MLA: Premier’s boycott ‘disrespectful’

| 07/04/2016 | 61 Comments
Cayman News Service

Alden McLaughlin, Cayman Islands Premier, in the Legislative Assembly

(CNS): The representative for North Side has described the premier’s decision to boycott the Legislative Assembly meeting requested by the opposition, set for next week, as disingenuous and disrespectful to all of members of parliament, including the speaker. But Ezzard Miller, one of the five independent members who joined forces with the opposition members, said he will not boycott the government’s meetings in return as he said all members, including ministers, have an obligation to the people who elected them to turn up to the House when called by the speaker.

Efforts to speak with the premier about the boycott by CNS Thursday failed but Cabinet sources confirmed that none of the government members will take part in the proceedings. The premier is expected to attend alone in order to inform Speaker of the House Julianna O’Connor-Connolly, who is also a member of the ruling PPM and who agreed to the meeting, that the government MLAs would not be participating in the debate requested by the opposition benches to discuss two private members’ motions relating to the recent controversies surrounding the RCIPS.

Miller said he was “very disappointed”, as it means the motions, which he considers to be very important and not, as implied by government, political opportunism, will now not be discussed until much later in the current meeting. He said government business will take precedence over private members’ motions because since taking office, the premier has changed standing orders regularly to push private motions to the end of meetings.

Describing McLaughlin’s remarks in the local daily paper as childish, Miller pointed out that politicians are not elected to the Government Administration Building but to the Legislative Assembly and if the speaker calls a meeting, all MLAs have a duty to their constituents as well as the speaker and other members to turn up.

“Government is disrespecting the people, parliament and the speaker,” he said. “This is undermining her authority and if I were her, I would resign over this.”

Miller suggested that the government was bordering on contempt of parliament with the decision to boycott a meeting already set by the speaker, who is a member of the government.  The North Side member also reminded all of his political colleagues that it was in the Legislative Assembly not the government’s HQ where the checks and balances are and where elected officials are held to account.

Miller denied that the move by the opposition members regarding the motions was pure politics and said it was the premier not the opposition benches that was playing games and being childish. He accused the country’s leader of “taking the ball home” because he did not like the idea that the opposition and independent members had used their recently boosted ranks to call the meeting, in line with standing orders.

“This is not about political expediency but respect for parliament,” the North Side member said, adding that he would not be retaliating and would be attending all parliamentary meetings, regardless of who wants them, when called to attend by the speaker.

Given the new lineup in the LA and government’s narrowed majority, the procedural issues are still in question. The government currently has a majority of just one on the floor, as the speaker has only a casting vote. There has also been questions about whether or not she can be included in the count for a quorum for any LA meeting, which is ten, leaving the government benches dependent on at least one member of the opposition turning up for a meeting to be valid.

CNS understands that one minister is overseas on 13 April, the day set for the special meeting, which would mean government would only be able to defeat the motions with help from the speaker and could lose the vote if just one more member is absent or misses the call to vote.

McLaughlin has claimed that the boycott is because the meeting is not necessary since one has already been set and agreed just twelve days later, and that the motions will reach the order paper during that meeting. There are also concerns among government members that the motions will only serve to further undermine national security rather than address the real underlying problems with the RCIPS.

But with the governor still dragging her feet on appointing someone to undertake a review of how the police handled the search and rescue of five people, including two children, lost at sea last month and no sign of a real reorganization of the police management structure despite, and Police Commissioner David Baines’ early departure, the opposition members still feel the two motions are of national importance.

Tags: , , ,

Category: Politics

Comments (61)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. True Tings says:

    Who cares the top cop has resigned. Which is unfortunate, I suppose he hasn’t done his job, the prison is full can’t lock up anymore people. Hmm I wonder how many prisoners wr locked up when he arrived and how many convictions have happened during his Time?

    Let’s be honest we have to start with our ignorant Caymanian families who don’t give a sh.. about their kids . We have to start in the schools and education. Right now kids aren’t read for the work place, in fact I would be that 50% of Caymanians under 35yrs aren’t.

    For some.reason in the last several yrs racism has been brought in, screw that sh… we Caymanians are.lazy and feel entitle to everything!!! We are not!!!

    • Conscience says:

      The long and short of the Premiers decision is that he now too I smelling his pee. He should reconsider not having his entire government at the April 13th session of the House. His action and demeanour suggest that he does not care what John public thinks or even what other fellow members of parliament including the Speaker think, he seems to be getting the Napoleon syndrome and needs to check himself. Seriously there needs to be a dialogue on the 13th and all elected members need to attend. Any member of the Legislature who is absent on that day better have a real reason, for their absence will simply be considered as s don’t care attitude and believe me many people will make you all regret your decision not to attend in May 2017. Oh and it’s not just this issue for which you will be punished for your inability to represent your people.

  2. Sharkey says:

    I think what the premier is doing is deflecting from the real issues of the topic , and I call that denial . Why would he denie the people and the country anything ? Could it be possible that he loves one more than he loves the people and the Islands ? I know that politics are a dirty job , but the former politicians of Cayman Islands had away of keeping it clean and working for the people and the Islands .

    What’s wrong with the politicians today is what we should be watching and talking about till next election .

  3. Anonymous says:

    Anybody not present needs to get voted out

  4. GT voter says:

    MLA’s Roy McTaggart & Joey Hew as Progressive back bench members ARE NOT bound by “Collective Responsibility”

    Therefore why are they not attending the next sitting of the LA and representing the people of the district of GT? As much as the Premier wants to ignore the issue we are faced with I ncreasing Criminal activity and the performance (or lack thereof) of RCIPS are important issues that need to be addressed immediately by the government.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I can’t even be bothered to read through this crap! I am having to worry whether I am still going to have a job in 6 months time and how much longer I can afford to pay the every increasing cost of living on Island and how to prevent my family from becoming a victim of the every increasing crime!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Why is Alden being so arrogant and autocratic? He needs to do the right thing and release his people from collective responsibility and let them all vote their conscience..

  7. Anonymous says:

    Ego much? Meanwhile, Cayman is falling apart at the seams.

  8. Anonymous says:

    The Governor dragging her heels appointing a review body? Have you thought that no one wants to do it. Just like there are not many people queuing up to take David Baines position. Nothing but poison.

  9. Anonymous says:

    The only reason any opposition makes a motion is to pretend they are actually trying to do something. Nothing but political noise. They only do it to say on the campaign road hey I made this motion or that motion. If they really wanted to get something done and actually cared about the country they would try to work with ppm and Alden not just make motions.

    • Heeediot says:

      Yep thats why Mr Alden worked so hard to support the govt when he was Leader of the Opposition …..right? Keep drinking that red coolaid its really helping clean out your colon.

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly. It is political posturing by Ezzard and others. The other MLA’S were elected too, what gives Ezzard and other opposition members the superior right to dictate an earlier date when they know a LA meeting was already scheduled for the same month. They are attempting to exploit the Government ‘s razor thin majority by forcing a meeting when they know the Government will not have the numbers. They know fulI well they were forcing Alden’s hand.

      If they were in Alden’s shoes they would do the same or worse. I wonder if positions were reversed would they even show up to explain.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The people of the Cayman Islands need to understand the importance of the International Human Rights which Great Britain and the Cayman Island government sign onto. Take the matter to the International Human Rights for resolution

  11. Please STOP your freaking childish behavior and get your butts in the LA and do what u r all being paid to do.RUN THE COUNTRY.ALL of you should be ashamed of yourselves and again I just don’t understand why CAYMANIANS put up with this year after year.

  12. Anonymous says:

    How convenient for the PPM that the leaked Panama Papers happened now otherwise I wonder what the excuse would be for not going to the LA next week. Bermuda nor the Cayman Islands has been mentioned but instead of Bermuda officials galvanting all over the world their officials addressed the comments from the Opposition Leader in the UK so eloquently and powerfully. Our Financial Minister would do well to read what was printed in the Royal Gazette. Instead of leaving the island he should have ensured that a dialogue was had with the offshore sector to ensure that we are not at risk. No matter how transparent and how much scrutiny is applied a second or third look- over would help. I wonder what exactly will be the benefit of his rushing off the island in such a panic. In future please take a strong stand as Bermuda has done. While you are on the plane go on line and read Bermuda’s comments on the Gazette.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Alden just sealed his fate..not a chance in hell am I voting for him or any of his clan ever again..They fooled me once but not again..A bunch of cowards!

  14. Anonymous says:

    I just saw a clip of Premier McLaughlin’s response to the media on this matter and he accused the opposition of using the RCIPS/CoP no confidence issue to distract from the Government’s focus on the seriousness of ensuring the viability of Cayman as an international financial centre. I’m not disputing that Government needs to stay focused on anything which would protect our standing as a financial centre, but for the Premier to infer that crime, crime-fighting, national security is any less important is deplorable!! This dismissive stance and his own silence on the poor performance of RCIPS (including missing drugs, motorcycles, etc.) shows here his true allegiance lies – to the big banks and law firms instead of the average populace of the Cayman Islands.

    That being the case, he should resign also!!

  15. Merle H says:

    Alden is living proof of why Caymanians should never have power what a national disgrace him and his little gang is?? PPM are a real bunch of UK Stooges

    • Anonymous says:

      Hey merle, your lyrics are living proof that it is high level ignorance that causes people to generalize a whole nationality based on your own kool aid induced misconception of one person’s capabilities.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hey Merle, we’re so happy you don’t get a wote for every computer you have.

    • Watching says:

      Merle H you are a thinly veiled desecration of the name of an amazing country singer by expressing ethnically prejudiced comments denigrating the people of the country you have obviously chosen to live in for whatever selfish benefits you are attempting to squeeze out of it. It matters not to me whether you are actually Caymanian or expat: you have identified yourself as an obnoxious parasite on a musical icon AND on our the good people of the community of which you are a part.

      You are also obviously very confused and self-contradicting in your small-minded thinking – on the one hand suggesting “Caymanians should never have power” and on the other hand criticizing PPM as “UK Stooges”. So your muddled little mind can’t figure out whether Caymanians should have power or whether we should hand over all the (admittedly limited!) power of our elected representatives to UK or perhaps other nationalities since in your own little version of reality Caymanians can’t handle power.

      Please, before you let your fingers unleash such nonsensical putrid diatribe again in any blog or other public forum, engage your brain and cleanse yourself of whatever ethnic superiority or inferiority complex you are infected with.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I guess everyone can now finally see that Alden was never, nor will he be the leader he portrays him self to be. He is the same arrogant man that I have always known him to be. Laws need to change to hold any MLA accountable for now attending important meetings.

    • Anonymous says:

      Leading is not about how you look publicly as much as it is what you get done privately. He leads a government first and a country second; one follows from the other. All he has said here is that the members of the government are busy with government business. Wouldn’t you be upset if it they weren’t? Give me a break.

  17. Anonymous says:

    If I could buy Alden for what he’s worth and sell him for what he thinks he’s worth I would become a millionaire! Pompous fellow!

  18. Anonymous says:

    everybody should boycott anything to do with the backward, small town, ramblings of miller/mclean/bush…..
    their behaviour regarding baines has been disgraceful…

  19. Anonymous says:

    I am disappointed at the current state of affairs. Every MLA was elected and paid to represent our interests in the Legislative Assembly and when a meeting is scheduled by the Speaker, they are duty bound to attend.

    I can tell you, I have lost faith in the PPM and their selective governance. And to imagine I voted in GT for 4 of them

  20. Anonymous says:

    11:52 could it be that they really do not care about the people,of these islands? No real concern about education, healthcare, unemployment, the dire financial straits that some families are in and waiting time for needy citizens to be “assessed” by the famous “assessment unit”. Oh we could go on and on.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I’m not a fan of any of our Government MLA’s, but please read the article carefully before bashing Alden that he doesn’t want to deal with these private motions:

    “McLaughlin has claimed that the boycott is because the meeting is not necessary since one has already been set and agreed just twelve days later, and that the motions will reach the order paper during that meeting.”

    People, learn how to read before posting uneducated replies.

    • Anonymous says:

      07/04/2016 at 3:12 pm: You should try and analyze what Alden has done. Firstly, it is not for him to determine the validity/importance/priority of a meeting. It is the responsibility to determine whether to call a meeting or not. Once the Speaker calls a meeting ALL members are duty bound to attend. Alden and the rest of the government ministers are not above the parliament. I am wonder if Alden did this to provoke a dispute that will force an early election. Don’t forget that he is very calculating.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes Alden only announced his meeting for the 25 after the motion for the special meeting had been filed with the Speaker,

  22. Anonymous says:

    I think this demonstrates his lack of leadership ability. As the Premier, it is necessary to have uncomfortable or challenging conversations. How can you be such a high ranking leader with so much responsibility and simply opt to not be there because the subject matter isn’t one you like or agree with. I didn’t vote for that – I swear if breach of promise were actionable! It is a telling sign of hubris and immaturity. You don’t show up for me to participate in discussions which impact our country, I won’t show up for you when its time to participate in electing our future representatives.

  23. Forelock says:

    How is it possible for anyone to “boycott” a meeting that wasn’t in the LA’s schedule in the first place?

    The government has rightly refused to waste its time to arrange an extraordinary meeting where those calling for it have already achieved the underhanded, despicable and counter productive result they desired, even though their rhetoric had no basis in any fair, reasonable and objective measure of actual performance of the person they so wanted to get rid of.

    Why on earth would anyone want to listen to them crowing about it in a place where they can continue to distort the truth and face no punishment for it?

    Ignore them Mr. Premiere. They don’t really speak for the better informed members of the population. Please continue to concentrate on running the country instead.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Clearly direct rule from London is a must in order to deal with Banana Republic politicians

  25. Anonymous says:

    PPM are making a mockery of leadership

  26. T. Rowel says:

    Aren’t Lodge brothers all supposed to get along like one big happy family?

  27. Anonymous says:

    Disgraceful behavior. This is pure politics and petulance by the PPM on a matter of national importance.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Arrogance aside, the man at least has some semblance of common sense, which is more than could be said about the vast majority of the opposition.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Come on, if you really know Alden, do you expect any different?
    And that’s why he and Helen make it so well – neither has the slightest touch of humility or grasp of leadership.

  30. Anonymous says:

    How much of this opposition motion is political?

  31. Sharkey says:

    I also think that the premier wrong in not ever wanting this issue heard in the LA.
    The issues that the opposition wants heard in the LA , is all about crime , dishonesty , corruption , incompetence and maybe more . Why the premier don’t want to talk and debate those issues in the LA ?
    These issues are for the benefits of the Islands.

    • Anonymous says:

      Alden McLaughlin has failed as Premier and minister of home affairs. Crime is like a growing cancer in the Caymans while remains disconnected from the reality

  32. Anonymous says:

    What is happening to my country? Why is the current government not addressing matters raised for the good of our country? I am lost for words regarding the stance taken by the coalition government. PPM members should hold their heads in shame.

    • Rocketman says:

      Yes, the current epidemic of crass melodrama is a big problem.

      • Anonymous says:

        Premier Alden McLaughlin is simply demonstrating his wisdom and discretion, as a true leader, by not allowing himself to be bullied or manipulated into capitulating to the will of those desperate for control.

        • Anonymous says:

          Thank you PPM. Let’s look at the facts. One motion asks for an independent review of the police response to the missing boats. Our Governor has already committed to that. So why are we rushing to the LA to debate the motion

          The 2nd motion is an attack on our police and baines who is leaving. The motion should be withdrawn.

          Thank you Premier you are doing the right thing.

          • Anonymous says:

            Very valiant points raised Anon 11:52 however if you think the governor’s office will provide a independent in depth analyst of the police response to the missing boats you’re sadly mistaken. History has proven otherwise on numerous occasions. Why not allow an independent inquiry to take place as the government constantly insist in openness and transparency? Put your words to action.

            Time to put our country first people.

You can comment anonymously. See CNS Comment Policy at the top of this page.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.