It is often said that there are no ideological differences between our two political parties and that perhaps there should be no differences. The leader of the opposition is often touting that the reason for his negative antics is that he is in opposition. However a sensible person would ask; in opposition to what; the conduct of the other Party’s members or the collective vision of that party?
For too long, Caymanians have disregarded the role of ideas in public life and politicians have not been required to present to the people a clear vision of who they are, and where it is they are being taken; the challenges and sacrifices they will encounter getting there.
Vision 2008 was supposed to have given us this blueprint, but it did not. I am not surprised it failed in this respect because Vision 2008 lacked the passion and resolve that is needed to bind people together by making their dreams for the future more than an administrative exercise. Politics involves the passions of the citizens as much as it involves the instruments to harness or restrain those passions. Politics will always be in many respects emotional and irrational as well as logical and pragmatic. As individuals we are moved by dreams, but this is also so in our collective lives. So as we ask what is lacking in Cayman today perhaps we might say passion and commitment to a vision which embraces the majority of us. Both the opposition and the governing party have failed miserably in providing this spiritual food which is needed to kindle the flames of nationhood. But must this vision be built on outdated petty nationalistic rhetoric as is being preached by the PPM? I think not. But I also believe that if the UDP is to continue to govern then that Party and its leadership must develop a clear ideological basis for its pro economic development and assimilation’s rhetoric or it will fail miserably. For people must be thought to know the roles each one must play and the rewards and security each will receive for cooperating with this collective good. It is for this reason nations have leaders and for this reason leader must have the ability to bring out of us those qualities which support our common vision as defined by our political institution and leadership. This vision cannot just be the administrative rules or norms developed by the British and packed into a new constitution. This vision must be born of our hearts, and our minds and our souls. This vision must come from deep within us. From the same place where religion and spirituality is born and nurtured, because in the end politics is a religion and its church is the state.
The leader of the state is therefore like the high priest commanding obedience to a collective dream; for life is but a dream. Remember Mosses, Dr. Martin Luther King, JFK, Winston Churchill and others. Not all visions are good but without a vision the people shall perish.