A lot of people send me a lot of emails telling me a lot of things… and they say nothing at all. Kind of like political candidates.
The one thing that nearly every politician does is colour their campaigns with broad and muted generalizations. “We need to do this… We must do that… What needs to happen…”
Politicians are talking about the youth and pensions and health schemes and reform but they aren’t saying anything. This election has the potential to again be nothing more than ousting current politicians who do very little and replacing them with politicians who are entirely incapable of bringing their generalizations to life.
The West Bay politicians speak about building civic centres, revitalizing communities, creating a solid family foundation, involving youth in the community… but they don’t say how they’re going to do it.
Does Cayman need pension reform? Sure. But how do you intend to reform it? More investment options? Self-directing contributions? Stricter enforcement of current laws to ensure employees are complying with the law? Show me your reform plan.
Does Cayman need health insurance reform? How do you plan to reform the health system? Scrap CINICO and go to a fully-privatised system? Get rid of the government health plans that limit choices, benefits and competition? Make the HSA a fully-functioning centre of medical excellence? Making civil servants pay their fair share instead of continuing to milk a dry cow?
It was said that there are a lot of things in the labour law that people see as unjust and that could be resolved which begs the questions – What things? What injustices? Are these injustices real or perceived? How would you plan on solving them? How long do you think it will take? Do you have a plan? Is this plan viable/affordable?
One politician advocates building a juvenile detention centre AND making it compulsory for troubled juveniles to join the cadet corps. Do they join the cadets before or after they get out of the detention centre? If the cadet corps takes discipline problems – why build a detention centre? Will this create a mindset of ‘if I get in trouble I won’t go to prison – I’ll go into the cadets.’? How much will the detention centre cost? How much more money will it cost to fund the cadets?
People speak of engaging the youth and involving youngsters more deeply in Caymanian culture but the best plan they can come up with is to build detention centres, put them in the cadets or – my favourite - invite them to a political rally. Genius.
The most significant comment made was when Rolston Anglin said that the country could not afford to build a civic centre. Proof of that is the government can’t even afford to keep on-hand potentially life-saving medications or medical professionals. Hey – there’s an area for reform. Work out a plan to generate revenue to fund those two areas. I’ve already given you a very basic idea of how yesterday.
Think about a few things when the politicians are spewing their self-serving rhetoric and bandying about words like “change” and “reform” as answers to why things in Cayman are the way they are.
People don’t leave the island for health care because they want to – they leave because they have to.
People don’t go without social programmes because there is no money – people go without because the money that is there isn’t being spent properly.
Kids aren’t bad because they’re born that way, they’re bad because they’re bored because they are not engaged in any meaningful activities; and when they look to their government “leaders” for guidance all they get is political grandstanding, finger-pointing, immature squabbling and broken promises.
And people don’t go jobless because there are no jobs or because of the labour law. They go jobless because there is no innovation.
Most all political campaigns are nothing more than oxymoronic exercises in who can convince the most people that the other person is wrong. And when politicians speak of “change” they don’t mean actual change they mean a different way of not getting the things done that we need done.
It’s a tough world and Cayman needs tough leadership. People don’t need to be inspired by words; they need to be motivated by results.
People don’t need to hear that things aren’t alright because someone hasn’t done something; they need to hear things will be made right because the leaders will make it right without exception or excuse.
And people don’t need to hear about how things need to be reformed or how things need to be changed; they need to be shown that change and reform are possible by those strong enough to create an environment that is accepting of change instead of maintaining one that is resistant to it.
If you open your wallet and pull out a bill you’ll see a face on it. That face is meaningless and inconsequential. It’s artwork that serves no other purpose than to adorn the bill and fill in space.
The face on the currency isn’t what gives it its value, it’s knowing that the currency is backed by a promise of the government sworn to honour that note. You can promise someone $100 or you can give them $100 – it’s about time Cayman leaders stopped simply taking up space and making promises and started honouring the ones they’ve made.
Cayman doesn’t need politicians – Cayman needs leaders. And until a leader emerges no one should be surprised if the change they vote for this election ends up looking like the change they voted for in the last election.