Treating only for Halloween

It would appear that long gone are the days when voters can count on a new refrigerator, washing machine or frozen turkey at election time.

Police Commissioner David Baines has been quite vocal about what will and won’t be tolerated in the run-up to the 22 May general election.

We thank him for his efforts.

There has been a long tradition of candidates gifting certain voters in return for their favourable mark at the polling station.

To deny it has happened is simply sticking your head in the sand.

Under the 2009 revision of the Elections Law, “treating” is defined as an offence for “every person who corruptly … provides or pays, wholly or in part, the expenses of giving or providing any food, drink, entertainment or provision to or for any persons for the purpose of corruptly influencing that person, or any other person, to vote or refrain from voting at such election … and every elector who corruptly accepts or takes any such food, drink, entertainment or provision”.
It makes it pretty clear that candidates can’t offer anything to influence a voter’s mark and that voters can’t ask for anything in return for their favourable decision for a candidate.

We say it’s about high time.

If a would-be politician is going to buy your vote, how honourable is he or she going to be when it comes to running our beloved country?

And if your going to ask for something in exchange for your vote, in what kind of condition are you putting the future of the Cayman Islands?

This year’s election isn’t only about the here and now. It’s about the long term. The decisions we make at the polling stations this year will set the course for the good ship Cayman Islands for future generations – for our children, grandchildren and onward.

We reiterate: Listen to what the candidates have to say on the important issues that face us. We’re a small country. We know or know of most of the candidates and their character. We need to vote for honesty and integrity, not for what we can benefit out of voting, but for the betterment of the Cayman Islands.

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