Going down slippery slope

As one individual who has, from time to time, expressed opinions in the press, as have many others, I have tried to take guidance from the comments and opinions expressed by the older, wiser heads who offer their experience for our benefit.

The letter from former Executive Council members, Mr. Truman Bodden and Mr. John McLean published in 3 April, 2009, newspaper is the best advice that has ever been offered to the Caymanian public in recent times and the wiser ones amongst the voting population will do well to heed and follow it.

I can give a clear example of what they have spoken about from my experience as a young Caymanian who was raised and educated in post-independence Jamaica, as some others of my generation and the generation before us have been.

My ties to Jamaica are through family connections from the Caymanian migration to that country that took place in the 1950s and 60s, which makes Jamaica a second home to us and very dear to our hearts.

The process that Messrs Bodden and McLean have pointed out is the very process that has had the political party system destroy the beautiful country of Jamaica to the point where some of us do not any longer recognise it as the country we grew up in.

Let me list the comparable situation in the Cayman Islands. Both political parties, PPM and UDP, along with their religious cronies, the Cayman Ministers Association and the 7th Day Adventist Church, have negotiated a draft constitution with the British Government that has, as pointed out, given the political leaders more power over the affairs of the people of the Cayman Islands, if it is approved by those people. This deal also denies any legal protection against discrimination and victimisation by the Government and private citizens against non-party and church members because no one can expect or trick an intelligent person like myself into believing that there will not now be open discrimination against people who do not openly express party and church membership if this constitution is approved, with absolutely no constitutional protection or legal redress in the courts of the Cayman Islands.

How this system destroyed Jamaica is that after it was entrenched, all citizens who were not aligned to a political party were completely shut out of jobs, business contracts and economic opportunities and almost politically-motivated civil war reigned between party members for the election of the party that would guarantee their dominance in the society.

This climate defined the political and economic landscape of Jamaica during the late 1970s and the 1980s and is only now beginning to wane.

What will happen in Cayman is that now the membership of the Cayman Islands Ministers Association and their families will be expected to vote for the UPD and the membership of the 7th Day Adventist Church for the PPM, as the political parties who sponsored these churches policies and views in influencing the laws of the land by involvement in the constitutional process.

It also can be taken as a given that these church memberships and their associates and affiliates will have expectations from their respective political alliances in terms of favours returned.

Is this the situation that the average Caymanian wishes to be faced with in the future development of the Cayman Islands?

Any intelligent person should be able to see the potential before them as advised openly now by these two wise and experienced ex-politicians, should vote a resounding ‘NO’ on this draft constitution until a less politically and religiously aligned one can be negotiated that has the approval of a majority of Caymanian citizens, free of political and religious influence.

Ricardo Tatum