MLAs confident of result

| 18/04/2012

ezz omov (229x300).jpg(CNS): Despite "a tall order” for the ‘Yes’ campaign in the forthcoming referendum, Ezzard Miller and Arden McLean were both confident on Tuesday that the country would support one man, one vote on the day of the ballot. Although the ‘Yes’ campaign will not have the financial resources of government, which will be funding the ‘No’ campaign, and while time is short and the bar set high, Miller said the campaign had “right on its side” if not “might” and right would win. Regardless of the difficulties, both of the MLAs said they were delighted that the premier had made the decision to have the vote before the next election and were confident that 7,600 electors would vote ‘Yes’ on 18 July.

“Our advantage over the premier in this campaign is that all we have to do is tell the truth,” Miller said. “We have right on our side and while the premier may have might on his, this time right will prevail.”

Although the vote is taking place in the summer when Caymanians are traditionally away on vacation, the MLAs said they hoped that government would include postal voting and pre-voting, as provided for in the election law, when it draws up the referendum law in order to address that issue.

Regardless of the difficulties, the independent member for North Side, who has spearheaded the campaign, said that the ‘Yes’ campaign was not considerably worse off than it would have been had the referendum been triggered as a people-initiated ballot, since that too would have required 50% plus one of the electorate and not a simple majority of voters. However, he pointed out there would have been more time to campaign for a November ballot and, of course, absentee voters would be less of an issue.

Miller said that there would be a focused thirteen week campaign to continue the momentum and he dismissed the premier’s position against one man, one vote, which he said was weak. Despite having weeks to come up with an argument, he said, all government had was a claim that the current system works best, that people would be driven away by uncertainty and the system was open to manipulation, points that did not convince most people that the current system works best for them.

“We are not finding that people don’t understand what the issue is here; everyone understands equality,” Miller said. “It is time to move Cayman in line with modern democracies in which one man, one vote is the recognised standard. It is time to move away from the vagrancies of multi-representation and multi-systems of voting. The bill of rights that comes into effect later this year will demand equality in theelectoral process, so let’s get out and vote yes in this referendum."

Arden McLean, the East end member for the PPM, said the premier needed to stop trying to manipulate people and stop insulting their intelligence as they were more than capable of understanding that one man, one vote was more equitable and democratic.

“The people are capable of deciding for themselves,” he said, adding that he had “never heard anything so idiotic” in regards to comments made by the premier that the introduction of single member constituencies could drive away business and tourists. McLean pointed out that the vast majority of people who come to Cayman as visitors and investors came from countries where that system was in place.

He said that if the premier truly believed in democracy as he claimed then he would ensure that the referendum law was fair and would enable people to pre-vote using a postal vote and he would not place barriers in the way of the people expressing their opinion.

Miller called on everyone to come out and show the premier that they understood what one man, one vote meant and that this was what they wanted by voting 'Yes' on 18 July. He emphasised the greater accountability, better representation and, above all, the equality of one man, one vote.

Although government will be using public funds for what the premier called an “education campaign”, Miller said he would be pressing for equal time from government radio for the 'Yes' campaign and he said he hoped that if CITN had provided broadcast time to the premier for his speech to the nation against one man, one vote free of charge, they would extend the same courtesy to the ‘Yes’ campaign.

Miller said the premier was well aware of the level of support for OMOV and that many UDP supporters had signed the petition, which he said was why he believed the government had decided to hold the national vote. Miller pointed out that as nearly 4,000 voters had already signed a petition where they had to reveal their identities, a secret ballot was sure to attract double that number, ensuring victory. “I believe we may even have some UDP government members voting for it. After all, the ballot is secret,” Miller added.

The premier has announced a referendum on 18 July which will ask the people: "Do you support an electoral system of single member constituencies with each elector being entitled to cast only one vote?"

In order for the referendum to pass, around 7,600 people will need to vote 'Yes', which is just over 50% of the current register of electors. The government will need to bring the referendum law to the Legislative Assembly for the national vote and it is in that legislation in which government will indicate the rules of the vote, and if it wants to can allow or disallow pre and postal voting.

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Comments (26)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    How is it legal for McKeeva to set the voting quota this high when its a government-led referendum: should only be 50% of the persons voting on the day — just like the damn Constitution itself!!

    Red card, Ref!

    …sorry Gov, for waking you…I'll try to keep my cries of pain for my country a little softer so as not to disturb you

    • Anonymous says:

      Because the constitution allows them to do that.   You can thank the PPM for that.

  2. Anonymous says:

    McKeeva is a XXXX for trying to sabotage SMC – sets July date, sets a 50% quota which cannot be legal as this is a government-led referendum, no holiday and voting in middle of work week to make it as inconvenient as possible for people to vote in support.

    (1) will electors list be updated beforehand ao deceased persons are not included in the count against the "yes"?

    (2) Will absentee ballots even be allowed or made available beforehand.

    And this claptrap he is spewing about SMC is such rubbish. SMC will not lead to demands for resources. The current multiparty system is old and needs to be modernised. SMC will NOT make Cayman look like a 'banana republic' for updating our electoral system. What makes Cayman look bad to investors and the world are centered around or driven by McKeeva/ UDP:

    • a visibly biased Speaker of the House
    • unresolved corruption scandals involving the Premier
    • XXXXX
    • a Premier who "arranges" for unknown parties to pay off Government debts (GLF settlement)
    • a Premier overriding tendering and other legitimate processes (Cohen deal, Wheelabrator / Dart land swap tender fiasco, Port deal)
    • UDP handing out slips of paper during elections
    • Refusal to maintian a register of MLA financial interests (Elio Solomon)
    • a Premier unilaterally overriding statutory boards (Port Authority) without oversight or accountability
    • a Premier who announces to the business world that the country was "bankrupt"
    • Governments which still cant balance their accounts or produce audited financials
    • a Premier who cant hold regular Finance Committee or LA meetings
    • a Premier using public money "nation building" to give payouts to UDP supporters and local churches
    • UDP using public funds to pave private roads in Brac
    • UDP using public funds for a 'bodyguard/ PA' for some supposed "threat"
    • UDP using public funds to create jobs for its failed candidates XXXX
    • XXXXX
    • a Premier who cannot conduct himself decently in public or speak properly to constituents, reporters, other elected officials or business people
    • UDP spending obscene amounts of public money for exotic travel with entourages with not even a report
    • UDP issuing government statements on a developers letterhead (Scotland, Seymour promoting ForCayman Alliance)
    • a Premier who goes on 'unannouced' official travel and refuses to explain what for (Ellio Solomon on Rooster)
    • a Premier who is too coward to attend a public debate on an important issue such as SMC
    • a Premier that bullies and intimidates others, including government officials (Auditor General, Financial Secretary, constituents and the press)

    …shall I continue?
    what scares investors is having an uneducated, unqualified in charge of the place.
    exactly why we need SMC — so McKeeva can stop dragging 3 puppets along with him through elections and the rest of us have to suffer for West Bayers to get fridges.


    Regardless, I support OMOV. Cayman needs to update and modernise its electoral system.

    Neither UDP or PPM want it to weaken their chances for reelection, thats why they are resisting it.

  3. bear baiter says:

    Government will be funding the 'No' campaign? With MY $$$? If that ain't corruption I can't imagine what is!! Government needs to be 100% neutral on this matter – at least as far as funding is concerned! XXXXX

    • Anonymous says:

      Well, the last government funded a "yes" to the constitution campaign. Was that then corruption too?

  4. Anonymous says:

    I will be off island too, so please tell me what happened  when I return on July 21st.

  5. JUST SAYING... says:

    Why now "One Man, One Vote." 

    Here's my suggestion, since North Side and East End are the two smallest districts why don't the Electors Office consider making this ONE DISTRICT? I can guarantee you that if this happened both candidates from these two districts would SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP!! 

    I'm going and I'm voting NO! That's my right and no one will change my mind.

    There too much "want to be's" and the lack of power is taking over. They all need to come together and work together for the betterment of our country, my grandchildren and their children and your grandchildren and their children.






    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you for admitting the true reason for the suggestion that EE and NS should be combined into one district – to shut up Ezzard and Arden.

      Why aren't you suggesting that CB/LC (which has less voters than EE and NS combined) have only one MLA? Because you know that would eliminate Julianna as an MLA.  

      • Anonymous says:

        I am for both East End and North Side becoming 1 district and the Sister Islands becoming 1 district. No problem.

        • Anonymous says:

          CB/LC are already one district. It is giving them only one MLA that is the problem. But the point is that the poster has admitted that it is all about shutting up Ezzard and Arden.   

  6. Anonymous says:

    I’m not voting for anything that has anything to do with Ezzard Miller. The only person that is a worse option than the Mac Daddy

  7. anonymous says:

    Keep the signature drive going–Those folks can inform (educate) at same time.


  8. anonymous says:

    I sure hope Ezzard & Co. request UK or UN election observers for this one- too critical. 

  9. Anonymous says:

    Appears there are two websites…find the elections forms here, with the absentee form. PLEASE fill out and vote even if your not on island!


    • Anonymous says:

      I can see possible snags in this process because the forms are all for MLA elections. The website says absentee ballots are not to be mailed out until after "nomination" day. Is there a nomination dayfor referendums? Who knows?  Even if there is one you are going to be depending on the post office to get the mail sent off island on time and then delivering your ballot back to the elections office on time. Good luck with that. Plus it depends on your application for voting by mail getting to the elections office on time and getting dealt with so that your ballot gets mailed. What I see happening is an enormous foulup.

      • Anonymous says:

        If you intend to vote "NO" then you will probably receive 4 forms if you are in West Bay.

  10. Anonymous says: it.  So I went to the Elections Office Forms here;

    guess what?  The "Application to be treated as an Absent Elector" form is missing?  Conspiracy or just incompetence???   

    Yes, none of the other forms are there either…..oh too funny if it weren't so serious.

    • Len Layman says:

      I believe that is an old site try this one.  it does have an active link to the form in question. 

      Please, everyone who will be off island.  Take advantage of the absentee voting right. each and every vote is going to be important.

      We need 100% of the people voting so that we can send a clear message that the majority of the voters want and demand One Man One Vote.

      OMOV is not the magic potion that will cure all our problems but it will help to  put the power back in the hands of the people. That step will be a very important one.

  11. Anonymous says:

    If the clown that is running the country now is elected back in office in 2013 this born and raised Caymanian is leaving. Vote YES in July

    • Anonymous says:

      If you would leave because another clown is elected – you are not Caymanian.

      Real Caymanians don't even run from hurricanes.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is exactly the problem; the referendum is not about whether "some clown" gets reelected. It's about coming up with an election system that is best for Cayman now and into the future. Too many people are looking at this referendum as a way of dealing with a particular situation right now and I'm afraid they can't see the forest for the trees. People need to look beyond the petty politics and think critically about what is being proposed and how it might affect them and their country.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Does Ezzard spend anytime in North Side anymore? He better be careful hanging out with them West Bayers

  13. Anonymous says:

    I am one of those who will be off island on the day of the referendum, so it is my hope that there will be provisions made for absentee ballots.  

    I would implore the current government to make sure absentee ballots are a part of the process.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Someone should post a link (if it exists) or at least a scanned copy of the absentee ballott to make it easier for voters who might be off island or unable to attend.