Extended referendum required

| 17/11/2010

The Premier has announced that the anticipated November 2010 referendum on gambling has been delayed until the first quarter of 2011. If we can afford to hold a referendum at this time then perhaps it is time that as a country we settle this question once and for all by giving our people the right to vote for or against legalizing gambling in the Cayman Islands.

During the 2005 – 2009 administration, of which I was a part, we had plans to hold a referendum in midterm to give our people the opportunity to vote for or against the new draft Cayman Islands Constitution. We asked the Elections Office, as the agency that would conduct the referendum, for an estimate on the cost of holding such a poll. At that timewe were advised that it would cost CI$500,000 – CI$600,000 to conduct as it had to be organized and executed along similar lines as general elections. As it turned out, the referendum on the constitution was held during the general elections and so the cost was probably significantly less due simply to the timing of the referendum.

But the point is that a referendum is not an inexpensive exercise and if we are going to have one on gambling then there are several other topical issues and questions of national importance that ought to be tested during the upcoming referendum.

It is obvious that there has been widespread discontentment in Cayman for the past year and most people are very angry as a result of the UDP Government’s flawed economic and immigration policies. The constant increases in taxes since 2009 are causing some businesses to close and many jobs are being made redundant. The effect of this is less money circulating in our economy, thereby exacerbating the impact of the global economic recession on our local economy. To make matters worse, Caymanians are being marginalized in our own country due to fundamentally flawed immigration policies. Collectively these issues are very clearly a recipe for social disharmony and civil disorder, which we must make every effort to avoid for obvious reasons. The people are looking for a voice and solutions in the midst of these difficult times and in the absence of our elected leaders providing that voice and the required solutions for our people let us give our people an opportunity through this referendum to speak for themselves.

Additionally, the critically important draft National Conservation Law has been in various stages of draft form for well over 8 years and has not been passed by the Legislative Assembly because of organized special interests objections to it. It is time to settle this matter once and for all by giving our people the choice in this upcoming referendum.

The issue of the proposed East End port is a national issue, and while it will directly impact the people of East End, it also has significant implications for the entire country and ought to be considered and decided by the people. The proposed East End port completely disregards the Go East Policy document, which was approved by the Cabinet of which I was a part and which I tabled in the Legislative Assembly along with the current Tourism Management Policy. The Go East Policy has at its core sustainable tourism development for the eastern districts. This policy document was developed after extensive consultations through district forums, which I hosted for the people of Bodden Town, East End and North Side. During those consultations the people of the eastern districts made it abundantly clear that they did not want their districts to become industrialized but instead expressed a desire to focus on their environment, culture and heritage, cottage style tourism development and they requested, as an example, that in the future hotels and condos not exceed three floors in height.

Likewise the issue of dredging a deep water channel in the North Sound will not only impact the North Sound tour operators but, given the significant implications for some of our prime tourism attractions in the North Sound, it has the potential to negatively impact the wider tourism industry.

I am well aware that as a people we have the ability to initiate a referendum under section 70 of our new 2009 Cayman Islands Constitution but here is an opportunity for the Government to save some money by including these other questions of national importance in the upcoming referendum and avoid the probability of having to hold two referendums and doubling the costs.

If the UDP Government is confident that their policies are right for the country and that they enjoy the confidence of the people, they ought to have no concerns about asking the following additional questions on the upcoming referendum on gambling and I publicly call on them to do so:

1. Do you have confidence in the UDP Government’s ability to effectively manage the affairs of our country during what are the most challenging economic times since the 1930’s? – Yes / No

2. Do you have confidence in Premier McKeeva Bush’s ability to lead the government and country during these difficult and complex times? – Yes / No

3. Do you support moving our general elections cycle back to the month of November with the next general elections being held in November 2012? – Yes / No

4. Do you support moving our general elections cycle back to the month of November with the next general elections being held in November 2013? – Yes / No?

5. Should the government debate and approve in the Legislative Assembly the draft National Conservation Law as a matter of urgency? – Yes / No

6. Do you support relocating the cargo port to East End and the related development as proposed? – Yes / No

7. Do you support dredging a deep water channel in the North Sound to accommodate mega yachts? – Yes / No

These are seven simple questions that require a yes or no answer and this approach would settle these matters once and for all . The results of the referendum would determine in true democratic fashion the way forward during these difficult times.

I encourage everyone to apply pressure on our government by calling in to the talk shows, writing letters to the newspapers, posting on blogs and through anyother lawful means that are available to ensure that these additional questions appear on the upcoming referendum.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Ah boy Chuckie has the PPMers up against him now too as if the UDP wasn’t enough.

    Fortunately opposition from wherever it comes doesn’t bother Chuckie and he is going to say what he has to say and do what he has to do regardless of what they say or do.

    Keep the pressure on Chuckie !

    More power to you Bro.

  2. Anonynous says:

    where do I sign up to become a member of the PPM so I can vote for a new leader ? this is a true and honest question Can anybody help ? Things cannot get worse and I’m switching. Chuckie please don’t bother. Your ideas are a little late for me. Oh ! we  have 14 votes in our family. 

    • Anonymous says:

      You must be a PPMer….Lol…….well we have 35 votes in our family and they are all for The Chuckster !

      The Chuckster should not have had to say this….it should have been your PPM party saying it but where are they ? Caught up in trying to save the party and less concerned about national issues.

      Kurt got unna fooled again. He said that the UDP have never seen a campaign like the one they will see in 2013…….please KT….give it up.

      I remember KT’s comment at the meeting at the Westin some time back when he declared that "the gloves are off" in relation to Mac and the UDP. KT never even showed up ring side much less taken the gloves off !!!

      The PPM will never be an alternative until you rid yoruselves of Alden and Duckworth too…….then perhaps people will take you seriously.

    • Anonymous says:

      At least Chuck is putting ‘ideas’ as you call them on the table….what is your PPM doing ?

      They haven’t had an original thought since Chuck left them.

    • Anonymous says:

      And our Bodden Town/Cayman Brac/West Bay family got 56 votes in the Bodden Town district and all 56 are for The Chuckster every time !

  3. Anonymous says:

    Questions 1 and 2 show the Chuckster for what he is, a cheap, grandstanding politian who is clear part of the problem, not the solution.

    This country needs statesmen and stateswomen, not political hacks. For god’s sake, will some young, bright, moral, ethical and well educated Caymanians step up to the plate? I know you are out there.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Maybe you should become a client of his consulting company so you can learn something about governance and policy and avoid you making such stupid statements in the future.

    BTW it isnt Chuckie that suggested the referendum it was Big Mac……Chuckie point is that if we are going to hold one lets ask these otherquestions of national importance too. It makes sense to sensible people.


  5. Anonymous says:

    you forgot some questions……  do you like turltle? whats your favourite coulour???…..zzzzzz

    you obviously have no idea what a referendum is about……


    • Anonymous says:

      The issues raised by Clifford are at least as important as the issue of legalised gambling.  

  6. Anonymous says:

    The questions that Chuckie want answered are the questions that get answered every four years in a special referendum called a General Election.

    There is insufficient support, or to put it another way the voting majority are against gambling so McKeeva will not risk bringing a referendum on that question. Not this year, not next year, not ever.

    Love him or hate him, Big Mac is no fool. He will not be bringing anything unless he can manipulate the results to his likeing. Just ask the Central Tenders Committee if you have any doubts.

    • Florence Goring-Nozza says:

      Chuckie Add to the List  for referendum :-

      That the Cayman Immigration Board  chairman and membership needs to be elected by the people. Its a very powerful seat and people need to decide who sits in that chair. NOT THE ELECTED GOVERNMENT. The people knows who will fight for them and its not the elected government’s choice!

      There is a list of offices that the government determine and they should be voted on. This is helping to ruin our country along with electing the wrong people in the L.A.

      Please submit those offices and positions for Chukster to look at..

  7. Swimfan says:

    Are you missing being in the LA Chuckie?  The place where matters like no confidence in a government is decided is in the LA.  We have to balance the need to take unpopular decisions and the ability to replace unpopular people with stability and deterrence of crass short termism and populism (two things you know a lot about).  That is why we have 4 year legislative terms (or as you know the current one "my wilderness years’).

    Rather than waste time and money with this referendum, why don’t you form a new party so that you can walk out of it when it suits you.

    Hasn’t he got anything better to do?  I mean that as a serious question.  Has he got a job at the moment? 

    • Anonymous says:

      Dufus if you do your research you will see that in many other countries a referendum is used to determine whether a government has lost the confidence of its people and many governments are forced to step down as a result.

      Or is it that you like the way the UDP is governing ? You drank the cool aid ?

      Throw up quick !

  8. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Clifford while he was in elected office chose to give information not belonging to him to a newspaper publisher, a commission of inquiry found that Mr Clifford improperly, even illegally, took confidential government records and gave them to the press.

    Despite the Commission’s findings not  once did Mr Clifford show remorse or accept responsibility or admit wrongdoing, yet he wants us to have a referendum on the Premier’s leadership abilities or lack thereof, will a real leader please stand up?

    • Anonymous says:

      The real question and the one which you should focussed on is why wasn’t there a Commission of Inquiry into the corruption which Clifford exposed ?

      You know like the one that was recently held in the TCI which brought down their government !

    • Anonymous says:

      That whole process was really quite ridiculous and a complete waste of public funds. There are many worse wrongdoings committed by this Premier and there has been no Commission of Enquiry concerning them. The records that Mr. Clifford made available to the presswere also waved about and quoted from on national TV by the then Leader of the Opposition, now Premier.  Those same records would now be available under the Freedom of Information Law. 

      If it means that a politician should never again be allowed to speak on any issue because at some point he has committed some wrongdoing then I am afraid the Premier should have been quiet and never again taken public office ever since the First Cayman Bank affair.  What is good for the goose is good for the gander. Don’t be a hypocrite.

  9. Dagny says:

    Ah yes – the idea of management through committee. Let’s have a referendum for everything!  People voted (well, the 8 or 10 per cent of this population who actually vote) for leaders – those who were aligned enough in their philosophies to effectively represent them and their interests.  Everyone may not like all that is done, but you have voted and this is what you get. 

    Nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing gets done by committee.  You ask 5,000 people what their opinions are and you will get an equal number of answers, none of them based on the accurate information necessary to make such decisions.

    This is a ridiculous list, Chuckie and it is no wonder you were booted out of office.  We need leaders to make strong decisions without spending a half million dollars to have a small number of people express divergent views.

    • Anonymous says:

      You  missed the point ole Buddy. Mac is going to hold the expensive referendum on gambling anyway so why not include Chuckie’s questions ???

      Are you afraid of the answers that will come out of it…….BE AFRAID….BE VERY AFRAID 🙂

  10. Anonymous says:

    Let the PRESSURE BEGIN!! Well Done Chuckie!1 These are all important questions that we do need answered.

    Let the Referendum include the questions!!

    Mr. Governor we the people what to see this HAPPEN!!

    • Florence goring-Nozza says:


      The bible says in a multitude of counselors there is no error. Its time we mature, grow up and act like an adult nation. We need to start electing people into office to fill various positions that affect the framework of our nation. Elections to the following offices will resolve most of our problems I kid you not. 

      Planning should be on the referendum list as well

      Cayman Immigration Board Chairman and Membership

      Liquor licensing board  "             "                   "

      Labor Office Chairman

      Circuit Court or Magistrate Judges (we lost Judge Grace Donalds unnecessarily)

      District Council

      Vote for a Senate  is well needed to create a check and balance  in the L.A.We could utilize our brightest minds to guide the house.

      Comissioner of Police

      Superintendant of School Board &  Board Members


  11. Anonymouse says:

    You obviously have a very short memory as observed by the questions asked.

    Certainly all of these questions were relative during your tenure, but you left them unattended for someone else to deal with. Now you are posing them in order to create political provocation.

    You quit your Party even though the voting public had showed their dissatisfaction with you, now you stand on the outside trying to stir up the people. The people have lots more on their mind now than politics and you should instead be encouraging them to be productive rather than disruptive.

    If you wish to have a future in Politics in these islands I suggest that you first take a good look at yourself and what you really stand for  instead of trying to stir up more confusion for the voters than they presently seem to be able to comprehend.

    • Anonymous says:

      10:41 you must be either a PPMer who is afraid of the possibility of having  general elections 6 months early because your party won’t be ready……will you ever be ? or a UDPer who for obvious reasons don’t like The Chuckster.

      Like him or not you can’t deny that The Chuckster has the courage to ask the difficult questions that no one in the PPM or UDP is prepared to ask.

      I say we support The Chuckster. Lets get these important questions on the upcoming referendum.

      • Anonymous says:

        What would really have been courageous of the Chuckster would have been if while he was in power as a minister of the PPM government if he would have pushed for the conservation law himself.

        When there was the public meeting about Chuck’s port project he faced almost total opposition and ignored it planning to move forward.



        • Anonymous says:

          He did but Kurt and Arden didn’t want the law passed. I know because I was involved in some of the presentations to the PPM Ministers.

      • Anonymouse says:

        Contrary to what you suggest with respect to Party affiliation, I am a very Private person who take no sides with either Political Party.

        I do however consider myself a citizen of the Cayman Islands and whatever Politics dishes out affects me in some way, therefore I like many others who post here use this forum to express my views.

        Thanks to CNS both yourself and I have a medium to speak about matters as we see them particularly since I voted for Chuckie on more than one occassion only to be disappointed by his performance in more ways than one.

        Irrespective of what you think, I still think that Chuckie is all about Chuckie and he will use anyone who will let him to satisfy his goals.

        • anonymous says:

          The fact that Mr. Clifford and others are willing to bring issues to the people event though they are not elected means a lot. It means true leadership.The UDP are afraid of them they’re too smart.

          They make comments like Its just so and so ‘s RANT"  When an individual is accused of a Rant it means that they are afraid that you will OPEN UP THE EYES OF THE PEOPLE TO THE TRUTH ABOUT WHAT THE GOVERNMENT IS DOING TO THEM AND NOT DOING FOR THEM!

          When someone calls your comment a Rant take is as a compliment for you because you are now relevant and a force to be reckoned WITH! of this predators areafraid!

          What you people need to be afraid of are candidates who jump into the ring every four years that have never used their voice to fight for you or defend you. But yet they want your vote for them.

          Chuckie, keep up the good works we’re going to get you elected.

    • RVT-D says:

      10:41 All the additional questions that Mr. Clifford outlined and suggested are indeed valid and appropriate. Only the first two questions concerning confidence in the UDP and the Premier would, in a stretch, be remotely considered as "trying to stir up the people." – and even so, it is still good to know how the voters feel about that as well.

      I also have a couple of questions of my own on which I am sure most people would like to know the sentiments of their follow citizens.

      1. Do you support changing and reducing the required absence during the rollover to one month only? – Yes / NO

      2. For the key employee issue:
      (a) Key employee status should automatically be granted unless the board goes through the process of trying to prove the employee is not key.

      (b) Key employee status should NOT be given unless the employer makes an excellent and convincing argument that the appropriate and required skill set of the applicant is not available locally and is in scarce supply globally. 

      – (a) / (b)

      These are two immigration issues of paramount importance that will help to determine what opportunities our qualified, ambitious and hard working Caymanians of today and the future will have here at home. I could go on some more but will give others a chance to share their thoughts.

      I will just close by saying that regardless of whether or not these issues were dealt with during Mr. Clifford’s time, it does not mean that we cannot take this opportunity to deal with them now if there is a referendum. These issues (plus the two that I listed) are more important than the Gambling issue.


      • Anonymous says:

        Your post is so far off the point that it is irrevelant to the issue which Chuckie is trying to bring.

    • Libertarian says:

      What one has done in the past, has nothing to do with the present reality! 

      Forget the man!

      The fact remains… a referendum is an expression of our democracy, and the government for once should listen to the people!