The vision thing
Oh no, not another attack on politicians. Why? One is reluctant to write yet another negative rant about our elected leaders because: (A) They obviously don’t care about taking constructive criticism; (B) Anything written risks being redundant because everybody else in the Cayman Islands is already pointing out their failures; and (C) What more is left to say about these men and women who “serve” for their gain at the people’s expense?
There is something left to be said, however. Forget, for the moment, the usual suspects of alleged corruption, confirmed incompetence and obvious pettiness. Let’s consider the vision thing. Yes, “vision” is often rightly seen as one more meaningless cliché in the politician’s arsenal. What works better than spouting empty words and promises about a future that never arrives? Mindless drones lap it up all the way to the polling booths, and our politicians know it. Even the most loyal supporters tend not to actually believe that their favorite politician will ever do anything substantial that is remotely linked to anything described as “long-term vision for the future of Cayman”. But let’s not dismiss the importance of vision for the country just because it’s a meaningless concept in the hearts and minds of voters and politicians. It turns out that it really is important.
If Cayman’s leaders had vision beyond, say, at least the next election, just imagine how much better off the Cayman Islands might be right now. Education, infrastructure, policing, tourism, the financial industry, art, music, the natural environment, and employment for Caymanians would collectively be in a much better state right now. This is not a wild comment without basis. If our leaders of the last 50 years had consistently considered Cayman’s best interest long-term, decades forward, there can be no doubt that virtually every aspect of Caymanian society would be better off today. Anyone who disagrees must either be a politician or have one in his pocket.
The politicians are unlikely to change, of course. They never will if they don’t have to. They will be happy to continue making tiny short-term promises that seduce half-interested voters. It’s too easy for them to fill their speeches with empty nonsense about our long-term future, if they mention it at all, because they know no one will hold them to any of it. The only thing that will force this unique breed of Caymanians to change their ways is for voters to demand better. The people have to ask politicians where Cayman is heading and where it will be in 50 years—and then demand more than fake smiles and hollow answers.
The questions are simple: Where do you want to lead us and how exactly will you take us there? If a politician fails to answer in detail, then he or she doesn’t deserve your vote. Simple as that.
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