Alden commits to OMOV

| 03/09/2014

(CNS): The premier has made a commitment to the country’s voters that they will all have just one vote in single member constituencies when they go to the polls in May 2017. In an official announcement Wednesday, reversing his early U-turn on the PPM’s electoral promise, Alden McLaughlin said that the decision had the full backing of the Progressives and other government members, despite earlier comments about his concerns that he couldn’t carry all of them with him on the issue. He will now bring a motion to the Legislative Assembly next week to set the wheels in motion for the electoral reform, which will begin with a new boundary commission.

Although two previous reports and recommendations from boundary commissions failed to result in any change to the country’s multi-member constituencies and inequitable voting, McLaughlin said that this time the report would lead to an amendment in the law before the next election.

The premier pointed out that the significant increase in the electorate numbers since the 2010 Boundary Commission, a growth of more than 20 percent in registered voters, meant that another commission had to be established to ensure the most equitable boundaries for the new constituencies while at the same time giving due consideration to the historical districts.

McLaughlin pointed out the exceptions and that while equity of voter numbers would suggest that North Side and East End should be one constituency, and the same for Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, constitutionally the Sister Islands had the right to two representatives and the historic boundaries of the districts of East End and North Side would not be overturned.

He did make it clear, however, that there will be no exception for Cayman Brac and Little Cayman with one man, one vote in single member constituencies so the Boundary Commission will confirm the boundaries of what will become two constituencies across the Sister Islands.

The commission will be tasked to decide all of the boundaries for what are likely to still be 18 constituencies. However, McLaughlin aired his continued concerns about even numbers and said it may be that the new boundary commission will consider whether or not there should be an odd number.

McLaughlin denied that his recent reticence over the implementation of OMOV was an “about face” but said the debate in government and his own party was not a rejection of equitable voting but about the best way to achieve it.

But in the end no voting system is perfect and the idea of ‘at large candidates’, which he said was working well in other small jurisdictions, may still suit Cayman but it would require a change to the constitution and take much longer to implement. Moving to a simple OMOV system in SMCs, he said, could be achieved in much less time.

Based on the timeline of the work of previous Boundary Commissions, McLaughlin was confident that a new report defining the new boundaries and the necessary changes to the elections law would all be made within a year, leaving plenty of time for a public education campaign well before the next election.

He said that there was no doubt that that agitation by the independent opposition members had pushed government to deal with the issue now and his said in the end it was the right thing to do as it should not be a distraction and he was happy to deal with it. Recognising that it might not be high on the list of public concerns, he said it was still important and something he had been trying to get done since 2002 when the PPM was first formed.

“For me those of us that have been around for a while, it will be quite a watershed,” the premier said.

Watch video of press briefing on CNS Business

See the premier’s presentation below and the motion which is being brought to parliament next week.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I'm not a member of any party — but have one question — will the candidates  in this new setup be required to live in the same district as they are running in ???????

    • Anonymous says:

      Is that usually required in other jurisdictions? I do not think so. However, each candidate will have to determine whether that will effect their chances or not.

    • Anonymous says:

      No, of course not. That is not a requirement now.

  2. Anonymous says:

    he better do as instructed by his people or else he’ll feel the power of the pen in 2017! gt voter

  3. Anonymous says:

    Equality is the heart and soul of any democratic country for those who have the right to vote ! We cannot uphold that principle and have one persons vote count more than the other. It is long over due and over time it will have a  meaningful and inclusive effect on the Caymanian political landscape.

    Al you did the right thing. 

  4. Anonymous says:

    Who the hell is advising the PPM on their public relations. First they would not support Arden's motion on OMOV/SMCs and then they had a hugh very public in-party fight that almost mash up the dolly house and then the Premier comes out to announce the U Turn and has a press conference all by his lonesome ??? WTF………..someone need to teach these amateurs about optics ! Even Obama who has managed to make former President Carter look like a successful President is better at it than the PPM !

  5. Anonymous says:

             Alden, pay no attention to the naysayers on here.The majority of these do not support you,have never supported you,and willnever support you. They criticized you when you announced the possibility that OMOV might not happen before the next elections,now when they are getting it ,they still complain.When I think of these people ,a song from Barefoot Man comes to mind.I don't remember the title,but a couple of lines went like this"They talking if you go to church and give them half your pay;may as well spend it on rum ,they talking anyway."             If we continue to send these confusing nessages to our representatives ,how can we expect them to accomplish anything.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Alden how many u turns do you make in a term? You should be called a 'revolver'- an empty one at that – firing blanks. You are done and no amount of u turns will save you Mr Turncoat Alden. You are saving your sorry backside – that is what you are good at.

    • Anonymous says:

      12:58    Judging by the anger that is apparent in your post ,you obviously do not support OMOV .Why are you so angry that Alden,the PPM and the 3 other coalition members are now moving ahead with OMOV in SMCs? Did you want them to fail and now you are disappointed that they did not?

  7. Anonymous says:

    A few months ago, 6 MLA's – the 2 independents (Arden & Ezzard), 2 opposition members (Capt. Eugene & Bernie) and 2 members from PPM (Tony and Alva, bless their souls) voted for OPOV. Alden and 5 of his PPM's voted AGAINST it. He only ESCAPED becasue the Speaker voted for the status quo and against that motion to break the 6:6 tie.

    Then he tried to throw the 3 C4C members under the bus on CITN on 11 July saying it was them who weren't for it.

    They issued a statement contradicting their 'leader'/ the 'deceiver'.

    Suddenly, Alden realised 6+3=9.

    And Arden threw another motion on the table.

    Well even Alden realised that with only 17 members of the House voting normally (the Speaker is the 18th member), he was ___________ (fill in the blank). Arden was going to bust his backside 9:8.

    Hence why we see him doing a U-turn on red, dodging between car, truck, bicycle, you name it. Lmao

  8. Anonymous says:

    blah blah blah I believe this when I see it.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Why all the negativity on this story? The man is doing as the people want, he is preparing to introduce OMOV and SMCs before the next election – this is what the people wanted AND YOU STILL COMPLAIN!!


    I guess there is no pleasing rump holes.

    • Anonymous says:

      Alden is a wimp, the world knows he is only trying to do this now to save face, 

      • Anonymous says:

        Well at least the Caymanian public. (Let's not give the poor chap any more ideas of grandeur!)

    • Anonymous says:

      Well, as they say, it takes one to know one. I like your use of capitals for effect. Most impressive. And excellent grammar., which kind of begs the question : "How could someone who can employ correct English to this extent post such an asinine comment?"

  10. Anonymous says:

    Great. Now we'll have 18 Ardens and Ezzards.

    • Anonymous says:

      Better than 18 Big Macs

      • Anonymous says:

        I would take 18 Big Macs anyday! Ya herrr????? You like many others going learn bo-bo!

        The elders used to say "ya can't hear, ya feel"

        • Anonymous says:

          I hear Northward does hand-ins on Saturday mornings, what a change from hand-outs everyday

    • Anonymous says:

       09:07.And that is a good thing ,must have some Cayman haters quaking in their boots.

  11. Anonymous says:

    The public is paying far too much and employing far too many MLAs, for too little evolution and too few positive ideas.  The end of double dipping should be enshrined in this legislation.  Fat cat MLAs, many of them silent and useless, or dino-brained and conflicted, should be paired down by half, with equally populated district boundaries and a single vote to every eligible voter.  Otherwise we will continue to be doomed to have a Premier from either West Bay, George Town, or Bodden Town, for eternity.  Vote pandering by Churches and other corrupt vote-buying needs to be prosecuted and fined.  This should obviously extend to blatent signage on properties of Churches that took Nation Building Funds.  The process for nomination/removal of the Speaker of the House needs to be addressed, and the press and public need full unfettered accesss to observe and witness all LA business.

  12. Anonymous says:

    DAMNNNNNNN….no wonder we having earthquakes. The PPM has done yet another 'about-face". BUT, is it too little, too late??? What has caused the sudden change in direction? Did Alden smell a rat and realise that his party was falling to pieces and maybe some of his party was about to break ranks with the Progressives. However, when thesmoke settles, lets see if the PPM really mean what they have now said about OMOV.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is a Progressives led government which works democratically and worked towards consensus instead of "One Man Rule" which we had before. So it is not a PPM about face. 

  13. Anonymous says:

    Is it my imagination or is Alden's nose getting longer? Why didn't he just come clean and admit what really transpired : he was forced to agree to OMOV or face being removed from his position. Believing your own hogwash is one thing, having the expectation that others will is cause for concern about the speaker to say the very least. Alden, stop taking the public for a bunch of fools. It's embarrassing.

    • Anonymous says:

       08:31.Yes it is your imagination .Perhaps you should look in the mirror and see how much your nose has grown since you posted this comment.About a month ago Alden announced that he was unable to get a consensus fromm all members of  the Progressive Alliance (PPM plus the three Independents);obviously they have now reached a consensus.It is said that while all members of the Alliance were in favour of OMOV ,not all  were in favour of Single Member Constitiuencies.It does not matter who these members were ,what is important is that they have now chosen to put country first and support OMOV in SMCs.We have often asked our representatives to listen to the voices of the people,yetwhen they do ,we have persons like you bashing them and trying to make political gains by spreading rumours.

  14. Anonymous says:

    if he wants to get back in he better do as he’s told by his employers=the people!

    • Anonymous says:

      Alas, getting back in was presumably the reason Alden has been so dead set against OMOV since the last election, an uncomfortable reality he won't ever admit to. Certainly it'll be a more difficult task now for all of them. And while Mr.Bush might just be able to swing it depending on the average income and IQ level of his prospective constituency's constituents (the lower the better?) it'll be the end of the "vote straight" approach of years past, surely. It'll be fascinating seeing how it all plays out. (One thing's for sure, we're talking washer AND drier next time round – and maybe even a flat-screen!)

    • Anonymous says:

      As his employer i hereby make him and his entire party ‘redundant ‘.

  15. BORN FREE says:

    This does not come as any surprise. Despite the pitiful efforts of Harden, Hazzard & the "other" opposition members to try & make the public think that The Pregressives were no longer in support of OMOV, we all knew that that is something that the PPM have supported from the beginning, for well over a decade, & have promised to introduce, despite the fight by some against it, but as the Premier has often said, it has to be done right, & the Progressives will not be highjacked or forced into a corner by any self-interest politicians.

    • Anonymous says:

      Come off it, Born Free! You know better than that. It is only because of the continued pressure from these MLAs and others than the Premier has done a U-turn. It was only a couple of months ago that he announced that it was a distinct possibility that electoral reform might not happen at all in time for the 2017 elections, now he is saying it can happen within the next year. Before that he was talking about at large constituencies and blaming the C4C people until they stopped him dead in his tracks with their own press statement. I am not about to drink any Kool Aid for either party.   

      • Anonymous says:

        08:17. You quote Alden correctly when you say  "it was only a couple of months ago that he announced that it was a distinct possibility that electoral reform might not happen at all in time for the 2017 elections". Plesae remember that he also said that he was of the opinion that the voters wanted the Government to give priority to other matters including jobs creation ,reduction in the cost of living etc.Obviously the public outcry convinced members of the Coalition Goverment otherwise and hence we are moving forward with OMOV in SMCs. I am glad that we have a Government that listened to the people in this instance. Instead of putting them down for their decision ,we should be voicing our support.

        • Anonymous says:

          No, that's not obvious at all. It appears to have been a disingenuous excuse trying to evade a manifesto promise, but now he realises that the political cost would be too great. Besides the C4C candidates made it clear that they were not the problem.

        • Anonymous says:

          That is such bullcrap if I ever heard one. The first move Alden made was to protect the jobs of 1500 expats by amending the Immigration Law with such haste we Caymanians heads still spinning from the speed. So if Alden and his anti-caymanian PPM party was so keen to act in what the people wanted why did he bypass the thousands of unemployed employable Caymanians last year? He may have wool over your eye but he nah have none over mine. I regret the day that I gave them any support.

    • anonymous says:

      Sight for sore eyes,m.i.a. for so long and now you show up on CNS defending your failing party,sorry to hurt your feelings Born Free but the PPM is done come 2017,it doesn’t matter Alden’s position on omov,go back to nap under your rock.

  16. Anonymous says:

    He did the math and realised his position was going to cost him the election.  However he has shown his true colors by trying to renege on the election promises on OMOV when he thought the old system suited him more.

    • Anonymous says:

      So he is pushing through a bill that will ultimately cost him his seat in the house or does he think that Kirks coattails will save him?

  17. Sucka Free says:

    PPM motto a sucker is born erryday! Erryting ok bobo so long as i get mines!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Coalition govt at work, good news.

  19. UK's chief puppet says:

    Liar Liar pants on fire!

  20. PPM Distress Signal says:

    Playing to the gallery Alden's totally bogus fallacy of leadership  ask youself this Cayman If a man is not fit to govern himself how can he be fit to govern someone else. I'm just a puppet on a string ain't that right Al???

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you referring to personal or political idiosyncrasies of the Premier? Man up fest up why keep it to ya self or ya afraid of slander .

    • Anonymous says:

       21:24. You say that" I'm just a puppet on a string ". I believe you ,now can you tell us who is pulling your strings .Is it the UDP or CDP or whatever they call themselves?

  21. Anonymous says:

    This motion is as weak as the regressives.  LOL what a joke