Over 80% reject status quo

| 19/07/2012

_DSC8018-web.jpg(CNS): Although the Cayman Islands premier believes that the people who stayed away from the polls yesterday were rejecting single member constituencies, their failure to vote can also be seen as a rejection of the current voting system. 19.7% of the registered voters cast their ballot against the idea of one man, one vote in single member constituencies, favouring the current voting system. However, in contrast over 37.1% specifically voted in favour of that system and close to 43% chose not to vote either for or against that system. Although 80% of voters did not actively support the status quo or were very clearly supporting OMOV, McKeeva Bush has stated that as far as he is concerned the referendum was binding in favour of the current system and not, as the election’s office has said, advisory.

In a speech to his supporters in the early hours of Thursday morning following the referendum, which was carried almost two to one in favour of single member constituencies by those that voted, the premier described the result as a win for multi-member constituencies. Even though the vote was more than 2-1 in favour, it did not attain the artificially high standard designed only for people-initiated referendum of 50% plus 1 of registered voters and Bush is not taking the result on advice.

“The majority of registered voters placed a ‘no’ and voted by staying away or coming to the polls and voting ‘no’ to single member constituencies. Nobody can make it any other how that’s what happened,” he said. “The people of the Cayman Islands have spoken and so we must all listen. They have said clearly that this country has other more urgent national issues than single member constituencies.”

However, according to the poll the result was a clear majority for ‘yes’ to the question calling for change, as 61.5% of voters polled voted in favour of the referendum. And although the turnout was lower than Cayman has come to expect in general elections, for a mid-term standalone referendum during the summer break, the number of voters in comparison to other national polls was not insignificant. A majority of registered electors, more than 57%, did take the time to go to the polls and vote for the referendum question.

Following the final result, Ezzard Miller, the independent member for North Side who spearheaded the campaign, said the premier could not claim victory. With 80% of the electorate making it quite evident that they did not support the status quo and the current political system, Bush could not take that as a win for the multi-member system, he said.

“There is no question that 80% of the electorate is not satisfied with the status quo,” he said adding that the premier was wrong to assume the people who didn’t go to the polls would have voted ‘no.’

“The trend was a very clear 2-1 in the major constituencies of George Town and Bodden Town and it would have likely continued in that vein regardless of the numbers. Even in his stronghold of West Bay, in the wake of him spending $100,000 of the people’s money on the ‘no’ campaign, the people in that district only voted against the referendum with the slimmest margin,” Miller pointed out.

No matter how Bush attempted to spin the result, the independent member said the country’s leader had to face the fact that the voting public were overwhelmingly in favour of single member constituencies.

“We crossed the normal hurdle,” Miller stated. “Under any other circumstances with a majority of registered voters going to the polls and a majority of that vote in favour, the referendum would have carried. The problem is that it did not attain the artificial hurdle set by the UDP government.”

Miller said the poll was an emphatic vote for change.  “The people want change and they are clearly not satisfied with the level of representation they are getting and that was an important message delivered by those whovoted.”

Although Bush has not yet confirmed how government will accommodate three new seats in the Legislative Assembly at the next election, as provided for in the constitution, earlier indications from the premier were that he would add two seats to the capital and one in Bodden Town.  However, as the OMOV campaign gathered momentum, even Bush began to acknowledge that having voters in George Town casting six votes was unfair and that he wanted to place one of those seats in West Bay, even though the population does not support such a move.

The premier will in the coming months, however, have to decide how those new seats will be accommodated based on population and traditional district areas. He has rejected the Electoral Boundary Commission’s recommendation of a new seventh electoral district between George Town and Bodden Town, covering the communities of Spotts, Newlands and Savannah, leaving him with only one option that does not involve gerrymandering. This means registered voters living in George Town will be given significantly more influence on the election of the next government than any other district.

Final results of the national referendum on single member constituencies and one man, one vote are as follows:

National vote: 'yes' = 5631 (37.1% of registered voters), 'no' = 3,001 (19.7% of registered voters).  61.5% of those who voted, voted in favour of the quesiton.

CBLC:               yes – 256, no – 203
East End:          yes – 257, no – 79
North Side:        yes – 335, no – 56
West Bay:         yes – 1027, no – 1053
Bodden Town:    yes – 1396, no – 617
George Town:     yes –  2360, no – 993

Turn out was 8715 or 57.67% of registered voters

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Category: Politics

Comments (40)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    What boggles my mind is that North Side and East End basically have single member constituencies now but yet there are people in those districts who voted "no"! So what are those people saying? They are rejecting the current system they have?  

  2. thetruth says:

    What about people who are incompetent to vote?  My father couldn't vote.  He has Alzheimers and doesn't even know who I am.  Is that fair for him to be counted as a "NO" vote?  What about someone who is in a coma in the hospital?  Should they be counted as a "no" vote?  This is where the system is unfair.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is unfair ONLY if someone tries to say what their vote would have been – if they didnt vote, it should not be counted for or against

  3. Anonymous says:

    The situation is like the legislative assembly vote on a bill or motion. There are three options: Yes, No or Abstain (or leaving the chamber at the relevant time). No one in their right minds would argue that an MLA who has abstained or left the building at the time of the actually voted No (or Yes for that matter) and say that the motion was passed or failed on that basis.

  4. An Electorate says:

    Mr Governor, please consult with the Queen on the results of Cayman's OMOV referendum.  I am of the majority that voted YES YES YES YES YES!!!!!

    Certainly, what's good in the mother-country must be good for the child-country!!

    Correct me if I'm wrong – but Cayman "enjoys" to a point, self-governance however HMS can, AT ANY TIME, effect an Order-In-Council over Cayman.

    So what are you waiting for at this time?  Its always said, "whats good for the goose is good for the gander!"   Cant it now be said, "whats good for the mother is good for the child'?………..as in the case below.


    BBC News

    Vote 2011: UK rejects alternative vote

    The UK has voted overwhelmingly to reject changing the way MPs are elected – dealing a bitter blow to Nick Clegg on top of heavy Lib Dem poll losses.

    Officials say 19.1m people voted in the second UK-wide referendum in history – a higher than expected turnout of 41%.

    The final result put the Yes vote at 32.1% and the No vote at 67.9%.

    The No campaign won, overwhelmingly.


    Mr Clegg said: "I wish I could say this was a photo finish but it isn't, the result is very clear. I'm a passionate supporter of political reform but when the answer is as clear as this, you have got to accept it."


  5. Anonymous says:

    What are the benchmarks for being elected a MLA? Is it 50percent plus 1 of the voters in your district? Or is it just a majority of the voters that turn out to vote?


    ALso, if 20percent automatically do not show up to vote, that is we only normally get an 80percent turnout during general election voting, what does that mean for the candidates seeking re-election to the Leg Assembly? Should the MLAs seeking re-election automatically count those 20percent that do not come out to vote as an automatic vote for them?

  6. Anonymous says:

    cns:…you are doing the same thing that mac is doing…by claiming to know the position of the people who did not vote…..

    you cannnot presume any opinion or position for the people that did not vote…..

    • Anonymous says:

      Anom 7:40…….I agree with your statement above. I did not vote……not because I did not want to……I sent in for myself and my mother's postal ballots almost a month ago and they were delivered to me the day of the referundum (we are off island and would not be able to go to the stations). They were of no use to both of us by the time they reached us.

      I requested both ballots well before the cutoff limits and followed the procedures that the elctions office set out; I would have been able to get both my "YES" votes should the elections office had sent my ballots in a timely manner.

      I refuse to be "labeled" as a no vote…that is simply not the case!!!! No one can presume any opinion of the people that failed to vote….there are more just like me who were jipped in this process. 



  7. Verticalpig says:

    Talk about playing with a rigged deck.  It's binding if we win but it's advisory if we loose.


    Why not have another referendum? Subject  "Mac should stay in office."


    By Mac's logic all those who don't vote will have voted No


    Problem solved.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I did not vote because I couldn’t be bothered to go. I intended on voting no and staying home meant no. I choose not to waste my gas. It was up to the people that wanted to change the current system to mobilize their votes and incurr the necessary expenses for doing so!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Well, one vote never made it in.  My husband applied for an absentee ballot almost a month ago!  It came in the registered main on Tuesday!  Impossible for me to fedex it to him, have him sign, then fedex it back.  They assured us it would have been received in enough time.  What a joke.  I wonder how many others are in the same situation as us.

    I think it's silly that the its not 50% of people who voted.  Plenty people go off island during the summer etc.  Joke system, joke government.  It's embarassing that such a small place can't be run half way efficiently.  There are college campuses and universities with more people and land that are run better.  


  10. Anonymous says:

    Mac, take the majority vote as a reflection of the results of the next election by district.


    Heed what we are trying to tell you. Do not be astorperious as your advisers are telling you.


    You know grass roots politics, take heed use your common sense.

    Do not give away the election again based on ego.

  11. Anonymous says:

    This vote proves one thing and one thing alone.  Mr. Bush doesn't care what people think…and never has.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Sorry CNS but whatever way you want to spin these numbers – it didnt pass…can you move on to something a bit more constructive instead of focusing on the same divisive issue every single day.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Does the editor, or anyone else have the results that led to our new constitution? It would be interesting to compare that with this vote, especially if the same 50% +1 criteria was used.

    Just wondering.

    • Anonymous says:

      About 12,000 plus voters placed a ballot in 2009 general election. Of those only about 11,200 voted in the new constituition referendum. Of those 7,000 voted Yes and about 4000 no. The majority voted for it however notably less than 50%. It came into effect.

      So of the 15,000 registered voters only 7,000 changed our entire constitution. If we add the 4,000 plus that voted NO to the 3,000 plus that did not go to polls as a NO also then it actually failed according to the Premier’s Maths.

  14. Sir wastes a lot says:

    Maybe someone needs to update Cayman’s wikapedia page from democracy to dictatorship.

  15. Anonymous says:

    In related news the decision not to change the way things are done in elections has been applauded by the local association of appliance retailers who also report that they look forward to an upturn in sales as next May approaches. 

  16. Anonymous says:

    What a total waste of time and money. How much revenue was lost yesterday on this fiasco.

  17. Anonymous says:

    This bothers me:

    Q – if the next referendum question begs a negative response (eg – "Do we want independence") would we feel that to stay home is a "No" vote?

    OF course not!

    So then, why was the propaganda spread this time???

  18. UDP'rs take says:

    1. PPM brought the country into a serious deficit with figures unknown to this day. When they were warned to stop spending on large projects such as school in Frank Sound and roads and more roads, they continued despite the incoming Global Recession. Then when it struck it left us with a big hole. No auditing was done, so we still don't know how deep that hole is today.

    2. UDP inherited the mess from PPM in 2009 and won by a landslide.

    3. As a result, UK places onthe Cayman Islands government BORROWING restrictions, which prevented McKeeva's government from borrowing from lenders to stimulate the economy by creating revenue. See PMFL law, which has taken away our Financial Independence thanks to PPM's screw up.

    4. UK demanded we Tax

    5. McKeeva refused to have us under direct Tax and went to UK to plead our cause.

    6. McKeeva's government made several request to borrow, but was turned down.

    7. McKeeva's government had no other option but to introduce austere measures like permit hikes and 3.2 cut to civil service.

    8. Opposition engaged in a media campaign to not only make UDP look bad, but ruin and mar characters.

    9. Dart and many in the private sector offered to help government in boosting the economy. McKeeva was reluctant.

    10. Kurt Tibbetts resigned because he knows he made a huge screw-up and gave the responsibility to Alden who received an MBE for a flimsy Constitution which today doesn't fully represent Cayman

    11. McKeeva's government had no choice but to go to Dart and wealthy investors for help instead of the UK!  There was no other alternative but to make "deals" with private sector.

    12. Opposition started to make a stink about the deals, and many cried corruption. But how can you get returns without making special deals. McKeeva declared, "nothing is for nothing."

    13. They started shooting at the For Cayman Alliance with Dart's support to stimulate the economy by the creation of revenue. Some started to even attack Dart who is but a mere capitalist, investing in a place he considers his home

    14. McKeeva's government gets blurred upon by 3 investigations of corruption although no one has been found guilty of corruption. The Commissioner of Police drags his feet on the first corruption, and the prolonging of it, has allowed some in Opposition to engage in demeaning his character, because he is still not found guilty

    15. Opposition then shoots at Dart and blurs the alliance between the private sector and government as a corrupt alliance. No evidence of corruption because package deal is not exposed to them. So still they have nothing on Dart-UDP deals.

    16. Opposition tries to divided the country into 18 districts by one man one vote, so to break the power of UDP from ever getting in for another 4 years, yet they have no SOLUTIONS on how they would better the economy since they condemn the alliance with Dart.

    17. Deficit problem lead to other deficits which will take government more than one term to fix the mess. The country needs revenue! 

    * The Question Remains on Everbody's mind whilst Opposition gets carried away with electoral districts:  What is Opposition doing to help the UDP government with the Economy???  Ever since McKeeva went in and became Premier and they lost, they have been on a campaign to tear him down and block the development of the economy, both Opposition and yes certain persons in the UK. Still no jobs.

    • LOL says:

      You woke up a bees nest now. Red bees buzzing all over the place

    • Anonymous says:

      lol… interestingly you didn't get alot of thumbs-down. They really have no reply. Still scratching their heads

    • Anonymous says:

      Leaving aside the biased summary of events, it is not the proper role of the opposition to "help the government with the economy". Mac has made it clear that he does not want their input let alone their help. Certainly when the UDP was in opposition it did not help the PPM govt. with the economy. What you call "tearing him down and blocking development of the country" is the opposition doing its job of scrutinising govt's actions and policies. If the govt proposes something which is ridiculous and harmful to this country – like an oil refinery – then it ought to be opposed. We understand that UDPers believe that any requirement for accountability amounts to bureaucratic harrassment. Apparently there should simply be a chorus of yes men and that would constitute helping the government with the economy.      

  19. Thunder Storm says:

    "McKeeva Bush has stated that as far as he is concerned……….."


    Well, dont we ALL know that as far as he is concerned, he;s only concerned about himself, dollars and how it directly affects him.


    If he had any sense, he would be concerned!!



  20. Anonymous says:

    Will this standard be applied to the elections as well? I.e. will government get to assume that if a person does not vote, they are indirectly voting in favour of whoever is the MLA(s) for their district? Would that be democratic, shouldn't people have the freedom to say yes, no, or nothing at all? 

    It is possible that those who did not go to the polls meant it as a 'no' vote, but is it not also possible that by not going to vote the person simply did not feel informed enough or have a strong enough opinion to vote either 'yes' or 'no'.

    Setting the standard higher for this referendum than for the constitutional referendum seems a bit backward. Isn't our constitution further reaching than this issue? I would have thought so, but from the standard, I guess it's not.


  21. Stiffed-Necked Fool says:

    No Mac, dont count my not showing up to vote as a No vote! I dont want to lose my soon to be 6 votes only to have 1 – I need all 6 to vote you out BoBo!

  22. No Way!!!!! says:

    I would like it to be known that I DID NOT vote yesterday, simple as that! But now I want it also to be known that I did not vote because I wanted my vote to be perceived as a no vote but because I was not fully understandable of the whole system that was being proposed bythe OMOV people. I did not vote because I did not want to vote either yes or no, so please people, dont count my not voting as a no vote.

    I wish that yesterday was the General elections as I would have definitly come out to vote, as would have quite a number of others I know, for anyone that opposed this present Government, the UDP. I have listened very intently to the no campaign by the UDP and with each meeting I became totally disgusted and disillusioned and I came so close to actually going out to vote because of them but I would have voted YES, but I could not do something that I was not totally comfortable with.


    • Anonymous says:

      If you didn't understand the system, you could have contacted one of the OMOV people and they would have explained it so that you can understand.  Please don't decide to not vote whenever we have an importantissue facing us again.  Go to someone and have them explain it.  I found them to be honest and objective.


  23. Anonymous says:

    Just to put our referendum results in context, last year the UK held a referendum on changing their voting system from First Past the Post to Alternative Voting. On a turnout of 41 percent, 68 percent voted No and 32 percent voted Yes. Here in Cayman on a turnout of 57% of registered voters 65%* voted Yes and 34% voted No. The UK's result was described by the BBC as "overwhelming". In that case how should we describe Cayman's?   


    *CNS, I am not sure how you got 61.5%. My calculations are based on the returns on the Elections Office website.  

    • Thunder Storm says:

      I strongly believe that we have cause to take our YES results to the FCO and /or UK Parliament.


      We too have spoken "overwhelmingly"!!


      Lets not stop here, WE ARE NOT AN INDEPENDENT STATE therefore our cause does not stop at the Premier!!!!!!!!!!!!

  24. Anonymous says:

    This is largely BS.

    People who sit on their backsides and don't vote don't count.

    They should have either gone to the polling stations and voted 'NO' or spoiled their ballot papers as an identifiable protest vote.



  25. Anonymous says:

    There were a few things wrong at the Voting booths yesterday:
    Despite having ample security and elections office personnel, vandals were allowed to mark up signs – how does this happen?
    There were names of persons who have been dead for years on the voter list – how does this happen?
    There were voters, who participated in the last election, who showed up to vote but their name was not on the list – how does this happen?
    There were voters, who participated in the last election, who showed up at the polling station only to find that their name had already been crossed off the list, but they had not voted yet – how does this happen?
    Mr. Supervisor, what kind of operation are you running?????

  26. Anonymous says:

    Mac's right…. I didn't go to the polls becuase i don't agree with one man one vote.. We do need to chage our system but not 18 areas, we need to reduce the amounts of MLAs we currently have and go from there.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is amazing that so many went to the polls to vote no when their absence would have achieved the same. In that I give you credit.

      Now you said we needed change. I agree and most of Cayman does the same. While spending so much time on kicking the PPM the premeir should have put something in place whereby we could either discuss what is needed or an alternative. And so he did neither.

      When the new constitution was coming in. He held it up and it took the PPM the bring it forward.

      So change is not the UDP's plan. It does not serve them well.

      Now think not that I am PPM. During their time they played a significant part in messing our finances up. The UDP has brought us back from that point. Strangely enough after brining us back he still uses the PPM as his scapegoat.

      PS I am not totally convinced of where this country stands financially as I dont believe the Financial Secretary. I believe that he says whatever the Government tells him to say.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your logic is very wrong.  I stayed home because I was undecided neither voting yes or no so that makes MAC wrong

    • SKEPTICAL says:

      Agree with you. Whilst the principal of OMOV is essential, the proposed boundaries for the 18 revised voting areas would produce some very odd constituencies.