says:

    Not a day goes by that I dont question the purpose of many candidates, this being one.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Lol! Imagine having to answer questions in a debate! Oh, the humanity!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Jesus take the wheel! He need to stick with what he does best. He nah ready for the political foray yet.

  18. Anonymous says:

    One answer that Tibbetts gave which drew significant applause from the audience was that if he was elected he would ensure the release of the controversial and secret Ritch Report — which was commissioned by the premier with public cash to examine the problems relating to immigration.

    Did he explain exactly how being elected to represent Red Bay would give him such power?

    • Anonymous says:

      Hint: it says, “you $@#%ed up”…we already know that. Big settlements coming – from our collective wallet.