21 day rule dispute grows

| 08/11/2011

leg ass 2_1.jpg(CNS): The independent member for North Side has raised further concerns over the government’s continued disregard of the consultation period for all new pieces of legislation. Ezzard Miller has questioned if the government has declared a state of emergency in the Cayman Islands, given that several more bills published in preparation for the meeting on 16 November fell short of that constitutional requirement. Miller asked government to defer the start of the next meeting by at least one day to make the latest bills lawful but he says government has refused. Although the next three bills are only one day short of meeting the 21 day rule, the independent MLA who has railed for months about government’s abuse of the parliamentary process has pointed to the need for government to follow the law.

He said the issue could easily have been resolved by deferring the start date but he said the premier has dismissed his request.

Miller once again approached the governor, who recently told him that the constitution allows for government to override that rule in what it constitutesas an emergency. In a letter to the North Side MLA, the governor said he would not withdraw his assent to the recent immigration bill since government had defined it as an emergency and it would be a drastic measure for a governor to refuse to grant what was passed by the elected arm of government.

The governor has also recently signed the amendments to the National Pension’s law, which had also been brought to the Legislative Assembly without meeting the 21 day consultation. That law was voted out as a result of not enough government MLAs being in the chamber at the point of its first reading. However, by once again voting to suspend parliamentary rules, the government brought the bill back the following day and by ensuring all of its members were in their seats was able to pass the law.

Miller has now questioned how three more bills added to the next meeting can all be emergency measures. These three bills include major changes to the criminal procedure and penal codes, as well as significant changes to the motor vehicle insurance law.

“It begs the question if a state of emergency has been secretly declared on the population without their knowledge,” Miller said, noting that he would be raising this issue in the Legislative Assembly next week.

The independent member stated that while the premier has followed all of the constitutional requirements in regards to the trappings of his office with all the “bells, whistles, cars and body guards in place,” he has not been so quick to accept the provision that gives the people three weeks to consider the laws government proposes to pass.

“I do not have enough fingers or toes to count the number of times the premier has waived the 21 day requirement,” Miller added. He said this was not just a whim on his part and that the reason why the notice period was placed in the constitution was to ensure that there could be proper public debate about all legislative proposals.

Miller noted that the governor’s recent decision to assent to both the immigration and pension bills has effectively served to state that the government now has the power to decide the country is facing an emergency on a regular basis.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    who cares anymore?……….

    our only hope (the governor) has proven himself to be the spinless yes man we feared him to be…….goodnight cayman!

  2. Chris says:

    Its amazing to see so few comments in support of our elected government adhering to our Constitution!

    We really do get the government we deserve.

    The North Side MLA simply seems to be asking that the Government follow the Constitution.

    Has the electorate drunk that much UDP Kool Aid that we just sit back and agree to be ruled by a party that blatantly disregards the highest rule of the land, our Constitution?

    The Caymanian people deserve better.

    Mr. Miller is right again.


    • Scotland Yard says:

      What would be the point? The Constitution was rendered meaningless by the courts shortly after the last election.

  3. Anonymous says:

    "What I see happening. . ." is McKeeva treating the procedures of Legislative Assembly with utter contempt.   In the end, his despotic and demagogic leadership WILL bring him down, along with those those UDP party members who follow him like sheep and who turn a blind eye to damaging antics.  Tar and brush comes to mind. 

  4. Anonymous says:

    This seems like another one of Ezzard's Rooster sound bytes, the timing is certainly right. Another tempest in a teapot brought to you by Ezzard.

  5. Anonymous says:

    this counrty is in a state of emerrgecy.look around an see just how many are on the verge of loseing thier homes.are u kiddin m an ya wanna talk indepndance.ya mad. 

  6. so Anonymous says:

    So the Cayman islands government has refused to make the latest bills lawfull.

    And the reason is its just too much work on their part.  Whats the big deal?

  7. Just Sayin' says:

    Unless of course the Constitution is referring to "stellar" days which are of course about four minutes shorter than a sloar day so maybe these three bills do in fact fall within the 21 days depending on the exact second at which they published? I don't know, I'm most confused.

  8. Anonymous says:

    We the people are the government, ask us. You are all so full of yourselves, you politicians.

    The day one of you says that you humbly ask God to help you guide your precious people is the day I respect any of you. You are all weaklings and totally controlled by MONEY.

    Do any of you have a spine?

    • Strangers in the Night says:

      Do not back down now Ezzard, to do so would be giving in to a dictatorship. Stand up for the people, stand up for democracy!

    • Dis it now says:

      I just have to wonger why McKeeva and the UDP don't want a proper and FAIR debate of all bills!

      If the bill that is to be presented to the house for debate is good for the Cayman Islands, why don't the UDP want the Independent member and the Opposition to have a chance to study the bill so that they can present a good arguement either in favour or against the bill.

       It is so obvious that the UDP don't want the bills to be debated on, so that they can shove them down our throats, well the time is nigh. We will not put up with this "bully" attitude from these people and we are standing along side Ezzard and the PPM against this Dictatorial style of the UDP!


    • The Realist says:

      Isn't it strange how McKeeva claims that he did not want or vote for the new Constitution, yet he has taken great advantage of anything that the Constitution suggests and more, EXCEPT for what does not suit his fancy, like the 21 day presentation rule of any new bill to the House. McKeeva is so full of "it"!

  9. Anonymous says:

    The word "government" should be replaced with "mckeeva", since we don't HAVE a government.


  10. Anonymous says:

    "It's good to be the king."


    — Mel Brooks

    • Anonymous says:

      It was so good while it lasted.

      — Nat King Cole

      • All the Kings Men says:

        Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
        – Unknown

        • Anonymous says:

          All the kings horses and all the kings men

          Couldn't put Humpty together again…


      • Anonymous says:

        Abandon ship.

        -Captain of the Titanic.

      • Dred says:

        Mr. Spock, the women on your planet are logical. That's the only planet in the galaxy that can make that claim. – Captain James T. Kirk


  11. Anonymous says:

    Either we have an "emergency" or not!

    The Constitution, Standing Orders and laws mandate that Bills published less than 21 days should not be debated in the LA, unless there is a "State of emergency", sounds simple enough to me.

    Therefore to be compliant with the Constitution, Standing Orders and laws the FCO / Governor must refuse to assent to laws that failed to be published less than 21 days prior to debate in the LA, unless of course the FCO / Governor declared a "State of emergency".

    Now the FCO / Governor has to make up their minds – declare a "State of emergency" or go on being non-compliant with the Constitution, Standing Orders and laws by assenting to laws published less than 21 days prior to debate in the LA.

    Then of course if the FCO / Governor is selecting which laws to obey and which laws to violate then that will be poor governance with all of the country destroying effects.

    FCO / Governor please state your intentions.




  12. Anonymous says:

    If I remember correctly the governors decision was based on the lack of a definition in the relevant law or constitution exactly what an emergency was. If you want to stop this from happening, insert into one of the new laws a definition of "emergency".

    • Anonymous says:

      LOL. You do understand that it is the UDP majority in the LA who would have to pass such an amendment to any law, right?

    • Anonymous says:

      There is no need to define every single word. Absent a specific definition for the purpose of a given piece of legislation a word is presumed to have its common meaning. Same should apply to the Constitution.

      In case of the recent changes to the immigration legislation, I find it difficult to understand how anyone seriously could claim a state of emergency exists in order to pass legislation which has been the subject of common discussion and debate for years.  I say this even though I agree agree with the fundamental idea of that legislation that rollover should be reevaluated. No reason it couldn't have been given the full 21 days to consider and debate the proposal.

    • Anonymous says:

      Clearly, emergency in this context must mean that some dire consequence would occur if they waited for the 21 day period. We all know that is nonsense.