Archer still keen on SMCs

| 11/03/2014

(CNS): Despite the government’s narrow rejection of a motion in the Legislative Assembly last month calling for the introduction of 'one man, one vote' in single member constituencies (SMCs), at least one Cabinet member still appears to be very much in favour of it. A closer inspection of the Marco Archer’s speech in the LA during the debate on Arden McLean’s motion indicates that he will still be backing the original proposal of OMOV in 18 SMCs as per the referendum in 2012, for which he vigorously campaigned. The debate saw two of government’s own backbenchers rebel and three Cabinet members miss the vote, including Archer, but as government begins a controversial review of another type of voting, it may not have thesupport of its finance minister.

Despite stating that he may have been wrong about multi-member constituencies, allowing representatives to escape blame or pass blame, Archer made it clear that he was still a stalwart supporter of the system of OMOV in single member constituencies.

He made little comment on the idea of 'at large' candidates or the size of constituencies throwing up anomalies and “bizarre results”, as was suggested by Premier Alden McLaughlin when the government leader made his first unexpected comments regarding government’s U-turn on the idea of the issue of 18 single member constituencies.

One of the Cabinet members absent from the vote, as he stated he was attending hischild’s school reporting session, had Archer been present for the vote he would have been required to vote with the government or stand to lose his post as the finance minister.

East End MLA Arden McLean and Opposition Leader McKeeva Bush had challenged the premier to allow the government members to vote on their conscience because the issue was not a government motion dependent on Cabinet collective responsibility but a private members debate. However, it was apparent that the premier did not accept that challenge. His PPM team and his coalition members, whom he has claimed were behind the U-turn, were all required to reject the motion.

Clearly uncomfortable during the debate with the new direction on this now controversial issue, Archer said in his speech that no one could know how many of the 65% of voters who voted for the referendum in July 2012 were making an anti-government statement or were genuinely calling for 'one man, one vote'. However, the government member made a subtle declaration that he still believed in the ideal as he trod a political tightrope.

“We may never know how much of the OMOV and SMC campaign’s success should really be attributed to the ideal and how much it was a vote against the government of the day,” he said. “The referendum was intended to implement 'one man, one vote' in single member constituencies for the May 2013 election. Having failed to achieve that, it was always intended that it would be implemented with effect for the 2017 general elections. Eight months in office and three years remaining, I cannot afford any distractions, but I remain committed to its implementation for the 2017 General Election.”

Despite his support for OMOV and that of his back bench colleagues Al Suckoo and Anthony Eden, who took their chances and voted in line with their genuine beliefs and supported McLean’s motion, at least one front bencher is in support of the original ideal. However it may not be enough.

As government now begins another review of the political landscape requiring a new boundary commission to explore the concept of ‘at large’ national candidates, along with a reduced number of constituencies, a lack of political agreement in government saw the premier make it clear that he would not implement voting change without the full support of all of his government.

Despite the three years until the next election, it is looking increasingly unlikely, despite election promises, that Cayman voters will have equality of franchise in May 2017.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Politics

About the Author ()

Comments (38)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. And Another Ting says:

    Another swanky drinker.

  2. Anonymous says:

    What total rubbish to say

    that no one could know how many of the 65% of voters who voted for the referendum in July 2012 were making an anti-government statement or were genuinely calling for 'one man, one vote'. 

    It is not relevant, it would be like saying no one could know how many of the 65% of voters liked chocolate.  It doesnt matter because it was a specific referendum

    So he stayed away because he would have had to go against the party and lose his post?

    Well thanks Mr Archer for letting us know what really matters to you, obviously not the people but the $.

    Oh and being 'keen' means nothing if you wont stand behind it with a vote

    • Anonymous says:

      Staying in post means he can make a difference and represent us more effectively than he can as a backbencher.  That is what matters to him. He may yet be able to win the Govt. back to supporting OMOV SMCs.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Make up your mind Mr. Archer because what you've said on Radio Cayman and Rooster is completely different from the article.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Bring the bill back and release all to vote their conscience.  But that will never happen, will it , Alden.

    The reason is obvious.  He does not want to keep his promise.

    That said if all the no-shoes voted against, how could Alden fire them all.

    Are they more concerned about their job/power or what they promised the people.

    This is why we need OMOV with sing member constituencies.  This is what they ran on this is what the people went to the polls to ask for.

  5. Turtle Stew says:

    Wow Marco you would publicly state you were attending your child's reporting session when instead you should be working for the people, the same people who voted you in based on your campaign promises on  OMV? What a Big X#%@!

    i knew you were a snake in the grass.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have known Marco for most of my life and he is no snake in the grass. Far from it, he is a man honour. You are just too stupid too understand that as a Minister he could not vote against the govt. position. The next best thing is to not vote at all.   

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah I was disappointed in Marco's response to this vote too.


      Reporting session mid-term?

      hmm strange and for this one time couldn't his wife had picked up report and he discussed with wife and teachers later? He could have picked a better excuse, for eg he could have helped his friend Tara and said they were on vacation or did they both use that excuse already?


  6. Anonymous says:

    Ppm you all better do as you promise because we all had enough of lies & promises to a fool etc, 2017 you all will be looking jobs on rooster as a talk show host also like foolio! Disgruntle gt voter

  7. Hear hear says:

    These "party" politics are standing in the way of good governance. I would prefer a Custos and district councils. The greed, corruption, and cronyism favoritism of the ruling class are prohibiting much needed reform- like better education and true career paths for our young.

    As long as we the people keep swallowing the spoon fed reliance on jobs for family members and favors we will continue to go down this dark path.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Continue to stand tall, Marco. I know you will not go back on your word.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Let us hope that the Hon. Marco Archer can persuade the rest of the Cabinet members as well as governemnt bank bench supporters to agree to SMCs as promised in the Progressives election campaign. If not they are likely to lose next election which will result in McKeeva's party regaining power which will be  a nightmare for the country.

  10. Chris says:

    Integrity has no price.

    Thank you Marco for standing firm on what is a more fair and accountable system of government for the Cayman Islands.


    • Anonymous says:

      If he has so much integrity, why didn't he stay and vote on the Privatea Member's Motion, especially since he's so "keen" on SMC's?

      • Anonymous says:

        Because he is bound by collective responsibility, dumbass. He cannot vote against the govt. unless he is released to vote his conscience by the premier.

        • Anonymous says:

          Yes, Marco, Wayne, Tara and Ossie are all bound by collective responsibility, so they were all absent from the vote. Oh wait, those four make up the majority of Cabinet, so if they were all for SMC, then there would have been no problem and it would have been Alden, Kurt and Moses who were absent from the vote. Go drink some more Kool Aid, PPM apologist.

          • Anonymous says:

            You could not have said it any better. Now the script has flipped. lol

          • Anonymous says:

            Ossie was off Island.

          • Anonymous says:

            You are so clueless. Tara is in not in favour of SMCs. Never said she was. Ossie was off Island. Marco and Wayne are for SMCs but are saying it is not a priority. Think before you type.

        • Diogenes says:

          Original poster has a point.  You cannot simultaneously claim the issue is important to you are reduced to absenting your self for events that could readily be rescheduled simply to avoid breaching collective responsibility.  Bottom line is that however important he says the issue was to him, on the day it was less important than breaking the official policy.  He could vote against the government – all he would have to do is resign his post first, but he wsn't prepared to do that. Perhaps you are the dumbass. 

        • Anonymous says:

          Or he took the decision that the issue was so important that he voted his conscience and left the government.

          • Anonymous says:

            That would be pretty stupid. The OMOV SMC is not dead. They would not have voted for motion simply because of the timing. He can accomplish far more for this country as a Minister.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I give the marriage six months max.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Archer reminds me of McLaughlin think they slick or smarter than all of us. 

    • Anonymous says:

      What a stupid comment. He makes his position plain in his debate and you think he is being "slick".

      • Anonymous says:

        He should have voted on it as proof that is all that counts in the house. Tell me and show me are two very different things

        • Anonymous says:

          So little understanding of how it works. You can't vote for "what you want" – you have to vote for or against the bill as presented – if you don't want to vote for a bill that is clearly designed to keep one individual in their own little rotten borough (and which probably wouldn't exist under a FAIR system of representation), but don't actually want to vote against the PRINCIPLE of OMOV, then your only course is to abstain (and if you are a member of the government, that may mean making yourself unavailable to vote).

        • Anonymous says:

          Which part of this don't you understand? Collective responsibility as a Minister means that he cannot vote against the government. The most he can do is what he did – not vote.  

  13. Anonymous says:

    It is real simple Marco keep your campaign promises and stop being a yes man for a regressive government. You are nearly as disappointing as the others who failed the people on OMOV and minimum wage bills. Stop the self serving excuses, learn to multi-task and do something tangible to help Caymanians. The arrogance you display along with the your leader is proving to many to be as sickening as the UDP. We will never forget your betrayals and double talk. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Marco, is not now and has never been a yes man for anyone. His position on this issue is clear from his contribution to the debate. There has been no betrayal. You are just trying to score political points.

      • Anonymous says:

        And any contribution to the debate was wholly negated by weaseling out of the vote.

      • Anonymous says:

        I wonder who is paying you to come on here defending him?  The man has not lived up to his political promises, regardless of what excuses he might throw out there. As for collective responsibility, there are those of us who have been around long enough to know that he could have stood on his integrity and voted against the government.  All I have to say is that he won't be getting my vote in 2017.

        • Anonymous says:

          No one needs to pay me to speak the truth.

          You can judge whether he has lived up to his political promises come May, 2017. There is plenty of time to implement OMOV.  

          Since you have been around a long time that means you are deliberatly misleading people about what collective responsibility means. 

        • Anonymous says:

          I doubt that he got your vote in 2013, so that wouldn't be surprise.

  14. Anonymous says:

    "One of the Cabinet members absent from the vote as he stated he was attending his child’s school reporting session had Archer been present for the vote he would have beenrequired to vote with the government or stand to lose his post as the finance minister."

    The paragraph above explains to us why Archer did not call his child's teacher to arrange an alternate date to meet so that he could vote. Now you get a glimps into his mentality and what is first in his mind not the people who voted him in or the country but his seat as finance minister smh and shame on you for not voting and standing up for us and the counrty when it counted and we needed it most.

    PPM for 2017……………………. Yea right……. 

  15. Anonymous says:

    Marco realised that the PPM boat is sinking. Steer clear and survive . Goodfor him . He has a political future. I dislike the PPM after their recent show  but will vote for Marco again …if he  gets his $$hit together. I voted for him last time and told him to his face that the folks he is running with are dodgy. He seemed to agree.

    • Anonymous says:

      Marco  is still the same person we elected ten months ago.  He is the financial minister, if he voted against the Premier he would  have likely have to vacate that position. Who would be able to take that job.  Definitely not   McTaggart- I  don't think he could handle it.  Marco found himself between a rock and a hard place. He is still the smart decent man that he was this time last year. He can now use his influence to assist the premier to get a consensus among his PPM members and stop hanging on every whim of the C4C members.  I said it before and I will say it again- C4C  is going to be his undoing.