Candidates duck Q&A forums

| 17/03/2021 | 23 Comments
  • Cayman News Service

(CNS): Two candidates, both in tight head-to-head constituency races, ducked out of the opportunity to answer questions from voters alongside their opponents on Tuesday. Bernie Bush, who is a two-way race with Rolston Anglin in West Bay North, left the Cayman Crosstalk studio on principle, he said, as he registered a protest against the new owners of the show for firing the former host, Woody DaCosta.

Meanwhile, Osbourne Bodden declined an invitation from the Chamber of Commerce to take part in its Candidates Forum in Bodden Town East, where he is running against the incumbent, Dwayne Seymour, because, he said, he had a previously arranged public meeting.

Bush did take the time to go to the studio and explain why he did not want to stay. Although the statement was not very specific, the WBN incumbent accused Compass Media, which acquired the call-in morning radio show when it bought out Hurley’s Media, of disrespecting the former host over the way he had been sacked, and said he did not want to be seen promoting a company that would treat Caymanians that way.

Bush said that Anglin had been absent from the political scene for eight years and so he would let him have the floor for the rest of the show. He said he would answer any of the questions raised at his own meeting this weekend.

However, that left the floor open for Anglin to promote his platform without anyone challenging or countering his claims. The former education minister is campaigning on a platform with McKeeva Bush in West Bay and despite his DUI convictions, is already believed to be the favourite.

Anglin apologised to the people he had let down over his drunk driving charges and said those days were behind him. He said the convictions were not reflective of who he is and that 18 months ago he had got help to make him a better person.

Meanwhile, Bodden told CNS that he was unable to make the Chamber debate because he had a rescheduled public meeting, which, at this point in his campaign, he felt was more important than appearing on a national stage.

Bodden said that because of the snap election, time was tight in which to achieve his goals in the constituency. “I had a meeting planned that had been postponed, and with the short time left before elections to get in all my meetings and visitations, I chose to do that over the forum, that would not benefit me greatly, in a quest to win the BTE seat,” he added.

His failure to appear, however, gave Seymour an opportunity to answer the 20 questions posed by the Chamber unchallenged. The debate could have been far more interesting than most, given that it would have been between a former and the current health minister.

Bodden was minister of health during the first 19 months of the 2013-2017 PPM administration. However, at the end of 2015 the premier, Alden McLaughlin, reshuffled the portfolios in the wake of the ‘driftwood scandal‘, in which Bodden verbally abused his chief officer, for which he has since apologised.

But instead of a debate about health issues, Seymour was given a free pass to promote himself and paint his own picture of his four years in office. He admitted that the health insurance system needed fixing and that he has not been able to find a solution to provide affordable care for the elderly, a free plan for children or fix the entire problem.

He stated that he was not an environmentalist, despite being the current minister for this area, though he did raise his concern about the disappearance of land crabs. And although for the last four year he has been responsible for the landfill, which continues to be a major issue for the voting public, the minister was not asked about his failure to address that ongoing problem.

Seymour was elected in 2017 on a campaign promise of addressing the perennial problems associated with the work permits and had told his voters that if they elected him, there would be “a moratorium on day one on work permits”.

However, he criticised the government’s new Workforce Opportunities and Residency Cayman (WORC) agency. “I don’t think the system is working the way it was intended… It’s just not working for our people,” he said, and suggested taking all the information from the complaints about the agency to work out what is wrong, and talked about “training hundreds” of people.

The minister also demonstrated that he has still not evolved in his position on the rights of the LGBT community when he said that his opposition to the Civil Partnership Law was related to protecting children and not having certain types of bathrooms. He claimed he did not hate people and now it was law it had to be respected, but raised his concerns about procreation.

Watch the CrossTalk programme on Facebook and the Chamber Forum below:

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Comments (23)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    All of this is further proof that we have not, after many many years, moved on from the intellectual pygmies type of candidates in the past. Anyone remember the West Bay bus driver who said “I recline” rather than “ I decline” and Capt Eugene who in a swearing in in the LA after an election swore allegiance to Her Majesty and her “hairs and graces”? Little will change if we keep electing zeros.

  2. Bosun bay voter says:

    Putting Bernie issues aside Rolston has had his time and the amount of drunken driving convictions warranted 1 short custodial sentence 2 a period of disqualification more than 5 years ??? We the people need a explanation of what the he’ll happened here or shall we assume it’s the usual like his mentor Babuska recent convictions .Exempt from certain parts of the law

  3. Anonymous says:

    Duck and weave. Duck and weave. Float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. Vote for me, because I’m the greatest!

  4. Anonymous says:

    CNS: can you confirm whether or not Rolston Anglin has yet to be mentioned before the Summary Court for his roundabout crash last March where he failed to provide a specimen? If that’s the situation, it would make this his third or more DUI (March 2012 DUI, 2014 crash and fled the scene, June 2015 DUI, March 2020 crash), which any normal person would expect the court to finally assign disqualifying jail time…can someone honestly run for office while staring down that consequence?

    CNS: We don’t know for sure but we are endeavouring to find out. Quick moan – the criminal registry recently put a freeze on media access to criminal as well as grand court court civil files. We are now being presented with a new process that includes a fee for every search we do, which could make finding the answer to this very both time consuming and very expensive.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Julianna feels she is too high and mighty to debate with Elvis so she begged out from the Rooster debate too.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Just wait for all the comments on this one.. LOL Look over here! Not behind this door. Nothing to see back there.
    Funny, not funny.
    These buffoons think this is a popularity contest.

    Oh. Wait. IT IS!!!! LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!

    Dah wah ya get Cayman!! Enjoy another 4 years of BS Merchants blowing hot air, boozing and drinking for free wherever they go and feeding at the Trough o’ Plenty.

    PS. Y’all worried about an outsider (paper Caymanian) buying up all y’all’s land (that YOU sell out) but don’t have any term limits on all those lil piggy’s who keep woting in higher pay, early retirement draw, severance pay, free medical care, free car (and insurance, gas, drivers) and all sorts of other free STUFF that you don’t even pay attention to!! Free free free. freefreefreefreefree.

  7. Anonymous says:

    The old host of crosstalk was terrible. He was replaced by a wonderful Caymanian women.

    This is a sad bunch of candidates to choose from. They all are in it for themselves except for maybe 2.

  8. Dexter Layman Ebanks says:

    Hello Dwayne =
    You have no none to blame but yourself = for your down falls whilst in Office collecting your undeserved Salary =
    If you knew from the beginning of your Political Career that you weren’t Qualified to handle such a task you should have declined =
    To you it was prestigious to accept that possition as Minister of Health knowing full well you were not Capable of doing so =
    This says a lot your honesty and integrity and you should apologize to the people of the Cayman Islands =
    By the way when you are praying on live TV STOP trying to impressing people with your faults sincerity =
    GOD don’t like Ugly =
    Always remember to be near GOD you have to be more like him =
    Food for thought =
    You can fool some of the people some of the time but not all the people all the time =
    Dexter L Ebanks

  9. Anonymous says:

    How much more can Bernie be allowed to resign from his duties. He is very comfortable as an opposition member having to ask questions, however, he don’t have the ability to answer questions. What a whooz.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am just now realizing how absolutely useless Bernie has been as a politician. Rolston isn’t exactly a political catch, but of the two, he is certainly more intelligent and articulate. Furthermore, he did manage to accomplish a few things when he was elected. I’d pick him over Bernie. This is downright laughable. Anybody elected NEEDS to make COST OF LIVING priority #1.

  10. Anonymous says:

    He knows he’s getting voted out. Gone are the days that we allow them to represent us this way.

    Good riddance.

    S. Coulburn

  11. Anonymous says:

    Bernie can’t form a proper sentence on a regular

  12. Anonymous says:

    Bernie … obviously reading a statement that he did not write smh

  13. Anonymous says:

    Bernie Bush has principles? Who knew?!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Burnie I hope you have a plan because this action sure let WBN down

  15. Anonymous says:

    Jesus, could there possibly be a more pathetic bunch of candidates? I suspect not.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Poor Seymour didn’t answer his questions, with his amm amm amm and to to to stutter. Poor representation.

    • Anonymous says:

      He tried unlike 3 other candidates to date. Capt Eugene did not turn up to debate Kathy Wilks last week.

      • Anonymous says:

        Puerile behaviour! They act like their position as an incumbent or their decision to declare gives them the option to disregard displaying themselves to the general public? Radio audiences can form opinions whether they can vote for that person or not. Public meetings generally reach only “neighbourhood” audiences. So who who do they think they are deciding to withhold informational opportunities from the public?

        That alone should tell voters something!! It’s all about them!

      • Anonymous says:

        As expected. Captain Eugene has always been a mute. Why do West Bayer’s insist on reelecting this mute time and time again? What does he do? What does he say? Does he have an opinion on anything other than what Keke tells him? If he had a conscience he would stop running.

    • Anonymous says:

      That summary of Mr. Seymour’s presentation was amusing. Poor dear. He tries…


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