Backbench exodus may trigger early poll

| 25/01/2016 | 49 Comments
Cayman News Service

Polling station sign, Cayman Islands

(CNS): The departure of three MLAs from the government backbench could trigger an early general election, the premier has said, which would be conducted under the old multi-member voting system. Alden McLaughlin said that with such a very narrow majority, his government may struggle to get through the next 14 months before the anticipated Nomination Day in March next year ahead of the May 2017 national poll.

“An early election is a very real possibility. Things are still quite unsettled and there are huge hurdles ahead,” he said. Getting things done required “good, stable government” and getting through the next 16 months to polling day may not be possible.

McLaughlin also made it clear that if he is forced to call an early election, it will not be under the system of ‘one man, one vote’ because the elections office has said it needs a year to implement the changes required for a new voting system and the new constituency boundaries, which are considerably different from the previous polling station areas.

This means the battle to secure OMOV in single member constituencies may be many years away if the next administration is not in support and the current Progressive administration is unable to press on through the next term.

The government has a slender majority of one member on the floor as the PPM’s tenth member, Julianna O’Connor-Connolly, currently occupies the speaker’s chair. There are options open to the premier to replace her with a speaker from outside the House to give him a stronger majority but that could also mean a reshuffle to accommodate O’Connor-Connolly on his front bench.

The independent member from North Side, Ezzard Miller, has said that he is willing to offer his support to government to ensure a quorum and has no desire to see this administration fall before the end of this term, especially if it means early elections without changing the voting system.

The problem for the administration now is that each piece of individual legislation that it wants to bring in accordance with election promises will need the full backing of every single member of the government benches to ensure its passage or support from at least one opposition or independent member.

The government will be facing that test in just a few weeks as the Legislative Assembly is set to meet on 17 February, the first time since Anthony Eden, Alva Suckoo and Winston Connolly crossed the floor.

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Category: Elections, Politics

Comments (49)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Government for the government by the government and the people are left with no representation at all. They just went from hopelessly incompetent to pathetically incompetent. But really, that’s just where they have been heading all along. No good apples to choose from just lemons.

  2. Sharkey says:

    I agree 100 % with George Ebanks comment , this is premier’s time to show leadership and bring everyone together, but the early election would help him keep his position and to hell with everyone else is how he see it.

  3. Anonymous says:

    It is sickening to see how government after government and politician after politician is running this country into the ground because of their egos. Party politics, egos and inability to lead has been killing us slowly for decades! Drive around YOUR Island and have a look at what is going on. The people are hurting and suffering and the Islands is drowning in garbage (and by that, I don’t just mean the litter along the road!).

  4. Anonymous says:

    I am struck by the sheer volume of condemnation being shoveled Alden’s way, a lot of which appears to be centred on a lack of leadership skills coupled with a certain imperiousness in manner. Alden really needs to adjust his attitude if he is to survive much longer. Whether this is at all possible remains to be seen.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Alden and the PPM has sold out the country and Cayman morality to the European HRC. Progressive Weakness!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Ah, I see, so the problem is the HRC and not a small element of Cayman’s Neanderthal cave dwellers “holier than thou” hypocrites? The reason the HRC exists is for intelligent and guarantee all peoples rights. How about we just take away your right to spout your vile views? How would you like that? Wouldn’t be right, would it? Same applies elsewhere, you have no right to decide other peoples rights.

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually, you’re the one who doesn’t “see”, and you are clearly a most confused individual, and quick with the insults, it appears – typical intolerant tyrant wanting to shove your views down other people’s throats. Learn some respect while at the same time remembering to carefully check your work before handing it in.

  6. No Way!…absolutely not!…no need for no panic. This is no time for the Hon. Premier to throw up his hands and say “lets head to the polls”. Rubbish!

    What is now needed is real political leadership. Political gamesmanship. Political compromise. Why can’t the Hon. Premier convene a “working lunch” at the Govt Admin Bldg or at a hotel resort (weekend retreat!) and start to work across the political divide and even with the Hon. Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Bush?

    History is replete with examples of where great advancement; all for the betterment, of the people was achieved when the art of political compromise was deployed and made use of.
    Think of Presidents Ronald Reagan in the 80’s working with House Speaker, Democrat Thomas “Tip” O’Neil. USA created 15 million new jobs and unions were broken up- all due to compromise and working across political barriers (again- “compromise”).

    Think of President Bill Clinton in 94. Both Houses of Congress controlled by Republicans. He worked with them and the USA achieved its first budget surplus and balanced budget since 1960 when it was last done under President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

    Come on Mr. Premier, Hon. Alden McLaughlin!…this is your hour to shine and show why you are paid the “big bucks”!

    No to early election…. BUT YES..(HELL YES!) to COMPROMISE!

    Ps…(with political compromise) the next 16 months could see great achievement. We could have the OMOV properly implemented. We could have properly structured and functioning Advisory District Councils. We could have the splitting away of work permits from Immigration Dept to a newly created and effective Human Resources Authority; with the merger into it of the now mostly dysfunctional NWDA. The Govt. (due to political compromise) could create even its own HEART Trust/ NTA trade school that would once and for all time, act as a fertile training ground to address under-employment and better prepare all for future work and progress.
    So…I am 100% for some old fashioned political compromise that LBJ knew and is practiced in Texas!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Every last one of the LA members are bunch of jokers – Ppm, upd, cdp, independent, whatever u fall under…….ALL bunch of jokers cha kmt

  8. Anonymous says:

    Ezzard almost sounds like he may cross over to the PPM just to keep hi OMOV agenda going..This is so ridiculous. either we want it or we don’t .. Is he afraid that the next government would not implement it or that he may not get elected again? We need to think about what is best for the country not just for a few politicians political agendas…

  9. Anonymous says:

    Alden needs to resign and call for new elections and allow the PPM to regroup under new leadership. We, as the PPM need new leadership in order for our party to survive.

    The government cannot function in it’s present condition of not knowing from day to day whether another person is going to cross over to the opposition benches..We need to get our party in order and new elections are needed.

    • Pi$$ Poor Management says:

      The poor leadership offered by the Premier is why people are leaving and have left the PPM. The party is held hostage by the piss poor management but the die hardship cannot accept that Alden is the biggest problem for the PPM.

    • Anonymous says:

      Quick let’s get this thing done so we can put Mac back in charge.

      Watch out for da rock!

  10. Rp says:

    Stop playing games for once and work together for the benefit of our country!

    Why can’t you all be adults for once and work together?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Alden knows he would struggle to be reelected under OMOV, which is why he’s been dragging his feet all this while. Let’s face it, sportsfans, his natural role in life is as a complainer/grumbler, and he has a rock solid record in this regard. He was a disaster as a minister and screwed up the education system no end to service his “humungious” ego. Kurt needs to take over.

    • Anonymous says:

      We all know that Alden has been dragging his feet on the OMOV hoping that there would be some hurdle that would prevent its implementation. Either way Alden CAN’T get re-elected. You can take that to the bank. I have some information to share with the country when the time is right.

  12. Allahden says:

    There are three viable options for Premier remaining within the PPM. Alden is not one of them , praise be to Allahden.

  13. cynical says:

    Early election mr premier? Be careful what you wish for, and remember who is lurking in the undergrowth in WB. As things stand, and without OMOV, the PPM wouldn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of being re-elected with a working majority. The PPM risks the chance of being the government that allowed let the UDP to return to power through the back door.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hate to say this but you shouldn’t worry so much about McKeeva and start worrying about who is going to run the PPM if the party is to survive..I don’t think it will be much different for Alden whether he goes now or in 2017.

      • Anonymous says:

        Not being a party man I couldn’t care less about the PPM. Good governance on the other hand …

  14. Bob says:

    Movement of Jah people.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Tara please leave the coalition asap!!

  16. Anonymous says:

    There is no need for an early election. This is just Alden’s way of not having to have the election under OMOV because he and the rest of his cohorts know that they probably stand a slim to no chance of being reelected under the OMOV. We need to wait for the OMOV to be implemented. The fact that LORD Alden may not have the majority rule is killing his fragile ego. But the country can run like this and we will get laws passed that are in the best interest of the country and not his Lordships whims and fancies.

  17. Anonymous says:

    National disgrace! But that what unna get…….Alden is NOTHING w/o Kurt’s coattail……..he may not agree but it is a fact!! Period! He thinks he’s the next best thing since sliced bread came on line but tell him to try getting elected w/o Kurt! A pity there’s not one PPM who could be nominated other than him……but yes they do, as when PPM in next conference the members have options………The Wight Twin boys!!

  18. Anonymous says:

    the spineless flip-flopping continues……

  19. Anonymous says:

    Alden the Spineless does not want OMOV because he prefers power to doing the right thing. That is obvious by the fact he has delayed OMOV so long into his term.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Why would they need an election. To have a majority? Why. A minority government is considered the best type of government to have.

    With a minority government both the seated party and the opposition must agree in order to pass new legislation etc.

    They may argue that they’ll get nothing done, I disagree. The things they will get done will be items the entire legislature agrees with and therefore hopefully supported by the public and in everyone’s best interest.

    I say keep the minority and work with it like adults.

    • Anonymous says:

      Lord Alden needs to be in control. Power is what matters to him not the people

    • Anonymous says:

      Absolutely right. The current Government passed the National Conservation Law unanimously. So if they can reach consensus on that anything they can’t agree on must be really divisive, i.e., really in need of some further consideration.

    • Anonymous says:

      Conspiracy # 13 – So, in order to get OMOV una have to put pressure on the other MLAs to support the Cabinet (often referred to as The Government) for the next year or so.

  21. Anonymous says:

    The entire LA disgusts me.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Lets do it early election!! Another year of the regressives will be bad for these islands.

  23. Anonymous says:

    An early election may not be a bad thing considering!

    • Anonymous says:

      The Cayman ship appears to be sinking so why continue the way it is? A change would be good!

  24. Conscience says:

    Pray tell Joseph Smith Bodden who gave you the mandate to speak
    on behalf of the people of the Cayman Islands. Ole boy I suggest you shhhh until you have the authority to speak on such matters, if ever.

  25. McCarron McLaughlin says:

    Sounds like OMOV has the Premier crapping in his pants. The possibility of an early election is almost remote. I can’t see any of our elected officials getting away with supporting such a move at this critical juncture. Anyway weirder things have happened.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Good. Shelve it. Those tiny districts will be a disaster anyway.

    The last thing Cayman needs is to become MORE parochial.

    And the sooner the electioneer, the sooner we get these useless bums out, the better.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Alden playing games again. Like the rest of his party he needs the KT coat tail affect under the current system to improve his chances of reelection. His leadership and disingenuous is why the PPM are crumbling before our eyes with good people like Anthony Eden and Alva Suckoo jumping off that sinking ship.

  28. Joseph Smith Bodden says:

    If the PPM fail to keep the promise of OMOV for the next election each PPM member needs to be voted out of office.

    Alden McLaughlin
    Moses Kirkonnell
    Marco Archer
    Wayne Panton
    Osbourne Bodden
    Joey Hew
    Roy McTaggart
    Kurt Tibbetts
    Julie O’Connor
    Tara Rivers

    You have been warned. Your political future hangs in the balance if you fail the Caymanian people again.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree 200%. They are using this mess they caused to weasel out of OMOV. I smell a conspiracy.

    • Marcia says:

      They have no political future. To give these clowns, for the exception of Mr. Archer and Ms. Rivers, another four years in power would mean no future for any Caymanian. However, with all due respect I do believe Mr. Archer and Ms. Rivers could be given another opportunity.

      • Anonymous says:

        Tara should have given up her passport and should not have qualified to run. Rules were changed because of her. That’s the first X in my book. Next what has she actually accomplished? I’m not from west bay but she is the gender minister. She def doesn’t help or cb consider helping the masses with things that fall under her remit. Huge example the gay residency – she doesn’t have to agree with the lifestyle but the human rights and equality fall under her. Her comments and responses are backward.

        Archer – he did even less than Tara. I didn’t even know he was a politician.

    • Anonymous says:

      Whilst I agree that the Premier is indicating an early election maybe to avoid OMOV you should also no threaten. Threatening. Is territory for fools. Action is what counts. Just one question. Who are you going to replace them with?

      • Anonymous says:

        Alden has been as disaster. Moses must replace Alden as Premier if the PPM expect to win.

        • Anonymous says:

          Lord help us no way Moses for Premier. If you think Alden is bad you ain’t seen bad yet. Moses is a snake in the grass

    • Anonymous says:

      Again?? Why u say again??

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