If public opinion is to be believed, “not much” hope exists for post-election solutions to the problems that beset the Cayman Islands, according to an overwhelming percentage of respondents to the latest cayCompass.com online poll.
While the 6 to 12 May survey cannot be regarded as scientific, nearly 660 respondents indicate some measure of common feeling about elections, the candidates on offer and the positions each has taken.
More than 40 per cent – 40.2, in fact – felt the prospects were slim for social improvements, expressed most bluntly in one succinct, if broad-brush, comment that “our elected officials are all a bunch of crooked bozos who are just looking after themselves.”
Grammatical difficulties aside, the remark captures a weariness that seems to generalise to many among the electorate. Running a distant second to harbouring “not much” confidence that newly elected officials will correct Cayman’s problems, was “none at all”, registering 22.8 per cent, making 63 per cent in total declaring themselves less than sanguine about 22 May.
“Sadly, history has shown us that Cayman’s politicians are only concerned with their own circumstance; Cayman’s voters fail to see reality,” one offered. Another held out no hope “if the undemocratic party” were returned, although not specifying which of the three parties that meant.
Running a close third, however, at 21.3 per cent, was the suggestion that hope continued to haunt the electoral halls, proposing “a little” confidence that a new government would address solutions.
Aside from a brief “depends on who is elected” comment, the most thoughtful answer was that, while the slate of fresh candidates was welcome, they were, sadly, “inexperienced, naive and elitist, needing “a few years for them to come to grips with the chokehold of the civil service, the Public Management and Finance Law, and [an] appreciat[ion] of the real, desperate issues facing hundreds of lower-income, hard-working and honest families”.
Still, the roster of independents, and expanded lists featuring new faces on both the PPM and UDP ballots, held out at least a possibility for change, according to another “a little” respondent.
“With more people running in the upcoming election, it gives a slight sense of hope that perhaps new ideas will be brought to the table. However that hope is again only slight, because old ideas (past candidates) still have a higher chance of being elected.
“Personally, I believe it is time for the new to outweigh the old, especially if we are to have any chance of correcting the current problems,” the respondent wrote.
While roughly comprising only one-fifth of those polled, “a little” nonetheless significantly outpaced the 11.4 per cent who expressed “a lot” of hope for solutions, although even that was tempered with doubt – and a measure of unalloyed partisanship.
“Providing the right persons are elected,” went one refrain, while another voter believed that The Progressives had the answers: “Voting for ‘a lot’, but provided the PPM are elected.”
Two others vowed to vote for the UDP in pursuit of solutions, while a fifth believed that “with Juliana” the Cayman Islands might find answers to its problems.
The range of opinion finally finished with “I don’t know”, gaining only 28 votes and 4.3 per cent of responses. One reluctant voter offered a pithy summary: “It depends on if the voted-in candidates work together or just keep fighting amongst themselves, but I’d like to think things will improve.”
Another suggested the question should be asked post-election, while a third opined similarly: “It depends entirely on who we elect.”
Next week’s poll question:
Is corruption in Cayman “endemic”?
Absolutely, it’s pervasive
It’s a serious problem, but honest people still predominate.
It’s blown out of proportion by the Auditor-General and the media
Cayman has very little corrupt activity
I don’t know