Mac sets out anti-OMOV stall

| 10/05/2012

_DEW2501_0.jpg(CNS): The premier officially opposed his own government’s referendum question on the introduction of one man, one vote and single member constituencies on Thursday when he introduced the bill to the Legislative Assembly. McKeeva Bush said he could not believe that anyone really wanted to swap four representatives for one as he spoke about the national ballot on changing the country’s voting system. He said the people of Cayman were “not foo-fool” and campaigners would not get the majority. “Don’t let them take your votes,” Bush urged, as he condemned the idea of OMOV as divisive, warning that it would introduce garrison politics into the Cayman Islands. (Photo Dennie WarrenJr)

As he introduced the bill setting out the parameters of the government referendum on one man, one vote, which is set for 18 July, the premier immediately set out his stall against the question. He asked who it was that wanted single member constituencies and said he believed it was about trying to get him out and nothing else. Bush accused the opposition members of not really supporting it but that it was just a way of criticising him and accusing him of being undemocratic.

“They don’t fool me,” he said. Going on to say that he believed the system would create real division, Bush said there would be problems and pointed to his own constituency of West Bay. He asked if the people didn’t think the new single member constituencies would create differences such as between West Bay North West with Logwoods and then West Bay North where Birch Tree Hill was, as he alluded to the gang rivalry that already exists in his district.

Spelling out his opposition to the introduction of single member constituencies, which he said were not equitable as the representatives for North Side and East End would have 500 voters where he would have a 1000, Bush added that as a representative of the people he “served everyone” who came to his door, no matter where they were from.

Bush said he had proposed the referendum as there needed to be a clear outcome so that government could put the matter to rest and get on with addressing the country’s economic problems and making Cayman competitive in a difficult international environment.

“My advice is going to be to stay put, hold the course for a united Cayman," he said. “Don’t let them take your votes.” He said he believed the people would not change a system that worked for one that they didn’t know.

Although one man, one vote and single member constituencies is the most common, and believed to be the most democratic, voting system across the international community’s leading democracies, Bush has persistently billed OMOV as an unknown that will require a “steep learning curve” for the people of Cayman to comprehend.

Speaking about the details of the bill to facilitate the national ballot, he said that the threshold would be 50% of the electorate and not a majority of the turnout.

Although this is a government-initiated vote and not a people-initiated referendum, Bush said it was no different from what would have happened had the campaigners triggered the referendum through the people’s constitutional provision. He claimed government was being as fair as possible by setting as similar question as it could to that on the petition and it would be binding if 50% plus one of the electorate voted for it. He also pointed to a provision to separate the Sister Islands within thesystem, providing one man, one vote in a multi-member constituency with the first two past the post elected.

Speaking about the threshold for the vote, he said it could not be lowered given the significance of the referendum as everyone should be encouraged to come out and vote because of its importance.

Bush also said the timingwas scheduled to give government time to implement the new system if the referendum carried but the vote was important enough to ensure people who cared would remain in Cayman to cast their vote.

Clause nine of the bill also states that the normal provisions for an election, which would include postal and mobile voting, would apply to the referendum.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    we need a better system & this one is not working & you need to shut up and do what we the people want! you are employed buy the caymanian people don't forget that!  

  2. British Bulldog says:

    If the Caymanian people fall for this load of old baloney there's no hope for them, really.

  3. Anonymous9 says:

    I am so tired of hearing Mac harping on and on about how PPM hates HIM.

    He is taking it personally. He needs to realize that it has nothing to do with him as a person!!!! It is his government and how/what it is doing to the country. He MUST move on past this immature rant. XXXX

    It's NOT about who has the bone! It is about what you do with thebone!!

    I am praying that everyone makes a point to come out and vote. If we can get this passed, can you imagine what else we can do Cayman!!!


  4. Absurdistani says:

    What a load of crap, Mac. We can see right through your mischaractizations and misinformation on the issue. So to summarize what you are saying is:

    1. Change is bad. Bad is not good. Do no change. I know the current system and have ensured a way to keep my position as Premier in the current system. Don't change the rules of the game now.

    2. Be afraid of change. Be very afraid. I'm going to keep mentioning things like gangs in West Bay that I have done nothing about for over a decade to make sure you are afraid. The big bad wolf (OMOV) is going to bring change and hurt you. Remember change is a four letter, I mean, five letter word.

    3. Four is bigger than one. So more votes must be better than less votes even if it means less accountable MLAs. Just remember 4 is bigger than 1 so you should want 4 or even 5 or 6. Actually 18 would make you even better off. Remember that.

    4. Caymanians you don't want change because it will be too difficult for you to learn the new system. Why would you want something that requires learning. Remember the "steep learning curve" means that you will have one vote and one representative that is directly accountable to you rather than being sent from one MLA to the other if you need to discuss something. Remember steep is bad.

    5. Residents of different districts voting for different people in a national parliament is not what we currently do… No, no, no, OMOV will divide Cayman because you will be voting for different people in different districts based on where you live. Wait.. don't we already do that? Never mind, is it divisive. Change bad.


    Shameful attempt, Mac. Just shameful.

    • Truly says:

      What is shameful is that it is working here in Grand Cayman.  And always has.  Caymankind culture.  give the people what THEY want.   And they have it.

  5. noname says:

    Mac will not be prosecuted.

    Mac is Winning and the oppositionis loooosing!

    2 down and one to go!

    • Observer says:

      I must admit, Mac seems to be outsmarting Alden, Ezzard and Arden at every turn.  I don't necessarily support him (although I must admit, he's made it much easier for the company I work for to stay profitable) but he seems to be a man among boys it the political theatre.

      What the heck was that all about in front of the LA this week?  I found it kind of embarrassing to watch. Seriously, is that the best the Opposition has to offer? 

  6. noname says:

    Wait a minute, Alden and Ezzard were not even present for the vote and Julie voted no…

    I can hear it now…It was the young people that wanted it, I didn't vote for it…Does that make their hearts pure and their hands clean??…

    I smell a rat…or two..

  7. noname says:

    I have 4 votes now and I won't be giving up any of them. And, if the turnout at the recent LA protest was any indication, not many others will be giving up theirs either. What a crock this whole thing is. Is this really about a fair system where your representative has accountability? Who ever heard of a politician be accountable? When you get fed up with them, you vote them out. Then, by the time the next election comes around you've forgotten why you voted them out, and you vote them back in again! That's just how the political process works. Do any of you really believe that everything will be "hunky dory" if the PPM wins the next election? Have you really forgotten why you sent them packing so overwhelmingly in 2009? This process is driven by those who believe that this is the best way to get McKeeva out of power. Don't kid yourselves, pure and simple, that's what this is about. And, I'm tired of hearing that he's selling out to Dart. God help us if we were to remove from our economy the investment that he's made over the past decade. What a mess we'd be in today. 100 people giving the thumbs up to some anti-government comment is hardly an indication of the pulse of the people. If people were so fed up there would be thousands of protesters. Do any of you anti-government protesters on this blog really believe that your comments count when you hide behind the name "Anonymous", just like I do? If you feel so strongly in the cause and you are really committed to change, let's see you use your real name and then your comments would have meaning. Hands up, all those who really believe that all those persons signing the petition actually support the call for OMOV? Heck, if you brought it to me to sign I'd sign it just to get you out of my face (but I'd do it with a smile), and if you were a friend I'd do it just not to upset you. But am I really going to come out and vote away 3 of my 4 votes? Not a snowball's chance in hell of that happening! I suspect that the majority of those who signed the petition won't be coming out either. We'll find that out when the vote is in, but I'm confident that I'm correct. Now, let's see if we can break the record and get about 200 thumbs down to my comments. If you give me about 8000 thumbs down, then I'll know for sure that the majority are against me and I'll come back here and apologise to you all. Have a great day! 🙂


  8. Abe Lincoln says:

    Mr.Bush, it's over for goodness sake. The country's moving on and evidently you can't be part of it. Do us all a favor and just go home, lie down and have a long nap. You'll be doing a great service to your country. Thank you.

  9. sickntired says:

    I will be staying home and enjoying my holiday!!!  PPM and UDP are both jokes.  Doubt I even going out to vote next year some real good candidates gonna have to come out for me to get out of my bed and cast an X


    This country is a mess and it is due to both of these parties.  AT the end of the day there is not much difference between the 2 of them!!  Non of them know you until its election time!!!  they can both XXXX off!!!

    • LongTermPlanning says:

      Please come out and vote for the referendum. It is the only way we have a chance of wrestling control of Cayman from either party. Single member constituencies are the only way we are going to get people coming forward to be represent this country who are not in it for self.

  10. noname says:

    did he get legal advice before making these statements????

  11. Dreadlock Holmes says:

    If I didn't know better I'd say Mr. Bush is trying to set things up for a confrontation with the U.K. Ala T&C. He seems to be pushing all the right buttons. "Don't allow them to steal your votes????"  Excuse me?  You mean your votes from West Bay don't you?  And messing with the terms of a people initiated referendum as if  he had the right!!  The day he became Premier was the worst day in history for Cayman.

    • jsftbhaedrg says:

      The day he was elected was one of the worst days in our history, i think Ivan took the cake on that one.

      The day he retires and erects a 50ft bronze statue of himself in the Chrisitan Heritage Complete Waste of Money Park will be the worst day in Caymans history.

  12. SKEPTICAL says:

    How can you introduce a Bill in the LA, and then immediately , publicly, oppose the concept – maybe you already know what will be the outcome of the vote – “WINDOW DRESSING”. ??

  13. Anony says:

    I will gladly give up my "extra" 3 votes to accomplish fairness, equality, and accountability plus increasing my relevance as a voter.

  14. Anonymouse says:

    as my friend the Honourable Bugs Bunny like to say — What a Maroon

  15. Lachlan MacTavish says:

    What a crock pot of old conch stew. "Don't let them take your votes. Gutter politricks scare mongering the public. NO one is taking your votes away from you.

    What has the huge gang problem in West Bay have to do with anything. UDP get rid of the gangs, its your hood.

    "Stay put hold the course for a united Cayman". Cayman has not been united for years. Ever since the bully West Bay party politrics morphed Caymans political system there has been zero unity. We might as well not have an opposition, even though there a good people there, they cannot do anything.

    Our system now allows for any powerful individual to control elected members via a party system or by what ever means, that individual can end up as a Premier and have complete control of the country. Now what happens IF an individual gets in and it turns out that person cannot Govern the country properly. The system allows that person the ability to just do as he or she pleases. This is wrong.

    "Steep learning curve". That is an insult to Caymanians, the voters and residents of Cayman. Its a flattened out curve, just walk along, nothing to it, vote for the right people, don't vote for a party that will maniplulate the system for their own gain.

    This is desperate politrics from a desperate Premier. IF OMOV gets approved Bush, his blind die hard won't think about the people party followers are out. Plain and simple, Bush will change and alter and modify anything he can to make sure he crush's OMOV. A referendum is a referendum. Same as the last one. Cayman ask yourself this question " why is Bush changing the referendum voting system this time. Its a simple answer.

    Bottom line this is the majority of the country trying to get "their" country back for the familes friends and next generations.

    Do not support Bush's fight against OMOV, I guess the countries money is being used in order for the UDP to try and stay in power. Doesn't sound fair to teh people. 

    Support OMOV, take back your country, Cayman can still come back and come back strong with good leaders.

    Lachlan MacTavish

  16. BAnonymous says:

    Is this the same Mac who saved us $25 million over the life of the Cohen loan?

  17. truth says:

     O.K.  Now how many of you didn't see that coming?  Anyone?   O.K. how many foo fools didn't see that coming?  Really?  All of you?

  18. Anonymously says:

    Mac already had one foot in his mouth. Now he’s just shot the other.

  19. Yes,all the way says:

    Really ? you almost want to believe him if you didn't know better. The garrison is ready and We Want our Country back !

  20. Solja Crab says:

    … Sounds like Mac is saying Caymanians are too “foo-fool” to understand this thing so we might as well squash it? Democracy nah so hard comprehend brotha man!



    College Educated Caymanian with a little sense

  21. king says:

    Man….stay tuned for next weeks episode!

  22. kljgbfvovhnjk;vb says:

    The last referendum required 50% of those voting in the referendum to pass (which seems fair). This one will require 50% of the electorate (whether they vote or not!)  Surely we cant have different criteria in different referenda, that's nonsense. 

    • Bingo was his nameo says:

      That's because the new Constitution, which a majority of people voted for, provides for exactly that percentage.  Ask Alden why that is, although I doubt he'd have the courage to tell you the truth. It's much easer to blame McKeeva.

      • Anonymous also says:

        The new constitution allows for the Government to set the how it will be measured since it is a government referendum and a people initated one.

        Mac has once again shown he has no regard for the people of this country.

    • Anonymouseeteer says:

      How can you have a higher bar for OMOV (50+1 of entire electorate) than we did for the actual country's CONSTITUTION (50+1 of voting on the day):

      Blatant cheating effry!

      UDP disgusts me: McKeeva Bush, Rolston Anglin, Mark Scotland, Dwayne Seymour, Julianna O'Connor Connolly, Capt. Eugene Ebanks, Cline Glidden, Ellio Solomon Mike Adam.  Not one honorable, respectable person among them because they endorse and condone the slackness. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Fair according to the Constitution which you probably voted YES for my friend. Vexed up now eh? 

  23. Just Sayin' says:

    The Premier and his UDP colleagues clearly rely on a failing education system in order to ensure a sufficient quantity of their desired voter type.

  24. More Anonymous says:

    If we are not foo-fools, how com Mac has fooled us so many times? In fact, he is trying again. He called the referndum because of the heat we put on. Now he is doing any and everything to stamp it out. WHY?

    And here is the truth. Yes, it against my personal interest to give up four votes. But it is for the good of MY COUNTRY that I have only ONE vote. What comes first, me or my country? We know what Mac's answer is.




    • noname says:

      Self first and Country last as always. What a web he weaves,  who in the hell is trying to deceive?  Only himself.

      He ought to know who the foo-fool people are, he being the greatest embarrassment to this country.

    • You don't even know how anonymous I am. says:

      A good country IS in your personal interest.  However this is a two-step thinking process that may escape the understanding of Mac's dunce brigade.  Fridge is only a six-letter word after all.

  25. jsftbhaedrg says:

    Mac, do you read your speeches prior to delivereing them?

    The only "foo-fool"  person is you.

  26. Anon says:

    Any Caymanian voter worth their salt will assess this carefully and see the truth.

    Mac is doing his best to spin this as negative. What a misinformation rant he has embarked on spreading doubt and fear!

    The current system has collective responsibility with multiple members. The buck doesn't stop with any one elected official. OMOV brings accountability; a system where everyone can say "the buck stops here". Do you think Mac wants that? No no no, he wants to be able to continue to wiggle out of responsibility when it suits him.

  27. EZ Anonymous says:

    I agree Mr. Premier, I'm voting NO.

    • Truly says:

      No fridge?  Or…………..No but yes to the fridge?  Or is that a foo fool question?  Ooppps!  never mind I just answered my own question.

    • Anonymously!! says:

      You must agree. Dear child you must be one of them foo-fool ones he talking about. Take of the dunce cap and the blinders, go learn something.  VOTE for OMOV

      • noname says:

        I am not a child and don't really appreciate your type of talk.  I am 76 years of age and have been around for a long time and seen many politician come and go. This isn't about McKeeva. This is about my country.

        Too often I have seen Caymanians jump on the bandwagon for whatever the flavor of the day is at the time. Why do you think McKeeva  lost power to the PPM. He wasn't the flavor of the day. Why did he win and the PPM fail in the last election. He became the flavor again.

        He is not my favorite politician but you have to admire the man for standing firm when he believes in something. Too many of us are too easily swayed just becasue we here something on a talk show or some Johnny come lately tells us something.

        Please don't mock me or poke fun at me becasue my belief is different from yours. Not everything that sparkles is gold.


    • noname says:

      me too…and before any of you give me your thumbs down, it  is my democratic right and you are asking me to give it up so that I can appease to numbskull politicians from NorthSide and East End who are jealous because that is all they ever had.


      If it does pass I hope they join North Side and East End together and let Ezzard and Arden fight over it.

      • Far Canal says:

        Ok, so please explain to me, as I'm one of those foo-fool Caymanians apparently, how you, having 3 or 4 votes, depending on where you live, is fair and equitable on voters in other districts such as NS or EE who have one, just one, vote.


        Then again when did simple logic ever come into it.  Purrrrrrrleeeeeeeese.

        • Far Canal says:

          I forgot to add, I'll be giving up 3 'votes' and I will do it gladly for a fairer electoral system for the whole country.

      • Anonymous says:

        We're confident that you clown's votes will be out-numbered the way they are here.

    • SKEPTICAL says:

      Suggest, subject to the limits of your medical insurancethat you invest in a “Brain Scan” to determine whether there is actually anything substantive between your ears.