Elected politicians are the only group of Caymanian workers that are protected from competition from qualified expats in the workplace. The Cayman Islands Constitution prohibits expats from serving in the Legislative Assembly (LA). This begs the question: how would Caymanian politicians fare against expat politicians who have the advantage of a first-class education from the top universities of the world and who have that funny accent that Caymanians love so much? On the other hand, the average Caymanian seeking a job in the private sector must face competition in the workplace every day, much of it unfair, yet they are expected to grin and bear it. Based on their performance as representatives, I doubt that some Caymanian politicians would stand much chance of succeeding in the private sector.
Despite protection from competitive employment, too many of today’s politicians have failed to provide programs that would lift our people out of poverty so that they can enjoy a better standard of living. Our politicians know that education and technical training are instrumental to lifting people out of poverty. However, they have failed to provide our young people with a good education, while giving away the good jobs to expats and offering Caymanians jobs to clean the streets.
Please don’t misunderstand me. I agree that Caymanian politicians should be protected by our Constitution, that is how it should be, but there is downside to this kind of protection. Have the Cayman Islands have been getting the best political leaders possible? Unfortunately, I must conclude no. Too often we get incompetent and nonperforming politicians. This system of politics also gives politicians the wrong incentives to run for office, example big salary. The performance of politicians goes unchecked and despite recent changes to the Cayman Islands Constitution, there is no Code of Conduct to govern the behavior and performance of politicians. Consequently, this is why so many Caymanians have become frustrated with the government and lost hope in the future for the Cayman Islands. Worst of all, our young people believe that whatever they do it will not make a difference to the present political situation.
Unfortunately, greed, love of money and misguided politicians have taken the Cayman Islands in the wrong direction. Sadly, the wealth created in the Cayman Islands does not trickle down to the poor; instead, it flows up to the rich.
The young people, and for that matter all Caymanians, should be inspired and take courage from the recent victories of the Cruise Port Referendum (CPR) group and the group of concerned citizens who have successfully fought to protect the Smith Barcadere. I believe these two groups have changed the dynamics of Cayman politics for the future. The government can no longer think that they can bully small groups of citizens into submission with their propaganda. CPR has demonstrated that where groups are well organized, they can fight the government and win.
The performance of our politicians is public record that speak for themselves.
First, we have the Peoples Progressive Movement (PPM), (should have changed their name to Poor People Mistake) the party that has been in power for eight years. These politicians, including the Hon Premier Alden McLaughlin and his Ministers (by their action) are only concerned with themselves and their rich expat lawyer friends and big business. There has been little or no improvement in jobs for Caymanians. Excessive red tape that bars poor Caymanians from business opportunities. Thank you, Governor Anwar. I contend that what makes the best politician is what is in your heart and the ability to have compassion for the less fortunate in society. The PPM party proves that education, while important, does not make you the best politician. The PPM have failed the people.
There are a few independent elected politicians who want to help Caymanians who are suffering, but because of egoism and the inability to organized themselves, they are unable to offer any help. They have failed the people.
Finally, we have the Cayman Democratic Party (CDP), led by the Hon Speaker, Mr. McKeeva Bush. The CDP by their actions may have wanted to do good but just does not know how to do it. Case in point, is the Nation Building Fund. This program, like so many conceived by that party, could have done good for the people, but instead it was poorly planned and mismanaged. It is also questionable whether this party has the moral authority to lead the country. They have failed the people.
What happened to politicians Mr. Jim Bodden, our first National Hero, Ms. Anna Hulda Bodden and Mr. Gilbert McLean who gave us CINICO? Where would poor Caymanians be today without CINICO? Why don’t we have more politicians like these and like Mr. Ezzard Miller who has spent his political career fighting for Caymanians and the Cayman Islands? These are politicians who have been brave enough to stand up and fight for the rights of the Caymanian people.
Our politicians have failed us therefore we must a different way forward. There is hope. The Cayman Islands People’s Party is based on the principle of participatory democracy. A party by the people for the people. What we need are new political leaders who stand on principle and for the interest of all the people. Leaders like Shirley Roulstone, Johann Moxam, Katrina Jurn, Chris Saunders, Issac Rankin and Dr. Darley Solomon, should join Mr. Miller and his team at the People’s Party, which is focused on bringing a new kind of governance to Cayman – governance that invites and supports the active participation of people at the community level, not just at election time. Mr. Miller is smart, hardworking and is a proven leader. There other decent, smart and compassionate Caymanians who in the past did not want to get involved in politics because of its stigma. Now is the time to take a stand for your children and for your country.
About the author
Elected politicians are the only group of Caymanian workers that are protected from competition from qualified expats in the workplace.
Is a retired Cayman Islands senior civil servant.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily the views and opinions of the Cayman Islands People’s Party.