Commissioners stand firm

| 04/04/2011

(CNS): Despite the damning public criticism of the members of the Constitutional Commission by the country’s leader, the commissioners will be going ahead with their public meetings in order to continue their research into how government and the constitution are working, how politicians are advised and what changes people want to see, if any, to the constitution to achieve the goal of good governance. Although Premier McKeeva Bush, derided comments made by Wil Pineau and Julene Banks about the advisory district council law and the current North Side advisory council, the teamis starting its public meetings in that district as planned, unperturbed by the comments.

So far, the commissioners have not responded publicly to Bush’s criticisms but say they have written to the governor and will make that correspondence public shortly.

Speaking in the Legislative Assembly last month, Bush said their poor performance was embarrassing as they had “gotten so far adrift” from their “real role”. He accused them of misusing their position and trying to influence public opinion.

The premier said he had asked the governor to speak with the commissioners and he was encouraging them to speak with the attorney general to be better “schooled in their role and functions” as he accused them of trying to frustrate his administration. Bush was particularly angry about the commission’s comments regarding the law recently passed by government on the make-up of advisory district councils, which provides for the councils to be appointed by government. The commissioners said that the existing district council in North Side, which was elected by constituents, was closer to what had been envisioned by the commission.

However, Bush criticised the commission’s goal to canvas public opinion and said it was a delicate undertaking for a body such as a Constitutional Commission and that their comments were "blatantly partisan”. He said they were indicating their support for the MLA for North Side while opposing the UDP government and were encouraging the people to adopt the same view.

Unperturbed by Bush’s accusations, the commissioners will be starting the series of public meetings in North Side on Thursday evening at the civic centre. The commissioners want to engage the wider community in each district in public discussions on all constitutional matters. The commissioners say the meetings will allow members of the public to ask questions about, and gain a better understanding of, the constitution as a document that affects their daily lives.

“The public is encouraged to exercise their freedom to become better informed and more involved in the development of constitutional matters. Every voice is valuable in the interpretation of constitutional advancements,” the constitutional officials said in a release.

Meeting dates and times have been confirmed in the following districts:
Thursday, 7 April, 7-9pm, North Side Civic Centre
Thursday, 14 April, 7-9pm, East End Civic Centre
Thursday, 5 May, 7-9pm, Bodden Town Civic Centre
Thursday, 19 May, 7-9pm, South Sound Civic Centre
Meetings are planned for the districts of West Bay and the Sister Islands in June.

For more information visit the Constitutional Commission website.

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  1. nauticalone says:

    I was at the meeting in North Sidelast night.

    The members of the Constitutional Commision were very professional with providing for this important forum for education about our Contitution. Especially in seeking input from the audience and providing answers to questions.
    Mr. Miller also contributed greatly.

    The Premier would do well to watch such proceedings….with a willingness to learn how to behave more professionally….more like a proper Statesman!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Based upon what I understand the district commissioners are to be appointed and not elected. I don’t think another level of elected official is necessary in such a small electorate.

    Ezzard acted prematurely and on his own to "elect" the North side commissioners and as usual it was "Ezzard’s way".

    Listening to Steve McField explain the constitution’s description of the district commissioners makes it clear to me they were not intended to be another layer of elected politician.

    If the constitution intended for the district commissioners to be elected then a description of the election process and length of term would have been included.

  3. The Crown says:

    Hmmm… There is no surprise to me at all that Will see’s the immediate need for this consultation with the Caymanian people. This is in no way a time for joking,but i must say it is inspiring to see Will pro-active vs the frame of the champion of the chamber & the notorious puzzled look. Well Will, Mac isn’t happy at all & a scrutinized government isn’t his favorite dish,by far. Will the applause is building if you can hear it,but for a thunderous roar,tighten a few more threads down on exploited immigration. 

  4. Shock and Awe says:

    "He said they were indicating their support for the MLA for North Side while opposing the UDP government."

    Well, that just about says it.  Pardon me for informing the Premier and pardon the Commissioners for doing the same….but… Mr. Miller is a duly elected representative of his constituency he is… by all accounts…. part of the government.  And it is not as the Premier wished His government or a UDP government.  It was elected by the people in a democratic country to carry out Their wishes not as he again wished… his wishes.

    Wish he didn’t need those reminders.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I will try to be at whatever meetings I can attend no matter what district because ……whatever happens anywhere on this island affects me and I want to be informed and have a voice…Thank you Commissioners.  BTW Does Mac Dicktator ever read all the negative comments about him?  For sure this would make any idiot realise he is not as popular and well-liked as he thinks he is.  Oh I forgot, he’s the one who didn’t finish school and probably can’t read.  What a tragedy for a premier…what a tragedy for these islands, what a tragedy for the Mother Country…Take it on Commissioners…. we are with you all the way.   

  6. Anonymous says:

    “Bush said their poor performance was embarrassing as they had “gotten so far adrift” from their “real role”. He accused them of misusing their position…”

    Well aint that that pot callin the kettle, LMAO! Keep up the good works commissioners, you seem to be the only ones listening to the people and understanding their wishes right now!

  7. petermilburn says:

    Just wanted to add my thoughts and thanks to the Commissioners for sticking to their guns on this one.Nice to see that other s will stand up for what they believe is right.I think that our Premier is finding that more and more people will come forward with their thoughts and solutions in the future and will stop all this one man decision making as this in my opinion is certainly not enhancing the word Democracy and can only help to keep Cayman on a level playing field

  8. Anonymous says:

    Excellent – I will attend 19 May meeting in my district and encourage all Caymanians and residents to do the same.

    Mark your calendars

    I am tired tired tired of UDP and McKeeva

  9. Anonymous says:

    Well done – please don’t be bullied. We all need to stand firm against the current dictatorship otherwise we are in danger of becoming another Cuba or similar to several middle Eastern countries who are currently fighting for freedom.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Stand firm Commissioners. You would have heard from the various radio talk shows that you have the support of Mr. Miller, Mr. McLean, Mr. Clifford and others. So you have men of courage behind you to fight the tyrant. Go Commissioners !!!

  11. John Henry says:

    Hello Freedom Commissioners,you have taken on a worthy yet unthankful task, may you succeed in your endeavours, but frankly you need to broaden your audience.

    The venues you are soliciting the public to are venues not accessible to a majority of the people and give your efforts a smell of onlyappealing to a certain level of the society.

    What about areas like George Town Central, Rock Hole, Windsor Park Le Bush North West Point etc etc. etc. One may argue that if people want to know they will come, but there is a contra argument and that is if you want to inform and educate the public and fully engage them in discussion, then there must be additional steps to do so..

    If you have advertised elsewhere that you are going to take steps for a further outreach, then I stand corrected. If not , food for thought.

    Let Freedom Ring, from the Furthest corner of Grand Cayman to the highest point of our Sister Islands.. Let Freedom ring in our Schools. Let Freedom Truly ring.

    Long LIve the Cayman Islands, Long LIve Her Majesty the Queen.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Commissioners. You have our unwavering support !

    We the people want elected district councils and WE want single member constituences without any further delay !!!

  13. Anonymous says:

    The Constitutional Commissioners are to be commended. They have my respect for pursuing what is right in the face of bullying.

    I am one Caymanian that has had enough of one man rule. Open discussion of the Constitutional aspects of the festering problems of this country are required in order for us to rid ourselves of despots and patronage.