Suckoo to file OMOV motion

| 16/07/2014

(CNS): Disappointed that his leader appears to be abandoning the PPM’s election promise to introduce equality of voting in time for the 2017 elections, government back-bencher Alva Suckoo is taking matters into his own hands and is preparing a private members motion on the issue and is hoping to win enough votes from inside the PPM and C4C members as well as the opposition benches to demonstrate that, contrary to claims from the premier, there is enough support to make the change now without his government falling apart. Meanwhile, the Chamber of commerce boss and a prominent member of the original OMOV campaign is also urging the premier to keep his word.

Suckoo’s announcement that he will file a private member’s motion to introduce 'one man, one vote' in single member constituencies is a political risk for the legislative novice but it’s one he says he is willing to take in order to fulfill the promise he said he made to Bodden Town voters.

“I am disappointed that the electoral reform that so many of us campaigned for and promised is now becoming a political football,” Suckoo told CNS Tuesday evening as he announced his intention to bring the proposal to the Legislative Assembly at the earliest opportunity.

“I campaigned heavily for the change and I believe that my eventual election in Bodden Town was assisted by my stand for equality. Some will say that this is not a priority for the country and we need to get on with more important initiatives, and while I agree that there is much to be done, I also maintain that voter equality is a major priority.”

He added that government could not justify maintaining the current system which favours some people.

“Votes are political currency and when you have an unequal distribution of voting rights, those with the most power will always have an advantage over the others,” said Suckoo, who is a counsellor in the premier’s as well as Osbourne Bodden’s ministry.

“I know that I will be criticised for taking this step and I will take whatever political punishment that comes with taking this position but I also want to assure everyone that I plan to remain with the government and to continue to contribute and do the job I was elected to do.”

Suckoo said the government has a mandate to introduce electoral reform and he said he was committed to keeping the promise he made.

“This issue is becoming a huge distraction from the work we need to do with unemployment, poverty, discrimination against Caymanians, economic development, education and all the other campaign promises we made, and it needs to be settled once and for all.”

Like many, Suckoo believes the country cannot go the polls again without equality in voting rights and his concerns have been echoed by the Chamber of Commerce president. Johann Moxam. who campaigned heavily for the introduction of OMOVs in SMCs in the referendum of July 2012. Although that passed in favour of OMOV with a simple majority, it did not reach the bar set by the then UDP government of a majority of all voters. As a result, hopes in the community for reform shifted towards the election of a new government.

Concerned over comments by Premier Alden McLaughlin that he is not willing to bring a government motion on the issue because of what he says is opposition within the PPM-led administration, Moxam said his position contradicts the PPM’s manifesto pledge.

“I would encourage him to consult with his colleagues in order to fulfill this campaign promise,” he said, pointing to the list of his current government front- and back-bench members who were instrumental in the citizen-driven initiative that lead to the referendum.

“The premier stated that the PPM would restore trust and confidence in the government and the Cayman Islands as a whole and pledged to be open and accountable. Fulfilling manifesto promises is the bedrock for maintaining credibility and the confidence of all stakeholders. I would encourage the premier to lead his party to fulfill the promise to introduce single member constituencies and implementation of one man, one vote prior to the 2017 election … otherwise, their manifesto becomes an empty shell and merely words printed on paper that have no meaning.”

Moxam, who personally a supports OMOV, said the Chamber has also always backed it because of the basic principle of guaranteeing equality. He said smaller constituencies with a single member encourage stronger connections between representative and constituent and increases accountability and guarantees equality.

The Chamber boss said he appreciated the challenges facing government, from the cost of living and the dump to creating jobs for locals and the revitalization of George Town, but noted that electoral reform was also a campaign pledge.

McLaughlin is facing political heat on this from all directions. On Monday evening the Coalition for Cayman members of his government made it clear that they were not the stumbling blocks to reform, as has been implied by the country’s leader.

Several of his own PPM members, including Marco Archer and Wayne Panton, were also prominent in the referendum campaign and support electoral reform to OMOV in this term. While they were able to fudge their positions during the motion brought by Arden McLean earlier this year, suggesting public discussion on the shape of the future political landscape, the PPM leader’s more certain announcement this week that he won’t be dealing with this matter before 2017 has left them with a stark choice.

While McLaughlin looks increasingly isolated in his position on electoral reform, the question that remains is how many of his 12-strong team (exclusive of the Speaker Juliana O’Connor-Connolly who is known to oppose OMOVs in SMCs) will support Suckoo’s motion, to fulfill an election promise.

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Comments (64)

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  1. Slowpoke says:

    Can we please get this conversation into thisCentury, and change it to "One Person One Vote"?

     

  2. Anonymous says:

    ALVA SUCKOO will take credit for single handedly destroying the PPM party.

    Well done Al !

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually, the rest of the PPM are destroying themselves by not doing what they promised. Its so funny, you choose to ridicule the only one who is keeping his word. Wouldnt dount you are one of the elected PPM people because to be honest, most of their members support Al.

       

  3. Anonymous says:

    Al UDP Suckoo.  Now the truth comes out. This user could not get in as a member of the UDP so he gets in on the coat tails of the Progressives by the skin of his teeth as the 4th elected member for Bodden Town.  In past elections there would not even have been the unecessary 4th elected member.  Now the entire country must pay this deceitful users $115,000.00 salary so he can waste time and cause dissension.  Since you are prepared for your political punishment, try to find something useful to do with the last 3 years of your only term in office. 

    McKeeva was wrong to rig the referendum and Suckoo is wrong to force the issue after it was already brought up in the Legislative Assembly in the past year.  TIME TO MOVE ON DREAD!

    Can't wait until this one is voted down again. 

    FOCUS ON THE IMPORTANT ISSUES AND STOP WASTING TIME!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      NOW THE TRUTH  15:15  Am  I correct in tinking that you are condeming AL Suckoo because he is and honest man?.   Shame on you ball head. .

      Or should  I thinkyou are making these comments  because AL Suckoo ia Blac man?.  Well my friend Iam sorry for you becase I am a Bodden Towner, and we are going vote  AL Suckoo and AntonyEden back in Office next electon..  Take that and smoke it ball head.i.

  4. Len Layman says:

    Many of us supported PPM because of their promise of OMOV as written in their manifesto.  They  are not delivering and I am glad that Alva is taking this action.  I was told to my face they would put it in.

    I am very disappointed in the PPM.  For them to regain my support they must deliver on OMOV aspromised in time for the next election.  Anything else is a breach of their word.

    Thank you Alva and may our other elected officials vote their conscience on this matter.  I know next election I will vote mine and OMOV will be a deciding factor.

    Mr. Premier, please release your Cabinet from their collective responsibility and allow them to vote the way the people who elected them want.
     

    • Anonymous says:

          Len Layman. I totally agree with your last sentence "Mr. Premier, please release your Cabinet from their collective responsibility and allow them to vote the way the people who elected them want.".If Alden does this he will not lose control of the coalition but rather he will become a ststesman in the eyes of many people.  

  5. Anonymous says:

    AL SUCKOO WILL BE OUR NEXT LEADER=CHAGING TIMES BOBO ALDEN!! GT VOTER

  6. Anonymous says:

    Seriously??? Who gives a care about this??? There are many more pressing issues to deal with than this political football.  People are hungry, going without, no lights, no water, no gas in their cars,can't afford drs  and this is what is important?? Get a life and deal with the tough stuff!!  You think the voters who are in fear of losing their homes, not being able to pay bills etc gives a flying care about this???? GET OFF YOUR HIGH HORSES AND MAKE SOME IMPORTANT CHANGES!! Bring down the cost of living, help some people make it through the month etc etc. 

    • Anonymous says:

      21:53 YES IT IS IMPORTANT TO US. Just because you worked here and sent away your money does not mean that we have have to listen to you.  Have a grouse as much as you want.  This is our country and we do it our way.  Tough Love.

    • Anonymous says:

      At least Al is trying to make a difference. If he was in the position to make some of these decisions that needs to be made you lives would be better.

  7. Rp says:

    I can't wait for OMOV and not for the reason of equality to which I agree but more importantly for the reason that much of the voting public is not educated enough to cast their votes and vote straight rather than considering each individual candidate based on his/her own merit.  People who vote straight have contributed tremendously to many of the udp and ppm failures by effectively giving the power to one party.  This resulted in unilateral decisions taken by leaders of these parties.  OMOV would take voting straight out of the equation.  Straight voting scilences the mla minority, resulting in little or no debate in LA but rather party bickering.  Any ideas posed by independents or minority MLAs are not heard or debated if they conflict with the majority party.  Why do we pay 18 MLAs when 8 of them are powerless? 

    Caymanians will have to vote for the best candidate and even if they cast their vote based on party lines, by virtue of having only one vote, the chance of coat tailing MLAs being elected is reduced.  No wonder Alden doesn't like changing the current system.

    How can someone like Bo Miller with genuine ideas be left behind at the poles while capt Eugene gets elected?  

    • Anonymous says:

      19:39 you are absolutely correct.  Persons who have voted straight PPM and straight UDP contributed greatly to this problem, now they are regretting it.  Especially in the district of  Bodden Town.   They are always the worse voting set of people on the whole three Island.  It seems as if they never can think for themselves..  

      They voted for people that they do not even know their names or seen in 40 years.  Some of them do not even know where or live 10 miles from the proposed site for the new dump,  yet they voted against it for a six pack of beer. Unbelievable .    Only two PPM persons up there deserved a vote, that  was  AL   Suckoo and Eden.  no  other.  Those other  two is only in there for more money for their business.  Wake up Bodden Town.

       

    • Anonymous says:

      Your last sentence says it all really.

    • Anonymous says:

      Same reasond Alden got elected as the third, not first, not second but third elected memebr for George Town…It's called coat tails…Kurts coat tails.

  8. Michel says:

    I too am proud of you Mr. Suckoo. You are truly for the Caymanians. OMOV is very important to us and influenced many persons to vote for PPM. Thank you for being @ your office and willing to listen and do your best to get the job done. Thank you and Hon.Anthony Eden for an excellent service as My representatives of B.T. I pray that our Elected Cabinet Ministers focus on it’s people and the future of our Islands. God Bless. Michel Lemay.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Political risk, that is what some may think, but Al has proven himself in Bodden Town.  He is an honest man to be trusted and we can honor his word.  If God is for you no man can harm you. 

    One of othe things I admire about Al Suckoo is his aim for jusice and voters equality.  The people who voted for you must know that they can trust you.

    Thanks Al for not being an extension cord .  Stand tall for what is right and what the people need..

    Yes I  agree in Cayman there is to much un employment, too much poverty and discrimination going on by Caymanians and halfbreed Caymanias given positions in Government offices.

    AL suckoo will definately go back in Bodden Town bcause he is a man to his word..

    • Anonymous says:

      O.K.,  I've got to ask. What exactly is an "halfbreed Caymanias"?

      • Anonymous says:

        Part human, part turtle.  Flippers instead of hands.  It explains the typing.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well in light of that question. I am delighted to give one explanation.

        Half breed Caymanian could be a man or woman that come to Cayman, uneducated or educated, and finds a Fool Fool Caymanian to marry and then runs to Government to demand that they find them a Job. They apply for social service and they have other children that are no breed and bring them into the Islands and argue that they are Caymanians. They breed with our Caymanians and produce more half breeds. They even remind the children that Cayman is not there culture and they tell them Caymanians are lazy. “Son don’t follow them Caymanians they lazy and no ambition”. They take advantage and apply for that British passport as fast as they can with the grand idea to go see the Queen to burden her with their problems. And when they don’t get that far they make sure to take advantage of everything they can possible gain. It’s the nature of the half breeds.

        You can tell these types of half breed persons when they apply for a Job will start to say they are the best candidates because "Caymanians" are lazy and bla bla bla. Half breeds are hypocrites behind the Caymanians.

        Let’s take the Hospital and Police Force, and for that matter Camana Bay. And a lot more of this type establishments. We walk in and ask where are the Caymanians. And we are told they are hired in such positions. But what we see are a lot of half breeds. A bank teller in this day and age that can hardly speak English? A nurse that ignores you while on a personal call from yard? The social service worker that will deny an old Caymanian any benefits while the half breed get every benefit and is told how to get more. And on and on. Half breeds are taking over fast.

        One thing that I can say for most of the older British and Bajans around. They come here with their accents and they leave if they have to with it.

        There are too many hypocrites among us. Caymanian is a way of life. If you live and work here, we all support each other. We do not need people walking around and calling customers "sweetie" or "honey" or saying "nahsah" to interact and think that is Caymanian.

        A Caymanian seems to be loud and aggressive, but they just talk loud and get excited, we call it ignorant. But half breeds are ignorant and talk loud and are aggressive. There is a difference. Half breeds will remind you they are Caymanians each and every chance they get to do it in public. Alone they seem nice and quiet. They need other persons around to make a show and to mention about the “status”. And how we call mixed breed is exactly that. Mixed families. But half breeds are a whole different thing. Please do not confuse them.

        A Caymanian no matter what nationality they came from, does not have to walk around and order a burger and remind the cashier that they are Caymanian or have status. Only those half breeds walk around talking about the Caymanian. So my friend, I hope you understand a bit better what a half breed is.

        For the record. I do not ever recall hearing the term "Caymanian American" as I am sure that a Cuban, or Honduran, or Jamaican, was to get a British passport  and applied for British residency or USA green card, they would not say they are Caymanian British, or Caymanian American, they would call themselves  by their original nationality / American. Caymanian with foreign papers somehow remains “Caymanian”.

        The next time you are at the counter or someone applying for a job at your workplace and you hear them say they are Caymanian. They are half breed. Take it away Mr. Trade wind Man. You say it best in the song.

        • Anonymous says:

          WELL INLIGHT OF THAT 15:49  WELL SAID 

          I do hope the half breeds understand.

    • Anonymous says:

      “Half-breed Caymanians”? Really? And this get 21 thumbs up? Who are you people!

    • Anonymous says:

      I wonder if when a person attains US citizenshp he/she is considered half-beed American???!!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        Americans distinguish between "Americans" and U.S. Citizens all the time.

    • Anonymous says:

      I'd rather be a half breed than a full on mutt

  10. People For A Dump Free G.T. says:

    One man one vote not going to save the PPM’s ass if they don’t remove the dump from our Capital before election time. We will no longer stand for inequality in garbage disposal. Keep your own crap Bodden Towners, its not wanted here!

    • Anonymous says:

      Ummmm…I think most of the garbage is generated in GT and WB Road, not BT. 

  11. Anonymous says:

    Bravo Mr. Suckoo!

    Shame on you Mr. Premier!

  12. Proud says:

    Very proud of you Al. Always knew you were a man with high integrity and morals. Come on Marco don't let us down. You too have high morals and integrity, stand up to Alden, don't let him pull you down with him. Anyone in the PPM that does not vote FOR OMOV as promised can kiss their seat "bye bye" in the next election.  Way to go Al

    • Tis true says:

      Hear hear, I am really sad that I voted for Roy. He has no leadership of his own and he has proven to be a true corporate YES man.  Accountants hang your heads in shame .

      Kudos to Al for making the difficult decision to represent the people instead of the party.  I've said forever that the 2-party Eastern Caribbean model of politics serves no one except the greedy politicians and woe be the silly sheep who vote the party line!  Baaaa baaaaa = really baaaaaad.

  13. Anonyanmous says:

    Well done Al, you are a brave leader keep your light shining and very soon it will light up the entire LA and together both parties will come together and do what is right and in the intrest of all Caymanians.  I salute your honesty and integrity, could not vote for you as I don't live in your district but would if I could, you have my respect.
     

  14. Whodatis says:

    Good stuff Al.

    My goodness, you are a breath of fresh air … Johann as well!

    I trust the electorate remembers these moments down the road when the unelected / unelectable powers-that-be start to turn up the fire under your feet.

    Stand strong brother.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Whatever backlash you may feel now Alva, in the long run you will be the better for it. I predict a long and productive political career is in your future. Well done for taking a stand on this issue.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Go deh Al! Proud of you BoBo.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like a Coup D'Etat brewing…Alden should never have been the PPM leader. He continues to let us down and has failed as a leader..How about putting Marco in charge until the next election?

    It takes guts PPM…Just do it!

  18. Anonymous says:

    A politician with a backbone, integrity, good memory, honesty and putting his people and country first.   And you say it could'nt happen?  Well it did and his name is Al Suckoo.  Al you just sealed your seat come next election.   Don't ever back down when it comes to doing the right thing. So sorry I voted for the PPM never again but you always got my vote. 

  19. Anonymous says:

    Alden McLaughlin is not fit to lead the people he has lied to. Bye-bye.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Thank God for Al Suckoo.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Al you must know that Alden won't speak to you Tara, Roy or Winston for the next 4 months so prepare for that. Perhaps now is the time to trigger a Leadership election in the PPM !

    This is Alden's last term…..perhaps not even a full term !

  22. Anonymous says:



    Lets remember that Al Suckoo is a founding member of the UDP. He used the PPM to get elected and now he sees a perfect opportunity to create ruckus so that he can return from whence he came.

    Having said that, we do need OMOV and SMCs if we are to have true democracy in Cayman so  support it !

    • Anonymous says:

      I was not aware of that, so he was on the UDP and realised he could do better, went to PPM and realised he could do better… well, my admiration for him just grew up big time. WAY TO GO AL!!! keep trying untill you get it done righ!!

      thanks for the info BTW.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Those that think OMOV is either a panacea for or a bulwark against inept or corruptgovernment are wrong.  In fact, the reality is that the current system is the bulwark against cronyism, corruption, incompetence, parochialism and populism.

    Winston Churchill, who described democracy as "the worst political system… except for all the others", also said "the best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter".  By this he meant poorly educated, economically illiterate, easily manipulated majority that vote solely in and for their own short term narrow interest rather than voting for the greater long term good of the country.

    Churchill understood that the propensity among the masses to vote for short term personal gain was a recipe for a downward spiral and ultimately the ruin of a nation.  Few people want to sacrifice or suffer personally to benefit the rest of society.  Hence the rise of the tea party in the States and the nationalist movements across Europe.

    Multi-vote constituencies like George Town and West Bay allow minority and insurgent factions like C4C to gain a toehold in a sea of otherwise perpetual incumbency, because voting blocs can band together across what would otherwise be single member constituencies.

    By contrast, single member constituencies will always revert to populism, self interest and comfortable incumbency because no faction will be strong enough to overcome the votes of Churchill's "average voter".

    If you don't believe me, just look at the quality of MLA and the degree of competition witnessed in our only existing SMCs.  Both populist, protectionist blowhards who ran completely or virtually unopposed.  If politics is to be a market for ideas, those districts offer good examples of the quality of debate SMCs can deliver.

    Alden's proposed hybrid system that would allow some national level candidates is far superior to the purist's SMC model.  It would mean equality of voting as well as SOME local representation and accountability but it would allow enough people voting in the national interest to overcome the narrow, populist, parochial contingent which would inevitably dominate in an SMC system.

    Be careful what you wish for.

    • Anonymous says:

      Reasonable observations, but a bad conclusion!

      All those things you say and more are true, but they cannot justify a system in which one person has four times the votes of another!

      That situation is made worse in a small population, because the inbalance is exaggerated and thus allows a dominant character to gain a block of votes by having yes men alongside him, any guesses who I speak of here?

      All power to Suckoos elbow!

      • Anonymous says:

        I disagree.  You can't advocate for a system that you know will produce an inferior outcome because you think it's "fair".  That is cutting off your nose to spite your face.

    • Anonymous says:

      Excellent post, however no one here smart enough to understand it unfortunately. you’re dealing with emotional knee jerk imbeciles anyone reading this excluded of course……(cough)

  24. Anonymous says:

    BT needs to learn to accept that dump ! It has no place at Camana Bay or anywhere within the George Town area, it affects tourism negatively as GT is the CAPITAL and is the place where tourists more frequently roam.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Proud of you Al!! You know what you promised the people of Bodden Town! Equality Ahead!

    • Fred the Piemaker says:

      And no dump!

      • Anonymous says:

        BT needs to learn to accept that dump ! It has no place at Camana Bay or anywhere within the George Town area, it affects tourism negatively as GT is the CAPITAL and is the place where tourists more frequently roam.

        • Anonymous says:

          Barkers in West Bay is still the best choice. And the investor that wants the dump moved already own most of the land in that area. It’s on the outskirts of town and on the corner of the Island.

          One dump in Barkers and the other on the end of East End. Perfect locations. Let’s confirm what Dart land is in East End to be used and we get this dump thing moving.

          First we need equal dumping. Then we go for equal votes. Let’s get this dump moved to Barkers and East End. 

          I can’t wait to have one man one vote. In my little neck of the woods, I will want my Boat dock. I want a playground. I want a Public beach. I want my own MLA office; I want my own Police station. Let’s not stop there. I want one of those separated buildings they calling school in my voting district. And last but not least. I don’t want my fellow criminals to be locked up outside where I vote. I want my own prison. I wanna wanna everything. If not I will call for a by-elections to remove my representative since he would not be effective enough. 

          So now the country will have to find money to revamp over the whole election system. We cannot afford much anything else, but how people vote is a priority. This is not a simple process of just saying to let the vote system change. There are serious updates and changes that will require time and money. And let’s not forget the UK has to approve it all.

          What about revamping the Education system first?

          • Anonymous says:

                      11:00.If you are truly in favour of equal dumping ,I hope you realize that The George Town voting district would still have to keep Mount Trashmore and the present landfill since it has the largest population of residents and visitors and therefore generates the most Garbage.I am also curious as to what section of the constitution would you use to justify a by-election.

          • Anonymous says:

            How does one dump in Barkers and the other in East End mean equal dumping? Do you understand that neither East End nor West produces the bulk of the garbage? It is produced by GT and the SMB corridor.  

        • Anonymous says:

          Well if that is how we shouldpick a place to put the dump then lets put it on little cayman. Only 150 people live there. Small amount of tourists ( 1000 per year the most) no cruise ships,no banking institutions, 10 square miles . What do you think?

      • Anonymous says:

        Unless moving the dump there is in the national interest.  Which it clearly is.

        • Anonymous says:

          Not in Al’s interest.His national interest has limits – bounded by the constituency border. OMOV is not going to resolve that.

    • Anonymous says:

      Al, Im for one extremely proud of you.

      Finally we have a man to stand for the rights of the Caymanian people. Its been too long we havent had a politician to use his own brain and not follow the party- toe- line.

      Clearly this action by Al's is the reason  we need OMOV.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Suckoo and Mr. Moxam are both principled men and I applaud their efforts to hold government accountable in their respective roles.

    They are shining examples of a new generation of leaders offering hope and a brighter future for Cayman but we need more like them with courage and qualifications to step up into leadership roles if Cayman wants change from the tired Alden vs McKeeva dysfunctional leadership.

  27. Butterfly says:

    Bravo Alva!