Mac debate in speaker’s hands

| 28/04/2012

LA speaker.JPG(CNS): It is now down to the speaker of the Legislative Assembly whether or not the people’s representatives will debate the situation surrounding the premier when legislators return on 9 May. The opposition leader and the independent member filed a motion of no confidence on Friday morning and appealed to the speaker to waive the requirement for motions to be filed five days before the start of a meeting as the LA is currently part way through its fifth meeting of the 2011/12 session. In a letter to Mary Lawrence, the PPM leader writes that the motion is was made as a result of the “shocking announcements” about the premier being the subject of three police investigations and his refusal to step aside untilthey are concluded.

“The current state of affairs presents a matter of the gravest national importance,” Alden McLaughlin states in his letter. “This motion will therefore require your waiver of the notice in order to be proceeded with during the current meeting and we hereby make that request to you. This is not a matter which we could have anticipated prior to the start of the current meeting since the announcements were only made over the past weekend. Given the gravity and importance of this matter we do ask you to accede.”

The opposition members and Norht Side MLA Ezzard Miller have stated that they will not take part in the proceedings of the Legislative Assembly unless the speaker allows the motion and that it is the first order of business when the parliament reconvenes.

McLaughlin said that the current state of affairs presented a matter of the gravest national importance and that convention within the Westminster system of government required that when there are credible allegations of misconduct on the part of a member of parliament, that member either resigns or temporarily steps aside to allow the investigation to proceed unimpeded and to mitigate embarrassment and reputational damage to the government and the country.

“As an example, just this past Sunday, your counterpart in the Australian Parliament, Speaker Peter Slipper, stepped aside amidst allegations of sexual harassment on his part," McLaughlin wrote.

In the wake of the allegations, Slipper, who is also accused of misuse of funds, said it was appropriate for him to stand aside until they were resolved.

Meanwhile, here in the Cayman Islands, Mckeeva Bush has refused to step aside as he says the allegations are baseless and he has never been formally told of any investigations. At least two of his Cabinet ministers have now publicly declared their support for him and the opposition motion is very likely to fail, despite being a conscience vote.

Nevertheless, Miller stated that it was still a worthwhile exercise as it would allow the people to judge for themselves the integrity of their elected officials because the government members must publicly state why they support the premier retaining his position while the three police investigations are on-going.

"It is the only tool we have,” Miller added. “There is no constitutional mechanism that requires a leader to step down under these circumstances as they are expected to do the honourable thing.”

Miller stated however that the UDP does have the power to remove Bush painlessly and select another premier.  If they elect a new leader of the party and approach the governor then the transition can be made without any crisis in the continuation of government, Miller added.

He explained that the constitutional problem the elected officials now faced was that there was no room for a lack of confidence motion in individuals but only government.

The North Side member reiterated the point that in the end it was for the premier to do the right thing and step aside, cooperate with the investigations and bring them to a speedy resolution if he had nothing to hide.

Pointing to the irony of Bush’s latest accusations and comparing his circumstances to Operation Tempura, Miller noted that the senior police officers in that were all required to temporarily step aside from their posts.

See letter to speaker and no confidence motion below.

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  1. Fairplay says:

    As a former Civil Servant now living abroad, I am frequently in awe as to how frequently that readers do not question the accuracy of what is said. My specific point is that it is the Speaker that properly determines whether the LA gets to deal with the No Confidence Motion.

    The first and most important step is that the Business Committee of the LA must approve the Motion going unto the LA’s Order Paper. The Speaker is not a member of the Business Committee and therefore she does not have a role to play in whether this matter gets on the Order Paper. The Business Committee is dominated by Government Ministers and its backbenchers. If the Premier wants to frustrate this Motion, this can be accomplished by the Business Committee – nothing to do with the Speaker.

    If the Business Committee votes to put this on the Order Paper it is only then that the Speaker becomes involved with the minimum notice period debate/decision.

    I believe if it got to the Speaker’s involvement, any person with an ounce of reasonableness and fairply in them, would allow the Motion to proceed: the Government has violated minimum notice periods so much, it would be a shame if the Speaker frustrated the Motion on grounds of notice period.

    It is all academic in the end anyway, because which UDP Minister is going to vote against their own Government and therefore against their own job!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you!  People can sit down if they thinkthey will remove a Premier from mere speculation that he committed a crime! 

  2. Anonymous says:

    Speaker it's time to speak, the country know's what you HAVE to do, if you don't then the country know's WHY you didn't, AND we won't forget it……..

    • Jonas Dwyer says:

      It is not right for you political arbiters out there  to judge the Speaker before  she has taken action.  There seems to be this malaise in this country amply supported by the Opposition, the NS MLA and the Rooster Bobsey Twins that that people are guilty because they say so.  This is utterly disgusting and mark my words is going to create a culture within our community where natural justice goes out through the window and hatred, inuendoes and lies rule the day.  Beware of what you are doing in the name of Power Politics, people simply beware, less you too be named as the people who also destroyed Cayman.  Seek the truth and also speak it and your xhildren will follow suit.

      • Stiffed-Necked Fool says:

        JD try go home!

      • Anonymous says:

        As for innuendos and lies I think you should address your comments to McKeeva who started an investigation of Arden without any evidence and continues with innuendo even though Arden has been cleared. Don't be a hypocrite.


      My friend 06:28  how come you think Mary Lawrence do not remember when you all were against her becomming an MLA.  Why should she forget how you rediculed her on your platforms, and tried every trick in the book to keep her out.   WHY SHOULD SHE FORGET IT.

      Yes but, you know something you never imagined that one day you same ones would be begging   at her feet.

      Mary Lawrence is no fool and can make circles around any of you all.

      It is useless trying to soft soak her, because the times you couldhave been nice to her you were not.   We were the ones who stood by her, and cried for her 7 times.  But  guess what 7 is GODS NUMBER so his decision was to give her the Higest seat in the house.   Mary will do what is constitutionally correct and nothing else.  No personal feelings need not come into this for against.  When you could have been there for her you were not so we do not want to hear anything now about Speake of the House.

      • Empty Chair says:

        Anon 12:51, do you realise how stupid, ignorant & childish you sound? Just because the BT people rejected her 7 times at the polls makes it right for her to make decisions because certain people did not support her, & NOT what is in the best interests of our country? You sound so stupid & vindictive you must be a member of the udp!

  3. Anonymous says:

    But in whose hands is thespeaker?

    It is all very well for the governor to announce that the police are investigating three matters (only three!), what he has to do is bring them to conclusion because the current situation is intolerable. Bush can say he has no knowledge, ie he hasnt been interviewed let alone charged, the police can say they are doing their duty, and the speaker can say that there are no grounds for a discussion in LA. Meanwhile Bush is held in suspicion at home, Cayman is laughed at abroad, and the governor twiddles his thumbs, ultimately, he (aka FCO) is responsible.

    Did anyone notice the little throwaway from the FCO man, ie there needs to be a retendering re the cruise ship harbour? Small item, but big implications. Does he suggest that the irregularities are that severe? If so, and if this is one of the investigations, then the implications are huge. Governor, get things moving!

  4. Annon says:

    A wise man makes his own decisions, an ignorant man follows public opinion.

    • Anonymous says:

      Unless you are a politician, then you should follow public opinion if you wish to keep your job

    • Anonymous says:

      WHich is why she would be wise to heed the general public opinion, rather than the opinion of the UDP party.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is arrogant leader who ignores the opinion of his people.

  5. The lone haranguer rides again! says:

    Dream on, Cavemen, McKeeva going no where. Elections soon come relax, stop disruption what little progress on the business side, make your arguments for the next election.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with this comment. What exactly is the PPM offering for their way forward after Mr Bush decides to step aside.


      I personally believe that this is a grudge against Mr. Bush.


      PPM, get on with the business of the country. There's massive unemployment, graduations are around the corner and young adults returning from college for the summer. JOBS for the future generation should be your fous.

      • Anonymous says:

        A grudge by whom exactly? By the person who forged the letter to Stan Thomas and imitated McKeeva on the telephone demanding payment? Or the judge who referred the letter to the Governor? Or the Commissioner of Police for actually pursuing the investigation. When the hell are you people going to wake up?!

  6. Anonymous says:

     “There is no constitutional mechanism that requires a leader to step down under these circumstances as they are expected to do the honourable thing.”

    This is the reason I believe the constitution should state that a leader 'shall' step down. It may not be reasonable to presume that every leader will put country above self interest.

    • :)) says:

      Thanks to PPM's Constitution and the FCO that pretty much drafted uts major clauses, UDP is gone wild and the people of these islands are not truly represented and rights protected.

      • Anonymous says:

        It is not the fault of the PPM, the FCO or the Constitution that McKeeva Bush has chosen to abuse this country.  The basic presumption when electing Mr Bush was that he would govern as a rational person.  The fault lies not with the laws and guidelines but with the person ignoring them.

        • Concerned Citizen1 says:

          Warning:  The Constitution is that document which governs the country. If it discredited now, and we cause our first Premier to be removed, it will not only damage Cayman's reputation for sure, but will make us look like we can't govern ourselves and need a Uk intervention like TCI in order to do so.  My word to the Opposition:  BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR

          • Anonymous says:

            What a way you people have of twisting things! There is nothing that could damage our reputation more than an incumbent Premier being arrested, charged and led away in handcuffs. Every day that mcKeeva remains in office increases the likelihood of a UK takeover as that will surely show that we cannot deal with our own mess.

      • been there done that says:

        my friend,everyone had a chance with the constitution.The problem is when the constitutional commissioners were on the radio/Tv a lot of people weren't paying attention.I can remember them discussing the issues for months.Now we blaming the PPM,FCO and others.

        • uriel says:

          You are so right that everyone had a chance to contribute to the constitution and definitely, not enough people showed interest. What is also fact, is that, alot of concerns that were communicated to the commissioners and government, were not recommended to the U.K. Had they been, we would not engaging in some of this constitutional debate today.

          But as always in the Cayman Islands, those in control, do what  is best for their own personal agendas, then blame each other. The sad thing is, so few people seem to be able  to comprehend what is happening here, so we continue down the same path.


          • Anonymous says:

            i agree. i sent in my views on the draft constitution some of which spoke to this very issue and im not sure if anyone even read it, much less headed the warnings.

    • Strangers in The Night says:

      We may as well say that "Mac debate in Mac's hands" because the result will be the same.

  7. Anonymous says:

    As I see it, the speaker only has two choices, do the right thing or do what she knows will make Mr. Bush happy. This is her chance to show what she is made of.

    • Bodden Towners says:

      Yes I am saying Bodden Towners,……………….Becaue we Bodden Towners Love Ms Mary and we voted for her. .  Please leave Miss Mary out of this, because when you all critized her and would not vote for her we stood by her although she never got in,  She knew the people who stood by her in grief and tears when she did not get in..

      Ms  Mary dont have to do anything to please anyone but her own conscience.  Do you really think she forget how many people critized her.  What  I say is this you do not broke the hand that feed you, neither do you kick the cow when he is down.

      Ms Mary would be a fool to listen to the wishes of those people who kept her out of the LA fpr many many years.  But she got the seat the seat which was Planned for her by God.

      We  support Ms Mary because she is one of us, and we support the Premier because he has done nothing wrong.   Please leave Ms Mary alone.

      • Anonymous says:

        If BTers love Ms. Mary and voted for her how come she failed to be elected 7 times?

        • Another Mary Suppoter says:

          Say  what  you like 15:08 because nothing happens before time.  She got a better job than an MLA Job.  You all want Mary to stand by you all now, and we, her BT Supporters say no. Because you all were against her before. 

          You asked the question how she failed 7 times?  Well she failed the same way PPM failed last election.  Do you think Mary forgot.

          • Truth says:

            So your saying if Mary votes Bush over the Caymanian people its their fault?  Really?  It would seem to me that if she votes for Bush the people of Cayman were right to not vote for her.  Unless they forgot.

        • Anonymous says:

          They were waiting for someone who could give them a dump.

      • Anonymous says:

        I never had such a good laugh for a long time.   Listen, she accepts a salary from the people of the Cayman Islands, not the Premier – he might have helped to appoint her to this position, but he certainly doesn't pay her out of his own pocket.  By her accepting this appointment, salary and benefits, she is obliged to answer to the people and not to the UDP.   She is required to do what is in the best interests of this country, not the UDP.  Let us now see the mettle of the lady in this position, whether she is also like the meek followers of the UDP who cannot upset the leader, or whether she will do what is best for the Cayman Islands as a whole.

        • Bodden Town voter says:

          15:13, you can laugh all you want to, but we know that you all were hell bent against Mary Lawrence getting in, so tell me why should she not remember it.

          Mary is a smart and intelligent woman, and you all can say what ever you want about her, but the fact remains that don't care how much you try your tricks, Ms Mary will do what she know is corrects within the limits of the law, and it will have nothing to do with McKeeva Bush, it will be about doing what she thinks is correct.

          • Anonymous says:

            Are you trying to say that she will remember those that did not vote for her, and based on that, will make a decision that will affect her country's future?  Wow.  If this is what she will remember and base her decision on, and not the fact that she is duty-bound to do what is in the best interests of the COUNTRY, not UDP, then that does not bode very well for Cayman.  Don't give us that crap about "limits of the law", she has already waived requirements on other issues brought.  Let's see what she does now.  Having previously waived requirements on other issues, let's see the basis for refusing this one. 

      • Anon2 says:

        wow!!!  such ignorance should b a crime!  if yur a real native bodden towner then i'm ashamed to call myself one, as no wonder people look at us like idiots wen we were once the pride of Cayman and first Capital, with people of substance and intergrity.  where has such ignorance come from?  God help us.

  8. Jacob says:

    I dreamt last night that I was in Heaven.  I sat at this huge table surrounded with angels, Jesus and there was only one Caymanian there with me. That Caymanian was no other than McKeeva Bush. Jesus then called him to come and sit beside him and he rolled out a scroll. As the both of them went over that scroll, Mac asked me for a pen to seal up the instructions that were laid down by Christ. I glanced at it as I passed the pen and saw some of the things that were written in it is.  'Son you are innocent of all allegations bestowed upon you by your natives. Now go and serve them as they know not what they are doing.' 

    • Empty Chair says:

      Anon 20:33, you had a dream that McKeeva Bush was in Heaven? Really? McKeeva Bush in the company of Jesus? Then McKeeva Bush was told he was innocent of all allegations? You are damn right that that was a dream, & that is all that will ever be, a dream!

    • Anonymous says:

      with a big fat lie like that I doubt you were with Jesus!

    • Anonymous says:

      Innocent people have little to worry about.  If I was innocent and in Mac's shoes I would be forcing the authorities to conclude their investigations and not be calling those that oppose me 'devil worshippers'!

    • Stiffed-Necked Fool says:

      No Dimm-Star, you had a Terrible Nightmare!

      Actually, you could be right in saying you had a dream as that would be the only way anything you said could be so! Go back to sleep quick and continue your imaginary life!

    • Anonymous says:

      must be something you ate before you went to bed.

    • Hey nonny nonny mouse says:

      Is this a leaked first draft of Steve McField's next Chewbacca defence?

    • The Magic Dragon says:

      My co-workers and I have been debating on the ethnicity of Jesus, can you help?



  9. Anonymous says:

    Please Madame Speaker  DO THE RIGHT THING………….

  10. Cayman Spock says:

    Here it is folks Bodden Town voters told this Woman NO! over 7 times at the polls the Premier said yes Just once to a job of her dreams over 150 K a year doing absolutely nothing ask yourself this, would you honestly tell him NO! That would defy logic

  11. BORN FREE says:

    The simple & obvious truth is that if "Mac debate is in Speakers hands" then there will be NO debate! Who do you think the Speaker is beholden to? After many, many attempts at the polls in B.T. in which she failed miserably, she was taken from total obscurity in the political world & handed the Speakers job by Mckeeva Bush & the newly elected UDP government. Why do you people think this was done? For occasions like this. There will be no "no confidence vote" against Mckeeva Bush on May 9th because of this reason, & because she is like the rest of the UDP, no 'almonds' & no courage to stand up to the apparent dictator & no courage to stand up for what is right & just! They do not think about what is best for Cayman, but seem to care more about what is best for themselves. Bush being in the position of premier & under 3 police investigations is hurting Cayman more than anything.

    • Anonymous says:

      She's not going to risk that kind of salary just for the sake of integrity and principle…!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Born Free you are right in your comments about Mrs Lawrence's indebtedness to Mac. Remember too her daughter Jan,XXXX got a grant from Mac's ministry of $40,000 to be Caymans representative in…er…Tampa and was awarded a certificate recently by Mac as a Pioneer of education in Cayman, XXXXXX. But Mrs Lawrence may surprise us on this one as she knows the pressure is on and remember she and Ezzard used to be very close.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I am sure than the Honourable Speaker, being the great Speaker that she is, will search for precedent before making a decision. In her search, the nearest and most relevant case is the Speaker of the House in Turks and Caicos refusing to allow a Motion of no Confidence in Premier Misick to be brought to the floor even after it had been signed by Ministers from his own party.

    The former Speaker of the House in Turks and Caicos, Clayton Greene, has been charged with money laundering. lol. Below is a short excerpt from a TCI newspaper.

    Appearing to face various charges of bribery, corruption and money laundering were Michael Misick’s brother Chal Misick, an attorney; former finance minister and deputy premier, Floyd Hall, his wife Lisa and brother Quinton; former environment minister McAlister Hanchell; former minister of works Jeffrey Hall and his former attorney Melbourne Wilson; former education and health minister Lillian Boyce and her brother Earlson; and Boyce’s former husband Samuel Been. Also due to answer charges were Seven Stars resort developer Jak Civre, and Third Turtle developer Richard Padgett, along with former Speaker of the House and now PNP leader, Clayton Greene.

    • Hey nonny nonny mouse says:

      Earth calling poster, earth calling poster, we have lost you, what planet are you on?  Our Speaker has been a useless waste of space since she took office, clearly not up to the task and on the whole far too keen to make rulings which fetter parliamentary debate and support those that appointed her.  Remember the "no reading out of letters with the parties consent" ruling?  Three words, Stan Thomas letter.

      • Anonymous says:

        I wonder if Mary Lawrence remembers the First Cayman Bank fiasco? At that time, McKeeva was involved in some really nasty dealings, which affected a lot of Caymanians. including his own constituents.  He was refusing to step down, thereby goes the Caymanian version of "Candle in the Wind", which became "Scandal in the Wind".  After friends and supporters advised him that if he stepped down at that time, he would almost guarantee a major win in the next election.  History speaks for itself.  However, I think we might be barking up a tall tree this time.  McKeeva enjoys the position he is in now and all the vast benefits he is receiving too much and will not go down without a fight.  His party members, including the ministers, should advise him to step down, as that might be the only way to keep us from complete takeover by the Crown.  Look at TCI and Michael Misick!!! 

  13. EYE ON THE ISLAND says:

    This will show if Mary Lawrence has integrity or not. She can show her country that she is not in the bag like Eilo, Juliana, and the other West Bay & Bodden Town stooges. They all have to fish or cut bait. Show & Tell time folks. Lets pull up a chair and turn the radio up and record history. Its Mac or the Union Jack?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Another example to the Australian one is the Mayor of Toronto who has been charged with conflict of interest over a solicitation for a private charity sent on city letterhead. He also refuses to step down.  In spite of a budget surplus of nearly 300 million, should the mayor be found guilty, he will be automatically removed from office.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Well… if it is up to Madam Speaker I guess we know what will [or will not] happen.

  16. Anonymous says:

    i have as much confidence in lawrence as i do in mckeeva……..

  17. Anonymous says:

    Quite right Ezzard, three senior RCIPS officers were put on 'gardening leave' while the Tempura gravy train rolled on to earn certain individuals a s***load of money for doing nothing and cost the people of the Cayman Islands something like CI$20million so far.

    One of the three suspended officers has been re-instated, another has been generously paid off with a pension for life whole the other will shortly receive several million dollars in compensation.

    Love him or loath him McKeeva Bush already has a substantial human rights complaint against the Governor, the FCO and RCIPS – what you are asking will just help him cash in on it?



    • Anonymous says:

      I fail to see the human rights complaint. Please explain.

      Are you saying this because he is under investigation without being interviewed? What then? Do you think its the first time that investigations happened without the person being charged? Police need evidence. They need to be able to go where the evidence takes them without hinderance. The way you do that is to do it on the down low until you have the evidence you need to move forward. The evidence you need to answer the questions you will want him to answer.

      Please let us know where this HUMAN RIGHTS issue is.

      • Anonymous says:

        That’s the problem with human rights: they’re whatever you want them to be.