Premier: OMOV in SMCs will secure party-politics

| 16/09/2014

(CNS): Premier Alden McLaughlin has said the introduction of one man, one vote in single member constituencies will secure the future of party politics in Cayman. Although some believe that by having one vote in a constituency with a single representative, independent candidates will have a better chance at the polls, the premier said that would not be the case. During the Legislative Assembly debate last week on the government motion regarding electoral reform McLaughlin said party politics would still dominate the political landscape, as he pointed to the cost of campaigning and advised the independent members to join one or set up a new party.

“I have heard many people say SMCs will somehow break the party system and make it easier for independents to get elected,” he said. However, the premier said this was unlikely and the system was more likely to entrench the party system and favour the dominant parties.

McLaughlin said that OMOV in SMCs still favoured the party politics, which he supported because it was a far better system as people knew when they voted for a party, group or team who the leaders would be and what, if that party formed the government, they could expect from the administration.

McLaughlin said that rather than being afraid of OMOV in SMCs, as has been implied, he embraced it because experience had taught him that organized politics was essential in the modern era and without it “chaos ensues”. He said independents could not expect to get elected on separate platforms where they have nothing in common and then lead the country as a cohesive government when they are thrown together and unable to agree on policy.

Ironically, McLaughlin said that any independents that still managed to get elected would find themselves on the side lines getting nothing done. The comments came, however, in the debate on a motion that he had earlier admitted government brought to the House not least because of the pressure the independent members, Arden McLean and Ezzard Miller, had applied to get this issue on government’s agenda sooner rather than later.

Nevertheless, despite their work pressuring government on OMOV and other issues, such as championing the minimum wage and a fair trade commission, McLaughlin advised his former party colleague McLean and Miller, who was a founding member of the UDP, to pick a party to join or start their own.

He said this was not just a matter of cohesive politics but costs because it would get harder and harder for those funding their own campaigns as the cost of fighting an election continued to escalate. He described the costs as astonishing and said independents would struggle without the benefit of the party machinery.

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Comments (15)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I believe implementing this OPOV and SMC's will not give us any more accountability than we have at the moment. Why… because these poiticians  will behave the  same way, until we unite and make them accountable.

    Yes we may be able to say…. they fixed the pot hole in my road so he/she is doing well beacuse this is part of the area they are responsible for.  What about the serious issues that is seriously impacting our country daily? Who do we hold accountable for those?

    Take crime, pension and labour issues for instance, that doesn't fall in any one constituence. We have numerous issues island wide. All MLA's and Hon Ministers in power will still need to all step up and do thier part for the entire CI.  Each and everyone is accountable at all times for all of Cayman for not only their area.

    It will all fall back to same crappy excuse until we all stand up consistently and let it be known that we will not tolerate this passing the buck and collecting our money monthly. Until we stop waiting for another 4 years to pass blah, blah, blah before we move them from office. OPOV or not will change absoutley nothing. ln fact it may make things worst.

    Certain areas of residence in GT are more influential. Who you think will fair well running for office there? How about the less influential areas? Weigh up how many of those we have each vs the more influential areas and do the maths. It will be imperative to get the correct balance and even then.

    Also for the SMC, can I be sure someone with integrity and intelligence that means this country good will be running in my area for me  to have a decent choice? it is tough enough finding six decent person to vote for, imagine having to choose between BIF and BAF…. even if intellegent they may lack integrity.

    Have we also fully considered the increase in cost this new process will incurr CIG us the people? We cannot afford what is in place now, so how how on earth will we afford this new system?!

    This possibly will lead to many person not casting a vote and that would defeat the purpose. I will not vote for a person I do not believe will do good by our country,  nor will I vote  for the best of a bunch of donkeys just to vote. I know of many others who are of the same sentiments. 

     

     

    • Dread On Dread says:

      One man One Vote is simply that,  cow fat n donkey dead.  It will not make politicos any more accountable , any wiser, less scrupulous, less afraid of going certain places etc. will not lead to less wages for those who,presently live in their own cocoo, knowing that those who raised their pay don't want to be known to john public

       

    • Dread On Dread says:

      Listen sah, there will only be true equality when North Side and East End are joined together as one voting boundary. Change the Constitution Missa Premier . Cayman Brac and Little Cayman will have togo that way 2. If we truly understand and believe what was advocated and voted on in the referendum as OMOV, then there is no other choice, unless of course the political will is absent like with  so many other critical issues for and in this country.

  2. Anonymous says:

    For goodness sake Mr. Premier….stop always having to have the last word. 

    We "the people" want one person one vote….period!

  3. Anonymousand says:

    Divided districts. Divided families. Divided politics.
    Only winners: politicians who vote to decide their own salaries , pensions and benefits!

  4. Anonymous says:

    You have to take anything that Master Alden says and turn it upside down, because that is how his head is. He is always trying to sell a position when he knows it isn't really his position.

    I don't recall any public pressure and certainly no referendum with over 6,000 voters saying they wanted parties – period. But he and his other aspiring politicians-for-life see parties as they're mechanism to try to control things and sustain their existence.

    We said we wanted OPOV and SMC's becasue we want accountability. If parties will flourish and party politics is bad and you are the leader of a party – wind up the party.

    Oh, but that wouldn't be good for him and it's whats good for him, not us, that matters to Master Alder McLaughlin.

  5. M. says:

    I like Independents. They choose no sides and they bring in a middle perspective on the issues. You get rid of Independents then you only have two side perspectives – no middle alternative. So I hope we have always about 2 to 3 Independents in the LAall the time.

    • Anonymous says:

      That is the role of the Opposition.  There is no role for a "middle person" in government.  There is the Head of the Chamber of Commerce, the Auditor General and anyone else who wants to publicly bring these "middle person" type issues to forefront.

      What we require is a government formed by persons witha  defined plan of objectives who can implement.  If nonsense bills are brought to the floor by the Government, it is the Opposition's role to shed light on these before the vote.  I am afraid that the only way this can be achived is through the party system.  Cayman's issues are now too complex for an independent type government structure.   

  6. Anonyanmous says:

    Perception….. OMOV might just be the move that will remove party politics and if it should happen, all that I can say it was God's will.

    • Anonymous says:

      12:10, don't quite know how God has anything to do with a referendum for OMOV, that would be the Islands registered voters that will make that happen last time I checked.

  7. The Parliamentarian says:

    Wouldn't it be great if the politicians voted for what is best for the people of the Cayman Islands instead of all voting the "party line"?

  8. Peter Milburn says:

    The party system is what has ruined this country no matter what the Premier says and heres hoping that OMOV will help to clean up the mess that party politics have put us in today.We can only hope that this will be the case as I am sure that even with OMOV in place the "partys"will twist it around to suit themselves. 

     
  9. Party Animal says:

    Irony is a helluva thing eh? Does the Premier realize that even with a party behind him and a majority in the LA he and his ppm government have achieved nothing significant besides OMOV which he was forced to accept after Tony and Alva led the way?

    • Anonymous says:

      OMOV has not been achieved yet. This move by the PPM is the first step in doing so.  We must assure that the PPM lead government follows through.