One of the main backers of independent candidates, Dr. Steve Tomlinson, said he was “elated” with an election result which included nine candidates elected without any party affiliation.
Dr. Tomlinson said he is now hopeful that the different groups will unite behind a leader and give the country what it has asked for – an independent-led government.
Though only two of the candidates publicly endorsed by Dr. Tomlinson – Austin Harris and Kenneth Bryan – were elected to the Legislative Assembly, he said he was “ecstatic” about the results. Dr. Tomlinson says he supported 19 independent candidates in one way or another, including five who were elected, though he declined to name them.
“I do feel that the message I was pushing got through to the public,” Dr. Tomlinson said. “I think it has been a victory in that regard. The public has spoken and they have said no to political parties.”
He said “his dream” is for an independent coalition to lead the government in an environment in which all 19 elected members have a voice in the decision-making process.
“I don’t know exactly what they will do to form the government. There are a lot of forces at work and a lot of discussions now taking place. I am not going to pre-empt anything,” he told the Cayman Compass on Thursday morning.
He said he felt the time and money he had invested in the race had been well spent.
“When you consider there were five independents last time and now there are nine, you can see that people are getting more and more dissatisfied with the party system,” he said. “I honestly believe I had a little to do with that.
“My main aim was to impact the political culture, and I know if the independents live up to their word, there should be a different kind of parliament.”
He said he believed independent coalitions would focus more on the issues and less on party politics.
“The independents have promised to really represent all constituents and to work with anyone. Even if it is Alden [McLaughlin] or anyone else that comes up with a good idea, analyze it and run with it. That philosophy is lacking in the political parties.
“I wouldn’t have invested my time, money and energy into this if the party system was working. Everybody was elected by the people; if you refuse to take on the views of the opposition, then you are not representing those people that voted for them.”
He said he is cautiously optimistic about the future of the government, but the test will come in four years on whether key issues like the dump, education and the diversification of the economy had been dealt with.