Constitution clean-up due

| 09/10/2014

(CNS): The fifth anniversary of the implementation of the Cayman Islands Constitution 2009 is next month, and the premier has revealed that at least 40 changes have been identified by the constitutional commission that need to be made. However, Alden McLaughlin said most of them are minor and unsubstantial, dealing with matters of clarity. They could, he added, all be made with the agreement of the opposition leader and the members of the parliament without the need for a national vote. The country’s leader said that his administration would not be entertaining a referendum on any substantial constitutional changes as he did not want the distraction of a potential polarized debate.

In the Legislative Assembly last month, McLaughlin said he was waiting on a report from the commission, as he responded to a private members motion brought by the independent member for North Side, Ezzard Miller, proposing a select committee review of the constitution followed by a government referendum on any identified changes. 

McLaughlin said the commission, which is now chaired by David Ritch, had been reviewing the constitution and so he did not think it was the right time for a review by the LA. The premier said the report would be widely circulated and he hoped the politicians could all agree on the potential changes recommended by the commission as well as any more non-substantial changes members felt were necessary that would not impact the balance of power between the Cayman Government and the UK or the construct of constitution.

The premier asked Miller to wait on the report and see if all the members could agree on a laundry list. He said government would not initiate a referendum on constitutional change during this term, as he described a national poll as a “huge distraction” that he was “not prepared to entertain”.

Miller agreed to withdraw his motion but noted that if there were recommendations coming from the commission that would improve good governance, the government should not dodge a potential referendum because it was inconvenient or difficult.

The North Side member had listed a number of changes he believed needed to be addressed, including formalizing the position of councellors, removing the post of financial secretary, limiting all constitutional positions to five years and removing 'for life' appointments, as well as clarifying the qualifications for potential MLAs.

He said there needed to be some way of preventing the governor from appointing the premier or opposition leader if they are under investigation for a crime as well as a recall clause for members not serving their constituents.

Miller also said that a review by the LA would, “if nothing else”, make the members “familiar with it after going through it clause by clause.”

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  1. Anonymous says:

    While the Constitution and the government policies may have loop holes, The Word of God doesn't have any loop holes and if the former premier had spent more time reading his Bible and praying for the direction of which this country needed to be led, he would not have found himself in casinos gambling with the country's money and then lying about what he used the money for when it was withdrawn out of those ATM's. We as the public may speculate and some may say he's guilty and other's may say he's not but one thing is for sure…God knows everything! Nothing is hidden from Him and what is done in darkness will be brought to light and we will all stand before God one day and will have to answer to Him!

    May God help this country and our leaders to make the right decisions and may we hear them in the LA praying and seeking for God's direction wholeheartedly. They have tried everythingelse and failed.. so why not try God. He is the solution! Hate, vindictiveness, pointing fingers, seeking self-gain and gratification is why this country is where it is today and of-course let us not forget..the love of money.

    It's time we turn this country around with God at the Helm. Our forefathers put God first and they were always a blessed and prosperous country, now it's nothing but greed and backstabbing, standing on one-another's heads and tearing each other down that we ourselves can be the heroes. God said in His Word, 2 Chronicles 7:14 "If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

    Don't just go to church as a routine, let us apply God's direction in our daily lives!

  2. anonymous says:

    One thing should be changed immediately is the Anti Corruption Law where the Commissioner of Police Has the final say in what should be investigated. That needs to be done for a myriad of reasons!

  3. Anonymous says:

    ANY Constiutional changes without a National Referendum will be INVALID anf VERY  STUPID!

    • Anonymous says:

      In a country ruled by Bush it is NECESSARY and VERY HONORABLE.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you 13:23. EXACTLY!

    • anonyomous says:

      Just so you'll know !3:23, The worlds greatest democracy  had their constitution changed by their legislative body four or five times without a national referendum! Wouldn't be a bad idea for a small island though!

  4. Anonymous says:

    What about minimum moral standards for all elected politicians?

  5. Anonymous says:

    How about the right to protect ourselvs?

  6. Anonymous says:

    I hope they delete the clause stating that "there shall be a Financial Secretary". This was included to safeguard Ken Jefferson's position but is no longer necessary since he is now a Chief Officer. The FS post can be abolished, saving the cost of a salary on the B scale.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Any change to the Constitution cannot be considered minor Mr. Premier.


    The use of one word may have serious repurcussions and while I agree it would be useful to not have to go to a referendum only for the sake of cost effectiveness. As such, at least share these '40 minor' changes so that people like me can be more confident about changes to this important document.

  8. Notch says:

    What about term limits for all ELECTED POLITICIANS??


    • Anonymous says:

      I think they have a specific term already:  pretty much in line with duration of each government.  It is your collective fault if you keep re-electing them.

    • Hello!!!! says:

      People love McKeeva Bush so much, do you seriously think that will ever happen when he is around?!