Cabinet ignored commission

| 10/03/2011

(CNS): Two members of the Constitutional Commission have revealed that government ignored its advice when it came to drafting the legislation for the establishment of advisory district councils. Wil Pineau said that the commission had hoped government would have waited for the results of research currently underway that may have helped create more effective councils. His fellow commissioner, Julene Banks, said the commission had envision the councils to be more democratic and shaped more like the existing district council in North Side, where members have been elected by people living in that community. However, Cabinet chose not to consider their input before it went ahead and passed legislation earlier this year.

The commissioners were speaking at a press briefing earlier this week, convened to launch the Constitutional Commission’s new website. Pineau and Banks both said that the people needed to know more about the process of government in the Cayman Islands. Pineau stated that people needed the answers to questions, such as how Cabinet was advised, how decisions were made and how policies were arrived at to ensure good governance.

He said the commission was involved in a major research project about the country’s system of governance, which he said he hoped would offer answers to these and many other questions about how Cabinet receives advice and how people access their representatives and voice their opinions.

“We hoped Cabinet would have waited before rushing ahead with advisory district council legislation for some of the results of this research,” Pineau said. “We are doing the research to evaluate how government works and what we have already … We wanted to understand what the role of the councils would be.”

Pineau said the research could have determined whether advice is being duplicated, how costly it all would be and how effective and efficient the system is and where improvements were needed, but he said the government decided to go ahead with the law.

“We don’t agree with what is in place at the moment,” Banks, the commission’s legal expert said, about the Advisory District Council Law 2010.

The premier passed the legislation in January which caused a certain amount of controversy as Cabinet will be appointing the majority of the members of the council, as opposed to allowing town hall style elections, as is the case with the country’s only existing council established by independent MLA Ezzard Miller.

Despite being ignored, the commissioners said their goal was still to make government and governance as transparent as possible and they would be encouraging open dialogue at their forthcoming meetings about the district councils. Banks said they hoped to begin the meetings in North side, where they could see how that existing council was functioning.

The commissioners said that the people had to understand that the representatives of the Legislative Assembly were constitutionally bound to represent the people and the governance research paper would establish how they do this and how well they do it at present.

Banks spoke about the need for a bi-partisan approach in some areas and revealed the concerns of stakeholder groups that the commission has spoken with about how good policies and projects are stopped or even reversed whenever there is a change of government without due consideration. She said that people discuss their concerns and complaints behind closed doors but less so publicly and hoped they would come forward and help find the solutions for better governance.

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  1. Misplaced Loyalty says:

    We give Elio Solomon our trust and he fails at the first opportunity when the future of these precious islands is on the line. As a matter of fact he does not have the courage to answer his phone or attend the Public Account Committee when the political heat is turned up. His misplaced loyalty to a man that does not have our country’s best interests at heart is a clear sign that Elio is a classic political opportunist that does not believe in the“TRANFORMATION OF THE POLITICAL LANDSCAPE OF THESE PRECIOUS CAYMAN ISLANDS”. This is what Elio wrote to his followers after a meeting of his created “GREATER CAYMAN” which proves that he is nothing but a con artist. There is no misplacement of loyalties here. He has chosen to go along with the destrustion of the North Sound, our Mangroves with it, chosen not to deal with our Public Accounts by not attending the very important meetings and in league with a party that is on track to destroy our very way of life. Political opportunists don’t care if they are on the wrong side of history. They only care about me myself and I that’s narcissism my brethren.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The Premier really seems to like the part of the Constitution that allows him to be the Premier but apparently has little use for the rest of the document.

    How long will the people of these islands allow the Premier to pick and choose which rules he will follow and which ones he will ignore?


  3. Yo Mama says:

    Uh, yeah, and the the authors of our pathetic constitution also ignored the advice from people who thought having basic human rights for all should be included as well.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Can you hear me??? Where is our UK representative??? Are we on the same track of TCI? There are operating similarities and strategies surfacing. Remember, land was transferred for the value of $1 to the rich and famous to build on. That is called invetment. Hello!!! Can you hear me??

  5. Why is this Happening? says:

    The flawed Judgment of our fearless leader makes this continue to happen. We have puppet MLA’s that won’t answer their telephones. They are caught between loyalties. UDP MLA’s put fearless leader first, the Nation last. That’s the way it is here in Cayman. Puppet politicians, greedy businessmen and a knifing leader that puts money first, country last. We can’t go on like this.This must end soon.

  6. Mindy says:

     What else is new?Doesn’t Mckeeva also ignore the CTC so why did Mr. Pineau and Ms. Banks think this would be any different? And clarification sir, it is not Cabinet who ignored the Commission, it was McKeeva who ignored the commission. This man is a one-man-show. He talks out of both sides of his mouth. He makes a statement today two days later he is saying something else and a month later and actually does yet something different entirely. Can we truly trust this man? W. Bayers always talking about how much he has done for these islands and how he is willing to fight for these islands, nope he is willing to stand up and make a fool of himself and these islands to the world. Honourable Premier my foot. I respect the title, I respect the office but have no respect for the man currently holding it. 

  7. Anonymous says:

    Remember McKeeva’s comments at the Cayman Business Outlook…..”sometimes I think we have too much democracy in Cayman”

    McKeeva must go !!!

  8. Caymanians for logic says:

    This is a case of the dog wagging the tail – clearly.


    The elections are scheduled for every four years. All voters have the opportunity to elect, by freewill, their representatives.


    It clearly cannot be that the districts councils form a new layer of elected representatives in this country. That would create mayhem.


    Beyond the cost of running two independent governing elected bodies, the mass confusion that would result is crazy. Look at East End and North Side alone- around 500 – 600 voters. Can you imagine the chaos of having a election for an MLA then following that by having an election for a council to ADVISE him?  The operative word is " advise" anyhow.


    This is a model where the local voters do not have an opportunity to meet and discuss their problems with their MLA and the MLA cannot be aware of all what is happening in his area. It is a model for much larger constituencies (like those found in the UK where this was ripped off from).


    In fact, we need to get rid of the district distinctions now as it is not helping moving the country forward in a holistic way, not entrench a system that is only adding cost and confusion to our country. I saw this in action in Belize some years ago where the opposition controlled the local councils. Nothing could get done. Caymanians think about this carefully before the "democracy" word is abused here.


    If the people are unhappy with their representatives or their government vote for someone new next time. Do not create "advisors" that may have a diametrically opposed plan to the government(all 15 members, that is).


    In fact the new constitution creating these councils was ‘approved’ by A MINORITY OF OUR VOTERS…..not hardly "democracy" by the UK or PPM.


    Please let logic prevail here.


  9. Dreadlock Holmes says:

    The commissioners said that the people had to understand that the representatives of the Legislative Assembly were constitutionally bound to represent the people

    Wrong on this point, right on every other.  People DO understand, but governments don’t. It seems that after an election and all the talk the attitude is "what were we going to do before we were interrupted by that pesky election?"

    I commend the Constitutional Committee for taking a stand on this issue. But they should also take a peak at CNS and it’s forums. Here….there are topics of importance. They are discussed, people have input, and, through this process consensus is often reached or at least the topics are aired in an open manner. Can and should government learn from this?  Yes indeed. Could they take advantage of it?  Of course.  Then why is it seen as such a threat or detriment to democracy.

    It may seem like a clumsy process but in reality it is how government should work. If you have an idea….bring it forth.  Let people discuss it and come up suggestions or with alternatives that actually make sense.

    Why do governments, this one in particular seem so unwilling to embrace technology which is available to reach consensus?  Ie. the Internet. That is an instant consensus have they heard of it??

    Unfortunately the process so far has seemed more like the issuance of decrees by a monarchy, with very little input or none at all from the people.  People they supposedly represent.

    It would be refreshing if governments caught up with the program and realized they can’t make decisions in a bubble or resort to hiring consultants when they are faced with them… that is unnecessarily   costly.

    Remember… we are also consultants. Or constituents if you please. We are always available, and we work for free.

    You work for us.



  10. Anonymous says:

    What a big surprise. The district advisory councils might get in the way of certain underhanded things being done in Cabinet.. Wouldn’t want the people to have a voice(input)in any of the decisions that might affect them and their and their children. Have to put their stooges in position  so that a certain person can maintain control of the island. New meaning to the word freedom. Guess what people freedom ain’t free. Always a price to pay for it. We have become an island of lackeys,born to be governed(ruled). And another big surprise poor governance and no protection. Talk about a s–t sandwich. Come stay with us have a bite.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Hear Hear!