Online poll Many want to move on from Rivers episode

Apparently, the people of the Cayman Islands are largely fed up with the saga of West Bay representative and Cabinet Minister Tara Rivers, voting to move on with the news.

The poll recorded 452 votes. Slightly more than one-third of them, 167 – or 36.9 percent – indicated they are ready to think about something else.

“Stop. Can we please move on?” finished foremost in last week’s opinion survey, suggesting weariness with the subject. Ms Rivers has done little to remove herself from controversy, however, recently spending a week in South Africa at a Commonwealth Parliamentary conference.

“The court made its decision, why take up more time when there are so many other matters to be seen to?” opined one frustrated voter. “Have courtesy and stop cluttering up the court system. Respect Chief Justice Smellie’s judgment and move on to a better pastime that benefits our islands.”

More cynically, a second voter was clearly dismayed: “I hope the electorate remembers how much time and money this has wasted,” the reader said, “should the defeated candidate decide to run against Tara [in the] next election.”

Standing second in the poll is the 132-vote – or 29.2 percent – option: “Yes. The constitutional issues at stake must be resolved,” justifying the reversion to the Court of Appeal.

One voter appealed for clarity and reason: “Since there still seems to be some divide on the ruling, specifically the pre-election ruling on other candidates compared to the more recent court ruling,” one wrote, alluding to the contested nominations of Bodden Town’s Richard Christian and Kent McTaggart, and George Town’s Sharon Roulstone.

“Otherwise, the haunting and confusion will continue to plague us. Truly we don’t need any more polarization in our country,” the voter finished.

Equally thoughtful opinion was provided by two others: “I need clarification: If you are born overseas to Caymanian parents can you run? Or if you became a citizen of another country, can you, then, not run?”

Further to the confusion – almost as an afterthought – came the denouement: “The time period away from the island should be tossed out of the election law,” the voter finished.

Third place in the poll went to the 111 votes, or 24.6 percent of the total, for “The initial decision was right. She is the best of her generation.”

The most thoughtful remark regarded the courtroom sentiment of Ms Rivers lead counsel, who cautioned the court against tampering with election results.

“Let the Hon. Tara Rivers get on with the job. She placed second in W[est] B[ay] in the general elections … she is clearly the people’s choice; plus she is the most qualified and most suitable for this job.

Fourth place went to “The Court of Appeals will decide”, gaining 38 votes, 8.4 percent of the total, while, finally, four voters placed fifth, voting “other,” and leaving two comments – one alluding to the Grand Court decision and one to Ms Rivers recent trip to South Africa.

“The passport issue is clear, but I don’t see how she was considered studying abroad,” said the first, baffled by the chief justice’s determination that London’s Allen & Overy law firm was “an educational institution,” thereby qualifying for the constitutional exemption to residency rules.

“My opinion has certainly changed since the SA trip … I think we’ve all been had,” was the final comment, voicing doubts about the newly minted minister’s Aug. 26 departure for an overseas tour, forcing her to miss the first substantive assembly session, the arrival and inauguration of Cayman’s new governor and, for the minister of education, the opening of the new school year.

Next week’s poll question:

The law mandates seat belts for all passengers.

Do you abide consistently?

Do you abide sometimes, but not always?

Do you use rear-seat seat belts?

Do you mostly ignore such restrictive and unnecessary “nanny state” regulations?


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