Sharon Roulstone has announced as an independent candidate in the district of George Town for the 22 May general election.
“I am a 10th generation Caymanian, born and raised in the heart of George Town where I have lived all my life. I attended Cayman Prep and Triple C and later went on to university in the United States. After returning home to work for a time, I furthered my education by earning a law degree from the University of Liverpool, through the Cayman Islands Law School.
“After being called to the Cayman Bar, I accepted a position with WS Walker & Co. (now Walkers) and in 2003 I co-founded my own firm, growing it to a respectable mid-tier firm in a relatively short time.
“Over the years, I have served on the boards of the Chamber of Commerce, the National Trust, the Cayman Arts Festival, the Caymanian Bar Association, as well as membership in the Caymanian Law Society and many others. I am a member of the Cayman Islands Baptist Church and serve on its National Missions Committee. In 2010, I was awarded the Certificate & Badge of Honour by HM Queen Elizabeth II for services to the Cayman community.
“I have also served on numerous Cayman Islands government statutory boards and have served as chairman of many of them, including CINICO, the Maritime Authority, the Civil Service Appeals Commission, the Immigration Board and the Work Permit Board, where I gained a broad understanding of the workings of government, and, at times, the failings of our successive governments.
“Now, in 2013, I reflect on the progress that Caymanians have made, but I also observe those things that we seem to have lost along the way. When I was young, we were our brother’s keeper. There were no social or racial divides and respect for others was the rule by which we all lived.
“I have always been involved in the affairs of Cayman from as far back as I can remember, but for the first time, I am truly worried about the direction in which we seem to be headed. My decision to run for public office has come about, not so much as a desire to be involved, but more out of a moral obligation to do so.
“Over the course of recent political administrations, the interests of the people of these Islands have not been represented in the true spirit of democracy.
“Government of, for and by the people must be restored. Hope and dignity must be restored.
“Over the last 12 years, we have seen the takeover of our government by political parties. They have told us that such parties are a necessity in order to govern, but what they have really achieved is the ability to lord over the common man and woman. In a country where just a dozen years ago we worked together, we now must consider whether it will be normal to live with successive governments that lavish themselves with private security guards, private chefs and chauffeurs whilst they squander our tax dollars on huge projects contracted to overseas companies, unexplained excessive travel expenditures and divisive politics where only party supporters are able to progress. This has been the effect of party politics on our culture and I am hopeful that you will join with me to ensure that this arrogant form of governance does not become our new normal.
“We come from a proud heritage of hard work and integrity. We see that being diminished to a heritage of entitlement by patronising politicians who only remember their people every four year election cycle, in trade for a microwave or a turkey or a $50 bill. We deserve better, and we need to demand better for ourselves and for our future generations.
“A better future can begin now by taking the decision that we will not succumb to those who burden us with massive debt, whilst they lavish benefits on themselves. The time has come to only vote for those who will provide substantive financial relief in the form of employment opportunities so that our people can pay their own way and restore dignity to themselves and their families. We can have better, now, by committing to electing independent thinkers who do not need the office of parliament for employment purposes but rather, are committed to seeking better opportunities for others. For people like you. We can have better, now, by committing to vote for real statesmen and women who will put the interests of you, the people, above party, above self, in the true spirit of democracy.
“Our government was founded on the principles of democracy and it is time we got back to our political roots.”