Chuckie challenges PPM

| 12/02/2013

chuckie 23.jpg(CNS): Former tourism minister, Charles Clifford, has challenged his old political colleagues to use the current government’s minority status to get the elections law amended and introduce one person, one vote (OPOV) in single member constituencies (SMC) at the election that follows the one that will be held in May 2013. Although it has been confirmed bythe Elections Office that it is too late to introduce that system of voting for the 2013 General Election, which is just fifteen weeks away, in order to remove any doubt about the PPM’s support for the change of voting, Clifford says the opposition should withhold its support for all government legislation until Cabinet agrees to change the elections law.

In a statement released to the press, Clifford admits that if an administration is elected in May that does not support the law, it could be repealed but it would be "committing political suicide" to do so. This amendemnt would, therefore, demonstrate that the PPM’s support for OPOV is real and not just an empty election promise.

Opposition Leader Alden McLaughlin has stated on several occasions that the PPM would introduce OPOV if it wins the May election and that he and the party were committed to the more democratic voting system. On numerous occasions McLaughlin has said that the current system, especially now that voters in the capital have six votes, is simply unfair.

The PPM has, however, stated that they would support the district of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman remaining a two-member constituency, with each voter having one vote and the two candidates with the mosty votes gaining a seat in the LA.

Nevertheless, the PPM leader has persistently been criticised for what appeared to be his late support for the referendum campaign and because he did not support the Coalition for Cayman when it called for government to implement the style of voting for the May election, although the election writs had already been issued and any change to the election law would have put back the election by many months.

The issue has become a debate between the various C4C supporters and the PPM, even though the two groups both say they are in favour of the change and the only group which has persistently opposed OPOV is the UDP.

In his statement Clifford falls short of accusing his former PPM and Cabinet colleague of not supporting OMOV but indicates that, despite his efforts to persuade the party to adopt the system during its time in office between 2005-09, it failed to do so. Although it was in the proposed constitution, Clifford accuses the other members of the PPM, with the exception of Arden McLean (who has since resigned from the party), of being less than enthusiastic about fighting to keep the proposal in the constitution when the UDP refused to support it.

Clifford told CNS that the PPM had fought harder over other disagreements on proposals in the constitution than on the OPOV issue because not everyone in the PPM was fully supportive of OPOV in single member constituencies. In his letter to the press, Clifford states that he was a member of the PPM’s negotiating team during the constitution talks and he believes the public is right to question sincerity of the leader of the opposition when he says that he fully supports one person one vote. 

“The public is also right to question whether the PPM will implement this new system of voting if the party is elected in a majority in May of this year,” Clifford said, despite McLaughlin’s persistent statements that the PPM will implement OPOV for the 2018 election if it is elected to office .

Clifford said he had proposed amendments to the elections law to change the voting system to the PPM party caucus back in 2007, adding that there were many opportunities to implement the change during the PPM’s term in government but it never happened.

With a minority government now in office, Clifford said the opposition leader could convince the voting public of his sincerity if he encouraged the minority government to bring the amendments to the elections law to allow for the implementation of OPOV and SMCs for the general election which follows the one that will be held in May 2013.

“We know that there are some members of the current Cabinetwho say that they support this more fair system of voting,” Clifford said, as he asked McLaughlin to take advantage of its weakness by asking for amendments to the elections law in the next parliamentary sitting in exchange for the opposition’s support for the other draft legislation government needs to bring, using what he called the art of compromise.

However, most of the current Cabinet spoke against OPOV during the debate in the LA and the UDP  members are also all against it, so this would require either a voluntary shift by the new government or the reluctant support for something they do not support in order to pass legislation, some of which is required to balance the budget.

Clifford said he expected that he would be subjected to a “Shoot The Messenger” lecture suggesting his proposal will not work because one government cannot bind a subsequent government and that laws can be changed or that the opposition is not responsible for bringing legislation.

“I am very confident that all MLAs are well aware of the vulnerabilities of a minority government and that once the amendments to the Elections Law are passed and assented to by the governor, any subsequent government that attempts to repeal the law implementing OPOV and SMCs will be committing political suicide,” he added, warning that there might not be another opportunity to do this again in the near future.

“It’s time for the real test on OPOV and SMCs,” Clifford said. “The question is: Will they take the test?” he asked, referring to his former political colleagues in the PPM.

See full statement below.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Chuckie, you see they having official opening at your Coe Wood Beach that you and PPM bought and designed a few years ago?? And they dont even want to give you or PPm any credit. They wouldnt have anything to officially open if it were not for you and PPM.


    When PPM started to build the dock, Mark and UDP came after election in 2009 and ripped up the posts and stuff. Now Mark and Juju and Dwayne opening a boat ramp without a dock.


    Now tell me, when there is an emergency situation along the south coast (e.g. between Pedro Bluff and Breakers) and they bring the injured to the BT ramp, how are they going to get them from the boat to the ambulance if there is no dock.


    Also, if you are coming in and have to pull up your boat, how do you tie up and get out of the boat to go get the vehicle?



  2. Anonymous says:

    Now listen Alden and the PPM we all know this is how politics runs so why not just follow what Chuckie has recommended and give us proof that you all want and support one man one vote and single member constituencies. We are waiting !!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Anyone who has read the transcripts of the constitutional negotiations knows that it is a non-issue whether Alden and the PPM support OMOV. It was included in the draft constitution and was only removed because of McKeeva's insistence and the PPM acquiesced in order to gain his support for the constitution. The PPM has committed to inplementing if it is elected as the next government.

      Chuckie is just grandstanding.  

  3. Tru Tru says says:

    We support in principle the COALITION for CAYMAN, which is “a public awareness and advocacy group focused on ending party politics, setting Cayman on track for a secure economic future, and creating economic opportunity for all Caymanians”.

    The Progressive Peoples Movement Chairman Mr. Duckworth has confirmed that C for C is good for Cayman by his political attack on it and his humorous allegation that the Coalition will help the UDP in an election! The Coalition will support some independent candidates not PPM or UDP.

    The recent release against the C for C chairman by the Progressives is divisive politics and not progressive for the country. When writers do not put their name to press letters or releases the public should pay very little attention to them. Only fools do not change their minds when necessary. Mr. Bergstrom is a highly qualified professional with experience at managing a large legal entity.

    Some voters have told us that they have changed their mind and believe that political parties are dividing up some communities and some households and are not good for Cayman.

    The PPM MLAs were the government for over three years and they had every opportunity to change the law to bring in the single member constituencies (single vote) and they promoted the 2009 constitution, which left out the single vote. The PPM now seems to be in favour of the single vote when they only have four of 15 MLAs and cannot pass it. Even Progressives can change their mind!

    For 10 years we have written many letters stating goals similar to those of the Coalition C4C. However to achieve these goals there must be willing, able and capable independent candidates, preferably in teams to win seats in the Legislative Assembly.

    At present, the necessary checks and balances are not in the constitution and we must rely on the UK to see that ministers and members of the LA abide by the laws eg the Public Management and Finance Law on fiscal responsibility.

    The Framework for Fiscal Responsibility between Cayman and the UK protects the Cayman Public from future excessive spending of the Public’s money by political party Governments. It also protects the public from deficits eg. the PPM left an ($81,000,000) eighty-one million dollar deficit in 2009 and protects from future large borrowings and contractual commitments (a large part of the present debt was by the PPM Government for the new schools, roads and new administrative building), which the public is heavily taxed to repay over many years.

    Put shortly, the FFR forces future governments to abide by the PMFL law, which governments prior to the year 2000 did and to produce and publish consolidated audited final Government accounts, which the party governments have not done in about the last seven years but have spent over two billion dollars ($2,000,000,000).

    The main answer lies in voting in independent candidates and amending the constitution to put in the necessary checks and balances with sanctions that for serious breaches of certain laws like the PMFL the minister or MLA will lose his or her seat in the Cabinet and/or the LA.

    John McLean

    Truman Bodden

    • Anonymous says:

      There is nothing humorous about the prospect of C4C candidates splitting the anti-UDP vote so that the UDP are re-elected. That should be a matter of grave concern for every right-thinking Caymanian.

      Throughout the past several years Mr. Bodden's letters to the press, co-signed by Mr. McLean, have targetted the PPM, but not the UDP, for criticism even though though they are no longer in govt. and there very serious matters for which the UDP govt. could have been criticised. On the other hand, they have been quite silent about the misdeeds of the UDP. This post is no different. The silence is deafening. The people are not stupid, Mr. Bodden.  

      In that vein, it is important to note that both Mr. Bodden and Mr. McLean were members of ExCo when Mr. Bush was embroiled in the First Cayman Bank scandal. Even though he had not been arrested or charged with any crime they (rightly) insisted that he resign from Cabinet.Yet in the circumstances where the same Mr. Bush is under 3 separate criminal investigations and now has been arrested we did not hear a single call from the Bodden-McLean duo for Mr. Bush's resignation. Instead, their time was spent criticising the PPM for their protests about his continuing in office.

      But we understand Mr. Bodden and Mr. McLean. Mr. Bodden was unseated from his George Town constituency in 2000 by Mr. Tibbetts and Mr. McLaughlinwho became the leaders of the PPM, while Mr. John McLean, Sr. was unseated in 2000 by Mr. Arden McLean who was until recently a member of the PPM. Mr. John McLean, Jr. who is running in East End is clearly aligned with the UDP. Mr. Bodden owes Mr. Bush a favour for bailing out Cayman General Insurance and Cayman National Corporation by not insisting that government be paid what was due to it leading to their insolvency. But please don't be disingenuous, Mr. Bodden.  We are not fooled.   

      • Anonymous says:

        Mr. Bodden and Mr. McLean know what it is like to be embroiled in switch, swatch and pack.  Why be so hypocritcal against one party andno comments about their party the UDP.  Their coin only has one side.

    • Anonymous says:

      Tru tru, one of the key reasons for the large expenditure by the PPM is because when you were in power you failed to build the necessary infrastructure to support the continued growth in our population. Had this been done gradually during your last 8 years in power there would not have been the crunch to build it all at once at much greater cost. You shelved the MGTP because it wasn't your idea. You stopped the Dr. Hortor Hospital because it wasn't your idea and ending up adding to the old hospital which is still in the flight path at much greater cost. Anyone can say that they had surpluses during boom years when they spent little money on needed infrastructure.

      Add to that your denial of the growing gang culture in the schools in the 1990s and you can easily see where today's criminals have come from. You bear part of the responsibility for that.         

  4. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for this suggestion Mr. Clifford. Now PPM let’s get it done !

  5. Anonymous says:

    If the PPM would just focus on Charles’ letter instead of the actual story they will see the sense in his suggestion. PPM this is an opportunity for you answer this question once and for all : Are you in favour of one man one vote and will you take this opportunity to implement it ?

    • Anonymous says:

      The PPM have answered the question many times. They are in favour of OMOV and will implement it if elected as the next govt.  

  6. Anonymous says:

    As a former Minister in Executive Council (now Cabinet) I like Mr. Clifford’s suggestion. He is right that politics is the art of compromise and this is how work gets done in the LA. This is a great opportunity for Mr. McLaughlin because there is a minority government in office.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Ok PPM Bloggers you can stop now and just tell Alden that he should take action as Chuckie has suggested and let’s get one man one vote in our legislation so that we can be sure to have it for our 2017 elections. Good political strategy Chuckster !

  8. Anonymous says:

    I'm just really tired of hearing anything about this man or what he has to say.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Charles, I was there when you threw the granddaddy of all parties on Cayman's dime. We had a bus with a pole in it, decantered scotch on the way to the restaurant and a meal that would have cost over $40,000. I was there. You will never represent the people. EVER!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Is it nearly election time?  That is when we hear the quadrennial chirping of the Lesser Clifford Tit (Chuckis Minimis).

  11. Anonymous says:

    Let's be honest. The entire political scene in Cayman lacks dynamic, honest and courageous leadership. (Anyone else see Scotland on the Gov TV drone his way through the Athletics thing? My God, you'd think he'd just had an enema.) We need someone to clearly state the issues, propose solutions and engage the people.

    Not a single C4C recommendation has given us a coherent manifesto. It's like call me and we'll discuss (and when you do, nothing). No, you tell us what you want us to vote for. It's not enough to criticize the failings of others. That's how the current sorry bunch got here. And it will go on ad nauseam.

    I dream of a Cayman basking in the spirit that defined us. We were a good, honest and humble nation until the wolves came in. The wolves were the politicians that sold out their birthright, their people and their integrity.

    Heck, one of them even sold the same piece of land more than once and what is his reward? A freaking statue and "National Hero" status. More like "National Bandit". When you honour thieves, you might as well be one.

    I know there are some excellent, God-fearing Caymanians punishing in jobs to pay the bills and unfortunately, they will be represented again by the charlatan crew. I wish a few of them would stand up and take the risk and stand on a platform of truth, transparency, integrity, love and family values.

    I am calling on some homespun children of the soil to put aside your fears, your perceived inadequacies and roll up your sleeves and get stuck in. You will get my unbridaled support and the support of those of us who value the truth. There is a mighty God in heaven, just waiting to flex His arm on behalf of those bold enough to believe. Believe!


    • Anonymous says:

      Manifestos don’t mean crap. We have seen the last three elections with a bunch of glossy empty promises. I am voting for individuals and past proven track records.

    • Anonymous says:

      To tell you the truth I only see one real politician in the house, and that is McKeeva Bush.

      • Confucius says:

        Any danger of getting an honest politician?

      • Anonymous says:

        Can we please not have any more politicians in the house this election? Can we please have some folks that have the first clue about running a country instead? Please?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Come on PPM this is a sensible suggestion that can be done quickly. Just do it nah ! Or are you busy trying to discredit this suggestion from Mr. Clifford ?

    • Anonymous says:

      PPM and particular Alden does not support OMOV. He is scared he will not get elected if he is not on Kurt’s shirt tail. It’s that simple.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Yes Chuckster. Great suggestion. Let’s get this done once and for all !!!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Anyone who knows anything about politics will know that this is how it works. Politics is the art of compromise. This is not extortion as one commenter has suggested…….this is what happens in the LA everyday when they’re meeting. They negotiate and compromise. I wonder if Alden realises how much power he has with a minority government in office. Will he use this to his advantage and get the OMOV which he says he supports once and for all as Chuckie has suggested ?

  15. Anonymous says:

    Chuckie knows, because as he rightly says, he was there, that the ONLY reason this was not included in the Constitution was because McKeeva held PPM for ransom on this issue in order to get the bill passed.  He also knows that the enitre PPM team support SMCs, not just him and Arden.  How can he in all honesty write this stuff and say different, and now want to make himself look like the one with all the answers? and now to also ask the PPM to hold the current Gov't hostage or blackmail them into supporting his recommendations?  one has to question Chuckie's motives, and his being less than forthright on many occasions in the past, when it suits his agenda.  Who was it again that had a Commsission of Enquiry against them?  I rest my case.

  16. Anonymous says:

    They all need to go and bring bring in omov and let them be accountable and stop passing the buck!


  17. Anonymous says:

    Mr Charles. If you felt so strongly that ppm did not act properly in the negotiations before the 2009 election, why did you chose to run with them in 09. You would have known all of what you saying today in 2009?

  18. Anonymous says:

    Are you all retarded? Can you not see what he is trying to do? If Alden were to do any of what Chuckie is suggesting, THAT would be political suicide! What this would be, as another commentor pointed out, is EXTORTION! There is no other way to look at it. I know nobody in the Progressives is fool enough to respond to this "challenge", so I'm sure this is just some ploy by C$C to try and make Alden look weak.

  19. Otherview says:

    Whoo Chuckie is?….

  20. Anonymous says:

    The PPM is and always has been too weak. It has whined about things that should be whined about, but stopped there. From status grants to FCB it has proved that it is unwilling to stand behind the very principles it espouses. I am no fan of the UDP but am furious that the PPM stood by and actively permitted, through inaction, every excess that Mac wrought on us. Even the AG is now acknowledgeing that the constitution requires OMOV. Keep up the pressure Chuckie. At least you stand by your principles!

  21. Anonymous says:

    Geesh Chuckie…get a life!! Was wondering when he would crawl out from under his rock.

    Sorry Chuckie this Bodden Towner and most Caymanians already know your true colors.

    Political Grandstanding at its best…Why don't you just go ahead and declare..You will get less  votes than Vincent got last time.


  22. BTCaymanian says:

    Same old BS story Chucky.,time after time but just a  different day. Bodden Towners wake up! How are we going to get anywhere with the same old style politicans from the old bringing nothing new. It's the same old crap to the table. Where are the solutions? Where are the Jobs? You had your chance in office and I hope the Bodden Town People don't vote for this joker that cannot explain to the public where is the sixty plus million dollars that is still unaccounted for under his watch in office? God bless us if the old or new PPM spend as much as you want machinery ever get back in power.. Certainly my few votes will be casting for three UDP's and one other independent outside of the C4C rich class party that is now looking for power.


  23. Anonymous says:

    PPM Bloggers busy though. Have no fear guys Chuckie has said he isn't running but he is making a sensible recommendation here. Read his actual letter and try to forget who wrote it because we know that is the main problem that the PPM has with it.

    Come on PPM show us if you really want One man One Vote !

  24. Anonymous says:

    Not because you guys are not hearing Mr. Alden McLaughlin on the radio or on the streets picking fights and talking rubbish, that he is not active within the LA and the Government. We know you are dissecting and studying the laws. Mr. McLaughlin and the PPM party has a plan, they just needs a chance, would you all be patient. Doing it according to Austin's agenda and Chucky's agenda may not be to the likings of some, but they are active in the background, awaiting the proper timing.  You will hear the PPM plans after March, but not before, as they aire on caution that others may pick up their Manefisto and run with it.  Alden they say you don't listen, but who should you listen to.  The voting public knows already that you gets things done for Cayman and the Caymanians people. You think long term and you think things through before opening your mouth or doing things that will be detremental to all.

    They are all coming out now to say they are for Country…You and your team were ALWAYS for Country.



    • Anonymous says:

      Alden only knows how to spend $200,000,000 on two schools and set us up for the recent UK take over. What’s his plan??…a few more schools? More inactivity to get country going?? I am definitely not for UDP and Macs muppets but I seriously cannot vote for ppm with Alden at helm. Ps you have my vote is they exchange Alden for Moses

  25. jorge says:

    What a pathetic approach! We are always coming up with these brilliant idea thining that once we can make someone else look bad that will make us look good.

    These types of thinking are very on unhealthy for Cayman. We need people who are thinking about the real issues that Caymanians are faced with daily. 

    I am fully for OPOV but i also need to see policies put in place in order to hold elected representative accountable. That is one of the biggest problem that we as a society must deal with.

    We can continue to vote these failures into the LA and wait for four years to vote them out because of failing to do there job.

    Chuckie, you spent your tenure as an elected member fighting Bush and defending yourself against him.

  26. Anonymous says:

    how many times is Alden and the PPM supposed to state that they support omov and will implement it during their administration? Do we really expect them to jump when Chuckie blows his whistle? The PPM do no respond to threats and do not operate based on other candidates agendas.

    • Strait Talk says:

      Don't hold your breath Chuck-Chuck, Alden Mclaughlin will not do that because he does not support OPOV because he knows that without Kurt Tibbetts' coat-tails he will not be elected!

    • Anonymous says:

      Way to go Chuckie, you will make one good MLA for  BT and Cayman on a whole.  You are one of the few good men that we need in BT to get the job done right. 

    • Anonymous says:

      BS!!!!! If this is true, why did ppm have that lame ass full page ad in the Compass a few weeks ago?

  27. Anonymous says:

    They are all coming out of the woodwork now! The "lets look busy brigade", challenging on things they should have challenged long ago, when in reality it is too late now. Also he is advocating that they effectively blackmail what is left of this government which will affect some of the ongoing and needed legislation and regulations to keep this place going. And even then he is wasting government time and newspaper space and readers time just trying to get his name in lights so somebody might vote for him.

    Voters, just ask yourselves, if he can come up with some useless statement/act like this now, on which nothing can be done in reality, how much more useless stuff he could do in the MLA? Vote someone else in for goodness sake, don't give this windbag the time of day…Its too late!! The bus left! Train went "Whoo-WHoo" and wheels are spinning, airplane taxing down the runway, get the picture? You need someone in power who is on one of those vehicles..preferably going honestly forwards rather than corruptly and unintelligently backwards.


  28. Anonymous says:

    This is exactly right. Will the Progressives let their actions speak? Lets see.

    • Anonymous says:

      How about giving everyone one vote in their district and the people with the most votes in that district get elected? This would put an end to "voting straight" were a few people vote in all of the elected members and be much simpler than creating single member constituencies.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Holding legislation that needs to be passed and that has broad support (the only type of legislation that will be passed, as acknowledged by everyone currently in the LA) is not compromise. It's extortion.


    I've read the constitutional negotiation transcripts and it is VERY clear that all of the PPM members, and particularly Mr. McLaughlin, supported SMC. It is Mr. Bush that refused to budge on the matter, and we all know how and why he gets what he wants. He's obstinate and people try to compromise on good faith but he never gives an inch andends up taking everything that other people give.


    Stop trying to bring the PPM and UDP down and build yourself up. You really disgust me at this point. I am not PPM or UDP, I have serious problems with both parties. But you are not presenting yourself as a viable alternative.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Great suggestion Chuckster and a very fair letter. I had not thought of that but it will, as you said, be the real test for the PPM on One Person One Vote !

  31. Anonymous says:

    Chuckster is the only one prepared to take on McKeeva and Alden with all their lies and vanity! Please run for BT in May

  32. Anonymous says:

    Oh my I cannot wait to hear Alden response to this one

  33. Anonymous says:

    PPM dirty laundry getting aired out for all to see LOL. I guess all the hot air about its integrity as a party is pure hyperbole

    • Anonymous says:

      If that is worse you can say about Alden and the PPM – that you don't think they really support OMOV – then he mustbe one of the better politicians.

  34. Anonymice says:

    Thanks for sharing the truth as with uson the ppm’s true intentions and lack of sincerity with OPOV under the leadership of Mr. McLaughlin. He had every opportunity to implement in 2005-09 and support the July 2012 referendum and failed again !