MLAs want November vote

| 25/02/2012

IMG00455-20120224-1246 (240x300).jpg(CNS): Both Ezzard Miller and Arden McLean are sticking to their position that the national ballot on one man, one vote must take place in November — before the next general election — as a people-initiated referendum, which is provided for in Cayman’s constitution. The two MLAs say past evidence shows that McKeeva Bush is offering nothing more than an empty promise. Miller also noted that a general election result based on the multiple voting system could not be considered legitimate if at the same time the majority of electors were voting for one man, one vote.

Thanking the premier for his support for a referendum on the issue, following Bush’s announcement on Friday evening, Miller and McLean said it was “nothing but a naked attempt to stymie the current petition process,” which the MLAs said was receiving wide support.

“We remind Caymanians that the premier has made this promise before and has not delivered,” McLean and Miller said in their joint statement issued on Saturday afternoon.
“In 2003 as leader of government business, he expended considerable public funds to have the Electoral Boundaries Commission draft up the 18 single member constituencies in preparation for the 2004 elections, only to abort the implementation for his own political expediency, in spite of his party's support for its introduction.

“The premier then offered to placate the PPM who supported the introduction of one man, one vote by introducing it for George Town as a test case, again only for his own political purposes. This never happened and the Premier is now merely offering up yet another empty promise on this matter,” the MLAs said.

The two men, who are currently the only single members in the Legislative Assembly,  asked why the premier would propose that the people of the Cayman Islands must wait five years to enjoy true democracy, better representation and greater accountability of politicians.

“Anyone who opposes the implementation of single member constituencies before the 2017 elections is selfish and is not acting in the best interest of the country at this time. Do not trust any of the politicians to implement this system after you vote them into office. This has not worked over the past 10 years. The only way one man, one vote will ever be legislated is through this referendum and the concurrent enforcement of the provisions of the constitution,” McLean and Miller warned.

Encouraging everyone to come and sign the petition which asks for the referendum by 30 November this year, in time for the 2013 election to be conducted on the basis of one man, one vote and single member constituencies, the MLAs pointed out that there would be no additional cost to conduct the 2013 election on this system as the Elections Office is already fully prepared for the one man, one vote system. They admitted that there would be a cost to conduct the referendum, but not as much as the premier claims

“The benefits achieved by winning the referendum are certainly worth the money spent. How much is too much to allow Caymanians to express their democratic rights and freedoms?” they asked. Miller said he believs that the general election result in 2013 could not be considered legitimate if people in George Town were allowed to cast six votes and there was, as is anticipated, overwhelming support for one man, one vote.

However, speaking with CNS on Saturday, he said he believed this was an attempt by the premier to ensure his own re-election for what may be the last time.

The MLAs added that there was now a pressing need to get on with the petition and ensure there would be a referendum in November to give the government ample time to make the necessary changes to the Elections Law, which are very simple and direct, as they encouraged Caymanians to use this announcement by the premier as clear proof that everyone needs to sign this petition. "Let’s get it done for 2013," they said.

McLean told CNS on Friday, before the announcement by the premier, that he was excited that the policy issued by the deput governor paved the way for civil servants to sign the petition. “I think the most important thing about this petition is that the civil service can now sign,” he said. “This is democracy at its best and what I’m really excited about. They should be equal and are equal in the eyes of the law. I really hope they embrace this opportunity to sign not just because their right to do so has been clarified but so that everyone can be equal in the sight of democracy.”

Organisers now believe they are close to 2,000 signatures all of whom are registered voters — over half way to the figure of 3,800 which would trigger the constitutionally enshrined people-initiated referendum. But Mclean and Miller have set a target of 5,000 to ensure that there is no doubt about the support for the initiative.

The campaigners hope to submit the complete petition that calls for a November referendum to Cabinet by the 1 April with the stated goal of having the 2013 election conducted under the democratic and equal system of one man, one vote in 18 single member constituencies.

Vote in the CNS poll:

If the petition for one man, one vote triggers a referendum, how soon should this take place?

See related article:

Mac aims to usurp petition

Category: Politics

Comments (61)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    A very popular Premier!!

  2. Cat says:

    In my personal opinion, I would actually vote for the one-man,one-vote. Reason being, each candidate that enters to run for the election will be singled out  or considered an individual. They each will have to prove themselves to us on what they can do for our country and not what he/she and company  think they can do or say they can. They will have to work hard on their own in the community amongst us, and prove their worth. WE the people, will actually for once have the oppurtunity to see and know the level of education,"common sense", decision making skills,organization skills,people skills,maturity, awareness of community and world issues that affects us economically and more,action taking ability, beliefs and values, and the over all character and leadership skills (if any )that each of the candidates have and we will then know who we really can depend on to lead our country. Do they truly have the education,maturity,common sense and skills necessary to make well thought out, educational decisions that will actually benefit the country as a whole? Do have good economic knowledge, and actually understands what is happening locally and globally to make sound judgement on what needs to be done to boost our economy and improve our infrastrastructure? Are they environmentally conscience and understand the impact of global warming, pollution and what problem we currently have here in Cayman and can make innovative "eco-friendly" decisions to help reverse or stop the damage we already see here in our country and to improve the quality of life for us and our eco-systems? Do they truly value and understand the extreme importance of transparency,accountability and complete honestly and being trustworthy, that is a MUST in order to be the best leader possible? These are the questions we need to have the answers for and I believe one-man, one-vote can give us the oppurtunity to find out. 

    We need people who are trustworthy,educated, very intelligent,motivated,hard working and a leader on their own.Yes, once voted in they will have to work together, butwe have seen for years and years that, we have been blinded by what I like to call the Clique umbrella effect, where someone could be the worst possible, but they are considered just as worthy because of the good qualities that their peers have,and they have the oppurtunity to hide who they really are, and if they can do anything at all . If one person is by themselves, you can see if they can stand alone and do a great job for our people and country or as we have seen in party system here for too long, that some members of these "cliques"  are useless and they operate as parasites, benefitting from the work being done by their group members, and have been given good pay, undeserved praise and recognition,just for being associated with that group, even if they didn't contribute at all to the group's success.

    You see it alot in gangs for instance. If one person has to face one or more of their rivals on their own, their true colors show. They are one of the biggest punks you will ever see, who takes off running and hides like a skiddish timid poodle , but once they are with the rest of their gang and they start flexing muscles and barking all together, that person all of a sudden starts to look like one of the bravest, most vicious Rottweilers or Pitbulls of the gang.

    We don't need followers, we need leaders.

  3. *** MCKEEVA SUPPORTS CS SIGNING THE PETITION ** says:

    *** PLEASE NOTE THIS CAME FROM THE PREMIER HIMSELF***

    February 24, 2012

    Dear Civil Servants,

    As the Premier, I, along with my elected colleagues am pleased with the recent announcement by the Deputy Governor, Mr. Franz Manderson, regarding the "Policy in Respect of the Signing of the Petittions by Public Servants". While this and other matters related to the Civil Service do not fall under the remit of the elected Government, we are pleased to see that the Deputy Governor has taken this step and offer our full support in this regard.

    Yours in Service,

    W. McKeeva Bush, OBE, JP

    *** CNS readers, as you can clearly see, the Premier supports all Civil Servants being able to sign the petition, a democratic right. *** 

    • Anonymous says:

      Another Bushite.  This is what his PR people put out for him to make it seem like he is on the side of democracy.  If he really cared about democracy he wouldn't have a problem with holding the referendum in November.

    • Anonymous says:

      Are your blinkers on, or is the veil over your face?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Ezzard and Arden are making their move to take over the Opposition and freeze Alden out of the next government. It is no secret that Ezzard has big plans for the next government.

  5. noname says:

    I'm not completely comfortable with this "one man, one vote" campaign. Maybe I'm just a radical liberal who is out of touch but I really feel that women should be able to vote too.

    • Anonymous says:

      ONE PERSON….One Vote!! You got mine, 'cuz it's 'bout time!! And whats wrong with modernizing with equality, an outdated political term along with our ancient 'democracy' ???   

  6. Live Free.... says:

    I hope Alden reconsider, and join Arden and Ezzard in supporting the one man, one vote, and by doing this, he would not give you the people the wrong impression. And I been following the Politics of these Islands, and I had come to understand that Mr. Alden was for the one man, one vote and wanted it implemended when the new constitution was being drafted, which was taken away  because of the opposition UDP at that time. Some people say it looks like Alden wanted it because of political gain in 2009 election, but I hope that wasn't  the reason, for it would defeat the whole purpose of the one man, one vote. And in saying this, the one man, one vote is very important , and should be added to the new constitution before the next election, because I think it's time that Caymanians get the taste of true Democracy, which is something these Islands never experience before. And the Bill of Rights which is not to far away, connected with the one man, one vote would further streghten the new Constitution. People say what  you may about the new Constitution today, in the end you all would appreciate how it protects you and give you more say in these Islands than you ever had before.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Anyone that lives in Town, West Bay or Bodden Town would be fool to vote for this.  They are essentially giving up power.  It is only the East Enders and North Siders that are pushing this.

    • so Anonymous says:

      Therein lies Caymans most glaring problem.  Too many fools who belive themselves smart, all evidence to the contrary.  A smart man knows his limits.  A fool has no limit to his self importance.

    • Sign the petition says:

      Wrong!!! Anyone who wants a Government that represents people equally and who wants the best candidate to represent them will sign this petition.

       

    • Dred says:

      What a garbage thing to say. Speak for yourself. I am from BT and I SIGNED FOR IT.

      Let me explain WHY I and EVERYONE with EVEN HALF a brain should.

      In big districts especially GT but both WB and BT it makes even MORE sense because it means you get better representation. The only people this scares is party driven politicians who are struggling to figure out how they can guarantee themselves a seat in office when the area the popular in happens to be the same area maybe their leader is popular in also.

      This is good for independents who now actually have some seblance of a chance to take office in a large district by being popular in their district

      It means better representation because when issues arise your district you know who should be held accountable when nothing is done about it.

    • Anonymous says:

      If only NSiders and EEnders are supporting this then you have absolutely nothing to worry about, but I think you know differently.  This is being supported by a wide cross-section of Caymanians including young,educated Caymanians of every district whose mind have not been warped by political allegiances.  They know it is the right thing to do and have the integrity and courage to do it.

    • myview2 says:

      I am a GeorgeTowner who totally supports the One Person…One Vote movement! I certainly do not see it as a loss of any 'power' as one put it, but as a real progression of politics, a forward step towards a true democracy!

      Has never seemed right that ONE district's elected members, regardless of which, should be given total control over appointing the government of the day, while we, the people, have absolutely NO say, not even ONE vote on Cabinet!

      Why should an elected individual with minimum votes be 'appointed; to Cabinet, not by qualification or votes, but merely by 'party- favour- control'??

      So see, I am willing to give up 3 of my 4 votes to have a level playing field in the political game, all for the betterment of our island and fairness of our people. Not to mention, maybe it would control corruption!

       

  8. Anonymous says:

    One person, one vote is good and should be implemented as soon as possible.

     

    However, given the voting population of Cayman, Cayman only needs seven, perhaps nine, MLAs. Anything more is a gross waste of money.

    • Anonymous says:

      Right on the first point, wrong on the second. What you fail to understand is that regardless of population in many ways Cayman functions as a country. Don't be misled by superficial comparisons to a small town in a large country As it stands the present Ministers have too large portfolios. Obviously 7 or 9 MLAs would mean that there could only be perhaps  3 Ministers.     

      • so Anonymous says:

        A welfare state does not a country make.   Lots of paychecks going out.

        Nothing of value accomplished.  Nothing built to completion.  No hope in site.  Cayman is a wanna be country with no idea or intelligence on how to do it. Not even smart enough to follow directions.  Its only a matter of time beforethe UK has to step in or Cayman self destructs.

  9. Anony says:

    There does not have to be a referendum even though that is what the petition asks for. If enough voters sign it, say 60-70% of the eligible voters, the Govt. would REALLY be wasting the money to hold a vote. Since everyone who signed the petition would presumably vote Yes in the referendum, the result would be clear. Therefore, if enough of us sign this petition and the Govt. has any respect for the voters, they would simply amend the Election Law as required to bring about single member constituencies. If these numbers happen and the Govt. sticks to their plan, then simply vote them out in 2013.

    So if you agree with this concept of democracy, speak with every eligible voter you know to encourage them to sign the petition. If you need information I'm positive the organising group will assist. You can contact them at the email address indicated in another post on this article.

    • Anonymous says:

      A referendum would need only 50+% of registered voters, rather than 60-70%. I agree that if the petition gains more than 50% then it would be complete waste of time to hold the referendum and the govt. should go straight to passing the law otherwise it would defying the clear wishes of the Caymanian people.    

      • Castor says:

        Regardless of the outcome of the petition, whether 51% or 60%, a referendum vote must be held or else the Constitution will be circumvented. One cannot pick and choose the rules one would like to follow or not follow. Follow the Constitution, those are the rules. If one doesn't like them, change them. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, Democracy may not be the most efficient form of government, but………."

        • Anonymous says:

          Actually this is not a Constitutional matter. The new Constitution allow the control of election boundaries and MLA's per area to be controlled by the Election Law. This resulted from the UDP's failure to support putting single member constituencies in the Constitution. So again a referendum is not actually required.

        • Anonymous says:

          Wrong, Castor. Since no amendment is required to the Constitution (which is already consistent with one man, one vote) a referendum is not required at all. It is only being used in this case to force the government to introduce one man, one vote because it won't do so otherwise. The point is that the government should not have to be forced; it should follow the clear wishes of the people which would be revealed by a petition supported by more than 50% of the electorate. That is democracy.

    • Sign the petition says:

      I agree, but the referendum would make it binding, and the Government would not get the opportunity to fiddle with the wording and change the true intention.

       

  10. Anonymous says:

    Something is terribly wrong with Cayman politics (well, we knew that) when we have to rely on boorish small villagers like Ezzard and Arden to advance our cause in the full knowledge they are not one whit better than McKeeva Bush and they are only making their own power play with this one man one vote stuff. One man one vote is, of course absolutely the way to go, but that's not why these two cowboys are pushing for it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your acknowledged facts are that Ezzard and Arden are indeed the driving force behind a move to correct something that is terribly wrong with Cayman politics and put this country on the right track. Then why don't you simply drop your horribly misguided, unsubstantiated,    judgements of their motives, shut your gap and start supporting them before McKeeva lands us all in hell if we're not there already?.

      • Beloved Isle Cayman says:

        To poster 1:58

        If they were the last two representitives on earth, I would never support Arden or Ezzard. They are great at opposing but terrible on solutions.

        • Anonymous says:

          That is the UDP mantra. Bush is not interested in hearing their solutions. In fact he didn't listen to his own Port Authority Board. You will hear plenty of policy proposals when the manifestos come out.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I think that the Premier should just go take a seat and relax. Say NO MORE! Try not to explain anything to the dummies. When the next election comes around, you return and claim your SEAT.  By then, you will be well rested, look younger and smaller with brighter ideas to get your country rolling again. So for now, just relax and take it easy while you put your soldiers out to work.

    • Anonymous says:

      McKeeva with bright ideas? McKeeva put his soldiers out to work? We do need a miracle but THAT is asking WAY too much don't you think? We do take your point that he should take a seat and relax and especially SAY NO MORE for goodness sake. We do sympathise with your sorry a_ _ for voting for the guy. Hope you would have learned your lesson by now but by the sound of things you STILL haven't. Now THAT's what WE call a dummy.

    • Anonymous says:

      Firstly, Mac is already takling a seat and relaxing, he has been doing it ever since he got into politics, more so now that he is the Premier. Just refer to his passport and air miles for the last three years and you should get the picture.

      Secondly, "bright ideas" and Mac should never be put in the same sentence, unless it is referring to him retiring.

      Thirdly, the only people who are dummies are Mac and hisfollowers, even Kirky could tell you that.

      Foruthly,the only thing rolling in Cayman is people getting rolled over and the country's debt getting bigger for every second that he is in power.

      Now go back to reading the cominc strips in the Compass because it seems that is all you have been reading for the last three years.

      Nuff said.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Send back bush in the bush where he belongs lmao!

  13. O.T. says:

    I hate our MLAs!  They do not represent us!  I am a Caymanian married toan expat. She has a son here, who has raised here pratically all his life. He is 5 years old, and we have to pay the Education Department, the school of 250 dollars per school term (four months). I expressed my complaints to the department about that. Why should we pay for our son? He is my son and I am the Caymanian?  Why subject us to paying every four months 250 dollars?  Still heard nothing from Rolston Anglin!  These politicians are not for us!  They want money and they want the system to continually draining Caymanians and expats of money. It is just not right. It is a tax that I now have to pay 1000 dollars every year!  This is just one example of where our politicians can do something, but they are caught up with other things than what is really effecting us – the high cost of living!  : (

    • anonymous says:

      Where else in the world wouldyou expect the Minister of Education to be involved with your child's tuition query? Dont be silly. I am glad our politicians are not getting involved with such administrative matters and keeping their noses out of what is clearly a departmental matter. Hopefully they keep to policies and let the civil service deal with administration.

    • Anonymous says:

      A favor is still a favor whether it is a washing machine or so your expat's son doesn't pay school fees.

    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

      Hate is such a strong statement. The situation is horrible, MO change the system don't hate.

    • Anonymous says:

      You said "She has a son here…".  It is not clear whether or not he is your biological son, if not,  then that's probably why you are having to pay the fees.  Legal adoption would probably change that for you.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I agree with you if you don't like the system, now is the time to do something about it, if you don't act now then you are a sponge! just soaking up any bull sh#t someone tell you!

  15. Anonymous says:

    McKeeva trying stop the peitition so it dont spoil his election plans hahahaaa it is to laff

    NA TODAY BOBO!

    • Anonymous says:

      You make it sound like this has half a chance of being successful. Based on the constitution it needs 25% of the electorate to force a referendum. Then the Government has the right to word the referendum and have it within a reasonable time. No definition on reasonable. Then it requires more than 50% of those eligible to vote in favor, that would mean somewhere above 7,500 voters when very likely you will only get at best 10,000 people voting. Which would mean about 75% voting in favor.

       

      And all of this needs to happen and training done in time for candidates to declare and voters lists to be certified and signed off in time for a May election. Not a snowball's chance in hell of happening just another waste of time by Ezzzard and Arden, fooling people and wasting their time.

      • Anonymous says:

        You are clearly on a different planet. McKeeva would not be offering to hold a referendum at any time if he thought the petition had no chance of succeeding. As I understand it the petition already has more than 2,000 signatures of registered voters and is gathering steam. There is no reason at all why the referendum could not happen in time for the May 2013 election except that Mckeeva wants to block it so he'll get his WB crew in again.     

  16. Sign the petition says:

    Anyone who wants to sign the petition, please send us an email to oneman.cayman@gmail.com we will come to you!

    One Man One Vote Committee

     

  17. Lachlan MacTavish says:

    Caymanians get the petition and the "peoples initiated referendum" done once and for all. IMHO this must happen in November. You must change the system and the leadership. Fact, the country cannot sustain another 4 years of UDP rule. 

    Lachlan MacTavish

  18. Chris says:

     

    Why do they find it so hard to understand that MLA members should stand for the people and no one else. They should be representing the people who voted them into government. There should be no granting of favors to a few persons, excluding everybody else. Such things like an answered initiated referendum are not only from basic principles of democracy, but shows the electorate the respect and human dignity that they deserve. What arrogance?!  I have never seen such arrogance and indifference from lawmakers in my life!  To push the date forward to General Elections is a slap in the face, and if they get away with it, it will give them the belief that they are over the people and can always put their issues on the back burner. Yes, there actions (like someone suggest) are attacking the bedrock principles of "participatory democracy" in the Cayman Islands. They feel because they represent the people that they are above the people… that is so strange!  Or, could it be that they are sold out to the special interest?  I can't really say, but as a Caymanian, it makes me not want to live here and put up with the nonsense, seeing the lack of support to help us!  

  19. Anonymous says:

    Given the poor choice of politicians presently elected to represent us, it would be wonderful to see the one man one vote system implemented as soon as possible. That way we may end up with a coalition of representatives forming the next government. That would return us to some sort of similiarity as we had before the Party system was implemented and would allow us to choose the best people available to man our ministries, in addition to making the correct decisions on behalf of the caymanian people. So lets get this referendum going as soon as possible. It cant cost no more than Mackeeva is presently throwing away on botched business deals and political handouts.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Wouldn’t it be a good idea to tell people WHERE to go to sign the petition? No where in this article does it say WHERE to go to sign. I hear then petition being discussed on the radio but I have never heard them say where to go to sign the petition. This should be the at the TOP of each article. I know a lot of people who would sign but they don’t know where to go to sign. Please guys you need to give this information over and over the people. Without it, you won’t get the required number of voters signing .. What a waste that would be.

  21. Anonymous says:

    It would be best for the country if these dinosaur politicians all stepped down from reelection and just retired.

    They have served the country as best as they are able and retire, make way for young Caymanians with fresh ideas.

    Yes this also means Ezzard, Arden and Alden as well as McKeeva. Kurt showed wisdom and grace to step aside.

    • Anonnymous says:

      Kurt only stepped aside as the PPM Party Leader.  Don't you think he's going to run in the 2013 election?

      • Anonymous says:

        unna na hear or wha…Kurt up in North Side with Ezzzrd and dem frying fish and conch fritters…unna tink he worried about politcs anymore..He ga Kurt 's Korner now wid all the fry fish and turtle meat he can eat…he livin good and already ga da double dip pension..unna watch and see wha he ga do…

    • myview2 says:

      Hey, Wasn't it Einstein who defined Insanity as 'repeating the same actions, over and over, and expecting different results'?

      Why do we keep putting these career politicians back in office and think they will 'fix' things?? They are the cause, not the solution!

      We need to remember that when we go to the voting booths this time!

  22. WVM says:

    A referendum costs much less than say the fees we lost on the Cohen debacle or a "consultancy fee" for a simple planning application. 

  23. Anonymous says:

    UDP save us some money,  pass the Law to allow one man one vote at the next LA sitting, but we still want the 21 days notice.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I see a fight between Arden and Alden brewing! You wait til the fight for premier between Ezzard and Arden starts…We need to make sure none of these get elected again…Enough of the power struggles

    • Anonymous says:

      What about the fight between Ezzard and Arden when it emerges that their current constituencies ought to be merged on account of the number of voters being too few to be fair to the rest of the population?

      The same ought to be true for the Lesser Islands. One representative only although, on head count alone, the Brac, Little Cayman, East End and North Side should probably be all in one constituency

      One man one vote is absolutely the right way to go but there are going to be some problems if each constituency is to have the same number of voters, is it ought to be to be truly democratic.

      • Anonymous says:

        Wrong. CB/LC/EE and NS would be 2,000+ voters.  

        You re just trying to introduce unnecessary complications while giving lip service to one man one vote.

    • Anonymous says:

      It has already started. Without one man one vote these two stand no chance of getting the premier’s spot. Tread lightly Cayman, this could be deja vu all over again. Remember in the hype of the last election we put through a very expensive and cumbersome constitution for which we are now seeing the problems we brought on ourselves through forming just the office of premier.

      Power breeds corruption and corruption cannot survive without power. Unless we can have clean slate and get rid of both UDP and PPM and yes, power minded Ezzard as well, we will never change anything. All we are doing is basically recycling politicians like we have done for years.

      For once I agree with both Alden and Mckeeva on this and think it should be part of the election like the constitution was. Rushing this through for expediency and to seize power is counter productive. Let the people decide in the next election which Is only a year what they want to do.

      I am tired of the sensationalism and propaganda from these two. It’s time they find their rocking chairs and let some new younger bloods in.

      • Anonymous says:

        So introducing full democracy is "rushing to seize power"? It sound slike you are afraid that the wishes of the people might actually be realised.
         

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh, hush, you Bushite.

  25. Anonymous says:

    It is time for change Cayman! if you don't like what is going on, well now is the chance to voice your feelings, the pen is stronger than sword, now it's time to use the power of the pen my people (Caymanians)!!!!!!