Mac won’t back OMOV

| 22/07/2014

(CNS): Although the opposition leader had an opportunity to make some political capital over the government's U-turn on its election promise for the introduction of ‘one man, one vote’, McKeeva Bush still doesn't back the voting change. He told CNS that the people of West Bay whom he represents don’t back it and he believes it would create significant problems for Cayman in the future. He said the matter should be decided by the people and there is no certainty that the return of a PPM government was a vote for OMOV, as he stands by the results of the July 2012 referendum. Bush said that the ballot was decided in accordance with the constitution and not hi-jacked by him, as has been suggested. and Cayman voted against it.

Bush said the campaign for OMOV in single member constituencies began against the backdrop of a "disastrous" global economic downturn.

"The PPM's wanton disregard and understanding of the situation after its … mismanagement of our local economy, with huge projects and no money, yet leaving the largest loan bill the country ever faced – the country could not continue with a protracted ‘campaign’ and that's what was going on then," he said as he recalled the events of 2012 which led him to call the referendum.

Insisting that the referendum was fair, he said that although the petitioners had asked for a November referendum it was still a people-initiated ballot. He said that calling elections in November in the midst of the rainy season, which plagued past elections, would have cut voter numbers.

Convinced that the petitioners had collected enough signatures to meet the constitutional mandate for a referendum, he said he had moved quickly to deal with it as they wanted. He said the referendum put even more pressure on him and his then UDP administration at a very difficult economic time, and whether the vote had been in November or July, it was initiated by the people and the requirement to have more than 50% of register electors vote 'yes' before it passed was a constitutional hurdle that had nothing to do with him.

"I had asked them (the campaigners) to wait and take the OMOV question during the election in May 2013," Bush said, as he defended his actions over the ballot. "They would not understand, nor did they care about what the country was going through, and would not agree. They said no and then asked for November, roughly 6 months from the 2013 election. That was unreasonable."

Bush insisted that it was a people-initiated referendum, regardless of the dates, and he followed the constitution, which had been crafted by the current premier, who, he said, had "put in that foolish benchmark!"

"If people had come out to vote, my reading was they would have voted against it. And if they went and voted for it, you would not have heard one squeak about which process was used," the opposition leader said. "The proposal is to change our democratic voting system. This a matter that ought to be voted on to be agreed by the voters of this Island. Changing the democratic franchise should not be done without more serious thought given to it."

He said while people may say that the present system is not fair, it is a democratic process still practiced successfully for various kinds of systems of governance in Commonwealth countries.

"It has worked for us for over 180 years and I don't believe our people are worse off for it.
What is being proposed will bring many problems that Cayman won't hurdle in years to come. Those who propose it now have got caught in their own trap and now feel that once they put it in their manifesto it must go ahead. While they crucified me for the OMOV, as they think it will get rid of me and those who run on my ticket, no one knows if they were elected because of the OMOV proposition," Bush added.

But, he said, whatever the outcome on this issue now, he believes that some people will not be elected again.

"There are those who will suffer at the hands of the voter for misleading them and doing nothing for them," the opposition leader stated.

During the last debate on the issue Bush was absent from the chamber and did not add his vote to the government's, which was one of a chain of events that saw the government face a tie on the vote of the private members motion brought by Arden McLean, the independent member for East End, in the face of the PPM government's sudden about face on an issue that many believe did get them elected.

With a number of Cabinet members mysteriously absent from the chamber at the time of the vote and the support for the motion from Bush's two West Bay colleagues, Bernie Bush and Captain Eugene Ebanks, his eastern district fellow independent Ezzard Miller, as well as the government's own Bodden Town backbenchers Anthony Eden and Alva Suckoo, the vote came down to six no’s, six yes and several absentees. The speaker then cast the deciding vote to defeat the motion.

However, the issue is far from dead. While McLaughlin seems steadfast now that the system will not change in this administration because he doesn't have the full support of his non-PPM government members, others are not willing to let the issue go away.

As pressure from the community as well as organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce mounts on government to fulfill the promised to change the electoral landscape before the 2017 election, backbencher Al Suckoo has committed to bringing a motion to the House that he believes will show the there is considerable support from the government benches, flying in the face of his leader’s claims. Arden Mclean has said that the issue if far from resolved and he too is planning another private member’s motion.

As a result the two men could be in a race to see who gets this issue back on the parliamentary agenda first. Either way, however, once the topic hits the floor of the LA again, either the government front bench will be hanging their future political careers on its failure or the motion will pass, forcing the premier to come clean regarding the real stumbling blocks.

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Comments (54)

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  1. Bleeding-Teeth says:

    To be quite honest, the Cayman Islands should be disgusted with McKeeva. He is all about himself, preserving his skin, and for his 30+ years in politics he sells it to a gullible hand-out seeking electorate that he has been hounded by his opponents, and of course he is always innocent. The man makes me sick.

     

    Of course he is against OMOV, because the absence of OMOV makes it easier for  him drag in whichever three colleages he has with him.

    When his xxxx

    Since McKeeva says he wants to better Cayman's lot, he can do this by getting out of politics.

    If he does not leave soon, history tells us he will have an end similar to Cicero.

    Retire from politics Mr Bush, go shopping, then finish your Magna Carta bestseller book about your life in politics and, be true to your life long form, make it another handout/giveaway.

      

     
  2. Anonymous says:

    I suspect the REAL problem is with Moses and Juliana who will not want to change Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, which really should not have any more than ONE representative based on the population.

    I any case neither of them will support single member constituencies there and therein lies the problem. We ae being stangled once aiby the Islands that cost us the most money fo the least amount of people.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Well at least McKeeva is consistent. Let's see though if Alden will call a refrendum and do it the proper way or wil he just ram it htrough out of sheer frustration and fear of losing his seat. Arden and Ezzard isloving this. ..

  4. Anonymous says:

    We want OMOV before next election.  Alden or McKeva can change like green lizzard, but the People want OMOV.  These politicians need tobe responsible, instead of collecting thousands of dollars every month and doing nothing for it, while Caymanians suffer, cant afford to buy food or pay bills o get  job..  Too many people are robbing, and do not have a job.  Alden need to revisit all those new apointments he made after election.   Now we are getting back the robberies again every night..   At least McKeva Bush did much better for his people in west Bay than what Alden is doing in George Town.  Stop the Friend pushing Alden and see that  honest decisons are made.  George Town should never had vote you back in on top of Kirk back.  Kirk take a rest  now.  WE need MIKE ADAMS back in George Town. 

     
  5. Gut Check says:

    Imo, Former Premier Bush will not support anything that wasn't conceived by him or during his administration;  imo, he will not support anyideal that tend toward accountability or tend to curtail esablished procedures and protocol.    

    I remain amazed that this man was even allowed to run for office with all the charges pending.    One would think he'd have the good sense to stay below the radar, but no, his followers choose to view him as a rebel, protesting against whatever or whomever isn't in his arena of influence.    

    I look forward to the day when I don't have to read his name in print.   

  6. Anonymous says:

    Ii think Mac an Alden have agreed that wit works in their best interest to just trade terms of office back and forth.  The reason niether of them want it is it would take away their power base and give it to the people. They do not want that.

  7. Libertarian says:

    Years I have advocated and it did fell on deaf ears- that the only fair and equitable way to ensure that no single district and/or party is able to maintain a stranglehold on our country is to eliminate voting districts entirely and give every voter as many votes as there are seats available (i.e. if there are eighteen seats available then every voter should get eighteen votes unconstrained by district, so if I live in East End but I want to vote for a candidate from West Bay I can do so, and vice versa)  This would level the playing field, so to speak, and make all candidates accountable to all voters instead of giving them the luxury of only having to please voters from their own district in order to retain their seat.  The only possible exception to this rule should be in thecase of the sister islands who, to be fair, would always be at a disadvantage under this hypothetical regime due to their smaller population.  So maybe Grand Cayman being one territory with fifteen seats, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman with three, and there are your 18 elected MLAs – a national slate of candidates voted on by one person, one vote.

    • Anonymous says:

       Libertarian ,your post is as clear as mud.First you state that " I have advocated …that the only fair and equitable way to ensure that no single district and/or party is able to maintain a stranglehold on our country is to eliminate voting districts entirely and give every voter as many votes as there are seats available (i.e. if there are eighteen seats available then every voter should get eighteen votes)" Then you conclude "18 elected MLAs – a national slate of candidates voted on by one person, one vote." So which is it one person with 18 votes ,or one person with 1 vote  ?

      • Libertarian says:

        thanks for the mud … it should be "one person, 18 votes" in place

        • Anonymous says:

          For the life of me I cannot figure why anyone thinks this is a sound, workable idea. People are confused now that they have 6 votes at their disposal and you are proposing to give them 18!!!! The UDP would need some large 'reminder cards' then. All this would do is to cause people to vote irresponsibly without due consideration to each of the 18 candidates. Really ridiculous.  

          • Debate101 says:

            eh people are already voting irresponsibly… so what are you talking about?

            • Anonymous says:

              It would only get worse with that system – that's my point! 

              The first thing they should teach you in debate 101 is to try to grasp the point. 

  8. Anonymous says:

    McKeeva:  Not for OMOV before. Not for OMOV now. At least he's consistent.

    Alden: For OMOV vote before the election: Against OMOV after the election in which he became Premier. Wolf is sheep's clothing.

    • Anonymous says:

      McKeewa: Not for OMOV before referendum. Very much for OMOV following refenderum. Not for OMOV now. Wolf in sheeps clothing.

    • Anonymous says:

      But in the end neither leader supports OMOV.

      This means that neiher leader as this contries best interest at heart just themselves.

      I would vote in a can of sardines first.

  9. pmilburn says:

    This does not surprise me as Mac changed the ground rules just before or during the referendum so that it would make his case stronger.The people of these islands are smarter than our politicians give them credit for so look for MAJOR changes in the members of the house come 2017.Both parties sweep sweep and out the door.

  10. Anonymous says:

    These old politicians Need to go & get new blood in their! Gt voter

  11. Anonymous says:

    His little Sherpas do not even know to go in out of the rain- they will do as he tells them. Pitiful state of affairs.

  12. Anonymous says:

    NEWS FLASH –  We do not expect you to support it  – you were the person who derailed it,  Remember.

  13. Anonymous says:

    He never has so what makes this news??

  14. Anonymous says:

    Actually the Premier said that without consensus he could not see the issue progressing. Not that it would NOT happen. If concensus can be gained then I would anticipate the issue coming forward for debate.

    CNS what would be interesting for us, the public, would be for you to attempt to canvas our representatives to find out what each personally supports. That is, EXACTLY what type of voting and what type of constituencies.

    • Anonymous says:

      A consensus now that they have tasted power, or a consensus when they were making promises to the electorate during the campaign?  If you would like to know the way the PPM members stood during the election promises please read their manifesto  it is crystal clear.
      There can be no question that we have been lied to.  They were elected by those who chose to vote.  Look at the referendum, those that chose to vote in it chose OMOV by about a 2/3 majority.  How many of elected officials can say that?

  15. Dred says:

    Let's be clear. OMOV may never get Mac out of office. What OMOV will however accomplish is limit if not elimintate his cronies leaving him POWERLESS.

    This is his fear…

     

  16. anonymous says:

    Our politians will do or say anything to remain in power…its that simple!! Lets do OMOV NOW!!!

  17. Anonymous says:

    I am tired of the whole lot of those worms. Not a single one of them have backbone. All they are interested in is their own politician careers ……..I say have no fear if you don't pass the OMOV I am certainly not voting for anyone who wouldn't help OMOV get passed. 

    All these politics need to wake up and smell the coffee……we don't give a hoot where you stand …..we want OMOV ……we didnt vote you in to hear your opinion we voted you in to carry out our opinions. 

    I don't care what any of this lot think because we all know not a single one is capable of an original idea. They only want to copy what has failed every where else. 

    Give power back to the people. Isn't it reasonable to have an elected official answer to a few hundred people rather than a few thousand? 

    Right now they don't really answer to a few thousand …..a few thousand vote them in then a handful of business people get exclusive access to our representatives. 

    OMOV better get passed or we'll pass over your names on the ballot. Tired of being played by these clowns in the LA …..aren't you? 

    The problem is so many still drinking the ppm and udp cool aide. 

  18. Anonymous says:

    At least he is consistent in his non support of OMOV, he has never said he supported it, and at least he held a referendum on it. So voters know where he stands unlike with PPM.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Well I'll be…hey Mac, you're obviously not even ashamed…talk about pot cussn kettle black…

  20. Anonymous says:

    Well here's another thing McKeeva and Alden have in common none support OMOV. They know a change in the current system means they will struggle to retain power.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Mac = deluded

  22. Anonymous says:



    Of course he does not want OMOV because he would lose his power base. The people have decided, however your royal highness hijacked the referendum by counting abscentee votes as a NO vote. A no show vote is no vote all as they have all abstained.Besides, abscentee votes could very well be a yes vote, so who can declare that they are no votes. It is time to charge this man with crimes against humanity and our civil rights.

      

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually as much as I hear what you are saying and agree with the intentions – I really think that with OMOV Big Mac would be the only one guaranteed to get in.  His followers are that strong.  Now his cronies may have a harder time of it – but knowing him and how strong his followers are (at least the ones in WB) he would strategically place a team across different areas in WB and tell his followers you may not be able to put an X by my name but putting one by (insert cronies name here) is like putting an X by myname and he’d get in that way.

      I agree with OMOV but I don’t agree with the single member constituencies.  I actually have always thought we should go to a national vote.  Why should we have a Premier representing us that not everyone had the opportunity to vote for (simply because they live in the wrong district).  Just like when Big Mac was Premier only the people of WB voted him in – but the whole country was stuck with him.  Now does that sound fair?

      • Anonymous says:

        Exactly, Mac would be guaranteed a seat in Government until the day he dies (or September) with OMOV. His problem lies with having a supporitng cast and who that would be.

        The crucial element thatneds t be introduced along with OMOV is allowing us to be able to vote for the Premier, otherwise we would have this eejit gallavanting the globe for naught again and again and again until the cows come home.

      • Dred says:

        Well well well another in favor of National Vote…

        Honestly we may as well stick with current system if you want National vote because National Vote = Party Vote System = No Smaller District Representation = No local representaton or accountability = 18 Party members in house.

        National Vote plays to strength of money. He who has the largest war chest wins. Is this what the people want, money hungry tyrants or people who genuinely have the country at heart?

        OMOV is FAR from perfect but its a million times better than a ALL BUT RIGGED National Vote

      • Anonymous says:

        Agreed.

         

        We need a national vote for 7 or 9 MLAs.

         

        Cayman is a small town, it should behave accordingly.

         

        • Anonymous says:

          Ummmm….no, Cayman is more like a small country. That's how it operates. Small towns do not have to concern themselves with passing laws, customs, immigration, international relations etc.. Obviously, the work could not be performed by 7 or 8 MLAs. You are just being stupid.   

          • Anonymous says:

            No, it could be performed by a single elected mayor, backed by a professional civil service.

            • Anonymous says:

              Be quiet, troll. You obviously have no concept and what you propose would amount to a dictatorship, not representative government.  

              • Anonymous says:

                Obviously the words "elected mayor" seem to have been to complex for this idiot.

                • Anonymous says:

                  The words representative democracy seem to be lost on you, moron. If there is only one person in charge of everything there is obviously no accountability on an ongoing basis.

        • Anonymous says:

           11:37. Cayman is not a small town ,and saying it is will not change anything.Try showing a little respect. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Absentiee votes were not counted as No votes they were not counted at all.The fact remains the not enough people votes yes to make up the 50% more whixh required by the constitution to win. No matter how you twist it you lost, fair and square.

      • Anonymous says:

        Wake up and smell the coffee, in effect they were counted in the way he derailed and hijacked the count rules. A majority still voted and supported OMOV, however his count rule stole the referendum and it was a sad day for democracy in the Cayman Islands.

        • Anonymous says:

          You are only interpreting the constitution that way becuase you lost.if there were 4000 no votes and 3000 yes votes you would agree with the constitutional requirement that 50% Plus of registered voters need to vote no not 50% of those who voted..

      • Anonymous says:

        If we lost fair and square (we certainly did not) that would be more than mac could say about anything he's ever done.

  23. SKEPTICAL says:

    Well isn't that a whole hell of a surprise. OMOV would pretty well put the final nail in the coffin of bush's hopes of ever again regaining any political power.

    • Dread on Dread says:

      Sah/Madame don't talk wa ya don't know. Grass roots politics a favor Bush scene OMOV will play rite Ina he hand, believe me ya na know.

      • SKEPTICAL says:

        I did not say bush would not be elected himself – only that he would not regain political power. For that he needs to have all of his UDP pals with him to have a majority in the LA. Don't see that happening with OMOV.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well that may be true! However, SMC will put the nail in all our coffin’s. SMC should not be interchangeable with OMOV!