Govern for the next generation, not for the next election
Fully supported, aided and abetted by his UDP supporting cast inside the Legislative Assembly and their advisors and party members, the premier has hijacked the people- initiated referendum and made it very difficult for the proponents of One Man One Vote (OMOV) to succeed.
The premier has done this in the face of 4,000 plus signatures on a petition, and the overwhelming popular support for One Man One Vote and Single Member Constituencies (up to 80 per cent) in all polls conducted in the media.
Why has the premier and his Government done this disservice to the people whom they claim to love and represent? Because he knows that if given a level playing field, the majority of the voters would vote for equality.
The UDP and the premier’s greatest fear is that this type of people empowerment will not serve them well in the next election.
The Cayman Islands Constitution that came into force on 6 November 2009 provided for two types of referenda – one a government-initiated referendum that is not binding and the second a people-initiated referendum. These referenda are provided for in section 69 and 70.
The UDP government has circulated a Referendum Bill, which they intend to ram down the throats of Caymanian voters using their majority vote in the Legislative Assembly, simply to achieve their objective of retaining the status quo that benefits them politically and dramatically increases their chances of forming the next government, despite their miserable failures during their current term in office. The UDP has no concern or care for the next generation, only for the next election.
The Referendum Bill, as circulated by the UDP Government, has two fundamental flaws. Firstly, it is not binding, and secondly, it does not commit the UDP government to implement single member constituents and One Man One Vote for the election in May 2013.
Therefore, the OMOV group, through the Leader of the Opposition, will be filing the appropriate amendments to the bill, although it will be futile if people do not lend their voices and support to force the premier to make the necessary changes which will give the voting public a fighting chance.
The amendments will call for an implementation timetable to be included in the referendum question, so that when we succeed at the polls, there can be no doubt that the May 2013 elections will be conducted on the Electoral Boundary Commission’s recommendation for 16 single member constituencies in Grand Cayman.
In addition, the amendments will make the results of the referendum binding and, most importantly, increase the chance for success by requiring only 50 per cent plus one of the votes cast and not of the registered electors.
I cannot say that we are surprised that the premier and his UDP cohorts are stacking the deck against the OMOV referendum. This action is typical of the incompetent nature of their administration and people only have to look at their track record on the economy. So far, for all the hoopla and for all their bypassing of due process, they have not been able to get a single one of their economy-saving, job-creating, mega projects off the ground. It's all been promises, promises. You would think they were mating elephants – done at high altitude, lots of noise and a long time to see the results.
Those who have benefited or are set to benefit from their economic proposals can be counted on your hands and have enough fingers left to hold a large cigar.
The UDP intends to continue to dictatorially and unilaterally deprive the voters in Cayman of having a system of equality and accountability, even if it costs them the election in 2013.
The only hope of getting the necessary changes to our election law to bring in voter equality and greater accountability and responsibility from politicians, is to force the UDP to make these changes to the Referendum bill or to remove the UDP from office in the next election.
The One Man One Vote group intends to continue its campaign for the implementation of one man one vote, in spite of the difficult odds and the government using the country’s resources to campaign against the referendum it has called.
It is preposterous, unprecedented and downright insulting to the intelligence of Caymanians for the government to call a referendum and them immediately start a campaign against it. The only logical explanation for such unconventional and irrational action is that the UDP wants to disrupt the democratic process.
This is vintage UDP/McKeeva. They have systematically eroded, ignored and abused the rules and conventions of good governance in all areas – the constitutional requirements (except for personal benefits), the legislative process, the procurement of goods and services, the awarding of contracts, the termination of contracts, the granting of duty waivers and the granting of other concessions. They have boldly proclaimed that in their definition and practice of good governance, "substance" is preferred to process. To them, systems of control and accountability, such as the Central Tenders Committee, the Public Finance and Management Law and other legal requirements for good governance are impediments and bureaucratic inconveniences that they are not prepared to endure.
The people who have a vested interest in the continued success of Cayman need to respond to these UDP bad governance manifestations in the most powerful way possible and force the UDP and the premier to change course before the good ship Cayman is completely grounded and destroyed on the rocks of Bush incompetence.
The people must force the premier and his UDP government to accept the amendments to the Referendum Bill and let the voters decide. The premier will only respond to large scale civic demonstrations and involvement. This is a similar to and as important an issue as the changes to the planning laws of the seventies and cadastral survey, which saw the streets of George Town full of demonstrators demanding their rights.
It is time for action against the UDP and its premier.
Let's put one thousand people in George Town on Wednesday lunch time for a meeting in Heroes Square to show the UDP and its premier that Cayman still belongs to us and we honour the sacrifices of our forefathers. Let's demonstrate to the world that we intend to put the good ship Cayman back on course and preserve it for the next generation.
It is time to govern for the next generation and not for the next election.
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