More than 61 per cent of the respondents to last week’s cayCompass.com online poll think the sale and serving of alcohol on days of elections or referendums should be normal or extended, rather than banned as it is currently.
Of the 648 respondents, the largest segment of them – 342 people or 52.8 per cent – said they thought every licensed premises should be operating as normal.
“Just card everyone,” said one person. “If they can’t provide a non-local ID, then don’t serve them, but for the sake of our economy, quit driving nails into the coffin of an already fragile tourism industry.”
“Duty free should be open to visitors and non-Caymanians should be allowed to drink as they are not allowed to vote,” said someone else. “Those able to vote should be prevented from drinking or buying alcohol while the polls are open.”
“Obviously the government thinks its citizens are irresponsible cretins who, without these kind of archaic laws, wouldn’t be able to restrain themselves from getting pig-faced drunk on election day,” said another person. “This is embarrassing and signifies the government’s acknowledgement that Cayman is nothing more than a Third World Banana Republic.”
“What happened to being personally accountable for your actions?” asked one respondent. “If a person is visibly drunk, they forfeit their right to vote.”
“If you don’t trust your citizens to stay sober enough to vote, how can you trust them to make rational decisions on voting even when they are sober?” asked someone else. “But as usual, Cayman lives in the Stone Age and treats its citizens like children.”
“It’s insulting for the Cayman Islands government to assume that electors will take the day off to get drunk and consequently vote stupidly,” said another person.
“Alcohol shouldn’t be sold to residents, but visitors should have the ability to buy in restaurants, their hotels, hotel bars, duty free, etc.,” commented one person. “To completely ban the sale of alcohol is just hurting ourself. Caymanians, I am sure, will drink on Wednesday – they’ll just buy on Tuesday.”
“The banning of the sale of alcohol is a harking back to a bygone era of the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ with the former controlling the latter by use of whiskey and rum – depending where you were located,” said one person. “Time to cast off that vestige of control once and for all. And while we are at it, cut the Sunday trading ban as well. That Cayman disappeared in the ’80s – just ask all those in Northward.”
“If I was a tourist down on holiday and was told I could not buy a drink in a hotel. I would never again return to the Cayman Islands, ever,” said someone else. Fifty-five people – 8.5 per cent – believe bars should be open longer than usual on election/referendum days to celebrate democracy in action. “It should be mandatory that people become intoxicated on election day,” said one person.
Another large segment of respondents – 182 people or 28.1 per cent – agree with the current law that states no alcohol should be sold while polls are open. “There are good reasons to change laws – including, perhaps, this one – but the loss of a few dollars every now and then is not one of them,” said one person. “When we place commerce ahead of all other considerations – be they cultural, spiritual, moral, social or practical – we head down a slippery slope.”
However, several others who agreed with the law would like to see it tweaked.
“Tourist resorts should not be included in this ban,” said one person.
“An exception should be to the duty free tourists not consuming the product on the Island,” said someone else.
“I agree that there should be no alcohol sold while the polls are open, but the extension of that prohibition to the duty free shops at the airport is ludicrous,” said another person.
Forty-eight people – 7.4 per cent – support Cayman adopting an even more conservative view like Mexico, where no alcohol is served 24 hours before an election.
“I prefer my government not to be elected by a drunk or hung-over public,” said one person. “Just a few weeks ago there was cry that the blood alcohol level was too high and now they scream to be able to serve drinks,” said someone else.
“The electors minds are already polluted with political rhetoric,” said another person. “Let us remove one other form of mind pollution – alcohol.” Another 21 people – 3.2 per cent – thought Cayman should ban even the consumption of alcohol on elections days. “I know it’s important to strike a balance and truthfully, I’m happy I’m not the one making the decision for the entire Cayman,” said one person. “However, in my humble opinion, the safest route would be the ban on all local alcohol. All duty free alcohol leaving Cayman is fine for sale. But then again, I’m really not sure what the law states.”
Next week’s poll question
What do you think of the government’s decision to implement a payroll tax on work permit holders only?
I’m Caymanian and I support it
I’m Caymanian and I don’t support it
I’m non-Caymanian and I accept it
I’m non-Caymanian and I don’t support it
I’m a non-Caymanian and I don’t live in Cayman