Opposition rails against adjournment

| 13/04/2016 | 58 Comments
Cayman News Service

Premier Alden MLaughlin examines the parliamentary rules with political advisor Roy Tatum

(CNS): The opposition members were shaking their proverbial fists at government Wednesday, accusing the PPM administration of intimidating the speaker and trying to undermine democracy, as a second attempt to call enough MLAs to address the business listed for a special meeting failed. During the afternoon session on 13 April to deal with two private members’ motions, the premier turned up on the government benches to declare there was no quorum.

After reading notices she had received from some ministers and government backbenchers who claimed they were unable to attend, Speaker of the House Julianna O’Connor-Connolly agreed that ten members were required to press ahead with the business and adjourned the meeting until 9am on 25 April. Government is expected to turn up in force that day to deal with the technical issue of closing off this special meeting and moving the motions to another date, before beginning the meeting the premier has called to start later that day.

With two members of the government benches off-island this week, Premier Alden McLaughlin was faced with a political dilemma regarding today’s special meeting, which had been called for by the opposition: government did not have enough members to change the motions, which both concerned the RCIPS, or defeat the now loaded opposition benches.

Although private members’ motions are not binding and, if accepted, require government to merely consider their content, if the PPM government, with its wafer-thin majority, had lost control of the Chamber floor during a debate about the increasingly sensitive issue of policing and security, it might have been even more embarrassing than the decision to effectively boycott the proceedings.

While the opposition railed at what they saw as an abuse of the democratic process, the government avoided a damaging defeat on two sensitive motions dealing with issues that the premier, as the home affairs minister, wishes to retain control.

Opposition members were quick to criticise and make political capital but the anticipated fireworks did not materialise. The UDP and independent members were not given an opportunity to speak before the adjournment, and while East End MLA Arden McLean addressed members of the public in the gallery after the adjournment criticising the premier, there was little the MLAs could do once the meeting was closed down by the speaker.

McLean said he was fighting for democracy, as he accused McLaughlin, his former political ally, of wanting a dictatorship and promised that in the “fullness of time” he would take the premier on “face to face”, as he accused him of intimidating the speaker.

Speaking to the press after the adjournment, Opposition Leader McKeeva Bush described the chain of events as a poor indictment on the government and said the situation had been badly handled, as he raised concerns about when these important motions would be addressed.

Bush echoed comments made by North Side MLA Ezzard Miller that neither of the motions on Wednesday’s order paper could be debated during the forthcoming government meeting set for 25 April due to the rules of engagement in parliament.

All of the members bringing and supporting these two controversial motions – one asking for an independent public enquiry into the events surrounding the search and rescue mission last month and the second being a no confidence motion in the RCIPS – already have their full quota of motions filed and accepted for that meeting

Bush said the that these two motions and the ones he and other members have already filed needed to be dealt with before the budget meeting, which is expected to be in May, as the outcomes could impact government spending.

The opposition leader accused government, and Education Minister Tara Rivers in particular, of “political shenanigans”, while the family of those lost at sea have not had any answers. Speculating why the US Coast Guard has refused to undertake the review of the search and rescue, Bush said it might be because of what they had seen during their involvement in the delayed operation.

Miller said he had no sympathy for the government’s numbers problem and that the premier and government had made poor choices in their handling of the meeting. Accusing the Progressives of being childish and Financial Services Minister Wayne Panton, who is off-island, of going to an “insurance party” where Cayman was already well represented by the industry, he said the minister did not need to go and could have made up the numbers on the government benches to defeat the motions.

He said the opposition members had been forced to call the meeting because of the PPM’s repeated failure to set any dates for the LA to meet, despite requests from the opposition benches. They had followed Standing Orders, he said, but the government’s handling of the situation was a “black eye for the democratic process” and there was “no rationale” for its reaction to the call for the meeting.

Nevertheless, Miller noted the irony that the premier had made it clear in his comments this week that he wants the same thing that the motion filed by McLean and Miller is seeking.

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Comments (58)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The PPM bloggers and usual suspects are certainly out in force trying to circle the wagons…it is a good thing they own their own businesses…

  2. Anonymous says:

    Too many comments here about Alden doing the right thing for the country and not showing up? I’m guessing they were too busy to show because they are trying to ensure the bill passes to allow two men of the same sex to remain here on a permit together, instead of trying to find out what happened to 5 Caymanians…. shame on you Alden!! Mckeeva is right about Tara. The people of West Bay will not forget this, and I am sure he will ensure they don’t. PPM you can consider yourselves gone in 2017!! You all can like it or not!!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    We need permanent term limits so we do not have to watch the same soap opera from the same trash. At the end of the day, UDP and PPM enjoy huge pay-checks whether they lose or fail the country.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh now you realize that. Did you vote for the constitution? Did you consider the consequences of having parties ingrained in the constitution? Did you support PPM who pushed that whole agenda? Well guess what, PPM promoted this party system and the Cayman people were either sleeping or swallowed it up listening to PPM. Now you have it and want to control it? It’s too late for that. That can only be done now if you change the constitution which is the hardest law to change in the country. You can’t even get PPM to show up for this crime issue. Good luck with implementing term limits.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Alden is setting himself up for failure in the next election , Crime must stop. Ezzard and Arden are using common sense by coming together with McKeeva and the rest of the backbenchers. Nothing is happening on large projects , crime is ridiculous ,Police need to be fired they can’t read or write? I mean what did you think was going to happen ? Did you think everybody is blind and dumb?
    Fix it soon ,real soon.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Well looks like the UDP coalition got outfoxed; they punched and PPM delivered a better counter punch.In my opinion the calling of this meeting presented the PPM with a lose lose situation. Had the meeting been held it would have been used to castigate the PPM. If it was not held then the refusal would be used to show them as out of touch. If the subject is about the increase in crime then Mac had better start by explaining the fact that during his 32 years as the political leader of West Bay crime has gotten consistently worse. In fact with McKeeva as Premier there was 5 murders in 8 days in 2011,with the majority in West Bay.; and this is the man that wants to select our next Commissioner of Police. Wow.

  6. Allar says:

    It is a shame how you PPM worshipers blog are so stupid that you don’t realize that there is so many of the wider Cayman populace who actually has embraced Arden, Ezzard and McKeeva coming together to do what they are paid to do, and that is to be a strong backbench and represent the country when the government of the day wont. I personally commend these gentlemen for their stance and would encourage any person who sits in opposition to represent us to the best. Lets face it Alden has lost it and continues to do so. What Alden and Tara did yesterday seek to undermine our democracy to the highest. To disregard a summonsed from the speaker is unheard of in this Island the PPM government and their puppet back bench should be shame, but then how can you be shame if you don’t have none.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are quite and blatantly incorrect in your statement that this situation has not happened in the LA before. mckeewa is reaping what he sowed and I pray for his sake that he doesn’t live long enough to reap everything he has sown in politics in this country. Your obnoxious attempt to disgrace the chosen leader of this country is an insult to the people of this country that is only out-shined by your very poor command of the English language. Go back to school. Learn how to write. Get yourself a life.

  7. Geese says:

    Divide,conquer, confuse and inflame are the only strategies that these 3rd graders can come up with and Alden was right not too enable their motions to be debated as they are without merit. Next time elect people who have brains and more than a 5th grade education and you will have a government that functions honorably and effectively and the tail will stop wagging the dog!.

  8. Anonymous says:

    The saying goes “Politics makes strange bed fellows.” Is Arden and Ezzard really teaming up with McKeeva? Could this alliance be long term, like for the next election?

    They also say Birds of a feather flock together. Are Arden and Ezzard the new McKeeva-ites? UDPs in EE and NS conch shells?

    I would like to know what deal has been struck between Arden Ezzard and McKeeva for them to be getting along SO GOOD these days?

  9. Anonymous says:

    “Speculating why the US Coast Guard has refused to undertake the review of the search and rescue, Bush said it might be because of what they had seen during their involvement in the delayed operation.” You could be right Mr Bush, they probably saw the political interference with their colleagues in the SAR and wanted none of it? Or just maybe they saw that the call was for an ‘independent’ enquiry and that the US Coastguard were ever so slightly involved from the beginning and could not be ‘independent’. But everyone missed that point as they lined up their targets. It is probably the case the US Coastguard command and crews are stood alongside the RCIPS teams in this enquiry (and will be in other times as well), not behind them stabbing them in the back. That is if they can actually find an infomed body of professionals that are prepared to undertake a review of their peers.

  10. Sucka Punch says:

    The PPm sheep can blog all they want they aint going to get the support come next election and they had better get use to it.That is of course if they get the same under handing undemocratic help they got the last time from their puppet master?

  11. Anonymous says:

    These Opposition politicians never met a microphone they didn’t like.
    It is disgraceful that the politicians would use the boating deaths for political gain. Speculating why the USCG chose to refrain from involvement in a foreign country’s internal affairs for political gain is also disgraceful.
    Blame and attack is all these politicians know how to do.
    Has any of them put forth a plan for a Cayman Coast Guard? No, that would require some leadership and work both lacking from the Opposition.

  12. Anonymous says:

    You are under no obligation to stoop to the opposition’s demands, Alden. It is YOUR responsibility to make decisions in the best interests of the country, not the opposition’s. Mckeewa would do precisely the same except for completely different and unacceptable reasons. The kool aiders here are very simply doing their utmost to reduce you to his size, and the rest of the country is depending on you not to let that happen.

  13. Anonymous says:

    That’s right Alden, don’t let the time wasting gambler rule you, show him who is boss. Well done.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Do I need to define the word Politics or did you all read the article?

    • Anonymous says:

      Mckeewa and Ezzard and Arden would benefit greatly from your definition of the word politics and, yes we did read the article, thank you very much.

  15. Anonymous says:

    yawn…..alden is right not to entertain the nonsensical small town ramblings of ezzard/mac/arden…..
    remeber these are the people that thought sacking blames would improve the situation!!!…..just another day in wonderland…..

  16. Anonymous says:

    The government must govern ..not the Opposition the tail does wag the donkey.

    Please withdrawn these motions.

  17. Anonymous says:

    His Lorship Alden is the captain of a sinking ship called the ppm. He proves again how arrogant he is and how he rules his party they are his stooges

    • Anonymous says:

      God I am so sick of these tired worn out cliche’s and gross mis-comparisons of the PPM to the udp. If you people really so desperately need a new fridge I am sure mac can still arrange that for you.

    • Anonymous says:

      “His Lordship Alden”? Is that the tiniest tinge of envy I hear?

  18. Anonymous says:

    PPM must be booted out for lack of respect

  19. Anonymous says:

    This was not a democracy in action but a misinformed witch hunt. Irreparable damage has already been done, and if you think Baines going is the answer, it is the symptom of the mess these legislators have now created. Only this week, another two superintendents resigned to follow him. The RCIPS wasn’t in a mess, it will be now. You get what you deserve.

    • Anonymous says:

      No, they weren’t in a mess, they just couldn’t do anything about anything, nor keep their station secure, nor this island, nor its people. RCIPS was perfectly fine.

    • Anonymous says:

      We have been robbed three times in the last two months, shot has being fired to fellow employees, people has being held at gunpoint, considerable damage and losses we have had and the professionalism and help from the RCIPS is close to non existent. it was us who found, in separate incidents, the bullets, the casings, forensic evidence of the criminal presence, their exit route, who they where looking for (in one occasion that was a hit disguised as a robbery) finger prints at the area they were hiding while casing the place and so on. officers were more concern about the items we had in sale that anything else. Im talking about different officers every single time.

      I get judge every step of the way for the mistakes and under performance of my staff, why makes the commissioner of police any better than me? he got robbed, he got sue, some of his officers are disrespectful, uneducated and fail most of the tasks they are assigned. I’m not saying he is a bad cop or a dishonest person, I’m just saying that, what he is doing, ain’t working. he is not what we need for this specific jurisdiction.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Alden and his government are cowards with no concern for regular Caymanians

    • Anonymous says:

      Mckeewa (he IS his gowerment) is a bull with big, tick infested balls with no concern for regular Caymanians.

      • Clinton says:

        WTF is a “regular Caymanian”?????

        Do tell!!!!!!

        • Anonymous says:

          Any Caymanian that doesn’t drink koolaid.

        • Anonymous says:

          One who recognized that Cayman Compass has no respect for Caymanians. One who is unashamedly Caymanian and it’s in their blood. One who doesn’t have to ask the question you asked because they know with or without a passport, they or Caymanian. One who loves this country to death and has no fear of returning to it’s ground after a life of service and trying to leave it better than it was the day they were born.

        • Anonymous says:

          I think its one with good bowel movements.

  21. Anonymous says:

    The behaviour this week by the premier makes me regret my support for him!
    He is proving himself to be a bully,,

  22. Anonymous says:

    Ezzard and Arden have teamed up with Mckeewa at last? Three peas in a pod!

  23. Anonymous says:

    I actively supported the PPM in the last election in West Bay. This is the biggest embarrassment of their 1 term in office. They are running out of opportunities to prove they represent the people and not their own political interests. They have done nothing to stand above the ways of the previous administration. This no eliminates the top two parties in the next election. UDP (or what ever they call themselves now) and PPM have proved they are not for the people!
    Get out of the sand box and deal with the issues!

    udp

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