With lots of controversy in the Cayman Islands on all sorts of issues. I find that there are many, including myself, that are not real comfortable speaking out about their opinions, particularly if they should be contrary to the ruling party of the day. I have decided that this is wrong and it is our job to publicly hold our politicians accountable by speaking our mind.

A good open exchange of different opinions is not just healthy, but necessary if a democracy is to work. Any, and I repeat any, attempt to stifle this exchange, in any manner is contrary to the health of our democracy and must not be allowed to happen.

Speak up and be heard Cayman.

This is not intended to be a news source! The only thing you will find here is my opinions and peoples comments on them.

Listen to my opinions with an open mind, I will do the same for you.

My posts are my opinion and mine alone I take full responsibility for them. The comments by others on my posts are not my opinion but solely those of the individual that made them. I will delete any that I feel are in bad taste or for other reasons inappropriate.


Thursday, 8 November 2012

Personal Responsibility

Our country is now at a crossroads as our premier faces, basically, an ultimatum from the UK on the FFR and the CHEC deal.  He has been told that he needs to pass the FFR as agreed upon and signed by him over a year ago, and that due process must be shown with the dock fiasco.  This, along with many other problems over his leadership and ongoing investigations, has produced overwhelming  support for him to step down and, if he fails to do so, for the UDP elected members to remove him as they can constitutionally can do.

The problem is there is a lack of people taking personal responsibility for their action – first and foremost the premier, who is claiming that he signed “under duress”.  It must be remembered that he gave not just his word but, as our leader, the word of the Cayman people that he would carry through on the undertaking.  He is now backing down on that, breaking not just his word but, by default, the word of the Cayman people.

Our elected UDP members, who are turning a deaf ear to the desires of the people who elected them, are not taking personal responsibility. They were elected, not to do what is best for the premier, but for the people.  They are not doing so and will be held responsible by the people for blindly following the premier’s lead with no consideration for what is best to save our country.

The Cayman public is also not taking personal responsibility. In the comment section here on CNS and comments on the Compass website we have hundreds of people giving their opinions of what should be done.  People are calling for the premier to step down, for the UK to take over, for the UDP members to deal with it, and all the while doing it under the guise of “Anonymous” and other hide-behind-names.  How can we expect to be taken seriously if we are not willing to take personal responsibility for our beliefs and comments?

Maybe I can start a trend.

I, Len Layman, believe that the premier should step aside.  I believe that if he doesn’t, the other UDP members should force it. If neither of these things happens, we should not blame the UK for the outcome.  I believe a large majority of Caymanians believe as I do.

Agree with me or disagree with me but please stand up and do it openly.  We can make a difference if we do.

I believe if we all take personal responsibly we can change things for the better.

Just my opinion

Friday, 6 July 2012

One Man One Vote

As we approach July 18th and the referendum on One Man One Vote for the Cayman, I would like to try to simplify how I see One Man One Vote (OMOV ).

First let me state that OMOV, in my opinion, will not be the panacea that will solve all our problems.  What it will do is it will cause a slight, but very important,  power shift in three areas of  politics in Cayman. This shift, in all cases, will be in favor of the people, the electorate.

The first of these areas is the balance of power between the politicians and the people.  In Recent administrations we have seen our elected officials, once they are elected, seem to forget the people and do as they please with little or no consultation from the people.  As if the attitude is you elected me now leave me alone, if you don’t like what I do talk to me in four years.  They seem to forget that they were elected to do our will; not their will.  With the smaller one man constituencies it will be harder for the politician to hide behind the numbers, passing responsibility back and forth. They will know who elected them and there will be no question in the minds of the voters exactly who they elected and who they need to, and can, hold accountable.  This will not be a larger power shift towards the people but a significant one.  It will be a shift that a politician who truly wants to work for the people will welcome and that the ones who are in politics for their personal gain will fight with all their might.

The second area is that of allegiance or loyalty.   We are all aware of what many call the Coat Tail effect,   when a candidate slides into office on “coat tails” of the party or stronger party candidates.   These are the politicians that generally you hear little from but they are always there voting the “party  line”.  Who do you think they owe their CI$ 100,000.00 paycheck to?   Who do you think they are going to be more loyal too, the people or the party/leader with the “coat tails”?  I think we have seen over the years it is the coat tails in both cases.   OMOV will help to separate these individuals from the party a bit and pressure them into answering to their electorate, thereby forcing them to be stronger representatives.  Some fear this will weaken the party system;   although that might not be a bad thing, I do not believe that will be the case.  In fact it may make them stronger and in a good way.  It will do this by giving us stronger leaders across the board.  Not weak yes men.   Once again, from this aspect a politician who truly wants to work for the people will welcome this change and that the ones who are in politics for their personal gain will fight with all their might.

The final shift will be a shift in importance, a shift in the balance between the importance of the party and the country.  OMOV will, over time, cause a shift in the mindset of the elected officials.  Since they will be more accountable to the people they will look to use the party to help the country.  Now it seems they have been using the country to strengthen the party.   The Country is and always should be #1; Not the party. Once again from this aspect also, a politician who truly wants to work for the people will welcome this change and that the ones who are in politics for their personal gain will fight with all their might.

Many are saying all is fine,” it’s not broke we don’t need to fix it”  (not so many years ago in history the ruling class said that about slavery).  But if we do not make the change now, it will break and if it does it will not be easily fixed.  The time is now.  It has been talked about and kicked around over the years and many respected individual  over that period  have endorsed it.  Today individuals and organizations from all aspects of Cayman life are supporting it.  I ask you to look at who it is opposing it; have they proven to you, by their leadership, that their main priority is the well being of the people of the Cayman Islands?

One Man One Vote will not change things overnight.  What One Man One Vote will do is to cause these slight balance shifts in the favor of the people.  This will give us a stronger government, stronger more receptive political parties, it will give us stronger representation. It will empower our representative to work on our behalf and mandate them to do just that.  It is about a slight shift of power in favor of the people.  I can only surmise that those who oppose it do not want to give up any of their power, and that by itself speaks volumes.

Agree or disagree please vote July 18th.  Let’s make sure we have a true read of the wishes of the people.

To those who agree remember:  the only thing that can defeat us is apathy.  Please take the personal responsibility to be the one to push it over the top.  Make sure you vote Yes on July 18th.

Just my opinion!

Friday, 15 June 2012

A Fathers Day Thought.

As a founding member and a Board Member I am involved with the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre, the islands only safe shelter for abused women and their children. One of our goals and dreams is to have a society where the shelter would not be needed where everyone lived a life free of abuse and violence. The cold hard truth is that is a long way off but we have to keep trying and striving for that end.

While surfing the net I found something I would like to share with you. It will take only 12 minutes of your time to watch and listen to. I thought this a very appropriate time to share this with Fathers day coming this Sunday. Fathers Day is a time that we,the Dads of the world, are celebrated and praised. It is also a great time for us to take a bit of time and look inward to our beliefs and prejudices, and do a bit of "stock taking" of ourselves and what it means to be, not just a Dad, but more importantly a "man".

 So I challenge you take 12 minutes to watch and listen to thought provoking speech by Tony Porter. "A Call to Men". (click here).

It may challenge some of your beliefs.

Happy Fathers Day.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Conflict of Interest and Cayman Political Officials The People's Perception.

There is no issue in the Cayman Islands now that is more important than passing laws to assure the unquestionable elimination of any conflict of interest of our elected and appointed officials.  There are no economic problems or social situations that are ahead of this.  We need to restore the people’s confidence in our elected officials and our political system, across both parties.  Until we can be sure of the motivation of our elected officials there will be a cloud of doubt in the public’s mind over any decisions they make.

The people want officials that they can be assured are looking out for the people’s interest first.  Not their own. Under the current laws, as Mr. Panton points out in The Cayman News Service, we do not have this assurance.

I have said before,  when it comes to putting the proper legislation, regulations and constitutional systems in place; those politicians (of any party) that have excuses why this should not or cannot be done will only be held suspect by the people.  Those that are willing to stand up and support what needs to be done will be rewarded with the peoples support.

This is not a party problem and our elected officials need to stand up as individuals and tell us what their personal stand on this issue is, not the party’s rhetoric.

Just my opinion!