The 2021 elections season here in Cayman and globally will be one for the history books - and not only as a standard record of democracy in action.
A quick glance across the global political landscape sees elections across the Caribbean, the UK, Europe, Africa and Asia.
And although the US had its presidential and Congressional mid-terms last year, the roll-over to 2021 has continued the drama from last year.
There’s one common theme in all of these elections; the COVID-19 pandemic and how respective governments - Cayman included - have responded in managing its impact on their citizens and their economies.
The handling of the crisis, both the public health and economic aspects, is the dominant feature of all the campaigns.
Where sitting governments, possibly with the exception of the former Trump administration in the US, have broadly received plaudits for how they’ve managed the public health element of the pandemic, the perception generally is not the same for their handling of the economic fallout.
That has led to incumbents in Cayman and globally ramping up their bid for re-election by focusing on how worse it might have been had they not taken the steps they took.
And while some step away from the fray, there’s a surge of new faces and former challengers joining current opposition in vying to take over the reins of power.
That is as visible and impactful in Cayman as it is in the Turks and Caicos Islands, Aruba, St Lucia, Haiti and Honduras in the Caribbean and Americas; the London mayoral, assembly and local elections, and Scottish elections in the UK; general elections in Germany, the Netherlands and Italy in Europe; general elections in Japan and controversial legislative elections in Hong Kong; and a flood of elections across Africa including Nigeria, and the just-held controversial vote in Uganda.
In addition to a plethora of specific local issues, the global pandemic has become central to local politics.
This is an issue that Caymanian Times will continue to cover given our local/global remit and reflection the local and global profile of the Cayman Islands.
In our jurisdiction, we are already seeing the makings of what is shaping up to be one of the most keenly contested in recent history.
Several candidate declarations have already been made in this paper and all indications point to a slate of candidate for this election with party, group, and individual manifestos bursting at the seams with issues competing for priority attention.
It’s clear to us, the candidates and the voters that COVID-19, the management of the crisis here and its impact locally is the dominant issue.
Cayman is quite likely the most global of Caribbean countries and territories, and the process and outcome of this election will be closely watched internationally.
There are already some good ideas coming forward and here at Caymanian Times Election Center we’ll be scrutinising the policies of the contenders.
We expect candidates to be frank and innovative in their plans to move Cayman forward both locally and in the global sphere as we navigate our way out of the COVID-19 pandemic and build a future for Cayman together.