Today’s Editorial for January 30: Last chance to register

Pretty much every resident of the Cayman Islands knows by now that we face challenging times.

The global economy is reeling; tourism numbers are declining; our financial services industry is under siege by the US Government, the OECD and now even the UK’s Trade Union Congress.

We look to our Government to make things better and complain when it doesn’t. But citizens of this country really have to earn the right to complain by doing their civic duty and voting in Cayman’s elections.

At the core of every democracy is the franchise of voting, the expression of the public’s free will. In many countries of the world, the public has had to fight for this right, sometimes in bloody conflicts.

Here in the Cayman Islands, the voting franchise came peacefully, but this does not mean we should appreciate what it represents any less.

On 20 May the electors of this country will head to the polls to vote in what is arguably one of the most important elections ever held here. In addition to electing the leaders who will see us through the next four years of these challenging times, voters may have the opportunity to decide whether to accept the proposed new constitution that will come out of the negotiations with the United Kingdom.

Although the elections are still more than three months away, those eligible to vote only have until this Sunday to register to cast ballots in that election.

The Elections Office staff and others are doing everything they can to make sure that those who are eligible to register to vote can do so if they want to before the deadline for the upcoming election. Voter registration drives have taken place all over the island this week and will continue right up to the deadline.

There will be another voter’s registration drive today at the University College of the Cayman Islands and the Elections Office will remain open until midnight on Sunday to accommodate any last-minute registrations.

We’re down to a matter of hours for those who have still not registered to vote in the upcoming election to do so. Citizens who care the least about this country, its future, their own future, or the future of their prodigy, should make sure they register to vote if they are eligible, and then vote in May’s election. Only if they do that have they earned the right to complain about the government.