Is it possible for an individual to “volunteer” for office? That is, if an individual is interested in politics and steering their country’s ship and is qualified to run as a candidate, is it possible for that person to run for office and, if elected, accept the seat with no or half the salary? If so, can provisions be made to exclude this individual from the payroll from the onset of their campaign in the event they are elected?
Auntie’s answer: While I was unable to get an official response since this is a hypothetical question concerning a scenario that has never arisen, I am under so such constraints.
People may recall that in a similar vein about six years ago Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) toyed with passing a motion that called for reduced pay but then thought better of it and voted it down.
I happen to think that giving up their salaries is a great idea for those MLAs who actually do not need all or part of their pay to get by. If the salary is not vital to support them or their family, why not do some good with it? They can think about supporting their favourite charity instead.
If nothing comes to mind, then I can offer some suggestions. What could be more important than ensuring our children have a good future? I cannot imagine that our MLAs would not vote for that motion.
Two non-profits run programmes that focus on providing meals for those youngsters who would otherwise go to school hungry. So, for starters, they can donate to Feed Our Future, which provides free or low-cost school meals, or the Kiwanis Club’s Buy a Kid Breakfast initiative.
I realise there are plenty of worthwhile charities in Cayman and I am happy for readers to make other suggestions for donations as well.
But seriously, if any of the MLAs who get elected in May do not really need to take a salary for their new jobs of serving the people, then please consider serving our young people in a very direct way.
I look forward to candidates making a campaign promise to donate some or all of their paycheques to the causes I mentioned or one that has meaning to them. (Or just give it back to the Treasury, though I am not sure of the protocol for doing that.)
I am absolutely sure no one would complain if any of our elected officials decided to use their salary to support a charity.
However, if an MLA pledges to make that donation and fails to do so, and I hear about it, let’s just say the publicity would not be good.
Category: Ask Auntie