A DATE TO DETERMINE OUR DESTINY
Whatever the shape of the government that takes office after the April 14th election, one thing is clear; the issues confronting Cayman will still be there demanding urgent attention and action.
The list is well-established and has been often-referenced in the election campaign.
Here’s a reminder:
Cost of living, traffic congestion, the pace of development and whether Caymanians are part of it and the real beneficiaries from it and affordable housing appear to top the list.
Access to healthcare, the cost of health insurance, pension premiums, the two-track education system, threats to the environment and Cayman’s delicate ecosystems follow close behind.
Competing for attention are economic diversification, import duty reform, the incessant scrutiny and demands on the economically-critical financial service sector, and the shape going forward of the tourism industry - the other pillar of the economy.
Another recurring issue has been the absence of a national development plan...or the implementation deficit thereof.
And lurking in the background are issues of voting rights, permanent residence and who among Cayman’s diverse population should qualify, not just to vote, ultimately to run for public office.
And speaking of population and development...how much is too much?
How close to saturation is Cayman?
Are we at risk of becoming victims of our - or someone’s else’s - success?
The list is as long as it is urgent, and it touches on just about every facet of Cayman society.
And at the centre of all that is the all-embracing issue of the pandemic and its link to the vaccination programme which is further linked to how and when to reopen the borders and the economy.
It’s clear that whoever gets elected, forms the government, or ends up on the opposition benches, an overflowing inbox awaits.
Cayman is at a crossroads now more than ever.
This election marks a turning point for the jurisdiction, not only for the issues confronting us, but by implication, the very way we do politics.
It is said that politics is local - and it is indeed the local vote that elects our MPs who are ultimately accountable to us.
But Cayman is accountable to the wider world, possibly more so than most other countries in this region for the mere fact the jurisdiction has an enviable global imprint.
The world is watching and has a vested interest in what happens in Cayman.
There are but two other countries in the Caribbean region which command that type of attention, albeit for different reasons; Cuba because of its communist political system and Guyana because of its potential as an emerging oil powerbroker.
For this election, all eyes are indeed on Cayman; from East End to West Bay, The Brac and Little Cayman...and from London to Luxembourg and beyond.
We - and the world - await the outcome of Wednesday’s election...