Clifford floats plan for third political ‘option’ here

Former tourism minister says he’ll return to political arena

Former tourism minister Charles Clifford said this week that he is seeking support to change Cayman’s two-party political system from the “failed” model adopted by many other Caribbean countries.

While not specifically stating his intentions for the next general election, Mr. Clifford said he will be involved in the political process either as a candidate or in “some other capacity”.

The former People’s Progressive Movement stalwart – who left the party last year – also said he hadn’t totally ruled out a return to the now-opposition party with which he said his “political ideologies’ are more closely aligned.

“But the more likely scenario, and the one I am preparing for, is the emergence of a third political option for our country,” Mr. Clifford said in a statement.

“My concern now with respect to the PPM is that the leadership and brand is very clearly liberal in its objectives, message and image, while the party base is very clearly conservative in its views,” he said.

New Opposition Leader Alden McLaughlin said this month that his party would seek to be inclusive and urged any residents – including longtime work permit holders – to join the PPM.

Feud with PPM

Mr. Clifford and the PPM leadership feuded in early 2010 over whether there should be a public march on the government administration building over immigration issues when the ruling United Democratic Party dropped plans to divest the government office accommodation project.

The PPM leadership declined to continue with the march; Mr. Clifford thought it should still take place.

Any political group he joins would support the following, Mr. Clifford said:

Adoption of a political model that is reflective of Caymanian values and does not promote a divided society.

Establishing single-member constituent districts; Cayman voters in the Islands’ more populous districts current cast votes for several candidates.

Improving government accountability and “stamping out” corruption

Approval of a “meaningful” National Conservation Law

Economic protection for established industries with a policy that will “carefully suggest and introduce other compatible service industries”

Preventing the local labour force – Caymanian and expatriate – from abuses by employers

Ensuring that every Caymanian who is seeking employment is placed in an appropriate job, in accordance with qualifications.

“I believe that, as a country, we have made a mistake in adopting a political party model and political culture that has failed so many other countries,” Mr. Clifford said.

“The question is, how many others in the system will step forward and admit the same, or will I have to stand alone?”

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Mr. Cliffords heart and soul are in the right place and he cares about the people of this country. It is a shame that the former leader used him to further the political agenda of his party and failed to back Mr. Clifford on important occasions. The most obvious was when he failed to use the legal weapon in the election dispute in Bodden Town. It was lame and a political blunder to say they had no money for lawyers when in fact, access to legal talent is always available from within their own party. Their own supporters were discouraged. The final blow came when the former leader pulled the rug out from under him when a march on the Glass House to bring attention to the selling off of government property was being organized. It worked anyhow; it made the ruling party stop the sale. The former leader has yet to give a coherent reason why he did not support the march and never recovered politically. Mr. Cliffords actions prove that he is an effective dynamic leader in his short time in elective office. Furthermore, he is not an unprecedented delusional politician in any sense of the word. A third party is definitely something to contemplate while he strategizes his next move in the political arena. One thing for certain, whatever he does, he will have support on all levels and thats what a good general does.

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  2. Can anyone interpret Mr. Alden McLaughlins invitation to WORK PERMIT HOLDERS TO JOIN THE PPM PARTY?!
    such unbalanced ideology in itself is a LOSING SITUATION FOR CAYMANIANS where a PPM or opposition leader is inviting foreigners to join the political party system.

    People dont be fooled.

    Your survival lies in a new party system. the UDP and the PPM are your doom.

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