No OMOV without consensus

| 03/03/2014

(CNS): The chances that the country’s voting system will be changed before 2017 now look very slim after the premier revealed on Monday that he will not push through a change without full consensus. Alden McLaughlin wouldn’t reveal how many members of his government were opposed to implementing the system based on the 2012 referendum of 18 SMCs or who they were but pointed the finger at those who did not run on the PPM ticket. In the face of allegations from Arden McLean and other sources that it is McLaughlin himself who is the most reluctant to move on the changes, the premier said McLean’s motion was about trying to bring down his government and not the voting system.

Speaking at a press briefing Monday held to discuss an MOU signed with the proposed Ironwood project developers, the premier said that the events on Friday were not “government’s finest hour” but that merely reflected how controversial this issue is.

Referring to the situation when the House was tied over the vote on McLean’s motion on OMOV in SMCs because PPM back-benchers Anthony Eden and Al Suckoo voted for it and three Cabinet ministers were absent, as well as the opposition leader, at the time of the vote, he pointed to mistakes made by what he said were novice parliamentarians in the face of a seasoned legislator who knew to round up his speech with haste when he saw the empty seats.

He said he believed that the retreat had led to a compromise on the issue that everyone in his government could support but that turned out not to be the case.

McLaughlin pointed to a lack of support by some government members for the 18 SMCs, his own concerns about small constituencies and his preference for 'at large' candidates and fewer constituencies, and as a result there would be no change to the electoral system unless it included 'at large' candidates.

With the split on the issue inside the PPM as well as the wider government and the need for a new boundary commission to examine and draw up the suggested 15 constituencies, the time to conduct that process and then implement the change means that time could very easily run out before 2017. McLaughlin stated clearly that the voting system would not change unless it had the support of all his government members and he would not try to force anything through that the government members did not all agree on.

Despite the U-turn on the election promise and allegations that he had wavered, McLaughlin seemed undeterred as he said keeping his government together to address the pressing issues of the day was more important. The premier stated that itwas not just one or two members that were not in favour of the 18 SMCS, and though they were all committed to the issue of voter equality, many government members still have concerns about the potential problems that could be thrown up by too small constituencies, he said.

Pointing to his belief that it would be easy for people to get elected on just 250 votes in constituencies that would be made up of about 1000 members, he spoke again of “bizarre results” especially in vulnerable areas of the capital where voters are at the bottom of the socio-economic scale. He also stated that the introduction of  ‘at large’ candidates, those who would run on a national ticket, would “mitigate against” what he described as “parochial politics”.

McLaughlin also dismissed the allegations made by East End member Arden McLean, who brought the motion, that he had tried to cut a deal with him. McLaughlin said McLean had left the PPM because of the leadership and not because of the issue of SMCs.

The premier said that “there was nothing to be gained” by him answering the allegations which were “coloured by his perceptions” about what had happened. He made it clear that he believed that the motion was brought deliberately to undermine government and described it as a “frontal assault” in his and Ezzard Miller’s efforts to bring down the administration “having identified an Achilles heel” in what was an otherwise a solid, unified administration.

The premier said his government was not in general divided and he did not believe any of his team were planning to join the opposition benches but this was an issue which was going to be difficult.

“Government took a beating … but we have a country to run,” he said, adding that he did not think the voting system was at the forefront of many people’s minds.

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Comments (85)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The Boundary Commission Report and recommendations are the problem, not one man one vote. I believe that thePremier and Former Premier, like many of us support omov, but not the Boundary Commission's Report. That report is inequitable, unfair and should be thrown into the garbage. We should look again at the report of the visiting election observers at the last election. They hit the nail on the head. 

    • Jonas Dwyer says:

      Oh ye of little memory, " my thoughts are still evolving" on OMOV and minimum wage, so please bear with me while ai light up .. My brain.

    • And Another Ting says:

      Totally irresponsible words of the Premier,  who seeks consensus of his team mattes, but ignores his and their duty to fulfill the ultimate desires of  the people, those who showed consensus when they voted for OMOV in the referendum. Shameful. Not much more can be said.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Nothing new from Alden, I've been telling people for years he's not a leader so much as a serial grumbler, and here we see him in action once again. It was only a matter of time. Always has been about him and him alone. But I'm optimistic as I reckon the days of characters like himself and the other joker shortly to be before the courts are finally coming to a close and we see an emerging group of able Caymanians ready and willing to argue policies rather than personalities.

  3. PPM Truthalizer says:

    "I will not push through a change without full consensus." = "I am deeply concerned that OMOV might affect my chances of staying Premier"

    • Peanuts says:

      If there is one position I am consistent on is that I have NEVER  any government that is honest or for the people regardless of its declared stance – it is always about their own self-interest. Governments, of every variety, are only in maintaining their own power at all costs. To readers, be very careful not to mix nationalism with facts.

       
  4. Anon says:

    We should be angry with ourselves.  We voted Mac who gave status grants away, then we voted Kurt who spent us into serious debt, then we voted Mac who did too much to list and then we voted the "transparent" ppm again and found out we were lied to. How many times will our voting block be burned before they see the light?  Are we voting Mac back in 2017?  People, we are fooled every election! Is it because our memory only goes back four years? We need to get rid of these so called parties with manifestos worth less than a roll of Charmin toilet paper and replace these so called politicians with real people who actually give a damn about our country's future.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Until the people, especially Caymanian voters look behind this 'veil' of political parties and see who/the group controlling the parties, it will not matter if UDP or PPM is in power, simply means different group of citizens get preferential treatment for 3 1/2 years.

    And re the C4C, maybe PPM headed downhill from the moment they joined forces with that group. Remember, the C4C did not get all members but they have one Minister and two Councillors, that's a lot of influence.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Alden talking about consensus . He is not concerned about consensus , he is not even treating all his PPM elected  equal and he has the nerve to talk about consensus .

  6. Beacon & Binocular says:

    I have never felt / experienced such strong feelings of being misled, disppointed, deceived, let-down,  mistaken, confounded, and lied to, now that majority of PPM membershave voted against the OMOV motion.  

    I feel the same about those LA members who intentionally & willfully made excuses to be absent from the LA during the time this significant matter was before the House.

    Thankfully, Al Suckoo and Mr. Eden have the decency to give consideration to the Country before considering how to deny us Caymanians our rights for the sake of being re-elected in 2017.

    All ye proud pompous men (ppm) I join the many other Caymanians in the decision to deny you my VOTES (I have 4 of them!!) in 2017 or if time allows me an opportunity before them, it will not be given in favor of all ye ppm.  You are no better than UDP, in fact I think you're worse..

    What a mistake we made!!

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      I actually don't think they are worse in action than the UDP, but they are worse in other ways. At least with the UDP, you knew what you were getting. They were predictable. They said what they really thought, even if we didn't like what they were saying. The PPM is a very different animal. They tell people what they think they want to hear, even if they don't believe it and they have no intention of following through. They'll tell one group one thing and another group another thing, and they end up making Cayman even more divisive. And the PPM isn't thinking about what's best for the country, only what's best for their continued election success. Because I had such high expectation for the PPM, and didn't for the UDP, I must admit, it certainly seems they are worse, at least when it comes to expectations versus performance.

  7. Anonymous says:

    If OMOV becomes the law in Cayman redistricting must occur including the North Side and East End as they are each too small in population to be considered a district.

    You cannot have the Norrh Side a district and East End a district, maybe combining them into1 district would be the best idea.

  8. Anonymous says:

    "In many respects, this was a full frontal assault on [me],” Mr. McLaughlin said. “Because ‘Alden’ ought not to be premier …"  from the compass.

    Alden sounds more and more like Mac.  If you get criticized for any reason find someone to blame it on.

    It is sad when the party youvoted for wins and less than a year later you feel like you wasted your vote(s).

  9. Anonymous says:

    This was\\is part of the PPM manifesto, still available on their web-site.  Protecting the environment and a few other items are also in there, so do we assume they have just decided not to abide by this manifesto anymore?

  10. Anonymous says:

    First of all The Chuckster has been telling us for years that the PPM would not implement OMOV and SMC's because they do not support it.

    Then Arden left the PPM and confirmed that the PPM does not support OMOV and SMCs.

    Then the PPM returned to power because the people believed them during the last campaign when the PPM promised that OMOV and SMCs would be priority for them if they were elected last May. Well the people elected them again !!!

    And now Arden McLean has brought a motion to implemet OMOV and SMCs and what does the PPM do – they vote against it confirming what the Chuckster and Arden has been saying all along.

    It is clear that the PPM is in crisis once again – with a Leader who has tenure but seemingly very bad political judgment !

    • Anonymous says:

      Arden left the PPM because he wasn't sure he would win the leadership contest. Ask any PPM member who was around at that time. When Arden left the PPM, I still supported him, but no more. He clearly has no regard for the truth. Let him rail about integrity now. Thou doth protest too much, Mr. McLean.

       

      • Dred says:

        Not exactly. He was worried that Alden would win and that THIS is exactly what we would get. A spineless PPM. Atleast

  11. Anonymous says:

    If I don't get OMOV in George Town by the next election then I can promise the PPM they will get SMNV (Six Men/Women, No Votes) for you BoBo.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I'm very disappointed in PPM leadership. This is the kind of crap that can drive a person to vote for C$C.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you only knew…trust me C4C is not where you want to put your vote. People seeme to forget the significant influemce that C4C has on this governments' positions.

      • Anonymous says:

        You hit the nail straight on the head there 14:06!! That C4C gang are as bad as the two parties. I voted mostly C4C, not because I felt that they were truly the answer but because I was completely disallusioned with both UDP and PPM. As for that Winston he can enjoy the ride because as sure as the sun rises in the east he damned well will never get another vote from me and I know a whole host of people who are saying the same thing. Go on Winnie, you have shown your true colours and we see them clearly.

    • Dred says:

      To be honest the current situation makes you want to stay home. I won't vote UDP or any version of it. I now don't want PPM…..I dont want shadow PPM or UDP……so what do I do?

      • Anonymous says:

        I don't think staying home will help unless they cut CUC fuel duty. We can still thank the UDP's wasteful imprudent ignorance for that. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Take to the bottle or leave Cayman. Sorry, that's all I could come up with after hours of deliberation. Hope this helps.

  13. Dred says:

    I must say I am HUGELY disappointed with PPM lack of backbone. Their preference is to remain in office over setting presidence is shameful. Probaby the ONLY real reason why PPM holds office is OMOV. This is changing my mind for 2017. Hope we get more options. 

  14. Anonymous says:

    OMOV == slum politics.

     

    Be prepared to vote in drug dealer representiatives and you can forget about ever seeing any chance once OMOV is implemented.

     

    Nationality, race, income level and every other facet of discrimination will now all be on the political table next elections, as we divide up the contry into neighbourhood voting precincts ….

     

    Don't ever underestimate the stupidity of the elected members.. especailly in North side.

    • Anonymous says:

      That's right, since 1972 we have had nothing but slum politics and drug dealer representatives in EE and NS. What nonsense. 

    • Anonymous says:

      now, we all know who the real drug dealer is… and he almost got electe. wow, is all I can say.

  15. Teacher conference more important!? says:

    I still can't get over Marco's lame excuse that he had to meet a schoolteacher instead of attending his paid elected government duties.  I sure hope he brought his excuse note ! Lame lip service from a person I had just started to respect as a reasonable person.   That has now gone out the window!  How dare you go on public radio and ask me Joe Public to swallow this lame a$$ excuse?  Be a man- show up and vote.  Don't hide behind your children….weak at best.

    • Anonymous says:

      Lame excuse?? He is a RESPONSIBLE father! How many of them we have around Cayman?? The man had already rescheduled this appointment. 

      • Anonymous says:

        He should have called the school explained how important the vote was and asked to reschedule his meeting.   It a\\was all to convient for him not to do that and miss his chance to vote yes.

      • Anonymous says:

         

         

        they were told to stay home i bet lol

      • Anonymous says:

        A responsible father but irresponsible elected representative, a job he is paid well to do!

      • Anonymous says:

        Lawd Jeeesus, mussa be the big mouth sibling I saw at Countryside today stressing out the staff there for hours.

      • Anonymous says:

        PPM apologist ALERT!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        There are multiple opportunities to see a school teacher, not so for a critical vote.  It is without any doubt a very lame excuse.  

    • Anonymous says:

      As a young person I was disgusted by this excuse. If my father dared to use me as an excuse for his failure to fulfill his duties, I would be disgusted. If solving a mere scheduling conflict is so difficult, then politics are probably not the thing for you, bobo.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Haven’t our voices been heard on omov election day! Your are not doing as you promised but your playing games like Mac! You’ll Be in his sinking boat soon! Angry voter

  17. Anonymous says:

    Is because the fear they won’t get back in unless they piggy back on someone else! That is whole reason why Alden & the others are fighting against it! Get the referendum or by-election going! Gt voter

  18. Anonymous says:

    Alden is a weak leader good bye alden NO 2017 for you.

  19. Anonymous says:

    According to our "leader" the following (to mention but a few) are not "at the forefront of many people's minds":

    1. the Dump

    2. OMOV

    3. Education

    Then what is Mr Premier?  Oh yeah, that's right focus all your efforts on a docking facility – THAT most definitely is a priority.  Really?  Seems to me it might be the easiest thing to tackle, but it sure as hell isn't what is "at the forefront of many people's minds".  So much for PPM sticking to their promises pre-election.

    • Anonymous says:

      What is?  Doing deals with his chums so he gets a photo op with Armold Palmer.

  20. Anon says:

    This Govt. again states it wants new legislation "perfect" before mioving it forward. That is merely an excuse for indecision, laziness, or duplicity (pretending to favour a motion but preventing its progress).

    Legislation can be tweaked later. Right now OMOV should be top of Govt's agenda

  21. Anonymous says:

    I woke up this morning, not sure what day it was, but as soon as I turned on the radio and listened to the talk show I realised – IT'S "HELL HATH NO FURY…" TUESDAYS

  22. Just Sayin'.... says:

    Alden, this issue may not be "at the forefront of many peoples minds" but your party was voted into power on promises that OMOV and a minimum wage would be a priority. We are not idiots. We can see that you are skirting the issues and we are becoming very disappointed with your government's failure to act upon it's campaign promises. Oh how I dream of the day that a politician actually fulfills their campaign promises!

  23. Anonymous says:

    Alden's arrogance shows more and more each day. 

     

    "McLaughlin stated clearly that the voting system would not change unless it had the support of all his government members and he would not try to force anything through that the government members did not all agree on."

    So how can the PPM not agree on this topic if it wasone of their biggest campaining promises?!

    In other words the PPM take the people who put them in power for idiots! Alden knows that if this is changed he is out of power for good. Alden enjoy the time thats left. You have lost the respect of many and Makeeva will not be in office next round either to make you seem like a great leader. I just hope that the people do not forget how PPM promised to put us first but in reality did nothing! 

  24. Anonymous says:

    So flouting the will of the people and accusing people of silly conspiracies because it is all about him.  Is that Mac wearing an Alden mask?

  25. Anonymous says:

    shambolic leadership from alden…….

    the ppm only got in because they were not the udp…….

  26. Anonymous says:

    What is it with the position of Premier? here we go again you stand for what you feel is right for the country and if I am strong in what I believe but don't see eye to eye with your ideas I am trying to bring down the government.

  27. Anonymous says:

    EZZARD AND ARDEN Was not trying to bring down your government, all they were doing was what you should have done after we elected you and that was to do what you ALDEN said during the campaign, bring a simple amendment to the election law and change it. xxxx ….stop trying to blame EZZARD AND ARDEN for you sorry failures. All Mr. Eden and Sukoo was doingbwas being MEN and not MONKEYS, they were living up to there word being there bond, is that so hard ALDEN, I would have thought that a man like you would have done the same. Remember ALDEN "your word is your bond" xxxx xxxxx

  28. Anonymous says:

    OMOV is FUNDAMENTAL to Democracy.

    How can any of these so called politicians explain their opposition to the system that gives EQUAL rights to all, because to oppose it means you support a system of greater rights to some, lesser rights to others!

  29. Anonymous says:

     

     

    Listen Alden we voted on a peoples initiated referendum .. Technically we won.. If it wasn't for Mac.. Now you are acting jus like him. Listen to the ppl!

     

     

  30. Anonymous says:

    Alden is getting more like Mac every day.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Alden reminds me of Big Mac same me me me character and don't listen to people.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Really now?  Don't worry Alden, 2017 soon come.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Arrogance and position is a helluva thing eh? 

  34. Anonymous says:

    THANK GOD!!! OMOV is such a con, I have no idea why anyone outside North Side or East End would support it. I am all for voter eqality, but SMC is a bad idea all around; Its gerry mandering at its finest. Large disticts with bigger populations have more representatives, simple as that. I would be in favor of national elections, that way you reduce the chances of special interest goups voting in candidates, (case and point, Keep BT Dump Free while the rest of the population suffers). Go national or leave the current system in place. 

  35. Jonas Dwyer says:

    What does our brow beaten a Premier consider to be many people not concerned. Did not the results of the  referendum  show a high percentage of the voting populace in favor of it?. Clearly there is something wrong here and the people will rectify it they certainly will.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Correction, Alden. It wasn't at the forefront of voters' minds. But it is now.

  37. Anonymous says:

    3 choices mr. premier

    1. Keep your promise on omov 

    2. Shut up you embarassing us

    3. Resign let Moses do it

  38. Anonymous says:

    PPM House of cards is falling down with poor Al as leader

  39. Anonymous says:

    That man has no shame he is a mess 

  40. Anonymous says:

    IS the what we voted for you for?

  41. Anonymous says:

    This man knows what the country wants! Give it to us or else action will be taken against you in 2017! Gt voter

  42. Anonymous says:
    This below is directly from the PPM website…who is hijacking what now? Coffee, bathroom breaks, walks outside etc…doesn't Parliament have recess? What a joke? Can one of our elected bring a motion to reduce their renumeration to what we get…because we are being price gouged!!!!!!!
     
    One Man One Vote
     
    The PPM has been the only political party to articulate its support for single member constituencies or one man one vote for the better part of a decade.
     
    The PPMs support of this system of representative democracy was indicated by its initial inclusion in the draft 2009 Constitution. However, with the UKs insistence that the Constitution should have bipartisan support and the hard position taken against it by the United DemocraticParty, the SMC provisions in the Constitution were eventually sacrificed to try to obtain the UDPs support on other important aspects of the draft Constitution.
     
    Many members of the PPMs current Progressive slate were heavily involved in the attempt to have a people’s initiated referendum on OMOV last year which was eventually hijacked by the UDP Government to rush the referendum through on their terms. The referendum campaign that followed was significantly funded and conducted by PPM members.
     
    So the PPM was and still is completely committed to OMOV.
     
    In fact, The Progressives are currently the only party, or political group which has definitively promised to implement OMOV within the first year of its election to office. It should be telling that no purportedly independent candidate has made any statement of the position on OMOV should they be elected. Perhaps this is because of the fact that they are not in a position to make promises they know they cannot fulfill and even more so if they plan to offer themselves as coalition partners with a UDP government.
     
     
  43. Peanuts says:

    I have just listened to the Premier spout a line of Bull Durham. I vote in George Town and if he and his team belive that we are stupid. You sir ran on the coat tail of Kurt, you I gurantee can't win a seat in George Town on your own. We the prople are not stupid, remember this. Good Bye Sir.

  44. Anonymous says:

    '“Government took a beating..but we have a country to run,” he said, adding that he did not think the voting system was at the forefront of many people’s minds.'

    Government took a beating because they lied to the people during the election.   By the way it is in the forefront.  You have put a gun to your own political head.  Only you can change that by delivering what you promised and not rigged for your personal political gain.

    OMOV is about holding our elected officials responsible.  You are trying to avoid that. While you try it makes it even more clear why we need it.

  45. Anonymous says:

    So we cannot believe any election pledges from any party. What a surprise.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Alden, we supported PPM, but we don't support you backing out ofOMOV.  You know exactly how the present system is manipulated to allow one strong person to drag in those who support him and that is not true democracy.  Backing out of OMOV betrays the trust we had in you.  You do not need another referendum to tell you that the majority of people want to have OMOV implemented; you know that from the first referendum!  You were elected to serve the people and now you are imposing your will upon the people.  That is not right.  And while I haven't written you off yet, you my friend, have chopped my chord of faith in you.

  47. Anonymous says:

    Why the hell did he and the progressives campaign on OMOV then. Does he really think that we believe his rabble dabble. The Premier did well on hard Talk, he did well on his address at the forum a few weeks ago , he did well on the opening of the Shetty hospital but he is falling way down on his campaign promises. He Needs to put as much effort in actually delivering on his promises as he's does in front of the microphone , or else we might have to get us another premier and give him a job in public relations

    • Anonymous says:

      Give me one interview with him on Cayman 27 and i gurantee you that hard talk would be a cake walk to him. He would most definitely make a fool of him self in that situation.

  48. Coconutz says:

    Is it just me or…?  Every time Little Mac opens his mouth these days, even if only a little, there's an awful stench of b.s. in the air…

  49. Anonymous says:

    Liar, liar pants on fire.

  50. David Shibli says:

    Dear Mr McLaughlin,

    I hope you are enjoying the position that trusting people have given you. We have given you a great standard of living, a voice on the world stage and a way of life that those on minimum wage could only dream of.

    May I remind you that this position comes with responsibilities. Many of the underprivileged in Cayman voted for you to relieve them of the selfish shackles that McKeeva Bush imposed on them.

    Since you have come to power, you have proven yourself equally untrustworthy. You vehemently supported the OMOV motion to effectively remove McKeeva Bush and now that you have replaced him, you are behaving just like him.

    I am shocked and disappointed at your lack of integrity and I would ask that you simply resign and spare us the embarrassment of more u-turns. There were people more honourable than you that stood for George Town and unfortunately politics got in the way. 

    I hope and pray to God Almighty that your reign over these islands is as short as a November Nor' Wester.

  51. David Shibli says:

    Let me finish Alden's statement…"We have a country to run…" into the ground.