Bodden Town candidate Sandra Catron launched her political meeting schedule last Thursday in Newlands, telling attendees that independent candidates can make a difference.
‘Don’t be fooled by this political rhetoric that says that if you’re not affiliated with a party, you can’t get anything done,’ she said. ‘There’s a lot of power in one. One person gets the ball rolling.’
Ms Catron told a story about how she, by meeting with a woman who had been the victim of an unsolved rape, made inquiries to the police that got the ball rolling to reopen the case, ultimately leading to a conviction for the crime.
‘Don’t tell me one person can’t make a difference,’ she said.
Ms Catron compared the political party members to crabs in a bucket, all dragging each other down instead of helping each other up.
Full time representation
Ms. Catron noted that some Members of the Legislative Assembly apparently do not see the position as a full-time job.
‘I promise you, and you can hold me to this, if elected on May 20th, you will get full-time representation,’ she said, adding that she would keep regular office hours to make herself available to her constituents.
Oliver McLean, a young Caymanian who introduced Ms Catron, noted that Sandra was already doing a lot of work for the people, such as her efforts to have the government create a sex offenders registry and to enact legislation pertaining to a missing persons procedure.
‘She is not even a representative yet and already she is making a difference,’ he said.
‘No’ to the constitution
Ms. Catron explained why she would vote no in the upcoming referendum on the draft constitution.
‘The reason why is Section 16 was changed – in a last minute strategic manoeuvre – to take away the right to discriminate, so now any of us can be discriminated against,’ she said. ‘I can not in good conscience vote yes for the constitution.’
Ms Catron said that at a press conference after the government’s constitutional negotiations with the UK, speakers had one by one said the draft document was far from perfect.
‘How many of you would accept something that is far from perfect?’ she asked the audience. ‘We all have standards. There are things we can accept and things we won’t accept.
Ms Catron said people have told her that her stance on the constitution will lose her some votes in the election.
‘It’s not about votes,’ she said. ‘It’s about doing what is right for the country.’
Ms. Catron said an assessment needed to be done on government to make it more efficient.
‘If we’re not willing to trim the fat, then we will see our government expand with no measure of control,’ she said, acknowledging that some of the things she was saying would not be popular with everyone.
‘If you want to elect someone to office who you want to tell you what you want to hear, please don’t vote for me, because sometimes there are things that need to be said.’
Sabrina Schirn murder
Ms Catron voiced strong opinions on the murder of Sabrina Schirn, and the fact that a Northward prison inmate on a work-release farming programme was arrested for the crime.
‘They should have suspended [Commissioner of Corrections and Rehabilitation William Rattray] immediately and started an investigation,’ she said.
‘Why do we have prisoners farming anyway?’ she asked. ‘Is that something they can do when they get out? How many farms are there in Cayman?’
Ms Catron suggested a more sensible work programme at the prison would involve vocational training so the prisoners would have more marketable skills when released.
Speaking about Mr. Rattray’s comment that all the prisoners could not be watched during the work-release detail, Ms Catron suggested ‘real world solutions’ like security towers with 360-degree sightlines for prison guards.