MLAs cite Bush probes at regional conference

| 24/05/2012

ardenee (235x300).jpg(CNS):  The police investigations surrounding the Cayman Islands premier were used by opposition MLAs attending a regional conference in Jamaica to question whether the rules and sanctions for parliamentary democracies and their members in the Caribbean are adequate to maintain integrity among politicians. Arden McLean, the PPM member for East End, and Ezzard Miller, the independent member for North Side, questioned what happens when politicians ignore the rules and when, as is the case in Cayman, refuse to step aside in the face of serious allegations.

Speaking at the 37th Conference of the Caribbean, Americas and Atlantic Region in Kingston, Jamaica, last week, McLean, who presented the paper written by both men, asked if it was time for special rules to apply to sitting politicians accused of crimes or corruption.

McLean said that the announcement that McKeeva Bush was the subject of the police probes came as “no surprise to many” but the long wait for the determination of whether charges are to be brought and “excuses about the inadequacies of the Anti-Corruption Law by the police” were now a source of contention.  He also pointed to civil society’s lack of participation in the political process between elections, which he said emboldens would-be corrupt politicians.

He spoke about the use of external investigators because of the reluctance of local enforcement authorities to arrest or successfully prosecute people in leadership positions.

“This deficiency runs the risk of reinforcing the belief that some are above the law, thereby undermining a fundamental principle of the rule of law as well as of the legitimacy of the criminal system,” he said. “Secondment of senior police officers from other CARICOM countries seems to work quite effectively because they have no axe to grind and can investigate without any bias.”

He pointed to the Cayman Islands' case, where he said a combination of an apparent lack of intervention by the governor and the UK government and the reluctance of the premier’s party members to ask him to step down had left the premier still in office, despite being accused of corruption and facing three different police investigations. McLean said it was clear nothing had been learned from the TCI experience, where systemic corruption led to the UK imposing direct rule.

“While the majority of countries have legislated to ensure that would-be corrupt politicians toe the line while in office, unfortunately, as we all know, there is no single prescription for success, and regardless of the institutions in place, there will be those who find loopholes to justify their ends,” McLean said, adding that there was a need to regularly review and update laws and rules.

“In many countries there are some who perceive there is nothing wrong with selling their votes and seeking favours from political leaders in return for political support to office," he said. “This political culture requires a paradigm shift through programmes that communicate that behaviour as corruption.”

The PPM member said that selling one’s vote is “deleterious to democracy” but it was difficult to prove and few effective sanctions against it.

“Ultimately it is committed politicians and citizens who must assert the principles that govern politicians by, firstly, reporting these breaches of rule-respect, and secondly, legislating to ensure that all donations and other sources of party revenue are made public; that donors and the amounts of their donations are identified in the public record; and that candidates disclose links to lobbyists, as well as sources, types, and amounts of support, both before and after elections,” he added.

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  1. three monkeys says:

    Put hands over your mouth, your ears, and your eyes.  There now.   NO CORRUPTION!

    The Caymanian way of soving problems.

  2. Anonymous says:

    It's always easier to blame the messenger than the message

  3. Truth says:

    The problem with Cayman is its full of …………………….criminals.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Ezzard and Arden…I am sure you both know this old Merle haggard song but if not I want you both to listen carefully.  Please stop running our country down for your own political gain.

    Here you go:



    • Anonymous says:

      Don't be ridiculous. Ezzard and Arden are not running our country down. Tell that to those who are involved in corruption. They are running our country down. They are embarrassing this country. Stop trying to deflect attention and protecting them for political gain.   

    • Anonymous says:

      perfect sentiments exactly…maybe we could get Austin to play it next Tuesday (and  Wednesday) instead of Barefoot and Andy's West Bay Road song.

  5. Anonymous says:

    amazing, so many posters seem to thing you get rid of corruption by remaining silent,

    ignoring it and just let it slide!    no big thing?

    been going on 4 far 2 long now.

    anyone see the decline of integrity and ethical values here?

    just another day of politics  in GCM.

    The world already knows, no secrets being let out of the bag by those 2,

    what we need now is for action to clean up this stinking mess.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Not really surprised from those two Big M—–s . They will do anything to get power.

    Yes politics is a dirty game, but which country goes to a CPA conference to air their own internal issues?

  7. Anonymous says:

    These clowns make me sick to my stomach!

  8. Anonymous says:

    News like this is more reason why we need new blood and not the same politicians, dividing and conquoring our island.

  9. Caymanian1 says:

    Very shameful that Ezzard and Arden would take our matters overseas like this. Especially, Ezzard, I support him, but I am dissappointed that it has come to this. Next year I would like to see a new face for North Side.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Old Chinese saying: Man eventually go abroad to wash his laundry, when no one takes it in at home.

    • Anonymous says:

      stupid comment

    • John says:

      The quest for power has never been so vivid and rampant in these Islands and we have to wonder whether the throat cutting back stabbing represents a serious political immaturity problem. Psychologically it must be very devastating to hold power and lose power mainly because because arrogance,immaturity, stupidity and all the rest of it.

      This country has suffered a political malaise over many years of ego centric, untalented,immature individuals who have been elected not on their knowledge or prowess in the market place but on vain calculated promises that the people have not sufficiently analyzed. If they had none i repeat none of these jokers would never have been elected

      What is the solution, a leopard never changes his color? Well we have 15 of them and what do you think. The people the voting public needs to take a keen look at not just the candidates but what they represent as individuals in the community, what expertise,knowledge and experience they bring to the table. We have been saying for a long time that “this election” is critical but never in our history ha it been so important to have a concerted public effort to review,find and elect men and women who are principled, who are loyal to country first, who have the knowledge and ability to take out of the storms were facing. Iron will and determination is needed to move this country forward.

      God Bless these Cayman Islands

  11. Anonnymous says:

    There is only one adjective to describle this action – inappropriate.  Totally. This really says something about these two MLA – and it isn't something good!!

    • Anonymous says:

      One has to wonder just how you would describe the premier's actions.

      • Caymanian1 says:

        Ah… this has nothing to do with exalting the Premier. Stop defending Ezzard and Arden like they are not accountable. They are accountable for everything they do whilst being MLA. This is Cayman's name and they choose to drag it down before members from other countries. How stupid!!! 

    • Anonymous says:

      I beg to differ. I don't see how Cayman MLAs who are asked to speak on the topic "raising the levels of integrity among parliamentarians. Are the existing rules adequate?" could completely ignore the untenable position of the Premier who is the subject of three criminal investigations and refuses to step down in accordance with political convention. That would be like speaking on the devastating impact of hurricanes in October 2004 and completely failing to mention Hurricane Ivan.

      Outlinging that issue in the presentation has nothing to do with a "quest for power" as one other poster suggested. Obviously the Premier stepping aside would allow one of his UDP colleagues to step up rather than for the Opposition to take power.   That is just Mr. Bush's attempt at spin.   

      • John says:

        I spoke in general terms about oour politically immature caste of politicians, anon. I did not outlin Ezzard and Mcleans country boys diatribe, and by the way the correct word is outlining, not outlinging.

        • Anonymous says:

          LOL. It is amusing that you would go out of your way to make much of what was obviously a minor typo and then make several errors yourself: "oour", "outlin", "Mcleans" and "caste". I assume you were not suggesting that our politicians are Hindus. The appropriate word is "cast".  

  12. Anonymous says:

    Typical Caymanians…stabbing one of their own in the back in the front of a foreign audience.

    Happens in Cayman every single day.

    Did Portia Simpson get on a foreign forum and slag off Bruce Golding when he was under pressure to resign over the Dudus Coke affair that cost some 70-odd Jamaican lives ?

    No she didn't,,because, at the end of the day….they are all Jamaicans…and will never throw over one of their own for the sake of a foreigner.

    Something Caymanians will never, ever learn.

  13. Anonymous says:

    This was downright dirty of these two. The onlydifference between them and McKeeva that he at least only does this at home.

    This was for no more than for their own political expediency. They both make me sick. I am stark raving mad that they would think that they could go live on an international stage and in front of these very influential people and run my country down.

    If the two of you want to fight with McKeeva, be men, get out in the yard, put on some boxing gloves and beat the crap out of each other but don't go gallavanting of to some other country telling people our country is corrupt and our leaders are corrupt. McKeeva will get whatever is coming to him but he has not been charged with or convicted of anything and it is wrong, very wrong for these two to go abroad and proclaim this like he was already convicted and the rest of us look like losers because we put up with corruption.

    I hope that East End and North Side will get rid of these Bozos in the next election.

    • Anonymous says:

      The big difference between them and McKeeva is that he is the subject of three criminalinvestigations amd they are not.

      Theydid not say our country is corrupt and our leaders are corrupt. That is a lie.

       Why would EE and NS get rid of the two MLAs who are actually doing their job?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Ok so it's airing Cayman laundry a little perhaps, but any somewhat intelligent officials from other countries having the priviege to engage with Mr. Premier I'm sure has him figured out pretty quickly.

    Taking this perspective, I believe what Mr. McLean and Mr. Miller have done is admitted we know what is going on at home, but there are some ready to bring moral integrity to a Country that will at some point be negotiating with you once the present administration has expended its term as well as seeking further precedents. Just make sure it's followed through when it happens.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I cannot believe this two! Really now, airing our dirty laundry at the Commonwealth parliamentary Association meaning , bashing your Premier and calling your own country and its government corrupt.  Was this really necessary or just another attempt to get at McKeeva.

    This things only make McKeeva look good. We will never be able to get rid of him as long as these two bumbling idiots keep doing crap like this.

    Arden/Ezzard I am a Caymanian, this is my country just like it is yours and I don't appreciate either of you going to another country and running it down. Do that it the morning with Austin where we can laugh and poke fun at you but don't go another country and do this crap.

    Grow up and be men!

    • Anonymous says:

      airing dirty laundry online???  what do you think you do when you post to CNS? hello??? 

      Oh I get it, you're one of the morons who voted for Mackeever and the UDP crime syndicate.

    • Stiffed-Necked Fool says:

      Hey 14:16, please Shut the F_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ront door!

    • Truth says:

      When the truth hurts your living off lies.

  16. The lone haranguer says:

    To far boys, to far.

  17. Name changed by moderator says:

    Has McKeeva entered his New Year's Eve 2010 flight on a private jet into the Register of Interest as yet?


    Will Ellio's stewardship of the Register of Interest be his biggest achievement in politics?

    • Tired of complaints. says:

      Sad, they can’t have a discussion without some jealous fellow bringing up Ellio’s name. What does the Register of Interest have to do with this? Did someone open a Ompany or something, did someone forget to declare something during the elections or what? Ellio is ona match.

      • Anonymous says:

        Proper maintenance of the Register of Interests and consequences for failure to make the required entries goes to the heart of the corruption issue. 

  18. Libertarian says:

    At first glance, I have to question why Ezzard Miller and Arden Mclean would go so far in another country to speak to an audience about our corruption in the Cayman Islands. It seems like not one MLA cares about our reputation. Also from previous comments made by the Governor and FCO Minister, it seems like to them, news of corruption has no international effect to our finanical center, which relies so much on foreign clients to do business. Yes, nothing is wrong with keeping abreast with Anti-corruption laws and measures, but the politicking and revengefulness between politicians, has to stop or it is going to ruin our country!  The system of government needs to be changed where the people will have more say. These politicians should be mute until general electionsor the closure of these investigations. They need to stop making the Premier into a boogeyman for the best interest of the whole country!

    • Anonymous says:

      It's not exactly a secret having been carried on Reuters, the Chicago Tribune and La Prensa amongst other media after the Premier's outrageous outburst against the Governor and the FCO. At least it shows we are not all corrupt or willing to sweep corruption under the carpet.

      Libertarian, suddenly you have become worried about the effect this is having on our international reputation and how politicians should act in the best interests of the country rather than exercising individual rights and acting in their own self-interest. Tell that to the Premier – that is one excellent reason why he should step down. 

      If we cannot call for the Premier to step down, how come you can call for MLAs to shut up? How hypocritical. 

      • Libertarian says:

        "Libertarian, suddenly you have become worried about the effect this is having on our international reputation" But why not worry?  Reputation is what brings not only tourist, but banking customers to our islands!  Why shouldn't I not be worried?  Call me hypocritical as much as you like… I am sorry, but I just can't agree with them going to a regional body to speak of a "corrupt premier" in the Cayman Islands?!  That doesn't sit well with me.

        • Anonymous says:

          Our reputation has been my concern all along while yours has been the Premier's individual right to decide whether to step down versus the negative impact of his remaining in office and the best inerests of this country. Now, all of a sudden, you are concerned about our reputation and the best interests of the country because he is being criticised. That is why I say you are a hypocrite. What you need to focus on is the SOURCE of the bad reputation rather than trying to sweep it under the carpet and complaining about those who speak of it.

          I have read the article and the presentation a couple of times and nowhere do they say that Cayman has a "corrupt premier" (which you placed in quotations). The complaint was that the premier has not stood down in the face of three police investigations of possible corruption as is expected from politicians throughout the Commonwealth. That does not require any inference of guilt. Your objection is therefore unfounded.    

          • Libertarian says:

            My friend, it seems you are so caught up with associating me with McKeeva Bush, and what I said and haven't said. You are a classic example of someone who is partisan and refuse to reason. The relevant of what I was saying is in my comments above. I think rational people will see it and acknowledge that there is nothing wrong to what I have said. Regards

            • Anonymous says:

              Rational people will see that you misquoted the presentation and do not have the grace to acknowledge that. 

              • Libertarian says:

                If I misquoted the presentation, then the words in this news article is misquoted to:-

                 CNS:  "Arden McLean, the PPM member for East End, and Ezzard Miller, the independent member for North Side, questioned what happens when politicians ignore the rules and when, as is the case in Cayman, refuse to step aside in the face of serious allegations".  It is plain as day that they brought up our garbage to a regional body that was overseas, and all I am saying is that was not the right course of action coming from two of our MLAs.



                • Anonymous says:

                  I have no quarrel with that quote. It is factually correct and Mr. Bush's own comments to the media have ensured that it has already been widely reported internationally. Just google "McKeeva Bush investigation". This is not somethig that can be hid at this point, nor should we want to hide it. It was obviously intensely relevant to the subject they were asked to speak on.

                  Their presentation is not what is damaging the reputation of these Islands. You need to properly assign blame for that instead of trying to deflect it for McKeeva Bush.

                  What it does not say is, as you have misquoted, that we have a "corrupt premier".  Shouting (typing in caps) does not strengthen your case. It only reflects that you realise you cannot win your argument by facts and logic.

                  BTW I am not PPM. I think they need to dissolve and for a new party to emerge otherwise we may be stuck with McKeeva Bush again as premier. But no doubt you would like that.     

                  • anonymous says:

                    You don't sound to smart…. kindof a wallnut. Lib is simply asking why promote and spread our garbage more?  just because it came out on a news station doesnt mean you go around the globe spreading it to everywhere. ha boy you people harded headed

                    • Anonymous says:

                      Your attitude is what allows corruption to flourish in Cayman. Always for covering up.

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you really that dense?. Who is causing the reputational damage- the people talking about the corruption investigation, or the persons involved in corruption investigations?

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you Libertarian. I think you are one of the only independants on this site that sees the whole picture of this subject and not just a lop-sided part of it.

  19. Anonymous says:

    No he didn't !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Talk about anything for power. So who there was voting for him. He need to worry about voters in Cayman, and how to really win them without mud slinging, but real solutions. And then he got the nerve to talk about Mackeeva making The Cayman Islands look bad,. Is he any different? What was he doing giving us a prize and accolade. Airing Caymans dirty laundry. Hmmm, politricians.

  20. Anonymous says:

    "The PPM member said that selling one’s vote is “deleterious to democracy” but it was difficult to prove and few effective sanctions against it."

    Hmm, lets see here trying to approve budget for 1,500 solar panels for homes in west bay to subsidise the cost of electricity at almost 2 million dollars is not too hard to prove!  What about subsidising for the home around the other parts of the island?  What about subsiding private schools for Caymanians?


    • Anonymous says:

      I heard the Leader of the Opposition talking the other day on radio saying that all our  politicians give money to people and it was just how things are done in Cayman. At least he was being honest.  If true is this vote buying or just lending a helping hand? If and when the UDP help out with a fridge here and there is this vote buying? I had also heard some years ago  from a PPM supporter that when PPM have their Christmas parties everybody attending gets an envelope with $25. If true is this vote buying or just Chrsitmas cheer?

      Where do you draw the line?  If everyone is doing it does that make it ok?  If we keep this up our MLA's will probably always be looking to find ways to supplement their income!  The bigger the war chest the more people you can help and i guess the more votes you can potentially receive.

      This whole scenario seems to lead in one direction.  Welfare and corruption.



      • Anony says:

        Your reference to envelopes with $25 being given to everyone attending a PPM christmas party is not correct. I do know that they have given gift certificates (Fosters, etc.) to needy elderly citizens who have attended a Christmas Party so that those persons can afford some extra items over that holiday.

        I do not agree with politions giving cash to any voter. Unfortunately this seems to be the current mentality of a lot of voters. In talking with MLA's I have been amazed of what bills they tell me people ask for "help" with. It seems that a section of our community have lost their sense of responsibility.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Go abroad and put us to shame you losers.

    • Knot S Smart says:

      So you apparently accept that we should be ashamed of our Govt but that we should keep quiet about it?

      I think trying to hide our shame is in itself something to be ashamed about!

    • Anonymous says:

      Perhaps you should be asking why our "winners" are providing the source of shame. I won't resort to calling you a derogatory name. That would be impolite.

    • Anonymous says:

      SHAME..? They are already laughing at us abroad..well done Arden and Ezzard for letting them know that there are some honest politicians in Cayman who are taking  stand against corruption.

    • Anonymous says:

      Go abroad and shame the losers by shouting the truth from the rooftops, guys…oops, forgot the losers HAVE no shame.

    • Truth says:

      So by your Caymankind reasoning if no one else knows you have nothing to be ashamed of?  In the Cayman culture its OK to commit a crime but not get caught?  Sounds more like the pirate code.  Wait!  Now I understand Caymanian culture.  Explains everything.

      In todays world Cayman culture will ultimately fail.  I hear the crying already.

  22. Anonymous says:

    JuJu Banton must be thanking her God that this conference was over before the Auditor General released his report on the Brac paving project.