Mac calls on Alden to admit opinion on OMOV

| 20/05/2015 | 16 Comments
Cayman News Service

McKeeva Bush, Cayman Islands Leader of the Opposition with MLA Eugene Ebanks

(CNS): The opposition leader has said that he is willing to stand side by side with the premier, despite their current differences, in opposition to one man, one vote in single member constituencies if he is willing to admit his true opposition to the voting change. McKeeva Bush’s opposition to the plan is widely known but he said that Alden McLaughlin did not really support the proposed change to the country’s voting system either and together they could fight the C4C members, who he said had hijacked the premier.

“You know that you don’t support this change,” Bush said Wednesday when he was making his response to the throne speech, the policy statement and the budget address in the Legislative Assembly.

During his own presentation the premier had pointed to the moves made by his PPM government towards the introduction of single member constituencies and one man, one vote, including the establishment of the Electoral Boundary Commission and the commitment to introducing OMOV before the 2017 General election.

But Bush reminded McLaughlin that in 2013 he had stood in the Legislative Assembly saying government was not going to introduce the change and raised possible alternatives

“Its amazing,” he said. “Less than two years ago they didn’t support it.” There was some “war of words and all of a sudden” the premier had made a “180 degree shift”, Bush said, as he pointed to the members of the Coalition for Cayman as the people who were now influencing the government to press ahead with the change.

Ironically, at the time, the premier said that the change to the vote was not a priority and, as the leader of a government that included members from outside his party, he could no longer just make the change, despite the PPM campaign promise.

Bush, however, said, “You know that you do not support this change … but the party or your conscience has been hijacked.”

The opposition leader asked why he and the premier  for once  “could not do the right thing stand together and stop the change. Bush said he would support him if he admitted his real opposition. He said that they may not see eye to eye on many things but this was something on which they should stand together.

“We are both right in our objection to single member constituencies and I will continue to fight against it,” Bush said.

He indicated that the UDP was starting a petition and the country needed to understand that the change, if it comes, would increase government costs but it would not improve anything.

“My party will be shown to be right in its objection … we will continue to fight against OMOV,” he said. If it was introduced, everyone would have to accept it as it is democracy, he said, but added, “We will see what happens.”

Bush said he was hosting a meeting this evening in Prospect, where the petition would be launched and circulated, and he said after that government might pay attention.

The boundary commission is continuing its work after the recent public meetings. It is expected to submit its recommendations in August and after that government will make the decision on whether or not to accept the findings of the commission.

Depending on the outcome, government has said it will then draw up the legislation that would allow for the change well ahead of the next election, giving time for a nationwide education campaign to explain the change in the voting system.

Bush has led the opposition to the implementation in support of the status quo. In the controversial referendum of 2012, when the majority of voters voted for OMOV, the UDP administration led by Bush set the bar for the ballot at 51% of all registered voters and not just those who turned out. Since then, support for OMOV has increased, though the issue of single member constituencies is not as widely supported as there are still debates surrounding the possibility of national ballots or multi-member constituencies with a first past the post concept.

However, the boundary commission has been tasked with dividing the country into 18 SMCs.

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Category: Elections, Politics

Comments (16)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Here is a newsflash for you. OMOV isn’t for you 2 to decide. It is we the voters and we have spoken. Remember Alden your promise to implement OMOV is one of the main the reasons you were elected. Now get on with it and get it in place for the next election. Thank you.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Mac being seen standing side by side with you is political poison unless you have the NBF to buy back the votes!

  3. Anonymous says:

    McKeeva clearly doesn’t want OMOV which must mean it would hurt his chances of re-election. I am therefore 200% in favor of it.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Forget the old district system.
    Nationwide elections is what is needed.

  5. Anonymous says:

    OMOV . PPM that is why you were elected. Fail us and find a new job. This is about the country not he parties. Put us first.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Do we need or want “politicians”, servants of the people?

  7. OneVote says:

    These guys are fiddling while the dump burns; what a waste.

    The country needs to downsize the LA to 7 or 9 MLAs who concentrate on strategy while leaving the tactical stuff to the chief officers.

  8. Anonymous says:

    In fact I had no opinion on it until now. If McKeeva “I did not know it was morally wrong to use my government for my own personal use at the slot machines, is against it,, then I am definitely for it.

  9. Anonymous says:

    The fact that this man is still referred as a “leader” kinda shows what Cayman Islands main problem is.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed. The fact he still has a platform to speak from is a sad indictment on the whole country. I doubt we will ever know just how much he cost the country in terms of money a reputation.

  10. J.Q Public says:

    By his actions alone it is obvious that Alden does and never did support OMOV. The shocking thing about it is McKeeva is right in this instance. Their quest for power at any cost binds them. Both do not want to change from the current multi-member system that gives them an advantage by virtue of the “coat tail effect” which they both greatly benefit from. Alden cannot get in without the KT effect in GT. Nor can McKeeva get enough support for his fries to secure power without it.

    It seems like a another good reason for the Caymanians to support OMOV and demand its implementation by 2017 elections.

    • Anonymous says:

      The fact that after, personally, not supporting it and he will do it because is what people want says a lot about Alden, the fact that he doesn’t support it and WONT do it despite of what people want, says a lot about Mac. Is really simple.

  11. Anonymous says:

    There can be no better recommendation for the benefits SMC to the individual voter than to have McKeeva standing against it.

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