OMOV campaigners boosted by Chamber support

| 08/06/2012

vote yes.JPG(CNS): Even though the odds are against next month's referendum on one, man one vote (OMOV) and single member constituencies returning a majority 'yes' vote, the campaigners are not giving up and have launched into a full scale campaign, remaining confident they will win. More than 7,000 leaflets have been distributed across the islands about the advantages of the voting system and Cayman’s business community has joined in with a campaign of its own to support OMOV. The Chamber of Commerce states in its position paper that its membership surveys have all indicated strong support from its more than 700 business members, which represent more than 18,000 people.

“A small constituency with a single member, as opposed to multiple members, encourages a stronger connection between representative and constituent and increases accountability, the Chamber states on the issue. “Single member constituencies better serve every citizen and guarantee equality.”

Ezzard Miller, the independent member for North Side, who, along with the East End PPM member Arden McLean, launched the campaign and petition for a referendum on changing the current multi-member voting system, said he was delighted that the Chamber had come out publicly in full support of OMOV. He said it fuelled the confidence of the campaigners that, despite the odds, the time had come.

“We are grateful for the Chamber support,” Miller said. “Despite the many hurdles, I am confident that the people are going to vote in favour and urge everyone to come out vote on 18 July for democracy.”

The original goal of the campaigners had been to trigger a people-initiated referendum in November of this year. In response to the groundswell of support for the referendum, the government said it would hold the national ballot at the same time as the May 2013 general election. However, with the campaign still pushing for a November ballot in order for the next election to be held on the basis of the referendum result, the campaigners continued on with their petition, placing pressure on government.

The premier then suddenly announced that government would instead hold the referendum in the summer. Although it is now a government-triggered and not a people-triggered ballot, the premier announced it would still require 50% plus one of the entire electorate to carry and made it clear the government would be campaigning against single member constituencies.

With the weight of government resources against them, a summer poll when people are off island, a requirement to get almost 8000 ‘yes’ votes to win and a campaign time shortened by four months, the OMOV camp face an uphill struggle. However, they have remained positive and are pressing ahead with their education campaign. They are also urging voters who will be away from Cayman on the day of the poll to register for an absentee ballot before the deadline of 6 July. (Download a form here)

So far, despite having access to the public purse, government has not yet fired its big gunson the ‘No’ campaign and confined its message at present to telling those in multi-member constituencies not to give up their vote.

However, it is anticipated that after the budget for the 2012/13 financial year is dealt with this month, government will be hitting the campaign trail to persuade the electorate to vote against OMOV and retain the unequal and significantly less accountable system.

See postal ballot form below.

Category: Politics

Comments (5)

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  1. Tired of complaints says:

    Vote NO for the OMOV.

    • PeopleGetReady says:

      Is this the same UDP PUPPET who also commented in favor of the CHINESE port deal? Are you afraid your place at the trough will be lost if we get a government made up of people who believe in running the country in a manner that will allow EVERYONE to get an opportunity to provide for themselves instead of a FEW getting fed with a silver spoon?

  2. Anonymous says:

    I truly support this change to the election system: the current model allows too many lazy MLAs to ride in on other peoples coattails – John John Seymour, capt Eugene ( who’s sole contribution to the house is annual Christmas message) – What are they doing to earn their $9000.00 a month salary and parliamentary pension??

    Have no idea why bt voters would elect such an unqualified or incompetent person is beyond me …and as for west buyers -pah!- we are still seeing the results of their collective wisdom in voting.

    Even tho gt let dim-wit Ellio get in, he is the weakest of the current 4 elected gt reps the other 3 are reasonably solid qualification and record-wise.

    Ee and ns are already single member constituencies and both have to earn their keep…

    Vote YES to OMOV

  3. Anonymous says:

    its about time the chamber came out with some definitive comments on issues….

    for too long they have been sitting on the fence while this administration stumbles from one humiliation to another…

  4. Anonymous says:

    You can stab in the dark by sending leaflets to 18,000 random people, but only 15,156 specific people are registered for the referendum and their names and addresses are all available online from elections website.