‘Just change election law’

| 07/03/2012

vote here 2.jpg(CNS): As signatures from registered voters exceeded 2,500 on the petition for a referendum, one of the MLAs leading the charge for a change in the country’s voting system has called on the premier to save the country the time, money and trouble of having a referendum and just change the election law to single member constituencies. Premier McKeeva Bush has acknowledged the difficulties presented by increasing the members in George Town to six to accommodate two of the three new legislative seats at the next general election, and Ezzard Miller says he has the power to introduce one man, one vote now and show the world Cayman is a democracy.

With little doubt left that the petitioners will, at the very least, reach the 3,800 signatures from registered voters to trigger a referendum before the end of this month, the independent member for North Side said claims by the premier that a referendum before the election would be too expensive plus the issue over the number of seats in the capital point to an obvious conclusion.

“There is no support from the boundary commission report for an extra seat in West Bay as has been suggested by the premier, and as the number of petitioners for one man, one vote continues to grow, given the claims of how much it will cost, the premier can save the money by withdrawing the existing motion that is currently before the Legislative Assembly and change the law,” he said.  “It is already evident that many people support one man, one vote and although I believe a referendum will cost closer to $300,000 than the stated million or so by the premier, no matter the costs, we can save it by going straight to single member constituencies for 2013.”

Miller said that the premier is often talking about the need for the Cayman Islands to be equal to the larger western nations on the world stage, and introducing the one man, one vote system is a chance to show we are a real democracy.

“It is unlikely that the rest of the democratic world is wrong on this and we are right,” Miller added, referring to Cayman’s current complex and unfair multi-member constituency voting system.

Opposition Leader Alden McLaughlin, who has previously noted that there may not be enough time to hold a referendum before the 2013 election and educate the voting population on the new system, has stated that he agrees wholeheartedly with this position.

He told CNS that if the premier moved straight to change the election law, there would be more than enough time to ensure the country is prepared and voters understand that they will be voting for just one candidate from the lists — in considerably smaller constituencies in the case of West Bay, Bodden Town and George Town.

The premier now agrees with one of the main issues that both Miller and the opposition member for East End, Arden Mclean, had stated was a major motivating factor for change. Bush has indicated that for George Town to send six members to the Legislative Assembly with the new 18 seat assembly, the capital would control one third of the LA membership, which was too much power for one district.

Speaking to Cayman27 last week, Bush suggested that West Bay couldbe the recipient of an extra seat so that the capital and his own constituency would be equal. He said his district had the same needs as George Town.

Such a move would be contrary to best election practices and, as noted in the boundary commissioner’s report, it could amount to gerrymandering —  the practice of rejigging constituencies in an effort to influence the general election result.

Although Bush has stated that he is willing to hold a referendum on one man, one vote on the same day as next year’s general election, how the eighteen members of the next parliament will be voted into their seats is still not settled.

The petitioners for the one man, one vote are now seeking to collect as many signatures as possible to try and force the premier’s hand. Despite asking for a November referendum, even with the constitutionally mandated 3,800 names, the time of the national poll would remain in the hands of government.

The group hopes to surpass five thousand signatures to demonstrate the wide support for the principle and push for a change in the election law. Miller has confirmed, however, that he will seek a judicial review if the premier refuses to hold the referendum before November of this year and makes no move to change the election law.

Anyone wishing to sign the petition can contact any of the following volunteers:

Al Suckoo Jr    916-1689 alva.suckoo@gmail.com
Noel March  916-1429 ntmarch@hotmail.com
Chris Goddard     928-6534 sportnzone@candw.ky
Bettyann Duty  916-1494 bettyann.duty@hotmail.com
Kent McTaggart   928-3449 kent@spscayman.com
Bo Miller    916-0003 miller.bo@gmail.com
Sharon Roulstone  516-0220 cayshay@hotmail.com
Marco Archer   939-7474 msarcher@candw.ky
Edward Caudeiron  916-0157 terrycaudeiron@hotmail.com
Terry Caudeiron  916-7895 terrycadeiron@hotmail.com
Ezzard Miller    327-5757  ezyhealth@telecayman.ky
Arden McLean  916-0630  arden@candw.ky
Woody Da Costa     916-2470  woodyd@candw.ky
PPM Office    945-8292 ppm@candw.ky
Gregg Anderson   916-6777    
Alden McLaughlin   916-3153  
Bryan Ebanks   916-3048          
Johann Moxam       jmoxam@hotmail.com

 

Category: Politics

Comments (8)

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  1. Knot S Smart says:

    Yes – the UDP are able to change our laws overnight!
    Just change the law to one man one vote and save the country a lot of expense.
    If you do, I promise to use my one vote to vote for each of the West Bay UDP candidates..

  2. Lachlan MacTavish says:

    Fellow Caymanians do not waste your time asking Mr. Bush to change the election law. Why would he or any of his blind power hunger wealthy followers want to open Cayman up to a better future for teh rest of you. One man one vote means that the real majority of voters, (not a district and controlled MLA followers) will control who gets elected and that will mean we will finally be able to choose individuals that govern for the people and the country.

    Keep signing the petition, demand from The Governor that one man one vote be confirmed this fall. We should really have an election this fall, clean house and get Cayman back on track. 

    Press On….

    Lachlan MacTavish 

  3. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps we should just vote for these ppl (as independents or PPM) on the list in the next election and do away with the UDP candidates, as they do not seem to be volunteering their support to "One man, One vote".

     

    Why arent Ministers and Backbenchers volunteering their support for this petition? Do they not understand what "One man, One vote" means and need to be educated themselves on the matter before they volunteer?

     

    If so, they should contact ppl on the list immediately and get familiar, then volunteer!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Too easy. It's more fun to make a big mess.

  5. EYE ON THE ISLAND says:

     

    You can only reason with a man that truly cares about the betterment of his country. Even though it is not in his best political interests Mr. Ezzard has cleverly gave our Première a chance to save face and do the right thing. Inquiry minds are watching to see what course the Premiere sets for our future. Turn back or sail over the edge. There is no middle ground on this.

    • Anonymous says:

      Anon 09;56 tell me which politician has ever reasoned with its peole they are all alike when they get in that seat. do you remember the phase used " Not in the kindest of morning" whos expression was this?

      What i have to say about this, we amended our constituation 2009. why wasnt this law written in stone, you know why, because the PPM saw it not fit… should they had won the election.

      I agree we need the change, but why now, we the people are asked to sign a referandum to bring this law in affect.  All members of the political group will peruse this document and see who is for who. and God help us with what the result will be.

      Caymanians , leave it for the Premier to do, do not get envolved.

      You can thumb me down all you want, but so far you only have 2,500 signatures…not enough. 

      • Anonymous says:

        2,500 signatures in a couple of weeks is excellent and is well on target to meet the 3,800 by the end of March!

        As you well know one man, one vote was not written into the Constitution because the UDP did not want it then as they don't want it now and Alden wanted them to support the Constitution. Why now? Because with the addition of three more seats so that one district will have 6 representatives and the voters in that district will have 6 votes it has become blatantly obvious that the system must change. But none of this is new. The Boundaries Commissioners in 2010 reported that at every meeting they held in every district the majority of people expressed support for one man, one vote.

        If you really support one man, one vote why not now? Why must it be deferred for another term? Why would you be trying to mock the petition?  Answer: because you know your cronies can only survive in multi-member constituencies. Feel very afraid – true democracy is coming to Cayman soon.    

            

    • so Anonymous says:

      Sail over the edge.  Bush has always and will always do the wrong thing (for the people).