Editorial for 01 May: Voter pledge for anti-corruption

It’s a laudable goal set forth by the Anti-Corruption
Commission and the Cayman Islands Elections Office to encourage voters to take
a stand against corruption this election season.

It’s also positive to see Deputy Governor Franz Manderson
and the government’s chief officers leading by example and agreeing to abide by
the terms of this pledge.

Yet, from everything that we’ve heard, the campaigns of
vote-buying continue on unabated just a few weeks before the general election.

This country needs quite a bit more than voter pledges and
symbolic acts by public officials to combat its corruption problems around
election time.

To assist in moving forward, we at the Caymanian Compass
would ask all politicians and civil service managers to agree to the following
pledges, in addition to the voter’s agreement:

1. That the Cayman Islands enact real political campaign
finance reporting laws, that require both individuals and political parties/groups/formations
to report all donations they receive and from whom for the entire period of the
election, not just the last six weeks. Those reports should be released
periodically and prior to the general election date.

2. That the next government pledge, within the first year of
being elected, to give the Commission for Standards in Public Life the
requisite legal “teeth” it needs to enforce violations of the standards it sets
out. This has not been done in the commission’s first three years of existence.

3. That reasonable equal time laws for the electronic and
print media coverage be applied to all organisations.

It is only when these reforms are enacted that the Cayman
Islands will be on the true path to modern and acceptable rules for democratic
campaigns.

 

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