McLaughlin sticks by motion

| 02/05/2011

(CNS):The leader of the opposition will not be changing the wording of his no confidence motion against the government and the premier because of the requirements of the constitution. Following calls from the wider public and his former Cabinet colleague, Charles Clifford, to focus the private member’s motion on McKeeva Bush rather than the entire government, Alden McLaughlin said the new constitution specifically calls for a lack of confidence in the government. He explained that the structure of government had changed to a full ministerial system rather than the hybrid which had existed previously and as such it is not possible for the House to vote to revoke the appointments of individual ministers, including the premier. (Photo Dennie Warren Jr)

The former tourism minister wrote to the opposition leader this weekend offering his support for the motion to oust the government from office. However, Clifford suggested McLaughlin change the wording to give the motion a greater chance of success. He said that the government ministers were unlikely to vote against themselves but he believed at least two Cabinet ministers, though he did not name them, would be likely to vote against the premier as he was “operating as a one man show”, and those minsters could probably bring two backbench members with them.

“I believe that it is true that the majority of people in the country do not have any confidence in the UDP government. It seems equally clear to me that none of the Cabinet ministers will vote against himself or herself as a member of the government and it is unlikely that you will garner the support of all four backbench members of the government,” he said as he recommended McLaughlin amend the motion so that it calls for the Legislative Assembly to specifically declare a lack of confidence in Premier McKeeva Bush.

“I know that all of us would prefer to not be facing such a proposition at this point in time but it should be clear to all that this option, while not ideal, would bring some level of stability and credibility back to our government and country,” Clifford said. “The bottom line is that we cannot sustain two more years of Premier McKeeva Bush’s dictatorial leadership and flawed policies.”

McLaughlin noted, however, that with the 2009 constitution the premier has real responsibility for ministers, including advising the governor on their appointments.

“The governor is required to revoke the appointment of the premier if a motion that the Legislative Assembly declares a lack of confidence in the government receives the support of at least two thirds of the elected members,” he said. At that point the governor can either appoint another member as premier, or if no other member has the necessary support, dissolve the LA without revoking the premier and call new elections, he explained. Once the premier’s appointment is revoked, the other ministers also lose their offices.

“But it is not possible for the House to vote to revoke the appointments of individual ministers,” McLaughlin added. He also noted that the current Standing Orders do not and cannot override the constitutional provisions.

Although Bushwas in London this week for the royal wedding, in his absence the remaining government members publicly offered their backing to Bush as leader of the government at a press conference on Thursday morning. However, Rolston Anglin, who was acting premier since the deputy premier had been hospitalised as a result of high blood pressure, said the motion would be debated in the Legislative Assembly. He said it was nothing more than a cynical grab for power and an attempt to distract attention from the current government’s success in stabilizing the public finances.

McLaughlin filed the motion last week listing 24 major points as to why the country no longer had confidence in the UDP government some two years into its term. Most of the points were as a result of the actions of the premier, and although the motion will in all likelihood be voted down, it will force the members of the House to discuss and defend the premier’s decisions and actions in a public forum.

Anglin dismissed the motion as a grab for power but McLaughlin noted that it could hardly be described as such since the success of the motion would result in the call for a general election and the need for him to give up and fight again for his own seat.

It is not clear when the motion will be debated but this Friday’s date for the re-opening of the Legislative Assembly has been postponed until the middle of the month.

Vote in CNS poll: Do you support the leader of the opposition’s no confidence motion against the government

See motion attached. 

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  1. Anonymous says:

    to those complaining about Alden’s performance with the schools, I assume that you are all fine with your children receiving a substandard education? He may have gone a little overboard with the plans but at least he did something. What has been done since the new Minister took over? Has John Gray been finished. NO the kids are still going to school in a building site with no proper play field. Are they going to spend money finishing the schools? No, they will add to West Bay primary which is one of the better schools. I have no problem with Govt. spending lots and lots on education. We will end up with highly educated kids who can get a job anywhere and do not have to resort to armed robbery for a living. The last govt. was the only govt. in the past 20 or more years who actually did something or started doing something to ensure that our kids can read and write when they leave school.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s right. And boy did they get kicked in the backside for that. After all, I mean if McKeeva can run this country without an education who the hell NEEDS one?

  2. Anonymous says:

    What a mess. We have fifteen members of the Legislative Assembly and not one that is capable to run the country. It should be the opposite, any one of the fifteen should be capable and able if called upon to head the government. What makes it even worse is not one of them realise this. The end isnear, actually it’s in sight.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Just wondering… Since the no confidence vote is against the Govt meaning all the Ministers with portfolios and the Premier.

    Is it legal for the Ministers to vote in a no confidence motion when they are the targets of the motion?

    That certainly should not be legal for them to vote for themselves especially in this case where the issue is to determine the confidence level for themselves.

    If it is legal, it certainly is unethical. Its almost like allowing the accused to be one of the jurors in their own case.

    And would we entertain such a ludicrous idea?

    • Anonymous says:

      Excellent point

    • But then... says:

      but then…if they didn’t vote it would be really easy for the opposition to simply overturn the ruling Government at a whim! The motion would definitely be successful if the PPM alone were allowed to vote for it. That wouldn’t be democratic and goes against the rules of the house which requires that all voting members exercise that right at decision time.

      What Mr. McLaughlin’s motion hopes to accomplish is to give the UDP members who are currently un-happy with their own leadership the opportunity to change their leader.

      Remember now! the motion isn’t asking to replace the govt with the PPM, it is asking the Governor to appoint a new Premier and since the UDP has the majority, the result would be that one of the other UDP members would replace MAC.

      That said, I don’t see this motion being successful for several reasons:

      1. Mac will not go quietly, and would most likely use whatever dirt he has on his members to force their hand.

      2. None of the UDP have the “stomach” to take Mac on. the party and Government is built around Macs personality and until he decides to give it up to someone else they will follow like sheep.

      This is really sad and depressing at the same time. There are intelligent people within the UDP but it appears that they are weak and scared with no conscience. If they all wholeheartedly believed that what they are doing was best for Cayman, then I would be convinced, but it appears that they fear Mac more than they fear the voters.

      This situation has given me the opportunity to reflect and decide what is needed for our beautiful home, and I have decided that I will no longer sit back and watch all of this unfold leading to our inevitable demise. It is time to stand up, and I do realize that Cayman needs leaders now! So after consulting with my family and friends, I will announce my intention to launch a new political group, comprised of young energetic, educated, loyal and brave Caymanians who are willing to fight for Cayman. I am tired of feeling depressed, and abused and held hostage by a Government who obviously worry more about their self interests than anything else.

      My next post on this form will therefore not be anonymous!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Political greed for power to replace one with another career politician– in this case Premier Alden.

    Only term limits can stop these career politicians in the guise of public service. Mr Alden, you are one of them too.

    As in many democracies, a minority leads the majority. It is no different in Cayman.

    The average Joe is struggling to make ends meet and survive, while these career and well paid / pensioned politicians wearing suits are hustling for power.

    • Anonymous says:

      I fully agree with you 20:17. Alden is power hungry that is problem. Maybe if he was charged with the reckless spending of Govt. funds after the 09 Elections he would not now be around back trying crying foul – so he can get back to continue the waste he left.

      I say shame, shame on him and those who are encouraging him with this move.

  5. Anonymous says:

    There goes Kurt’s shirttail – not changing his mind out of pride sake.

    Another “not on the best of days” approach – the same approach that has the country in dire straights.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Of course Alden sticks to his position…remember the schools?!

    Him always think he correct and you cant change the man.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree – some folks seem to have a short memory regarding the bizarre performance of Mr. McLaughlin when he was Education minister, or maybe they do recall but prefer to ignore the megalomaniac stuff that went on. I’d shudder to imagine this individual as premier, at the very least he’d bankrupt the country, but not before introducing property/income taxes to finance his grandiose "ideas". (Please, before you hit the button, think about the "Beatles" recording studio, the gourmet kitchens, and  the experimental Leonardo Da Vinci  "renaissance learning environment " stuff. Pretty weird, man.)

    • Anonymous says:

      Him always think? Could it be you got one of those status grants? Even though you can’t speak proper English?

  7. While You Were Out says:

    Mr. Premier?? Earth calling the Premier. We know it’s been fun. The wage, the perks, the pension, the traveling, nice hotels,seeing the world, personal chef, household bills, etc. All that stuff. It’s been tremendous and we hope you’ve had a great time. But what this is about is what good has your being Premier done anyone but yourself? We hate to mention it especially while you’re away again, but we’re a little concerned about mundane things: Like crime, unemployment, missing accounts, lack of opportunity, lack of planning, lack of any real hope you’re going to stay home for awhile and do that thing that leaders do. Lead. So while you were out…. don’t be upset but we’ve decided on a few changes

    • Anonymous says:

      Do not back down Mr. Mclaughlin, they gonna try all kinds of things & they gonna say all kinds of things because they are scared. You & Mr. Arden Mclean are doing the right thing & you have the support of the majority of the people, so do not let them make you back down. Stick to your guns, they are doing Cayman wrong & we need a change! The UDP are the worst government we have ever had & we are suffering (while they all living it up like kings on our dollars)

    • Cat says:

      You forgot one extremely important topic on your list. We still have a precious Government worker and mother of five still missing and haven’t heard a peep of concern from him about it.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Stick to your position Alden. Eventhough PPM did not stick with Charles Clifford many times.

    • hmmmmm says:

      Ona think Big Mac BAd, give MC Laughlin the Premier Seat and then ona hear stubborness and trouble and??

  9. Anonymous says:

    I voted “No Confidence” in MacDinejad a long time ago by not casting a vote for him in the first place. I wish more West Bayers had done the same!

  10. Anonymous says:

    The Chuckster and Alden need to join forces again to remove Mac once and for all – the grand finale !

  11. Anonymous says:

    Either way I agree with Alden and Chuckie – Mac must go and go now !!!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Alden it is an erroneous argument to suggest that because the Premier is appointed in a different way under your “new” Constitution that this prevents the LA from declaring a lack of confidence in him by way of a motion. You ought to take some advice on this point my friend.

    • Anonymous says:

      It may very well be possible, if they can get past the Speaker, that is, for Alden and Arden to bring a motion seeking a declaration of a lack of confidence in the premier. However, that would have no constitutional effect as what the constitution (section 51) requires is a vote of no confidence in the GOVERNMENT. That is what triggers the Governor to revoke the appointment of the Premier or to call early elections. A vote of no confidence in the Premier, assuming such a motion was approved to be heard by the Speaker, which is doubtful, would not require the Governor to do anything at all.

      • Don't ask me says:

        No, it would not require the Governor to do anything, but then he doesn’t do anything anyway. 

        What such a motion would do is allow the House to express a lack of confidence in McKeeva Bush, forcing him to consider his position, especially as a successful motion would mean at least four members of his parliamentary party had defected.  He could not then claim to command the confidence of a majority of the members, and the consensus would quickly form that he could not maintain his position and he would then fall the way most leaders do.

      • Anonymous says:

        It would have constitutional effect because the motion, once passed, would mean that McKeeva has lost the confidence of the majority of members of the LA which means that the Governor would have to revoke his appointment as Premier or call early elections.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Whether its Alden’s version or Chuckie’s version it will fail because the UDP members are tied together by other interests. I must admit though that Chuckie’s version would stand a better chance of succeeding.

  14. Anonymous says:

    If McLaughlin studied precedent based on identical constitutional provisions in other territories he would recognise that Clifford is right and maybe his motion will succeed if it is amended. But McLaughlin will not take advice from anyone. He’s just another McKeeva but with education. Hmmmm………..which is worse ?

    • Anonymous says:

      And that is the really worrying stuff. Everybody is calling for MacKing to go, no issues with that and plenty of reasons for, but what are the alternatives? Let me tell you are all pretty scary

      Mac King creates endless committees and plays the illusion of democracy (although pretty bad as nobody believes is a democracy anymore). Alden doesn’t even try, he is the owner of the truth and wouldn’t even attempt to listen.

      Any others?

      Times tuf but looks like it will get worst….

  15. Anonymous says:

    Well if Charles Clifford is wrong in his suggestion to you Mr. McLaughlin then I suggest to you that your new Constitution can hardly be labelled “Constitutional Advancement”. It seems like “Constitutional Regression” is more appropriate.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wasn’t Chuckie there when the Constitution was being written? Two peas in a pod…

  16. Anonymous says:

    PPMers busy going after Chuckie for making a sensible suggestion to them. They don’t even recognise when someone is trying to help them. Watch the motion fail now.

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly, they unillaterally have the truth and would not listen. Not that Mac does either, he just pretends….

  17. Michel Lemay says:

    You also have my support Mr. McLaughlin

  18. anonymous says:

    Mr. McLaughlin I support you 100% in this. Keep pressing on and do not believe anything Rolston or Ellio says. Ellio just do not like you from the time he was a radio host. He do not like McKeeva too, for shutting down his CayPolitics, but he just went along with him for the UDP ride. His biggest problem however, is You. Mr. Clifford it would bode you well to be supportive of Mr. McLaughlin, instead of trying to change what he is doing to suit your agenda. One thing with Mr. McLaughlin he does things by the books and will not let anyone convience him to deviate.

    • Anonymous says:

      Did you listen to Rooster this morning ? Mr. Clifford is being supportive of Mr. McLaughlin’s motion……he simply made a suggestion to improve Mr. McLaughlin’s chances of success.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Either way it’s useless…

  20. Anonymous says:

    Proponents of this motion are correct in that it should be a motion targeted at the (elected) Government Ministers and Backbench Members of the LA as a whole – you see, this is one of the “trappings” of the party system = Guilt by Association!

    If this were praise being dished out, they would all put forward some claim to it. The same should also be true when it comes to public disappointment.

  21. Anonymous says:

    There is a big difference between having simply attended law school and being a qualified attorney who has been called to the Bar.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Chuckie is just trying to get attention, that’s all.

    • Anonymous says:

      Alden is trying to get attention too…What another waste of time and money!

  23. Anonymous says:

    The budding lawyer Chuckie is as usual full of advice.

    • Anonymous says:

      BAD advice, I might add. Following it would be unconconstitutional and cause the Motion to not even make it to the LA. At least the way Alden has it worded there is a chance it can be debated in the House. How the votes are cast is another matter.

    • Anonymous says:

      Charles Clifford is no lawer and I wish people stop referring to him as one, he has a law degree but does not make him a lawyer. He was never called to the Bar – check the records at the Courts Office.