Patronage, Personalities and Parties: Caymanian Politics from 1950 - 2000

 
9789766375133: Patronage, Personalities and Parties: Caymanian Politics from 1950 - 2000

In the evolution of Caymanian political developments from the 1950s to the present , three main features stand out; a system of patronage based on the nexus of power, influence and money in which a white and near white oligarchy controlled the economy, its politics and the society; the emergence at various times of strong personalities who established hegemonic incumbencies and controlled political power through teams rather than political parties; and a rigid adherence to the status of voluntary colonialism in which political leaders, the merchant elite and the society at large, continue to opt for a relationship with Britain rather than seek political self-determination. In this second of a proposed 3-volume examination of Caymanian society, J. A. (Roy) Bodden provides an historical and interpretive analysis of the political evolution of the Cayman Islands dating back to the 1950s when the Islands received their first written constitution, through the turbulent decades of the 1980s and 1990s to the modern era. The account of these years is dominated by outstanding personalities like Ormond Panton whose attempts to arouse political consciousness among Caymanians through the formation of the National Democratic Party (NDP) were undermined by local political elements and the colonial power; Jim Bodden who for many years bestrode the Caymanian political scene like a colossus; and McKeeva Bush who in the words of Bodden has brought a 21st century approach to Caymanian politics . Bodden introduces a number of organizing concepts to aid our understanding of crucial aspects of Caymanian politics; the reptilian agenda of Jim and Haig Bodden is used to explain their tactics as opposition politicians; similarly their hegemonic incumbencies highlight for the reader how they and other politicians were able to establish and maintain rigid control over their constituencies sometimes for decades; and finally voluntary colonialism to explain why generations of economically independent Caymanians continue to opt for control by a colonial power in preference to their own political independence. No one is better qualified to undertake this examination of Caymanian society than Bodden whose first volume The Cayman Islands in Transition: The Politics, History and Sociology of a Changing Society (Bodden, 2007) set the standard for modern scholarship on the Cayman Islands. In this new book, Bodden combines the dispassionate approach of the professional historian with the insight and authenticity of one who was an active participant in the processes and events described in the book. Even more so than the first volume, this new work is bound to evoke debate, discourse, argument, criticism and scholarship both within and outside the Cayman Islands.

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About the Author:

J. A. (Roy) Bodden J.P. is President of the University College of the Cayman Islands. He is a former Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) of the Cayman Islands and served as Minister of Education, Human Resources and Culture from 2000 to 2005. He is currently working on the third volume provisionally entitled Family, Wealth, Class, Status and the Political Economy of Land in the Cayman Islands.

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J.A. Roy Bodden
Published by Ian Randle Publishers, Jamaica (2010)
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J.A. Roy Bodden
Published by Ian Randle Publishers, Jamaica (2010)
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