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To party or not to party? Independents discuss the ‘numbers game’

Political parties versus independents: is one necessarily better for Cayman than the other?

It’s a question many are asking themselves after Premier Alden McLaughlin described the numbers game of governance. Now, two independent political hopefuls, both with former party ties, sat down with Cayman 27’s Joe Avary to give their take on the issue.

Chris Saunders told Cayman 27 Mr. McLaughlin’s rhetoric about the so-called political numbers game just doesn’t add up.

“This is not a game, this is about people’s lives,” said Mr. Saunders. “The numbers that the premier needs to be looking at is the number of work permits that we have with Caymanians unemployed.”

The former UDP member said the premier is forgetting history.

“I was really disappointed in the premier. Firstly he spoke as if a government was never formed before the party system, which was never the case,” said Mr. Saunders.

“It doesn’t promote an ideology, it doesn’t really promote any kind of specific programmes or policies, all it does is that it is a tool that is used to get elected,” said Dr. Frank McField, himself a UDP founder.

Dr. McField said the zeitgeist that forged the birth of Cayman’s party system after the 2000 election no longer applies in 2017.

“We are at a time when we have people who are competent and capable of being able to promote themselves as leaders without the help of parties,” said Dr. McField.

He said with or without parties, the underlying dynamic of politics dictates groupings will naturally occur.

“Regardless of whether you have parties, teams, or whatever it is, people will gather together under a particular guises or with particular policies in mind in any case. It’s gonna happen, it’s happened before without parties, it’s happened with parties, and it will happen again without parties if necessary,” said Dr. McField.

And back to the numbers, Mr. Saunders predicts neither party will see double digits in 2017.

“One thing is clear is that no party is going to get a majority of ten,” said Mr. Saunders.

Mr. Saunders said aside from the leaders, there’s not much difference between the progressives and the CDP.

Dr. McField told Cayman 27 what’s most needed in today’s politics is rational decision-making, regardless of party affiliation.

About the author

Joe Avary

Joe Avary

Joe Avary has been with Cayman 27 since 2014. He brings 20 years in television experience to the job, working hard every day to bring the people of Cayman stories that inform the public and make a difference in the community. Joe hopes his love for the Cayman Islands shines through in his informative and entertaining weather reports. If you have a story idea for Joe or just want to say hello, call him at 324-2141 or send an email to

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