PPM won’t back 6th minister

| 11/08/2010

(CNS): The opposition party has said that, after consideration, it believes the premier’s request to change the Constitution in order to allow a sixth elected minister into Cabinet cannot be seen as a minor change and would require a referendum. McKeeva Bush wrote to the leader of opposition and PPM, Kurt Tibbetts, on 3 August asking for his backing to amend the new Constitution in order to appoint a Cabinet member from his team of backbench MLAs to help cope with government’s workload. The premier said he had the backing of the UK to change the country’s highest law so long as the legislature agreed. The PPM has said that the change is too significant to allow government to just do so without consulting the people.(Photo Dennie WarrenJr)

“The proposed change is not minor,” said Alden McLaughlin on Tuesday evening. “Given the agreement set out in the Letter of Entrustment which accompanied the Constitution regarding further constitutional change being preceded by referendum, we cannot agree to his proposal.”
 
The opposition said it is writing to the premier to inform him of the PPM’s position regarding this issue. While the PPM has expressed its sympathy with the government over the workload, McLaughlin stated that this issue could have been discussed during the talks but the UDP never questioned the interim arrangements at any time in the negotiations.
 
Although the Cabinet is down one member as a result of the change in the Constitution, which removes the financial secretary as an official member and creates the post of Ministry of Finance from the elected members, the Constitution does not increase the number of Cabinet members until after the next election. In 2013 the country will be electing 18 members of the Legislative Assembly, an increase of three, which will facilitate an increase in Cabinet to seven members appointed from the elected members of the House.
 
In his letter to Tibbetts last week Bush said he wanted the support of the People’s Progressive Movement as he says he has the backing of the UK’s Overseas Territories Minister to make what he said was a “minor change”, as the loss of the third official member had “created more strain” on government. Speaking about his recent meeting with Henry Bellingham, the premier said that when they had discussed good governance, the UK minister was surprised to learn that no additional ministers could be appointed until after the House was next prorogued.
 
“After discussions with Mr Hendry (the UK leader on the Constitutional talks) Mr Bellingham has written back confirming his willingness to allow a minor change to the Constitution by Order in Council. In accordance with the agreement he would like to have consensus of the Legislative Assembly before doing so," Bush wrote. “I am hopeful that you will agree that this was an oversight at the time, which can be corrected rather simply in the best interest of the Country.”
 
If Bush is allowed to go ahead with this move he will be able to appoint one of his four backbenchers to a new Cabinet post. At present Bush has the role of Minister of Finance, along with Tourism and Development and Planning. However, the financial secretary, Kenneth Jefferson, is still in post and remains in Bush’s ministry. It is not clear what departments would be taken from which existing ministries in order to create the new ministry if the appointment is made, but the likely candidates would be Cline Glidden or Elio Solomon. These two back bench government members were recently given councillor titles by the premier, who has described then as “junior ministers”.
 
“The Constitution has only been in effect since 6 November after a long and difficult gestation period when lots of issues were discussed,” McLaughlin said in the wake of the premier’s request. “There was plenty of opportunity available to the then opposition to raise questions such as this during the talks but the question of the interim position for ministers was never a subject of discussion or raised by them at that time. It seems the UDP was more focused on derailing the talks than discussing what was in the Constitution.”
 
He said it was rather ironic that the premier, who had fought so hard against the constitutional change, now wanted to speed up the implementation of its provisions.
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  1. Anonymous says:

    Opposition for Opposition sake! or should I say politics as usual.

    Did Kurt really believe that McKeeva was expecting him to say yes..

    Thank God he has Alden to keep him awake when he is not out fishing!!

    I would like to see him handle one press interview without having to carry Alden with him. Arden can do it, make him the leader!

  2. Anonymous says:

    To Florence Goring-Nozza,

    To all those who profess an intimate knowledge of taxes here in Cayman is a wake up call:

    You know very little about taxes unless you have lived in acountry with an advanced income tax system and experienced an audit.

    Where they do not care what your last name is or what relatives you have and there are laws that can take your house and put you in jail.

    Unless this country wakes up this is the direction the tax system is heading.

    And another alert, foreigners and expats pay as much tax in Cayman as a local does so getting arrogant about how much you pay is myth. Tell it to a cruise shipper maybe they will believe you.

    • Florence Goring-Nozza says:

      To:10:39

      I have experienced living in a country paying taxes and I do pay taxes.

      Have not experienced an audit. However, I have worked for companies that do experience frequent audits because of their tax exempt 501) (c3) status. I have first hand and inside knowledge of how it all works.

      Lets not prolong the conversation with a lengthy debate but do not assume that all Caymanians are naive to tax matters, whether local or overseas.

      I wrote an article last year about the dangers of losing our tax haven status.You should read it ( Cayman Net News).

      I am first in line to oppose taxation of any kind, vehemently.

      Do not misunderstand  my statements of facts surrounding non-profit organizations.  Since the churches and other service clubs and agencies are assisting government with solving the socio-economic problems that individuals in the community often faces, government should allow non-profit organizations to maintain their tax-exempt status. Perhaps just a registration fee that is minimal  is palatable. In all fairness, e.g.,The pink Ladies, Humane Society,  charities like these should not be taxed or fees imposed upon them, therefore government  should allow all charitable organizations to remain a tax exempt. It makes socio-economic sense.

        I’m not afraid to stand up or speak out, so I signed my name.

      Florence Goring-Nozza

       

       

  3. Anonymous says:

    WAKE UP CAYMANIANS

    McChavez our ELECTED dictator does not work in the best interests of his people or his country. It is all about his wealthy friends and developers and his own self interest above all else.

    He manipulated the system by issuing over 3000 status grants and now he is planning to manipulate the system again with an additional minister when we can least afford additional costs. He promised pay cuts for himself and all MLAs and then backed down because he speaks with forked tongue and you all keep falling for his rhetoric which has no substance or truth.

    You voted for this dictatorship so it’s time to step up to the plate Cayman, and stop him from abusing his position of power, because it is now all about "total control" MAC’s WAY or no way.

    Proponent of "Responsible Government" for the people by the people.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Q.  How many Ministers does it take to screw in a lightbulb. 

    A1. It depends on how much money is in it for them.

    A2. It depends on how much official travel is necessary.

    A3. It depends on how many he cronie advisor/consultants advise based on their $200,000 consulting contracts.

    A4.  ?

    ==========================================================

    A4.  It depends on how much free food is offered.  

    A5.  It depends on how much one can nap on the sly whilst trying to look busy.

    A6.  It depends on how much front-page coverage it gets.

    A7.  It depends on how many copyright laws can be broken in the process.

    A8.  One, but it may take him/her up to 5 years to do it.

    A9.  One to hold the bulb, four to turn the ladder.

    A10.  One – they don’t like to share the spotlight.

    A11.  Five.  One to fumble with it, one to brag to the world that it’s the best light bulb in the universe, one to pocket the money, one to deny Mickey’s FOI request on it, and one to blame the world in case something goes wrong…

    A12. ???

  5. Anonymous says:

    Yeah! Yeah! No can do at this time McKeeva! Remember we are broke!

  6. Florence Goring-Nozza says:

    7:40

    Wake up!

    Since Taking office,This premier has proven to make every move to his own benefit. We are not novices at watching his ever move as you seem to be.

    People have every right to be suspcious, and question why at a time like this would he want to add another $120,000 salary to the tax payers tab. Its our business if you’re not a voter please shut up. Its our timie to talk and its my money that’s going to pay the 6th minister.

    • Anonymous says:

      It will add more than the Minister’s salary. To create a new ministry will add millions of dollars to recurrent expenditure.

  7. Florence Goring-Nozza says:

    Modern day politicians elected to office don’t seem to realize that they were elected by the people and therefore are to be held accountable to people. What part of accountability do they not understand?

    ”Actually not all of us are dumb. There are about 25 successful millionaires in control of the Cayman Island’s wealth locally and the brainwashing expert politicians who keep getting elected to the L.A. as Michael Moore would say “ They have made out like bandits”.

    They are making more and more money while they demand that the civil servants take a pay cut, they themselves refuse to set an example in doing the same, or even Leading the Way!

    Modern day Caymanian Politicians appear to have made their money because their special interest lobbyists pulling on their coat tails daily who already had a goodly sum to begin with and invested it into their political campaigns. These millionaires got rich by throwing Caymanians out of work, exploiting Expatriots and the poor, while being rewarded by our Government to apply for as any work permits they desire, they say “ we’ll even give you Cayman Status as long as you have the dollars, keep voting us in, key employee status will upset our people but we’ll give it to you anyway, they don’t count anymore, because we really don’t need their vote. There’s enough X-pats with status to keep us in power! So come and do as you please” says the politicians the people elect us but we take orders from you , because YOU have the deep pockets. That’s just what we need”.

    For them greed isn’t good enough it is mandatory. Modern day Caymanian politicians are so good at creating a climate of greed that the word “Greed is out of style, its old fashioned, they now call it “ Putting Cayman back on its feet! Caymanians didn’t know it would cost them everything including their livelihood and their social status. Some are wondering if they are hearing things or seeing things because if Cayman is being put back on its feet then how is it that there are so many people knocked down, out of work, can’t find a job, no job security, promising young people graduating with honors taking to the streets and drugs, employers do as they bloody well please with their staff, there’s social injustice every where. Is this the plan to knock us all down then expect us all to get up on our feet again without someone holding out a hand of support! Just in case the feet slip again ! Exactly what does this new political language mean?

    This is no time to seek a 6th Minister. It is time to find or create jobs for our young people, keep them off the street, educate them and create space for them in our society.

    Time to put priorities in place and serve the people who elected you to office.

  8. Anonymous says:

    The country is broke and Mac talking about the 6th minister

    he mut have some dough stashed away.

    we need to get out of this mess before we talk about paying out another salary.

    • Anonymouse says:

      Have,nt you heard. Aunt Julie just sold another 6000 tons of scrap metal.. Thats enough to pay another Minister until they are booted out of office.

  9. Just Stop it now says:

    The has the Marks of the 3rd elected member for GT all over it; as long as he is in the mix there will never be any cooperation between these two parties; KT is just a puppet but AM calls the shots in the PPM. There is nothing wrong with amending the constitution to ensure that the peoples interest are being taken care off; is it not better to make some of these back benchers earn their pay instead of sitting around making numbers? but as usual the old game of politics must show its head. Things in Cayman will never change if we keep playing this tit for tat UDP PPM game, and not to mention the many posters on this forrum who foment and perpetuate it…

    • Anonymous says:

      Most of the prople who write in these threads are simply the party faithful that are too lazy to actually think for themselves.

      There is also unfortunately and angry edge to many of the posts that prefer to attack or slander the other guy rather than bother to think of a solution to the country’s problems.

      You watch local political games now and shudder if Ezzard ever gets his way and the country goes independent.

      My solution for the day is to cancel the $9 million Brac project as the country cannot afford it.

      • anonymous says:

        Your statement has contradictory sentiments.  You’re actually the Kettle cursing the pot black!  (speaking of party faithful) then who are you but another party faithul.Most bloggers in this forum are independent.

    • Anonymous says:

      "There is nothing wrong with amending the constitution to ensure that the peoples interest are being taken care off; is it not better to make some of these back benchers earn their pay instead of sitting around making numbers?"

      Logic is missing here. A sound conclusion would be to make the backbenchers actually work harder as backbenchers rather than giving them a position with a higher salary and benefits in the hope that they will work harder. I suspect that one of the govt. backbenchers. I suspect the fourth elected member from George Town is complaining that he is working too hard as a backbencher and should have the title, salary and perks of a Minister. After all it was promised to him and he cannot wait for the 3 additional members to be added.   

      People, have you considered that creating a new Ministry will cost the taxpayer millions of dollars? 

  10. Slowpoke says:

    I suggest we have a yearly "referendum day", when we can vote on all kinds of things (Casinos, Lottery, Sunday shopping, Gay marriage, changes to the Constitution…) on a single ballot.

    Let’s take a little pressure of these poor politicians who are obviously stressed out. 

    • Beachboi says:

      Great idea!  They are so afraid to make decisions that is is comical.  I am still left wondering what this excessive work load is that the top dog is complaining about.  

      I am also left wondering what it is that he does when he is not bringing shame to this country.  Scheming to somehow get more of my  hard earned salary is about all I can think of.  I only wish his salary were tied to output performance!!  Oh how I wish!!  Then he would know what it felt like to chose between gas for the car or food for the table etc.

  11. Anonymous says:

    The good ship Cayman is in danger of foundering upon the seas.

    Instead of manning the pumps, the politicians spend their time re-arranging the deck chairs.

    Sigh.

     

  12. Anonymous says:

    More dead weight to drag us down and spend our money foolishly. Yeah  I would ‘have to vote nay on that one if i I had a vote. I agree with PPM on that one maybe for different reasons. Anyway I don’t think the country  is in need of anymore fries.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Q.  How many Ministers does it take to screw in a lightbulb. 

    A1. It depends on how much money is in it for them.

    A2. It depends on how much official travel is necessary.

    A3. It depends on how many he cronie advisor/consultants advise based on their $200,000 consulting contracts.

    A4.  ?

  14. Anonymous says:

    It would be more cost effective to trade in the 5 ministers that don’t work and get 4 that do. There is no need for a 6th minister.

  15. Interesting…

    UDP accused PPM of the non-democratic "behind closed doors" process of implementing the new Constitution during last General election. And now PPM takes the opportunity to accused UDP of being non-democratic by their attempts in adding a 6th minister.

    Meanwhile, the Mother (UK) is silent whilst we tear each other apart over a document she has originally mandated – not the people of Cayman

    It just shows ya, the POLITRIX

  16. anonymous says:

    It is amazing that McKeeva and the UDP would write a letter to the PPM aboutt supposenly making a minor change to the 8 month old Constitution.  All he had to do was to meet with the PPM up front and discuss the reason for the requested change and show them the letter from Mr. Billingsley and then present a draft of that change, then send it out to the voting people in a referendum.  It should also be noted that during the Constitution debates and meetings leading up to the new Constitution, why did McKeeva and CG not made or suggested these changes then?  Are they out to undo everything that the PPM has done in their 4 years? and are they still out trying to discredit the PPM in the eyes of the voting Public?  McKeeva is a schemer and he knew well, that he took on too many portfolios, as the new Premier he now realizes that he is now unable to manage this abundant workload.  He now wants to cost these "very broke" Islands a lot more money, in making these changes to suit his desires.  What a leader!!  PPM, I did not vote for you, but please stand firm on your decisions.  Gather all the evidence first, get a copy of that letter and take it to the people, before you make any agreed changes.

  17. Anonymous says:

    It all boils down to trust. We hire the guy (The premier) and he tells us what and why he intends to do some thing and we question his motives ?

    He already has the job…let him do it, there are checks and balances in place …how in the world is any of this helpful ?

    Get back work people !

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Let me give you an analogy. You hire someone who tells you he can fix your roof.

      He begins by declaring to the world that you are bankrupt, then digs a huge hole on your front yard and sells the fill to his cronies. Then he departs on extensive round the world travel at your expense.  Let him get on with the job???? Youhave to be joking. We need to be looking for ways to fire the incompetent.

      • formerly 9:36 says:

        My position is that the Premier is doing his job, not a perfect job in the opinion of all. But he was selected to do this job. The checks and balances that matter are the one’s that actually allow something to be accomplished.

        Our politicans are expected to use the system (laws of the land) to accomplish the objectives they were hired for, they do. I say again let them do the job they were hired to do, within the time they were allotted to do it.

        We elected a leader, let him lead, as leader it is his judgement to accept council.  How can we have leaders that becker as must as we do ?

        Whatever happenned to working together for the Good of the country ?

        The last election determined who would be at the helm of good ship Cayman. Get back to work means, working with this system of government…

        The economy is bad enough, we have no time for Indecisiveness. We voted in a leader, let him lead…if he does not succeed within the time frame, then lets vote in someone else..

        Stop the campaigning. Work together ! Take instructions ! Just Help !

    • Anonymous says:

      Errr.. This would be the exercise of one of the checks and balances.

      • Khan Dhu says:

        Seriously do you people get all your constitutional references from Amercica?

    • No, you says:

      Yow 09.36, follow your own advise please!

  18. Sue says:

    STEVE MCFIELD over the radio:

    "This is an AMENDMENT not a change"

    Referring to Kurt and PPM "EXPLODING" the issue of the minor change to the Constitution – a mere political ploy. 

    I think he has a point!  Especially when he said on rooster that the Constitution is a UK document. It is not Caymanian. It is UK and they can do changes to it whenever they want. The PPM taking it like it belongs to the people.

    Read the Constitution for yourself. It says that HER MAJESTY has the power to do CHANGES in accordance to her interest.

    • Anonymous says:

      Poor Mr. McField. He clearly feels so indebted to the Premier that his every pronouncement on these issues have taken on a highly partisan flavour and have now successfully removed the appearance of independence and objectivity.  There is now always some spin. It was particularly silly to suggest that making a matter of constitutional significance public (rather than treating it as a private discussion between the Premier and the Leader of the Opposition) was somehow a breach of ethics.  It is not a private matter but a public matter.   We should celebrate the fact that notwithstanding the fact that the UK has the power unilaterally to amend our Constitution that it is not content to do so unless the people of the Cayman Islands (as represented by their MLAs) agree. I am liking our new OT Minister Mr. Bellingham more and more.     

  19. West Bayer says:

    CNS:  PPM won’t back 6th minister

     

    WHY?

    SIMPLE – Kurt Tibbetts gaved his reason on Rooster 101 today:

    THE CHANGE TO THE CONSTITUTION (no matter how minor it was) WOULD EXCLUDE THE PEOPLE OF THE CAYMAN ISLANDS!

    Now I am no PPM…

    But I agree 100% with Kurt on this one!  Pertaining to our Constitution that is for the people and by the people, government or the UK government should not do any changes to it behind the people’s backs!

    THIS BRINGS UP AN IMPORTANT ISSUE –

    TOO MUCH GOVERNMENT INTERFERENCE OVER THE NATIVES OF THESE ISLANDS.

    It makes me sick!!! 

  20. Anonymous says:

    The fundamental objection to this is that the Constitution requires a 2/3 majority of MLAs to pass a motion of no confidence in the govt. and therefore remove them from power. At the moment that sort of works because there are 5 ministers out of 15 MLAs. However, if there are 6 Ministers then it requires that at least one of the Ministers consent to their own removal and any govt. is therefore effectively entrenched for the term unless there is mutiny from within the Cabinet. The same problem occurs when 7 out of 18 MLAs are Ministers. 

    A 2/3 majority should never have been required in the firstinstance and ought to be changed to a majority of MLAs as is the case under the Bermuda and BVI Constitutions.  

    McKeeva is not of course reaching out to the Opposition. He was required to obtain the consent of the Opposition by the OT Minister.  You can be absolutely sure that if there were any way of avoiding this he would take it, hence his suggestion that what the OT Minister may have meant was the consent of the majority of members of the L.A. (whom he controls as members of his party and one of whom will directly benefit).       

  21. Anonymous says:

    We do not need more ministers. We need to replace the ones we have with competent ones who are willing to serve the country rather than their friends.

    I do not support any political party and in fact I do not even like the fact that we have political parties. However, I am very glad that the PPM has taken this decision as this country cannot afford to waste any more money on politicians who do nothing other than travel the planet and neither can we afford to create another civil service empire which would be the inevitable result of creating a new Ministry. 

  22. da Bone says:

    A couple of questions:

    1) if this was not political why did Big Mac tell the media he was reaching out to KT, why not just reach out to KT without even telling the media?

    2) CG came out and said they were doing more work with less. Why is there more work, I thought government was meant to be cutting back not getting bigger.

    3) instead of increasing government cost still more by appointing nother minister, why not create some "junior ministers" from those UDP MLA’s that have little experience, so they can gain great experience, heklp with the workload and not increase costs. That’ll be a win win for everyone.

    As for oppostion not agreeing with anything the Gov does. Sounds just like the last oppostion which did not even agree with the new constitution.

     

     

  23. Anonymous says:

    Who needs a sixth minister?

    What we need is a CONSERVATION LAW!!!!!!!!

  24. Anonymous says:

    Please stop playing politics PPM.

    The new constitution allows for the 6th Minister, so why demand a referendum? The people already approved the 6th Minister when they approved the constitution.

    • Anonymous says:

      The Constitution does not of course provide for a 6th Minister. If it did we would not be having this discussion.

    • Pauly Cicero says:

      Why wasn’t the sixth minister seated with the rest of the Cabinet?

  25. Clever says:

    This is clever by Mac.  He reaches out to KT to ask for agreement on this.  KT will say "no" probably because he does not want another UDP MLA getting a high profile as a minister, possibly because he thinks this is the thin end of the wedge.  Either way with minimal spin KT is looking bad as just blocking anything the Government suggest . . .

    • anonymous says:

      Kurt, and the rest of you DO NOT BACK BIG MAC.

      It will only backfire. That Minister # 6 will be another vote to secure big Mac as Premier.

      I have a hunch that perhaps Big Mac is not so sure where he stands with his ministers and he needs fresh blood to put his trust in!

      Too bad we can’t help him, PPm nor independents.

      A referendum of the people will make this decision. Kurt make that clear to the UK that we need a referendum on this one.

      This is what dictators do, they defy the constitution of the people to have their own way!

      Those Hondurans showed that dictator president that wanted to change their constitution…they showed him the DOOR! and they told him don’t let the door knob catch you on the way out!

      Time for McKeeva bush to go!  Come on Arden what’s the status on the no confidence vote?  Update us please. Or are you serious, lets see. Don’t be like Chukee talk about a march and then back down, Arden you are a different breed you are an East Ender you mean what you say so do it!

      Big ac when he was away heard Arden was planning to oust him! his LEGAL ADVISORS TOLD HIM TO ADD A 6TH MINISTER TO THE CABINET TO SECURE HIMSELF!

      Its mathematics at work here. Don’t be fooled. they already did the figures.The answer was a 6th Miniser!

      DON’T GIVE IT TO HIM!

    • Anonymous says:

      There is nothing clever about it. Quite simply the OT required McKeeva to obtain the consent of the Opposition. Understandably McKeeva is trying, with help from people like yourself, to spin this into him "reaching out" to Kurt and Kurt opposing for the sake of opposition, but most voters are sensible enough to see through this. McKeeva wants a referendum to allow gambling but does not want one to amend the Constitution.      

  26. Anonymous says:

    Hallelujah, he’s awake!!!

  27. Anonymous says:

    Who is surprised? There is no way that the PPM would ever agree to anything that the UDP wanted to do.

  28. Anonymous says:

    When will these politicians in their little political gangs be able to get together and actually work toward the betterment of the country?

    Here is an example of McKeeva reaching out to the opposition to get something done without making it a major issue and they throw it back in his face.

    So what , who cares if there is another member of cabinet? Honestly how will the shake the foundation of the Cayman constitution?

    It is really frustrating to listen to them arguing about everytthing.

    The country is in crisis and they want to make another fight by playing politics.