Former CS boss adds name to growing petition

| 04/04/2012

012 (210x300).jpg(CNS): With around 3500 signatures on the one man, one vote petition, the addition of Donovan Ebanks, the former deputy governor and civil service chief to the list of names may help with the major surge that the campaigners will need to persuade government to implement the system of one man one vote before the next election. Signing outside the George Town, town hall on Tuesday morning in what witnesses described as an historic occasion Ebanks said he hoped his decision to sign publicly would encourage all civil servants who supported the petition’s goal to sign without fear of sanction.

Following the implementation of a new public sector policy, of which Ebanks was the architect, enabling government employees to sign petitions and become more involved in the political process, the former civil service boss said he hoped they would take advantage of it.

He advised any civil servants who still have any reservations about signing any petition including this one to seek out the new deputy governor because he would reassure them.

“If they still have a lack of confidence in the policy they need to seek out the deputy governor as he is the ultimate referee and convey their concerns,” he said explaining that they need to hear it from him if they are still not comfortable. “I think the policy is sound, I think it gives a clear set of rules.”

Involved in the development of the policy he said that he had learned during the research that Cayman makes more use of petitions than any other jurisdiction putting it in a unique position.

Ezzard Miller who has spearheaded the campaign for one man, one vote and the petition said he was delighted that Ebanks had signed the petition in such a public forum and support the cause.

“It’s going to be a tremendous boost for the cause,” Miller added. “He was the architect behind the policy……as he has always supported an increase in freedoms for civil servants.”

Miller said that there were more than 70 petition books still out in circulation and that people were still asking for more. He said that the number of signatures would be even greater if they had more volunteers to collect the names but it was still going very well.

He explained that the plan was to deliver the petition to government on 30 April with the numbers required to trigger the people initiated referendum along with a draft referendum law and a draft amendment to the election law but that the group will carry on collecting signatures after that.

“I believe that there is a point at which we will get the watershed and the government will have no choice but to do the right thing and amend the law in time for 2013,” he said.

Miller added that the government’s announcement about holding a referendum in May of next year had set back the campaign at first describing it as a “brilliant” political move on the premier’s part who opposes the principle of single member constituencies.

“The purpose of the announcement was not to hasten the advent of a referendum, the purpose of that announcement was to dampen the enthusiasm of people and we have had to overcome that. Politically it was a brilliant move… but people have seen through the politics of it.”

He said they were also not swayed by the idea of the community wanting 18 post offices because of one man one vote which he said was ludicrous as it had not happened anywhere in the world.

However, the independent member for North Side did agreed that the premier’s more recent comments about the campaign was right as he said it was a power struggle.

“I agree entirely, yes it’s a power struggle,” he said. “We are trying to empower the people through equality and single member representation with direct accountability and direct responsibility.  Mr Bush is trying to maintain the power for himself and his group by keeping the multiple member constituencies and continuing to gerrymander the process.”

Miller questioned the premier’s position that the cost of a referendum earlier than the election would be so much more and called on the government again to implement the equitable system of one man, one vote before May 2013.

Click here for contact details or to download the petition: Petition for single member constituencies

Category: Politics

Comments (16)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Three cheers for Donnie. A man of integrity.

  2. Anonymous says:

    One could not have asked for a greater parting gift than what was just given by former Deputy Governor, Donnovan Ebanks, to the Cayman Islands Civil Service. Mr. Ebanks, a great many thanks to you Sir! Yours are big shoes to fill, on so many levels, and you are greatly missed. The fact that you cared enough about those you were leaving behind  to carefully research and pen this very important policy, paving the way for every civil servant to have the freedom to sign important petitions such as this, speaks volumes of the man that you are. Your honesty, integrity, direct and up-front manner never leaves anyone with false hopes or wrong impressions but sadly these fine qualities are not often found in persons who reach high office today.  It is indeed sad that you could not still be standing as the civil service leader during this important milestone and even sadder that you will you be the defender in the event of any issues but I salute you Sir, I thank you for all you have done and continue to do and I wish you good health and a very long and happy retirement.

  3. Anonymous says:

    As per the attachment

    Anyone wishing to sign the petition can contact any of the following:
    Al Suckoo Jr 916-1689 alva.suckoo@gmail.com
    Johann Moxam jmoxam@hotmail.com
    Noel March 916-1429 ntmarch@hotmail.com
    Chris Goddard 928-6534 sportnzone@candw.ky
    Betyann 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
    Bryan Ebanks 916-3048
    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
    Gregg Anderson 916-6777
    Alden McLaughlin 916-3153
    PPM Office 945-8292 ppm@candw.ky
    Petition books are also available to sig at Four Winds Esso in West Bay, Walkers Road Texaco, in George Town, Pinnacle Condos on 7MB, as well as the Book Nook and Hobbies and Books
     

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      As an ex employee it’s nice to see all those fine people who still prefer their C&W numbers.

  4. Anon says:

    Great to see the retired Deputy Governor and the retired Fire Chief signing the petition.

    We now call on the current Deputy Governor and head of the Civil Service Assciation to come out and publicly sign the petition if they believe One Man One Vote is better for the Cayman Islands than the current multi-voting system.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes! I agree, both Franz and James Watler should come out and sign the petition if they agree with one man one vote, or if they don't then say so.  Donnie Ebanks has done his part as architect of the policy and now coming forwarding and signing it is exactly what is expected of a man of his stature. That is all good but he is now retired and it is left to those two to stand up with civil servants and move this policy forward which will be the greatest example to other civil servants that they too can do so without fear.

  5. Bodden. says:

     Now I would like to see Franz Manderson follow Donovan Ebanks example. That would reassure Civil Servants that it is "safe" to sign petitions. In the system now, a man living in George Town is able to vote 4 times. He can vote for all the UDP party members in George Town.

    But if the system is changed to "one person, one vote," that man in George Town will only be able to vote for 1 person he thinks best represents his electoral district.  You see, the newer system will be a more district-oriented than party-oriented "vote straight" system, which will be a slight victory for those who oppose a two-party government.

    • Anonymous says:

      I know that some people in the Cayman Islands are concerned that voters in the more populated districts like George Town (5,910 voters), West Bay (3,687 voters) and Bodden Town (3,457 voters) get a chance to vote for more representatives than those in the smaller populated districts like Cayman Brac/Little Cayman (962 voters), East End (582 voters) and North Side (558 voters). 

      However, it appears to be similar to the Electoral College in the United States, where according to the Constitution, the states with larger populations must be represented by a larger number of electoral votes.  In each state, whichever party gets a majority of popular votes wins all of the electoral votes, regardless of how narrow the margin is.  By forcing residents in each state ultimately to vote as a block, the system is supposed to ensure that small states' interests are not drowned out by those of larger states.


      As per Article Two, Section 1, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution, it states that "Each state shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the state may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector."




      Thus, a state gets one elector for every member of Congress it has (Representatives + Senators). Since the allocation of Representatives is based on population (Article One, Section 2, Clause 3), the total number of electors given a state is partially based on their population.
      In all, there are 538 electoral votes and the number given to each state (or voting district, as it would compare to Cayman) reflects the sum of the Representatives and Senators (or Candidates, as it would compare to Cayman) it sends to Congress (or the Legislative Assembly, as it would compare to Cayman).  But, it only takes a minimum of 270 electoral college votes to win the election. 
      So as the current laws are now in the Cayman Islands, the biggest states California (55), New York (31), Texas (34), Pennsylvania (21) have the most impact on the result of the presidential election, over smaller populated states like those similar to Alaska (3), Wyoming (3) and the Dakotas (3 each).  

      Just on a side note, apart from only one other time in America's political history, Democrat Al Gore won the popular vote but lost the election to Republican George W. Bush in 2000.  After the whole world was watching to see who was actually going to be named as President of the United States, strategically-placed Republican Florida Secretary of State Kathleen Harris stopped the re-counting of votes, even though she denied her party affiliation had anything to do with her decision.  It was only after area newspapers requested Freedom of Information that it was determined that in fact Al Gore actually had won by a few hundred votes!

      • Anonymous says:

        Relevance?

        There is still onle one vote per person regardless of the popluation and size of a state!

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually, you are wrong about your US facts. Stick to what you know.

      • Anonymous says:

        You have managed to completely miss the point. The U.S. electoral college (which is used only for electing the U.S. President) does not go against 'one, man, one vote'. The point is that INDIVIDUALLY the electors in each state have only one vote regardless of the size of the state. Naturally more populous states will have more electors but that is not the point.   

        Note that each U.S. congressman is elected under one man, one vote within his single-member constituency congressional district. Note also that not all districts are of equal size. Finally, note that each state has two senators regardless of size.  

        • Anonymous says:

          Thanks for explaining this.  So, if the proposed OMOV petition actually progresses all the way and gets enacted, is it possible that candidates from the lesser populated districts (say for instance, a candidate running from Little Cayman) will have more ofa challenge on getting elected, unless they can connect on a national level with all of the voters?

           

          It just seems like it will be harder for the smaller districts to have representation in government.  While a representative democracy enables each eligible voter to cast a ballot, the fact is that when legislators ignore the requests of the public by refusing to engage in nationally important issues, voters need to voice their demands more strenuously at the polls.  So I applaud the effort of the OMOV petition.

           

          My fear is that this will create the age-old problem like Washington, DC touted when they made a strong case of “taxation without representation”.  I know it's not the same regarding taxation, but in principle, every district wants to be represented and have standing that in some way, they have at least one candidate in the house.

          • Anonymous says:

            OMOV combined with single member constituencies means that each electoral district will be represented by one MLA. E.g GT would be divided into6 individual constituencies rather than one district having six MLAs. It would actually help to level the playing field for smaller districts to get into govt.

            I think what you have in mind is OMOV with all MLAs being ‘at large’ and elected on a national basis. I agree that that would seriously disadvantage smaller districts but is not what is proposed by the petition.

      • myview2 says:

        Apples and Oranges!

        1 for 1 is still the voting system, in America & although it does have Electoral College system, the candidate still only receives ONE vote from one person.Don't forget, they vote for  1  presidential candidate…nationwide,  and it doesn't matter if they live in Texas or Ohio, they only get ONE vote!! That is  NOTHING like our antiquated, undemocratic, popularity system that we have tweeked to fit the control of the day. We don't even require an education of any sort for our political candidates/ elected posts, would not hire most in our businesses but turn our islands/futures over to the mercies of the'unknown', oh man!!! & in the 21 Century! C'mon Rumple Stilskin…time to wake up!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Could somebody in the know please post up details of the locations where this petition might be signed?  Only I am aware of several caymanians in the Eastern Districts with voting rights who have no idea where they can add their names to this petition.  If that's the case, then potentially all the required signatures are still out there willing and able to sign if only they knew how/where.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don't know about the other Eastern Districts but here in East End someone was going house to house with the petition.