MLAs return to parliament with full order paper

| 03/08/2011

(CNS): The country’s legislators will be back in the Legislative Assembly this morning with a full order paper. This is the eighth sitting of the budget meeting after the premier adjourned the house several weeks ago sine dia. The notification of the day’s order paper was sent to members late Tuesday evening and includes several suspensions of Standing Orders to enable government to introduce motions, withdraw bills and introduce bills without following the exact procedures established under the Standing Orders or the rules of the parliament. Government will be withdrawing the earlier version of the Public Management and Finance Amendment Bill and introducing a second version as well as minor changes to the Legal Practitioner’s Bill.

Government will also be answering a number of parliamentary questions which were submitted by opposition members many months ago regarding the proposals by the premier to dredge a channel in the North Sound to facilitate a mega yacht marina.

Ezzard Miller the independent member for North Side expressed his disappointment Tuesday evening, saying the government was once again showing its total disregard for the country’s parliament when it circulated an order paper to members less than 20 hours before the sitting was set to commence.

Government has not yet indicated how long this sitting will last or if it intends to adjourn the sitting and set a time for a new meeting to enable the opposition to submit new parliamentary questions or motions.

Check back to CNS throughout this week for full coverage of the Legislative Assembly proceedings

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  1. Anonymous says:

    If the elected members of the Cayman Islands would work togetherfor the greater good of Caymanians instead of self and special interest groups and investors, these islands could be as good as they were back in the 60's and 70's honest and above political corruption.

    Then again this is wishful thinking, at that time Caymanians were the majority in Cayman with the economic and political power, all this has changed in less than 20 years so good bye to the good old days and welcome to the NWO.  Maybe direct rule by the UK is not such a bad thing as bad as it might seem.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Crushed by one of Mark's steam rollers!

    Mark will never have permission from McDictator to ever bring the National Environmental Law.



  3. Quite apart from this says:

    Whilst the LA is dealing with tough questions and important legislation, perhaps they could give consideration to styling those bills as Acts and not Laws when and if they are passed.  The Constitution says that the Legislative Assembly has the power to make laws for the Cayman Islands, as opposed to the previous wording which said the Governor did that with the advice and assent of the LA.  So all of our Laws should be upgraded to Acts.  This was intended to be an outcome of the new Constitution but seems to have been ignored.

    • Stiff-Necked Fool says:

      Yeah, 'full order paper' of what HE wants & only what he wants while ignoring the opposition, independent & the people. His actions are no longer acceptable! That dictator has gotta GO!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Where is the environmental law?????????????

  5. Anonymous says:

    Is McTyrant still ignoring the No Confidence Motion?

    • Interestingly says:

      The new TCI Constitution has a provision requiring the Governor to either depose the Premier or dissolve the House if a majority of its members declare a lack of confidence in the Premier.   

      • Libertarian says:

        There are also provisions in the drafted Constitution, giving the Governor (and not the Turks and Caicos Islanders) the power to grant TCI Status to foreign nationals under UK law (through Naturalization). That means expats and possibly the same ones who cried for the UK takeover of TCI, will be able to vote. It is like what happened in 2003 when our elected Cabinet, was given the power to grant Cayman Status grants to around 2000 people instead of using our Immigration Department. This TCI provision will most definitely be brought to the attention of the United Nations, because the document was not negotiated between the TCI and UK government. It is arbitrarily mandated on the Turks and Caicos Islanders without their consent.

        • Interestingly says:


          Libertarian – in the hands of an honest, competent government, I would not stomach that constitution if I were a TC Islander.  However, the fact is that these modern territorial constitutions were negotiated and given in good faith and that faith has been abused across the territories.  The Inquiry's finding that corruption is *systemic* is very significant.  The UK government has no reason to believe the next bunch are going to be any better behaved.


          As it is the FCO swore there would never be another Bermuda, where the Governor sits in a 20-acre residence with a feathery hat on, tending to his areas of special responsibility only. The Cayman-TCI-BVI-Gibraltar level of autonomy was itself a step down from that, and seems to have been badly abused by the most recent holders of office of Premier in each territory.  The UK may soon conclude we are more trouble than we are worth, and then the question of whether we remain a territory or go our own way will not be one for us.  If we protest in the international media, they can say that they tried to modernise the relationship but ultimately we were corrupt and unreasonable and should be cut adrift.  


          I think there are valid objections to particularly that provision, but in the round it is the medicine that country needs.


          • Libertarian says:

            My friend, I know you are a loyalist "God Save the Queen"!  But it still has not dawn upon you… that the drafted TCI Constitution which the United Kingdom is planning to ratify, has not been "negotiated"!  That means that the representatives, the politicians, the people in general,and those faithful civil and social leaders of the Turks and Caicos Islands, has absolutely "no say" on the governance they want in their home country!  Forget about past corruption – the majority of the "people" was never involved in the corruption!  Isn't that a dictatorship?  Isn't that just as worse and corrupt to force laws upon the people with no vote?  And you have the audacity, the nerve to say its good "medicine" for the people!  So now… are the people corrupt???  I think you need the "medicine" of visiting communist Cuba and live there under a dictatorship where they will look down on you and say, "your vote means nothing"! 

            • Anonymous says:

              I can see how I gave the impression that I am a loyalist.  Let me say that I treat all institutions with the appropriate degree of suspicion.  Some of my strongest suspicion is reserved for the UK government.  I completely understand what you say about it not being a negotiated document.  It is, as you might say, a 'significant indictment'.  However, I suggest you might wish tolook at this as a judge-only trial – offensive to some principles, yes, but not to others that weigh more heavily in the balance. 


              You say that the people have clean hands.  That may be generally true but, again, I must go back to the findings of the Inquiry.  It identified, as a major source of corruption, the too-close relationship between politicians and supporters, including hundreds of payments to ordinary citizens for road cleaning, large undocumented grants/loans, and abuses of the Belonger right to crown land.  I am afraid to say, many, many people in the TCI have been parties to the recent collapse of its finances and government.  Even the executive of the PLP formally apologised for their failure to 'bring Misick to heel'.


              This pattern stretches back – again as the Inquiry found – several decades, and it is not the first such report of its kind to conclude this.  I think the UK feels what is needed is a sea change in culture that has to be headlined and underlined by a paring back of the discretionary power of the local political and administrative establishment.  However, for the efficient functioning of society and business, someone must have these powers, and so they are being given to the Governor.  The Governor will, I am sure, at all times and taking into account his responsibility to act logically and fairly, discharge those duties and exercise those powers in a way that will not attract justified criticism.  The situation in the TCI is being very closely watched in the UK because of the reputational damage the collapse did and they will make sure that everything is in order.


              Governing is a privilege.  The UK took it away because the people had been literally begging them to.  That is just as good as losing an election.  You might say, "then why was the Government not simply dissolved?"  The answer is that it had got beyond that.  The public finances were collapsing and the House of Assembly seemingly was unable to meet.  Once the Foreign Affairs Committee received all those submissions from frightened citizens, the horse had left the stables.  This was the only response possible.  Also, it is documented and understood that the elections practices up to now have been hopelessly corrupt, so there was no guarantee – and little reason to believe – that an election would have produced a genuine result.


              I suggest three reasons for the constitution not being a negotiated document:


              1) There is no one to negotiate with.  No one has come out of this affair untarnished.  The new leaders learned the political craft from the very deposed and disgraced former ministers, by observation and by institutional socialisation.  No one can claim to speak for the people, who have been very clear that they were simply muscled out of participation in an honest and proper government for years.  


              2) The process of negotiation is not usually engaged in unless there is at least some good faith on both sides, and a reasonable hope of a successful outcome.  The wounds are still too raw, and opinions too firmly set, for negotiation to have this hope.  The reaction to the publication of this draft constitution is exactly what would have been said in a negotiation.  What, do you think, would have been the UK's response?  Do you think they would take seriously claims that the TCI people have been 'raped'?  The Inquiry discovered serious structural failings in the society.  It is for the benefit of all TC Islanders that public life is cleaned up, and some of the hard questions about why everyone there is so 'gimme gimme' need answering and solutions devised and implemented.


              3) Any pleas from even the most erudite, earnest new political figure would, even if perfectly expressed, amount to 'trust us', and there just is not a lot of trust around in that relationship right now.


              I assume by your strong interest in this matter, and the strong similiarities between the official PLP line and your arguments, that you are a political figure in the TCI.  My advice to you is to turn your energies toward recognising that the trust was abused, that it needs to be earned once again (or independence pursued), and that there are hard facts about the position the TCI is in that require you and your countrymen to roll up your sleeves and socks and rip out those roots and branches of corruption and mismanagement wherever you find them.  You catch more flies with honey as they say – co-operate with the UK, in the interest of all concerned.


              If things get as bad here as they did in the TCI, I will indeed weep for the loss of a negotiated constitution, but I will do so with the knowledge that, as a people, we lost the right to have one.  This is not to say that anyone who can claim to speak for the people should not make representations in the strongest terms.  I just say that I do not think that will yield success, as the previous constitution was negotiated and this one has only been changed to the extent that the UK – utilising the skills of some of its best lawyers and civil servants inside and outside of government – deemed necessary.  It may be that they just 'do not want to hear it' – they have done the work, fully recognising the benefits of the TCI running itself as far as it possibly can, and this is the result.


              One final thing – be glad you have at least some single-member constituencies.  Our system continues to produce a leader who did not reach high school.  

              • Libertarian says:

                I understand much of your reasoning and do agree with the corruption issues they had in Turks and Caicos Islands. Don't get me wrong, it wouldn't have been so bad if the Foreign Ministry had leaned more towards "direct democracy" at that point of time when those "submissions from frightened citizens" and alarmist came in for direct rule. Instead they gave the go ahead for the draconic act to "quick-fix" the brewing debacle of corruption (so they say). 

                Let us admit that they made immoral decisions during a 911 episode that could have been dealt respecting the people's democracy. A referendum, including the entire electorate could have been conducted  to asked whether TCI accept or reject the direct rule.

                • Anonymous says:

                  I hadn't considered a referendum.  I see that ending one of two ways:




                  TCI: Give us a binding referendum.


                  UK: No, we are the territorial power.




                  TCI: Give us an advisory referendum.


                  UK: Okay. 


                  TCI: We do not want direct rule.


                  UK: Well, you are going to get it anyway.



                  Besides, with the shame cast on the electoral system and the general shambles of the government, an election would have taken months to organise and hold.  Direct rule looks like it will stabilise the country faster than anything else could have.  That's surely the outcome we all want, right – a quick recovery?

                  • Libertarian says:

                    "How" you recover is pertinent.

                    • Anonymous says:

                      Very true.  It is also true that we musn't let the great be the enemy of the good.  You'll have your country back in no time.  All the best.

              • Anonymous says:

                The TCI situation and the force intervention of the UK is not much different from what is happing here in Cayman at the moment.  I just wish that Caymanians realise this before it is too late.  Political corruption will bring any country to ruins.

        • Libertarian says:

          Correction:  The revised Constitution has been brought into force last month July.  It is no more a "draft" 

  6. Anonymous says:

    is this good governance, mr governor???