Politicians should earn pay

I read with great interest a recent online posting in a local newspaper.

The anonymous author of that piece was adamant that politicians actually work for their salary.

In fact, I am a proponent of this obvious yet understated proposition that our politicians should be working a lot harder for their salaries.

In all honesty, I have always been perplexed as to how politicians can run for public office, get elected and actually do nothing for another four years.

It almost seems apparent that the people are willing to accept this level of idleness because time and time again those same persons are returned to public office.

By returning them to office are we not saying that we are pleased with their performance?

I believe that any person who had undertaken the role of offering themselves to the people of this country should do so with proper care and consideration as to what an awesome responsibility that will be.

Many sacrifices will have to be made at both the personal and professional levels.

The role of politician in Cayman is not an easy one.

For example, everywhere you go people will discuss politics and whatever other issues concern them. If you are with your family or friends on a social outing you still have to be prepared for the possibility that constituents and residents alike will stop and engage you in conversation.

In all honesty this is to be expected and accepted as par for the course in such a small community.

It amazes me how many people will put themselves up as a candidate and yet not realize what will become a part of their daily reality.

In my estimation, this may very well explain why so many men are more inclined to run for public office than their female counterparts.

They are fortunate enough to have the support of a loving wife and kids and are just as easily able to disassociate themselves from their family obligations and responsibilities; the whole time knowing that their wives will pick up the necessary slack.

It’s a rather interesting social statement. Indeed, many politicians have such varied and lucrative businesses outside of public office that is quite easy to see why they simply do not have time for the people.

In fact, they tend to acquire more business interests when they get into public office.

Many politicians are not living up to their end of the bargain. Many of them can find the time for bar room sessions and the like but cannot make themselves available to their constituents during regular office hours.

It’s a bit of an anomaly really but I understand that in addition to their excellent compensation packages they are also allotted a budget to maintain an office. Where does that money go? Why can we not find our politicians when we need them? These are all valid questions that as voters we are entitled to have the answer to.

Have you ever tried reaching a politician on the phone? How many of them openly make their phone numbers available on their publications promising better and more responsible government?

How many of them have regular meetings to update you on any progress being made (except for election time of course).

In terms of solutions, I think that many strides could be made toward controlling this type of behaviour. We need some concrete legislative measures to ensure good governance, transparency and accountability. One way in which we can achieve this is that the current Register of Interests that has to be submitted by all candidates should be made a public document.

Furthermore, as politicians acquire new financial interests those should also be added and made available to the public as well.

I am also a supporter of limiting the types of businesses and quantity of interests that someone can hold whilst in public office. To some persons this may seem a bit extreme. However, the business of running this country on behalf of the people of the Cayman Islands is not easy task and should be undertaken with a certain amount of seriousness and complete dedication.

Sandra Catron

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