Premier says ’embrace democracy’ in holiday message

| 01/07/2011

(CNS): In his message marking Constitution Day on Monday the country’s premier urged the people to “continue to embrace the pillars of democracy as enshrined in our constitution,” the highest law of the land. McKeeva Bush said it enshrines the rights of the people and sets the parameters of government. Meanwhile the opposition leader who was awarded a royal gong for his work on the 2009 Constitution said no man or woman was above the constitution and everyone who exercises authority in Cayman did must do so in accordance with it.

The premier called on the people to consider the constitution during the holiday and to familiarize themselves with the document. He said all hands on deck were needed in order to keep pace with change that may affect the constitution in the future and promised the Caymanian people opportunities to provide input into the workings of the new constitution.

“This especially applies to the expanding opportunities for civic involvement in government, for instance, on the Constitutional Commissions, Ministerial Councils, and District Councils, all of which allow wide public participation in government,” Bush said. “As you enjoy the holiday, please take time today – and during this week – to refresh your understanding of our vitally important national document. Contact the Constitution Secretariat, visit the website, talk to a neighbour; whatever it takes, stay in touch with your governing document.”

McLaughlin noted that the introduction of a bill of rights would protect the people of the Cayman Islands against tyranny, corruption and arbitrary actions by the Government. 

“It enables the people of the Cayman Islands to take a stand in their community on the issues important to them, the ideals they believe in and the thingsthat make Cayman – Cayman.”

He said the Constitution had also introduced a number of institutions to support democracy.  “These commissions are designed to increase participation, transparency and accountability in government,” he said. “Our Constitution should be acknowledged and celebrated for the unique features that make it distinctly our own and for the certainty and security it provides our people,” McLaughlin said as he asked people to embrace and respect it for the assurance it provides us all of the supremacy of the rule of law and the protection of our individual human rights.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    You are so right "A country where the voting members are merely 25% of the population can never be considered a democracy in the first place." please tell this to the United States of America also because my aunt has been living there legally now for 35 years and she is still not allowed to vote.

    • Loopy Lou says:

      About 66% of the US population can vote.  And some of that 33% include minors.

    • anonymous says:

      Well we certainly are not going to allow guest workers to vote so don't get started on this subject please. Caymanians are the only ones qualified to vote in a Cayman Islands election, end of story!

      You can always go home and vote no one's stopping you.

  2. Kent says:

    Wow, I can not believe that I just wasted another 2 min. of my life reading this bunch of BOVINE SCATOLOGY.

    We have never been farther from a democracy! 

    I want to put it out in ther that I am not against everything the Bush govenment is proposing, but I am totally against the way the Bush government is going about it almost all of it.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Way to go Mr. Premier tell them.

  4. Anonymous says:

    "If you wanna make the world a better place take a look at yourself and then make a change"

                  — Michael Jackson (RIP) "Man in the Mirror" Bad, 1988 

  5. Anonymous says:

    What is his definition of democracy.  I don't thik it includes "freedom of speech" or more than half the island would be speaking up instead of being afraid to express their opinions.



  6. Anonybus says:

    Pity Mac don't practice what he preaches in this "prepared" speech.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I wonder whatever happened to that motion with the list of questions?

    Since we are being democratic these days can he please allow the opposition to bring the motion to the LA?

    And all of our hands should not be on deck, some need to have their hands in the air, while others should have theirs tied firmly behind their backs.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, right, in the spirit of true democracy: I'll fire the whole G**dam board if they don't do as I say. I'll also dam well protest against my employers if they don't agree with me, and I'll ban them from MY front door step if I dam well see fit. Who d hell unna tink unna is anyway? This is McKeeva dam ilun an McKeeva dam gowment. Unna betta unnastan dat.  

  9. Anonymous says:

    Actually apart from a few politicians who ignore the Constitution and other laws, most people do embrace our Constitution.

  10. Pro Democracy says:

    This has to be one of the most hypocritical statements I've heard from Bush yet.

    He'd do well to look in the mirror and tell himself to embrace democracy (when he acts like a dictator); the Constitution which he repeatedly stated he was opposed to (although he just loves to reap the benefits of the 'Premier' position derived from it); and transparency (when he does his best to prevent anything coming to light and demands to know the identities of those seeking transparency via FOI requests and 'blogs').


  11. Ubelievedat says:

    Mac, please practice what you preach because your actions surely do not smell, look, feel, hear, taste, or resemble anything like Democracy.

    Many of us are well aware of the "disorder or an incorrectly functioning organ, part, structure, or system of  body resulting from the effect of genetic or developmental errors, infection, poisons, nutritional deficiency or imbalance, toxicity, or unfavorable environmental factors; illness or sickness" that enables one to speak out of the two sides of their mouth at the same time.

    But on the other hand, your message of "embrace democracy" could be a warning to us all, like, make good of it now – you snooze, you loose.

    I get it!

  12. Libertarian says:

    People, I hate to repeat myself, but this article omits the solemn fact that our Constitution 2009 is not a document that FULLY guarantees the protection of our democratic rights.

    I encourage everyone to read the document carefully with an open mind. The option of FULL BRITISH RULE WITHOUT THE PEOPLE'S CONSENT whenever Her Majaesty's Interest or socalled "good governance" is threatened, is still in the document. How then can democratic representation of the people and for the people be permanently guaranteed if the Governor can disregard the elected Cabinet when he is bid to do so (read Section 31-33)?

    Don't get me wrong, there are alot of things in the Constitution that benefit us, but don't be bamboozled in thinking that the Cayman Islands is a FULL DEMOCRACY. We the people, have 2 governments (local/UK) – not 1, and that should tell you something. Other countries have 1 government, how it appears we have 2?

    • Dred says:

      We do not have our Independence.

      So as long as this remains so will clauses such as the one you make mention of. The UK will ALWAYS have "some" say in matters.

      This is pointless to beat your gums up about.

      Now look at the latest poll by Jamaica. 60% feel the country would be better off if they were still under the UK. I'm not sure we want to or are even prepared to go down this road. Just look at all the crap that's going on now with our Premier. Do you think we are ready for this?

      • Libertarian says:

        Dred, I am never going to advocate Independence as the solution to our problems; however, it is not "pointless" to be concerned about our democratic rights that could be taken away by the administrative power.  We have to stand up, speak out, and work with the UK to "ensure" colonial acts against our people stop. So far, none of our MLA's have taken the torch to the UK to ensure permanent and full democracy in the Cayman Islands. They may threaten us with Independence, but freedom and our basic rights is something Caymanians shouldn't just ignored and hope for the best.

        Now as to your comments about an article where a poll was done in Jamaica, to me, that poll says very little, because it was done by only 1008 Jamaicans that has never personally known what colonialism was back in those days. Besides, a country's condition is not from the direct result of it being Independent. Many countries like Egypt, India, Canada, America, have became severed from the UK and look at them today. So the premise that Jamaica became poor because it broke from mother, is flawed, and is being used as a fear-factor to defend such arguments of standing up for our rights against acts of colonialism.

        We have to work with the UK towards our complete political freedom, and not be threatened by "petty beliefs" of what Independence could do to us if we stand for those rights. That's my take.

        • Anon1 says:

          hmmm… I haven't heard anything from Dred. Still waiting on him to respond. XXXX Libertarian, you can easily be misrepresented as someone for Independence. Anyone who opposes the establishment, appears to be for Independence. That is so unfortunate! But it is until people like Dred see the value of their basic human rights and freedom, that they will not be scared to make their own bread and butter instead of relying on someone else to do it for them all the time. Most Caymanians today, don't have any trust in God, no brawn, they believe in laying in a hammock, thinking peace and safety under the UK's watch. They speak all about mistrusting the local government, but speak little about being under the UK. I think it is ignorance. 

          Where is the fisherman's soul?  It is gone when men stayed home in their comfort zones and women went into the banks and financial companies and have forgotten their kids at home. Crime has increased and people are jumping on the bandwagon of two political parties, opposing each other. Instead of uniting, Caymanians are dividing their country. Yes, we are living in the 21st century, but dependence on our status in the world, has made us left alot of good things behind. 

          When I saw the protest in town, it was almost like a peace rally to me. Whilst I was happy to see people getting heated up, I also saw Caymanians have become so soft and at ease when it comes to their rights. If I went to another country and saw a demonstration, you would have people raising their hands in the air, shouting, and demanding their liberties. You would have to call out the entire Police force to ensure law and order, because people are so passionate about their rights. But not so in Cayman, we are too relaxed and I guess the value of protecting our rights and freedoms, haven't hit us hard yet. But this is our sad condition – Materialists worshiping the god of Materialism and Money.

          • Dred says:

            Trust me he is not far off.

            Let me pose this to you in another manner breaking this down to life so you can understand in a more clear manner.

            We have allowed ourselves to remain as a "dependent" territory of the UK because the UK provides us with certain services and status that we feel comfortable with. Things such as protection from tyrany of nations looking to expand their borders. We also take for granted at times what being affiliated with the UK provides for us such as ease of travel. The comfort of foreign business to conduct business within our borders. Security from ruthless dictators who want to dictate down to us and remain in power for as long as they live.

            For these services and comforts that we enjoy all thehave asked of us is that if they find something to be wrong we are to adapt their standards. We are also required to keep our books in a basically stable manner.

            THEY COULD ask us for money especially where we are looked at as a financially well to do country. But they haven't.

            This I know is not all flowers and perfume for us I know. There are times we must swallow stuff we rather not but this is simply part of the package we have signed on for.

            It's like going to sign a rental agreement for say CI$1,000 and it says you would be responsibile for certain things then go back and complain about the price of rent and the things you were responsible for. Don't you think at teh start this should have been thought about?

            We are basically in this position:

            1) Accept our position and all that comes with it.

            2) Attempt to negotiate a better position which can be thrown in the trash as they hold no obligation to adjust it.

            3) Seek independence.

            I am not for independence as I don't feel we are ready. We can't manage our books. We have politicians that are XXXXXX. We have people breaking our constitution and getting away with it. We have increasing crime that shows no sign of getting better.

            I believe we are decades away from being ready.

            And to me you come across as very naive in that you believe we can DEMAND stuff and we really do not operate from this seat otherwise if we did we would have done it milleniums ago.

            • Libertarian says:

              Dred, I don't think you fully comprehend the passive position you are advocating. Not even in self-defense, should you should passively avoid someone who seeks for your ultimate ruin. In terms of our relations with the United Kingdoms' Foreign and Commonwealth Office, my friend, think of this analogy:-

              Let's say with Turks and Caicos, the takeover of the UK government is liken to an abusive man who has abused his power or has abused his wife (TCI) by not permitting her to have any say as to the major decisions of what goes on at home, but to take his abuse and disrespect. Although the abusive man may provide food, shelter, and wealth for the children of his abused spouse, are you saying that she should not speak, make attempts, make demands, and seek help or go tothe police or neighbor in order to improve on the relationship she has with her abusive spouse?  If she can't divorce or separate, but is restrained against her will, can't she at least speak out to her abusive husband and try to improve the relations between them both for the sake of their children?

              Dred, what you are advocating is a passive stance, an approach of doing nothing, but just accept the good and the bad that may come and escalate to something worse. I am a different parent, if their are bullies at school that can seriously harm my son, I will never teach my son to not fight and defend himself because he can be expelled from school. Yes, I will explain to him other ways to ascertain help from these bullies, but if all comes to failure, I will teach my son to stand up for his right no matter what.

              I will make to you and to all who are reading this post – I will make a prediction:- 

              If the UK government continues abusing her powers without any hindrances or people taking a stance on their rights, because she will feel like she would be able to do it without any consequences, my friend, it will be worse for us. Trust me, her abuse will escalate and she will do what she like to the Overseas Territories. We have to stand up, my friend!  You and everybody should know that nobody can own you, no man should try to own a woman because she is not his property – So is with the UK government over people of the OT's.

              • Anonymous says:

                I have to agree with Lib here. The protest march against the UDP projects taught me a valuable lesson. Speak now or forever hold your peace.


        • Dred says:

          Look, no matter how much you beg and scream the simple fact is this:

          We do not have our independence. In the event that hell freezes over and we go bankrupt the UK would be responsible for us. In the event that some other country decides we would make a nice acquisition by way of force we would be the responsibility of the UK to defend. Saying that there is no way I see in hell that we will have what you believe to be democracy. We are like children unto a parent. Until we become of age that we can go out and do on our own we must do what the parent says. If you think the UK is going to change that think again.

          In reference to Jamaica I was only noting to you that the grass always looks greener on the other side. YES sometimes it pisses me off that we have to take their crap but it's all part of the package. You can't go buy a pinto and expect the performance of a porshe now can you. I would like to see the death penalty come back on the table in extreme cases like violent murders or multiple murders but it ain't happening and I have to swallow that.

          Needless to say to some degree I am happy with this also because especially in times like now when we look at our politicians and wonder "what the @#$@ are you thinking?" it's nice to know their powers are limited and that there is someone out there who can reign down on them shoudl we need it.

          Maybe you need an experience like in Venezuela or like what they were trying in Honduras to allow you to gain some perspective on this issue.

          So life is like that. In everything there is good and bad. We have only but choose what we want. We certainly can't have our cake and eat it too.

    • Jumbles says:

      A country where the voting members are merely 25% of the population can never be considered a democracy in the first place.  Extend the franchise and maybe one day you will have a point.


      • Anonymous says:


        First, democracy means people vote.  The Soviet Union was a democracy with limited choice.  Second, voting rights aren't based on statistics.  Grow up.
        • Jumbles says:

          Did you get your politics degree from the "University of Life"?

          • Anonymous says:

            Is that where you got terms like 'democratic deficit' from?  Now I know why you have a stupid name.

      • Anonymous says:

        The subliminal message sent from the Governor to Caymanians regarding the constitution and bIll of Rights to come; What the Governor is saying in so many words is that the people of the Cayman Islands need not worry, he too will not tolerate a dictatorship!  He's also telling us that with these two documents working together to ensure rights of the people that it does give the people of the Cayman Islands much more rights and privileges than they realize..

        The truth is people have not studied the documents and have taken cheap shots of criticizm not  once picking up the document to review it for themselves!.

        The constitution will serve well the people of the Cayman Islands. While only people like a former leader who seems to be a sucker for the UDP leadership and a Yes man to the UK, who never wanted Caymanians to have any constitutional rights in the first place,and never even attempted tor make any recommendations. Shamefully takes every opportunity to criticize the constitution and support a dictator but never have and real solutions to offer. The general consensus is that such a gifted person would rather spend the rest of their life pouting over a defeat in 2000 instead of joining the people in their quest for democracy who knows  they could be burning bridges that could be built for a comeback!. Instead they spend most of their time  jooining in a pouting contest with the former member in East End  ousted by Arden McLean, Oh how sad.  What a waste of education and good talent.

  13. Dred says:

    In his message marking Constitution Day on Monday the country’s premier urged the people to “continue to embrace the pillars of democracy as enshrined in our constitution,” the highest law of the land.

    What a pile of hog wash when his team broke the Constitution in BT.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hey Dred, you're living in a british colony! Government always have the power to break Constitutions. It's nothing new. :o)