OMOV would delay election

| 24/01/2013

alden 17 (240x300).jpg(CNS): The introduction of one man, one vote and single member constituencies for the May General Election would delay the poll many months because of the time line and legal barriers. However, the opposition leader has said this may be why the Coalition for Cayman has called for its implementation, forcing a lengthy delay to get more campaign time. Alden McLaughlin reiterated his commitment to the principle of OMOV Thursday and promised to implement the system should his party win office, but he said he did not want to see the next election delayed, and he questioned the genuine support for OMOV by the C4C chair, who just a few months before the referendum publicly stated his opposition to it.

“Unless they are trying to delay the election, and I am wondering seriously if they may want that to happen, it is constitutionally, legally and practically impossible to move to single member constituencies once the election writ has been issued,” McLaughlin added, as he accused the political group, which is not calling itself a party, of misleading the people about what is possible and what is not.

Emphasising his own support, however, he pointed to a letter which had been published in The Caymanian Compass in April 2012, just a few months before Cayman went to the polls for last summer’s referendum on the issue, in which James Bergstrom,who is now the C4C chair, said he did not think dissecting Grand Cayman into 17 segments was the answer and voiced his opposition to the democratic principle.

McLaughlin raised the obvious question of why the C4C would turn its attention to something that cannot be accomplished at the eleventh hour when there were multiple other issues to campaign on.

“There is no way with the number of lawyers they have that they don’t understand the legal and constitutional hurdles to this, so the question is are they deliberately misrepresenting and creating false expectations for electioneering purposes, which would be downright dishonest,” he said.

With the election train now going full steam ahead, the focus, as far as the timeline is concerned, is on 27 March, which is Nomination Day when candidates declare which district they will run for election. However, if government were to try and move to single member constituencies (SMCs), Nomination Day would have to be postponed and with it the election date, which would then require further legislative changes.

With the addition of well over 3,000 names to the election register since the Election Boundary Commission carried out its report in order for the election to be fair, the commission would have to ensure that the new voters did not skew the voter head count in each constituency.

The only way that the election could be held on the basis of one man vote is for each elector at the election to be given one vote, no matter which district they vote in, and then the appropriate number of the top candidates for each district would be elected. This would mean that in George Town the top six candidates would win. This would require only a minor change to the electionslaw and has been advocated only by Ezzard Miller.

The opposition leader said he does not support that move and a representative of the coalition also told CNS that the group was not in support of that option either, nor did C4C wish to delay the election, the spokesperson said. It is not clear why the group has at the eleventh hour decided to begin a campaign which cannot lawfully be achieved.

“We would have to abort this process and start all over again,” McLaughlin stated, as he made it clear he believed the call from C4C was a political move.

Having had reservations about the timing of the referendum and the hijacking of what should have been a people’s vote by the former premier, the opposition leader has faced accusations that he does not support one man one vote. However, he has persistently denied those accusations and emphasised his continued support for OMOV.

He pointed out that the PPM raised much of the financing for the OMOV campaign and, many of the candidates running on the PPM ticket were at the forefront of the promotion and campaigning. McLaughlin stated it was Progressive members who organised the main public meeting for the campaign ahead of the referendum and helped organise the walkabouts and community gatherings.

“It is ridiculous to suggest that we do not support one man, one vote in single member constituencies,” he said, questioning where the only two officially declared candidates were when the OMOV campaign for the referendum was in full swing. He said neither Winston Connolly nor Roy McTaggart were anywhere near the campaigning.

That point, coupled with the stated opposition to the democratic system by Bergstrom, who heads up the ambiguous group, as well as the significant practical, legal and constitutional problems makes the call from C4C looked increasingly like an election ploy.

Category: Politics

Comments (55)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Poor Alden, as every new day dawns his chances of becoming the next premier disappear further and further into the distance. It's a new era for Cayman politics, thank goodness. The old ways of "it's my turn now" are over.

  2. C4C supporter says:

    I agree with needlecase comment on Thu, 01/24/2013 – 08:57. We should have a national vote for the premier. Why must one district vote in the premier and not the other districts?

    • Anynmous says:

      Yes I definately agree, Cayman should vot pn a national basis as t who we want as premier.  Very good thought.  Mr Governor please consider this for may.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Alden has never ever supported OMOV. If it came in he would have great difficulty getting elected without Mr Kurt’s voters. He knows that. He was against even having the referendum until the last minute.

    • independent voter says:

      You hit the nail right on the head, Mr. Mclaughlin is very concern that the OMOV would further erode his already shirking support.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Changing the voting system to OMOV could never be so delayed as to not make it feasible.  We do not need single member constituencies as much as we need a healthy democratic process across the islands as a whole.  Giving every one of the registered voters the opportunity to vote for one person from whatever district they choose, not restricting them to have to vote for ding dongs in their own distric, would be a very democratic way of voting even if it is in June, however with some leadership and cooperation it should be able to be accomplished by May.  The 17 persons with the highest number of votes would be our government, no matter what districts they run in.  

  5. Anonymous says:

    According to elections supervisor (who is the expert in is scenario), Alden was right! Let’s see if c4c has the manners to admit so.

  6. Anonymous says:

    C4C – Cause 4 Confusion

  7. Anonymous says:

    One man one vote sucks. It’s not fair. Women should be able to vote too!

    • Just Curious says:

      Says who?

    • St Peter says:

      Women will never be equal to men.

      For instance men can swagger walk down the street, shirtless with a big beer belly, a totally bald head, and still think he is sexy.  I dont think a woman can do that…

  8. Anonymous says:

    All 3 parties – UDP , C4C and PPM are special interst groups. All three are bad for the country. The old system worked and although it would lead to loose alliances –  you can just easily ,as a politician, break out of these alliances when things go wrong. Imagine the last 3 yearsof UDP mess and the 9 who were behind it. I'm sure atleast 3 would have moved over if they did not belong to a party / caucus.Down with party system big time. Does not work in cayman.

  9. Anonymous says:

    the delay maybe better for the country in the end ! stop making big Mac sound right Alden when he said you were just paying lip service to omov.i think you just want to be the next premier ,all of you are just power hungry and country last.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Is this a delaying tactic by C4C to give Mac time to beat the charges against him?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Other than box Foolio what has he really done for the last three years as Opposition leader?

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly. Bergstrom is very disingenuous. And as the old people say, "Got gall too!"

    • Anonymous says:

      Ohhhhhh Alden, my, my my.

      I'm sure you have never changed your views

      on anything you decided or implemented before.

      That is why the 2 party(s),

      follow the leader is not good for these small Islands.

      See what it did to our loved Jam.

      Have you noticed that only the politicians wear Red and Green now

      and even they are switching to Blue, Yellow and Pink.

      They changing their name now to try to create a new identity.

      Change the donkey name, but it is still the same old tired donkey

      heading down the same old road.

       

    • Anonymous says:

      Interesting. It's always good to remember what you said in the past, it comes back to haunt you. 

  12. Anonymous says:

    ppm… as bad an opposition as the udp were as a government……

  13. Anonymous says:

    Why do we want to keep the UDP in power delay OMOV for a little while. Lets have the election a quickly as possible so we can get rid of the UDP and the UDP Lite. Then the winners can implement single member constituencies.

  14. C4C DO MORE!!! says:

    NO… OM2V !

    1 Vote for District MLA

    1 Vote for everyone to elect the Premier!

    MORE PEOPLE DEMOCRACY, PLEASE!!!

    • basil says:

      lol.. my friend, we are under a British system of government. If you want a President instead of a Premier, you would have to change the Constitution, and I don't think for one moment that the Foreign Office will such a change to take place. C4C could try to do some changes, but I don't think they have enough support at this time. 

  15. Anonymous says:

    Maybe C$C needs the extra time to register as a party like they really are.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Why are these politicians so big about OMOV?  There are other constitutional changes that are of serious importance too!  Or, is it because at their convenience, those issues are not ready to be addressed?  And I almost forgot Alden was awarded for the Constitution, so he will always be hesitant to want to change it. No he can't do that… it would be like changing him! 

  17. Anonymous says:

    My Lord, if Gomez has anything to do with it, the next election may not occur until 2015 – the man is like slow-poke Rodriguez (the cousin of Speedy Gonzalez), but in reverse!!

  18. Anonymous says:

    C4C, tell me, how many of your "members" were at Mac's b-day party over the weekend?

     

    Be honest and tell us how many. Then, tell us why they were there.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I believe Ezzard over Alden any day of the week so until Ez says it cannot get done in time for May please tell the ppm leader to sit and hush. Is there anybody more arrogant and negative than this man?

  20. Anonymous says:

    Electioneering? Alden knows what he’s talking about because he has a masters degree in that field! And this is not an issue that is being raised at the eleventh hour. Ezzard raised the issue many months ago about the glaring but seemingly subtle conflict between the elections law and the Constitution which very plainly only gives an elector one vote? Alden knows this since he was one of the architects of our current constitution. He knows that it was created with OMOV in mind. But the last thing he wants is for the election to be delayed, because after all, it is much more important that he have his shot at being premier now than the country actually having a chance to get some decent representation for a change. If we have any chance of gettting a better crop of politicians in the house than we have presently by delaying the election a bit, and meanwhile we have the ability to keep the furtive five in check by having three opposition teams breathing down their neck, I say go for it!

    • Anonymous says:

      Those with a convenient memory need to be reminded that OMOV was the subject of a referendum which failed due to UDP engineering and the removal of McKeeva occured in December AFTER the writs of election were issued. It therefore does not matter whether Ezzard was calling for it previously – McKeeva and ALL of his current and former UDP colleagues said no to proper respresentative democracy.

       

      So dont criticise Alden for stating the truth. At least he is not interesting in trying to fool the people. What is important now is for the electorate to vote in a way which minimises to the greates extent possible any chance that McKeeva and ANY of his current and former colleagues can regain any power whatsoever in this country. 

  21. Anonymous says:

    Dear PPM

    Please replace this joker as your leader with somebody who will win a seat in May like Arden, Ezzard or Moses. This country deserves better than Alden, Julianna and McKeeva to lead us into the future.

  22. Anonymous says:

    The C4C have said no such thing Alden is playing the same tired games of being minister of disinformation and highlighting why he can’t be trusted to lead cayman.

  23. Anonymous says:

    If the PPM and C4C get involved in a fight, the only benefactors will be Bush's crew. By all accounts, he is still ruling by proxy and will be back in the saddle come May.

    • Anonymous says:

      C4C helping UDP –  Mac, Jude and Roy were probably laughing about this at Mac's party.

    • Anonymous says:

      So true. Sad part is that at every instance C4C seems to be trying to pick a fight with the PPM. C4C bashes parties and claims that the PPM didn't support OMOV when they know that PPM largely funded the OMOV campaign and provided people to walk the streets providing information to voters.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Delay defeats equity!

    Well maybe not, there is no doubt that the present system, of itself anti democratic both in principle and practice, has not served the electorate. It was always open to manipulation, and the results of the last few years illustrate that beyond any doubt. Even the OMOV referendum was manipulated by one man to ensure that the status quo persisted, he did that because he could, and he could because his entire "party" was a sham, enebling him to treat the LA with contempt.

    I sincerely hope that the police effort to convict him is succesful, but in the meantime surely it is better to endure the worthless bunch that are now governing for a while longer whilst the system is changed so that the old ways cannot be repeated. Do you realise that as things stand, the ex premier can simply repeat the same process in May? Is that what you want? No. didnt think so!

  25. needlecase says:

    Alden McLaughlin from day wanted to implement the OMOV, but he wanted the PPM to take the credit for it. That is why he has always been reluctant to jump on the wagon. Some ask, why didn't he and Kurt have it implemented when they spearheaded the implementation of our 2009 Constitution in the first place?! 

    As for the OMOV which our politicians are still fighting over on who gets the credit, I still feel and believe deep down inside me that it should be One Man 2 Votes – One vote for the district MLA and One vote for the Premier (an all-island vote).

    And then you will see alot of people I feel supporting it!

    Right now wecan only vote in our district MLA, but nobody can directly vote in the Premier! Talk about democracy!  If Alden, C4C, and Ezzard, are so much about people-participatory democracy, why don't they give the people that power to directly vote for the Premier; and hence the prevelege to recall him and/or a district MLA who loses their confidence. Democracy is on a politician's dog leash here!  And the more people see that, is the more likely we will have a constitutional change!

    • Anonymous says:

      Garbage, the PPM left OMOV to take credit for it as that was what the OMOV quite rightly wanted. It was a grass roots movement. They did not want it hijacked by any party – as eventually it was by the UDP. Many PPM members as well as the party itself support OMOV and not because the UDP knows it will be their death knell. Several of the OMOV core members have put their names forward to be considered to run with the PPM because they understand this. 

    • Anonymous says:

      I think you misunderstand the role of premier – he (or she) is not a president, they are the leader of the party that gets the most votes. Direct voting for Premier would be a nonsense – you could even end up with the "government" being lead by a member of the opposition (like when americans "split the ticket" and vote in a Democrat for President and a Republican Congress / Senate, so nothing ever gets done, because they continually veto or vote down each other's proposals). Cayman is pretty good at achieving nothing worthwhile even when the Government has a clear majority. Do you really want to create a system that would make it even worse?

      It's up to each party to elect it's leader, so if you want a say, join the party and cast your vote. And when it comes to polling day, if you don't like the leader, don't vote for the party!

      • chris says:

         "…if you don't like the leader, don't vote for the party!"  ha!  That don't sound democratic to me!  So really you have no direct say as to who becomes the leaders of finance and the country. … I say give me a President any day over a Premier! 

  26. Anonymous says:

    Tell the truth buddy Ezzard, Arden and young professionals now in seeking office as ppm and c4c lead the charge for OMOV not Alden and not ppm!
    You didn’t support and still don’t support OMOV people know that because if Kurt don’t run you are done in GT.

  27. Anonymous says:

    As usual it appears that we will have Ezzard and Arden looking out for the best interest of the country. Alden was hiding behing the constitution and "pretending" that he was supporting OMOV!!!     

  28. Anonymous says:

    Jeez Alden, i didnt realize it took the Governor 6 months to sign his name. If OMOV is only a matter of members aggreeing to the process and the Governor signing off, then i see no issue with this being tabled.  

    • Dred says:

      You don't read do you. Especially with the additional voters this year the boundaries may need to be relooked at.

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly! Especially with its main opponent McKeeva no longer in play to rig the game again!
      Plus Juju et al need the Opposition and Independents to pass any bills, so this would absolutely be the best time to make the changes to the Elections Law.

      If Alden could get on the same page for once! But if he not getting the credit and the glory…

      Better yet he still trying to use Single Member Constituencies as an election bargain: vote for me and I pinky-promise to implement..

      Boo Alden.

  29. Anonymous says:

    James Bergstrom vs. Alden Mclaughlin. Sorry Alden, you dont want to touch that one. James Begstrom is a very smart and successful "born Caymanian" lawyer.  He will make you look smaller than what  Mac does.    

    • Anonymous says:

      Mr. McLaughlin is himself a very smart "born Caymanian lawyer" whose parents and grand -parents were born Caymanians.  I think it's time to stop bashing Alden.

      • Anonymous says:

        He gets bashed because he does not understand politics, people and humility. when he opens his mouth there’s nothing but tripe coming out so how can somebody this disconnected from reality be a better choice for Premier?

      • Anonymous says:

        Who cares? Interesting to watch Caymanians tear each other to shreds while Mac laughs back into office

      • Anonymous says:

        Tell Alden to humble himself he is becoming “devalued currency” and is the most unpopular member of ppm by his own actions