MLAs ignored by Cabinet

| 23/11/2011

Arden new.jpg(CNS): Although the new constitution has a provision for elected members that represent districts that do not have a member in Cabinet to visit with the government board once every three months, the two MLAs impacted by this have only been asked to come once in more than two years. Arden McLean, one of the two elected members whose constituents have no Cabinet representation, said that the only time he has been asked was before the 2010 budget and has not been asked since. The PPM member said he believed the premier was cherry-picking the things he liked in the constitution, such as the trappings of office, but ignoring things he doesn’t , especially those supporting democracy. (Photo Dennie Warren Jr)

Representing the single member constituency of East End, which along with North Side is one of the two which have don’t have elected ministers in the constituency, the two MLAs are constitutionally entitled to go to one of the government’s weekly Cabinet meetings once a quarter.

The two men revealed that they have only been invited on one occasion, despite the constitutional requirement that they should have been allowed to make representations on behalf of their constituents at least six times since the constitution came into effect.
McLean stated that the only issue that has been addressed from his single appearance was the canteen in his district’s primary school.

Even though there have been, and still are, other pressing issues in his constituency that he would like to present to government, he has not had an audience. The opposition member said the premier seems to believe the requirement to invite the non-cabinet MLAs is his to issue when he feels like it and not, as is actually the case, a legal requirement.

“The premier is picking and choosing the bits in the constitution he likes and ignoring the rest,” the opposition member said. He pointed out that the trappings of office that the premier seems to like are not compulsory but he had still blamed the PPM for having to adopt them. “But what doesn’t align with his wishes he rails against it,” McLean added.

The independent member for North Side, who said that no invitation has been extended to him either since the one time appearance before the 2010 budget, stated that the premier seemed to have difficulty  complying with the constitution in a number of areas.

Ezzard Miller pointed to a victory on constitutional issues, as government was finally complying with the twenty-one day rule of tabling proposed legislation before debating it. This also means that the government has been adjourning the meetings of parliament properly and opening up opportunities for the opposition benches to file questions and motions.

The North Side MLA said the stand that he and the PPM members had taken earlierthis year had worked. The members had held a press conference to alert the public and voiced their grievances to the governor, after the premier had been adjourning sittings of the parliament over and over without adjourning the actual meeting, abusing the democratic process and attempting to silence the opposition.

As government is now complying with the twenty-one day rule, the public is also now being given a chance to see and read legislation before it is debated in the Legislative Assembly and passed and given a three week opportunity to voice their opinions, concerns or support for either new legislation or changes to existing laws.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Politics

About the Author ()

Comments (30)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Knot S Smart says:

    And he looks vex as hell in that photo too…

  2. Anonymous says:

    But is the Cabinet required by law to ASK the two MLA's to attend?  Or, shouldn't the two MLA's ASK the Cabinet to attend?  This really sounds childish and the Caymanian people don't deserve this

    • Anonymous says:

      The MLAs HAVE asked to attend and they have been refused by the Premier who believes that it is merely a matter for his discretion. If there is any childishness it isin the latter's attitude.    

  3. Theo says:

    People it’s bad enough as it is with the wrangling in the house of assembly. Why don’t the bunch of you stop pluck the mote outa ya own eye and go pull some bush make yaselves productive people, there are too many idle people on this new service

    • Anonymous says:

      We're trying to pull the bush but man dem roots just won't let go. We might have to get some weed killa.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Do the MLAs have to wait to get invited, or can they demand to have this visit with the government board?

    My suggestion is keep complaining in writing to the governor and the respective people in the UK, get your back up and ducks in a row as evidence that theconstitution is ignored. Eventually, the applicable authorities will get fed up and have to do something about it.

  5. Libertarian says:

    Like I have said, no "teeth" in the Constitution with little checks and balances. The root problem is not a party, but a systematic change toward direct democracy, which the UK could spearhead. The party system, has only divide, distract, and divert attention from the real issues that needs to be addressed. If PPM and UDP really want to do good for Cayman, they better forget about their personal and party interest, and start thinking about the future generation of these islands. It is sad, and it is going to get worse if we do nothing about it.  Indeed, God help us  

  6. Anonymous says:

    thanks for more good governence mr governor………..zzzzzzzzz

  7. ThisIsOnlyGood says:

    Mac follows rules and laws when it is convenient for him. I would like to see laws drafted that include penalties for breaking them and setting out who is responsible for enforcing them. Otherwise these laws are only as good as the paper they are written on.


    I also want the chance to vote for who is Premier. West Bay voters may have voted him into government but perhaps even West Bayer may have chosen another person to be Premier if there was a pool of candidates from across the Islands to choose from.

  8. Anonymous says:


    This is precisely why the party system we have is detrimental to Cayman. I was recently told that elected members of either party are obligated to vote along party lines even when they don't agree with a certain matter. This results in the leader of the party calling all the shots and holding an enormous amount of power. Such centralized power owned by the leader of the party offsets any balanced and fair system of checks and balances. Party members become sheep who blindly follow their leader. This system opens up a wide path for the possibility of corruption and implementation of bad policy making.


    We may not always agree with Mr. Ezzard and Mr. Arden but by remaining independent they answer to no one but those they represent. They are free to speak and vote on issues as they see fit without the restraint of being bound by party rules and agendas.


    We can only hope that the next election sees many independent candidates running so that the people may finally have a way to break the back of party politics which don't work here in its present form. Of course the current party-bound candidates would like us to believe the party system is good because is helps them to hold onto power.


    As a Caymanian who has lived here almost 30 years, I can tell you the changes brought about by having party politics is much less desirable than the previous form of government.

    • Anonymous says:

      Lmao! Please re-read what you wrote. Arden is PPM!

    • Anonymous says:

      Look at what party trying to hold onto power did to Jamaica. I can't see how anyone could praise the party system.

  9. ALL SEEING says:

    Arden is speaking truth to power. He's one of the few MLA's that does this on a consistant basis.

  10. Anonymous says:

    "The PPM member said he believed the premier was cherry-picking the things he liked in the constitution"  Hmmm.. then why didn't you and the Ppm crew from the start, properly defined the constitution to prevent Mr. man from cherry-picking?!!!  Daaaaahhhh!

    • cow itch says:

      lol… all the ppm on cns site are hurting over the truth now …ouchhh

      • Anonymous says:

        Thats right Bo-Bo. If it itches, scratch the damn thing. Maybe some alcohol would help, just don't drink too much of it, ok?

    • Cayman Stew says:



      Saying:  you can fool the people some times, but not all the times

    • Anonymous says:

      How can you prevent someone from cherry picking? That is a poor attempt at political spin.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Don't take it personal – we're all ignored.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The Constitution is very clear on this.

    S. 47(3)  "Where an electoral district is not represented in the Cabinet, the member or members of the Legislative Assembly representing that district shall be ENTITLED to attend a meeting convened by the Cabinet once every three months for the purpose of—

    (a) making representations with respect to matters affecting their district; and

    (b) making budgetary representations when the Annual Plan and Estimates are being developed".

  13. Anonymous says:

    God help us

  14. Anonymous says:

    I am shocked to hear that the government haven't consulted with Arden & Ezzard. Perhaps they just listen to them on Rooster and that is enough for them.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Whilst I am not at all surprised that Mac uses these tactics to attempt to ignore and silence the opposition, I am very happy to see that we are fighting against it and that it is being reported. Thank you CNS, Mr. McLean and Mr. Miller.

  16. bradley says:

    Arden better go back to Alden and Kurt as to why their flimsy constitution has no "backbone"!  Maybe PPM members need to look within themselves and see their weaknesses and damage they have done.

    • Anonymous says:

      Trust me, if the constitution was written by bradley himself, the UDP would find ways to disregard and disrespect it. It's not the PPM's fault that the UDP exists, it's the fault of the majority of the voting public. I certainly hope the majority of the voting public is learning. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Agreed – but as I understand it we cannot blame the majority of the voting public. I think it is accurate to say the majority of voters did NOT vote for a UDP candidate.

      • Anon :-I says:

        lol… so its blame the people but don't blame the party… typical!  you  are one of those fools who thinks these are God's men on earth sent.