Online poll: Much improved grades for Progressives

The Progressives-led government has made a dramatic improvement over the last eight months in the eyes of the populace, according to the results of last week’s online poll. 

Of the 509 respondents to the one-week poll, 45.8 percent of them said they would give the Progressives either an “excellent” or “good” grade, while 28.3 percent of the respondents would grade them either “poor” or “terrible.” Last September, when poll respondents were asked to grade the performance of the Progessives, only 20.5 percent gave them excellent or good grades, while 52.5 percent graded them poor or terrible. 

Ninety people – 17.7 percent – gave the government an “excellent” grade this time around, compared to 4.8 percent last September. 

“The best educated and cohesive government we’ve ever had,” said one person. 

“Good management of the economy,” said another respondent. “Business is doing better, no scandals and a premier who we can be proud of.” 

“The Progressives lead with integrity, logic and due process,” said someone else. 

“A stable and trustworthy government,” commented one person. 

“I think Minister Rivers has brought about positive change and a dynamic perspective,” said someone else. “Her initiatives on minimum wage, her perspective on industry training programs and opportunities and the general approach of the ministry has been refreshing and inspiring. The implementation of the graduate criteria for public schools and national guidelines for preschool registration were long overdue. What I particularly value about the ministry is its willingness to enter into strategic partnerships and collaborate on community projects. This demonstrates a growth and a development in our approach that has been a long time coming.” 

Another 143 people – 28.1 percent – thought the Progressives deserved a “good” grade. This compares to 15.7 percent of the people who graded them as “good” last September. 

“Steady progress on major projects, no back-hand deals and lowering the cost of living,” said one person. “Some visible reduction of civil service would have made the grade excellent.” 

“From the point of view of business, the PPM-led government has brought and engendered stability,” said someone else. “The chaotic, rollicking, roller-coaster ride of the UDP is a distant (but frightening) memory – those were truly mad, heady days indeed. Where the PPM have left down business greatly is in right-sizing the civil service; they have chickened out of off-loading significant areas that government should not be involved with, as they know the private sector would not tolerate the bloat, waste and ineptitude. They also chickened out of making the civil servants pay a fair share of their health costs.” 

Over the past two years we have seen higher tourism rates than ever before, which means that our integrity is good,” said one respondent. “We have seen lower gas rates, lower utility rates and an overall endeavour by the sitting government to improve the lives of its citizens as we go along.” 

“Excellent financial management, but too much focus on spending in Cayman Brac,” said someone else. “More progress is needed with regards to labor opportunities for Caymanians, as well as training for Caymanians.” 

Another large segment of respondents – 132 people or 25.9 percent – gave the PPM a “fair” grade. 

“The PPM has been able to mostly stabilize the relationship between Cayman and the U.K. and has worked hard to get government finances under control,” said one respondent. 

“Some good social progress, but the financial industry is being left to go to hell in a handbasket,” said someone else. “I say fair, but it would have been good, except for the ‘we’re going to be more transparent’ thing. Yeah, I don’t see it,” said another person. 

“Fair because there have been great improvements made with government’s finances, but critical projects such as upgrades of the airport and port facilities and resolution to the George Town dump are dragging on for far too long,” said one person. 

Eighty-seven people – 17.1 percent – gave the Progressives a “poor” grade. This is less than half of the 34.7 percent of respondents who gave the Progressives a poor grade last September. 

“Fantasy ice rinks and golf courses to go with an unfinished $100 million-plus high school started eight years ago in its previous administration,” said one person. “At least they took the corruption cloud away from Cayman, which is no small feat. And I’ll give Marco Archer a strong B+ for his work. I just wish Cayman voters had better options for leaders.” 

“High unemployment for Caymanians and they have failed to produce any plans to address this,” said someone else. “The PPM have lied to the country and do not want OMOV. They claimed to have a solution on the George Town dump, but obviously they do not as they have spent millions on consultant reports that tell us what we already know, plus there’s increasing crime with no real solutions.” 

“There was a shocking lack of action regarding ‘Ozziegate,’ they [are] reneging on their promise to reduce work permit fees, and no action on reducing the bloat in government,” said one person. 

“Like Arden says, all they do is brag about all they think they’ve done when they really haven’t done much at all,” said someone else. 

Fifty-seven respondents – 11.2 percent – gave the Progressives a “terrible” grade, down from the 17.8 percent who gave them that grade last September. 

“It’s pathetic that the government will not move the dump even though they know it is the best thing for the island,” said one person. 

“No progress on jobs for Caymanians,” said someone else. 

“The dump continues to grow, traffic is worse than ever and the airport is chaos,” said one person. “They should be embarrassed.” 

Next week’s poll question 

Hurricane season is upon us. Have you prepared for it? [Explain your response in comments] 

  1. Yes, I’m already as ready as I’ll ever be. 
  2. Somewhat, but I have more to do. 
  3. I haven’t started, but I plan to closer to the peak of the season 
  4. Not in the least and I won’t (unless there’s a major hurricane coming right for us). 
  5. I don’t live in the Cayman Islands 

To participate in this poll, visit starting June 1.