There was little doubt as this week began who would be the
Cayman Islands premier. But whatever doubt that might have remained was blown
away following a jam-packed public meeting in West Bay that all but assured
independent legislator Tara Rivers would take up a ministerial post within the
We congratulate Ms Rivers, and also Premier Alden McLaughlin
and his Progressives party, for setting aside their political differences and
putting – as the Coalition for Cayman might say – “Country First”.
Make no mistake, despite the overwhelming support for her
choice to take up the ministerial post displayed by West Bayers on Monday
night, this decision to join up with an otherwise all-Progressives Cabinet does
bear some political risk for Ms Rivers. Surely, the crafty veteran politico
that is former Premier McKeeva Bush will not miss a chance in the next election
to remind voters that Ms Rivers “joined the Progressives”, despite her declared
lack of party affiliation.
However, Ms Rivers has taken that risk, stepped up, and has
done what her constituents believe is best for the country. That, in our view,
is true leadership.
Other Coalition for Cayman-supported candidates might have
taken a lesson from their younger counterpart.
To be blunt, we would have found little point of Mr. Winston
Connolly and we find little point of Mr. Roy McTaggart “beating about on the
opposition benches” – as Premier-elect McLaughlin put it – for the next four
years. We believe both of these men have a great deal to offer this country and
would be better used adding to the strength of a Progressives-led government,
even if it is as backbench members.
We know C4C-endorsed candidates signed a pledge not to work
with a government led by Mr. McLaughlin, but in the end the Progressives leader
and his party members won this race fair and square. Over the next four years,
the Cayman Islands will need all capable hands on deck. We hope all members of
the new government and opposition will now truly put “Country First”.