Count on independents

The peaceful and constructive proceedings of the Legislative Assembly by the new premier and ministers are in contrast to the sometimes bitter political fighting of the political party governments of the last few years. Even as the UDP and PPM parties are now the weak minority opposition in the LA, their leaders continue to politically fight each other in the LA.  

The electorate needs to consider the possible damage that political party governments have caused in the Cayman Islands by dividing some of the people, the “wear your colours” requests of some party politicians, their excessive spending and borrowing and a failure to publish consolidated audited accounts in the past seven years. This is in contrast to the teams and independent member governments prior to the year 2000 under which the Cayman Islands flourished and the UK never had to intervene as it did with the Framework for Fiscal Responsibility in recent years, which protects the Cayman people. 

How can some of the party politicians expect the electorate to believe that they have a solution to problems such as the large borrowings and spending beyond government’s means and causing deficits in breach of the Public Management and Finance Law, which they themselves caused or assisted in causing? If they had the solutions they should not have created the problems in the first place. 

Political party governments talk big and spend big, but at times leave a heavy financial burden on the people and the next generation as is now the position.  

Some political parties in small countries are normally dominated by their leader and do not function fully the way parties in some larger countries do. Therefore it is important for the electorate to look carefully at the political party leaders past record in government as it may show them the path the political followers may have to follow. If they excessively spent the public’s money, borrowed large sums, had deficits on government accounts and published no government consolidated audits, then they may probably do so again.  

Under the new 2009 Constitution, the excessive powers given to the premier should be reduced, consolidated audited accounts enforced and checks and balances with sanctions and penalties put in the Constitution itself as has been done in the 2011 Turks and Caicos constitution. 

The finances of the Cayman Islands should never be a politician’s responsibility but, as in the past, remain under a financial secretary who is qualified, experienced and capable and not political. 

Speaking generally, many Caribbean countries went politically independent because the political parties did not want the UK to oversee their spending of the public’s money and wanted to be free to spend as they wished. Their politicians harassed the UK to get political independence and afterwards contributed to destroying their country.  

Many of those country’s nationals had to go to Cayman and other countries to make a living for their families. Especially those who came to Cayman should be careful of who they vote for so as not to repeat the problems of their own countries here as they probably have nowhere else to run to. 

Remember that politicians who buy your vote (which is illegal) will sell your country as has happened in some other islands. 

The private member’s motion in the last LA recently, which was advisory and was moved by the LA Member for East End (but rightly was voted against by a majority of LA members) to consider a fee of .0025 per cent on all bank transactions and .05 per cent annually on all deposits held at financial institutions in Cayman, is an example of how Caymans financial centre may be damaged by politicians. Bank deposits can be moved electronically in a few seconds to banking centres in other countries which do not have those fees. They would welcome the extra business but it would mean a loss of jobs and income to Cayman.  

Remember that the LA Member for East End when a minister in government spent large sums of government’s money on new roads. How much of this was spent in East End? 

We urge the electorate to look carefully at the abilities and qualities of the candidates and especially the political party leaders and to vote for capable independent candidates to bring stability and prosperity back to the Cayman Islands.  

 

John McLean 

Truman Bodden 

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