Wight joins long-line of ‘no shows’

| 05/04/2021 | 21 Comments

(CNS): Sharing the same platform as their challengers appears to be an increasing problem for many incumbents on the government benches. On Wednesday evening David Wight became the most recent in a long line of PPM-Alliance candidates who have avoided facing their opponents in this election on public forums. This is depriving voters from the ability to make a direct comparison of their policies and performance.

Wight was due to join the Chamber of Commerce Candidates Forum alongside his three challengers for the George Town West seat, but he failed to appear, leaving the floor to Pearlina McGaw-Lumsden, Ellio Solomon and Kenrick Webster.

While Solomon came out fighting and McGaw-Lumsden articulated her policy positions well, Webster failed to capitalise on the opportunity to show how he might be the better candidate.

All three have been on the hustings in previous elections, with Solomon appearing in every election since 2005. Having succeeded in only one so far, Solomon has a tough battle on his hands to make this his second success.

However, he established himself as the only true George Town West candidate on the platform that evening, after pointing out that his opponents both ran in different George Town constituencies at the last election.

Webster ran in George Town East last time and McGaw-Lumsden in George Town North. However, in his last effort in the constituency, Solomon only managed to secure less than 11% of the vote, while Webster received less than 12% of the vote in GTE. However, McGaw-Lumsden did rather better, racking up 34% of the vote in GTN.

But at no point in the debate did Solomon’s opponents indicate why they had chosen to campaign in GTW, though Wight may be seen as a softer target than the incumbent in GTE, Roy McTaggart, the new PPM leader, or the planning minister, Joey Hew, in George Town North.

In what is proving to be a relatively sedate series of forums with few curve balls or surprise questions, Solomon nevertheless made the most of the opportunity to take the fight to Wight, despite his absence. He said the people of GTW had contributed to four years of salary and costs for their MP, amounting to around half a million dollars, but they had barely seen him.

“I can respectively submit that he has done arguably nothing in the constituency,” he said, adding that they had paid a high price and could not afford to waste another four years.

Meanwhile, McGaw Lumdsen raised her concerns about the impact of traffic on her constituents and even suggested a reconsideration of the five-day week to three or even two days or staggered work times, saying it was unsustainable for children to be waking up at 4am to go to school.

Many of the questions focused on development, as has been the case in several forums, and all three candidates stressed their constituents’ concerns about it, especially since GTW is home to the controversial FIN development. Webster said he would not be supporting multi-storey buildings in the constituency because of the infrastructure challenges they bring.

Beach access was one of many subjects where the candidates were in agreement, as they pushed the need to protect beach access rights and pointed out that government after government has failed on this issue. Solomon called for very high fines for people blocking rights of way.

Despite owing a tour bus company, Webster challenged the idea of mass cruise tourism and offered support for a more targeted approach to the sector, as he pointed out that the cruise lines have driven down the prices on trips so much that they are no longer benefiting Caymanians in the industry.

McGaw-Lumsden said it was time to focus on overnight guests and ease the pressure on the environment. In contrast, Solomon was keen to ensure that a managed cruise business must return and spoke about “proper facilities”, though he avoided saying whether or not he supported the controversial idea of a dock.

See the debate on the Chamber YouTube channel below:


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Comments (21)

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  1. Say it like it is says:

    Pearlina wants the money that’s her bottom line.Candidates spew promises which cost them nothing, most of them have the same motivation.

  2. Anonymous says:

    He saw how bad Babara did and didn’t want to go there and make a fool of himself too. Can’t blame him for that but when you can’t even speak on a forum to debate and articulate your ideas and your platform, how can I vote for you?

    The arrogance and the pompousness of this PPM party and there coat tail partners is just sickening.

    I have to tell though I go to each one of their events for dinner. Between the PPM and the alliance I have been saving a lot on groceries this month.

    Eat them out, drink them out and vote them out!

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  3. Smileawhile says:

    Wight did not show up to either of the forums, the Rooster nor the Chamber and neither did Lumsden or Webster for the rooster.

    • Anonymous says:

      Rooster..mehh! washed up and tired. They will shut that down soon..they just needed in time for the Compass to assist the PPM through the election. Both the radio and newspapers are bought out by PPM or just maybe the other way around..

  4. Nadia Hardie says:

    I am totally amazed at the complete lack of respect for the voters by the PPM alliance. Not showing up is downright disrespectful and cowardly. Clearly they have no answers or can’t face up to the voters. Nobody should vote for any of them. If they get in again, then Cayman is doomed. Time to give some new faces a chance. We certainly can’t do any worse. Please vote for change across the board.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    No thanks to financing Lumsden’s lifestyle and wardrobe or anyone of those candidates need for a job since they have no other qualifications or viable businesses.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I sure hope this comment was not from another Black Caymanians women. Women let us not tear down one another but let’s lift each other up. I for one is very proud of Pearlina and her sister’s accomplishments knowing where they came from. They are a living testament that with the right attitude your beginnings to have to be your endings. I know she would make an excellent MP and don’t worry she will be able to keep up with her wardrobe.
      Sisters remember to lift up each other and we know need more strong, educated women in the LA. Women are the majority voters in CI, therefore we have the say. A vote for a woman is a vote for you and God has blessed us with a good cross-section women this election. Come on women we can do this.

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      • Anonymous says:

        So I’m supposed to wote for her because we’re both women? Sister, that is complete ignorance.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Where in life can you expect to get a job when you don’t show up for the interview? I say VOTE NO to ALL who did not show-up. I think this should remind them that they work for us (or you are the employee) and a no-show means YOU ARE FIRED and I wish we could say NO SERVANT PAY !!! Let show them Cayman Islands who is BOSS on April 14th

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  7. Kurt Christian says:

    Vote No !

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  8. Anonymous says:

    They are nothing but cowards and show pieces for Alden and have no respect for their constituents.

    They know that they would get obliterated by their competition so that is why they no show all the time.

    Barbara manage to get up there and couldn’t even string two words together without digging throw a mountain of papers that the PPM gave her with the answers. The least she could have done was try to memorize some of it before going there and making a fool out of herself.

    PPM has had it’s time and it’s time for them to go..

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    • Anonymous says:

      11:28 If the PPM go Cayman will be BACK to
      0!

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      • Anonymous says:

        Are you one of those people that drink Alden’s Kool Aid?

        He says Cayman can’t survive without him or his extension cords..Well, I think this election will prove him wrong..

  9. Anonymous says:

    The PPM continues to show it’s arrogance and pompousness. They believe that people will just vote for them and they don’t even need to speak to them.

    Alden and Austin hasn’t even had a meeting in Prospect yet. How shameful! Just based on that alone I can tell you this Red Bay Voter ain’t voting for Alden.

    I hear now that him and Austin are going to have a really big meeting but I wonder where they are going to get the people to attend this meeting? Are they going to bus them in from other districts because I can tell you me and my neighbors around here are fed up and if the couldn’t speak to us until now not even 10 tens away from election, we don’t want anything to do with either of them.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    No show, no vote for neither PPM nor Alliance. Independents all the way.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    In my opinion, give Lumsden a chance; we need new people, new ideas, new perspectives.

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    • Anonymous says:

      My sole encounter with Pearlina years ago left a bad taste in my mouth. She came across very materialistic and turning up her nose at ppl. Granted it was one encounter and she may not actually be this way but you know what they say about first impressions.

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    • Anonymous says:

      She can’t even run a carnival band. Do you really think she can help run the country?

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