Opposition organises a shadow Cabinet

| 13/06/2017 | 36 Comments
Cayman News Service

Ezzard Miller is sworn in as opposition leader by Governor Helen Kilpatrick

(CNS): The independent members of the Legislative Assembly sitting in opposition have organised into a shadow Cabinet, enabling them to keep track of the work and actions of specific government ministers, which is a first for Cayman. In a press release sent out by Deputy Opposition Leader Alva Suckoo, the MLAs said the opposition’s role until now has not been fully developed. But for local democracy, modeled on the Westminster system, to be most effective, there needs to be an informed alternative to the majority government.

As a result, Opposition Leader Ezzard Miller has appointed areas of responsibility to enable them to monitor their assigned ministries and portfolios, and act as the main spokesman for the opposition benches on those subjects, offering informed criticism of government policies and bills brought to the House and developing alternative solutions.

Although they do not have the same resources as government, the members said they intend to develop volunteer advisory groups to help them.

According to the release, Miller will shadow the premier, Alden McLaughlin, and the deputy governor, Franz Manderson, while Suckoo will shadow Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, the Minister of Education, Youth, Sports, Agriculture and Lands.

Arden McLean (East End) will be following both Commerce and Planning Minister Joey Hew and Deputy Premier Moses Kirkconnell, who is minister for tourism and transport. Chris Saunders (Bodden Town West) will shadow Public Finance Minister Roy McTaggart as well as Tara Rivers, the minister for financial services and home affairs.

Kenneth Bryan (George Town Central) will be shadowing the part of the premier’s portfolio that covers community affairs and Dwayne Seymour’s ministry, which includes health, culture, housing and the environment.

Anthony Eden, however, will not have an official role following any Cabinet members but will offer his advice and experience across all ministries.

The opposition members said they believe they have a responsibility to be constructive in their criticism of the government and they intend to propose alternative and original solutions to deal with issues, concerns and problems.

The independent MLAs, who do not have a unified manifesto and have not yet released a joint policy document, said that they believe an opposition should be “a voice of the voiceless” and to present itself as a viable alternative to the government, to oppose it when necessary and to be “a critical partner in nation building”.

They also pledged to offer solutions to assist the government to help Caymanians concerned about how to pay their rent or have a challenge finding work. They said they will also be helping senior citizens who are forced to decide between buying groceries or medication, and civil servants concerned about further job loss, pay cuts or reductions in benefits. 

In addition, they want to speak for business owners, who are seeing increases in government regulations and costs while experiencing a reduction in the number of customers.

But the group is also calling for a different approach to how government manages the parliamentary meetings.

“In order to address the many issues facing Caymanians and Cayman, as a first step, we invite the government to change the frequency that our Legislative Assembly meets from the required minimum of four times per session between May to April to instead meet once per week for one day with a rolling agenda. This we believe would greatly enhance our democracy and allow the Legislative Assembly to deal with issues much more timely and effectively,” the opposition members stated in the release.

They asked the public to wade in and begin a discussion on the proposal and invited volunteers who want to contribute to the governance of the Cayman Islands to contact them and get involved.

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Category: Politics

Comments (36)

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  1. rp says:

    Voting public needs to elect responsible and capable people to represent us. People who are willing to devote their time and expertise to do what’s right for Cayman islands.

    We just don’t have those caliber people in the office. Marco Archer was the best I have seen and we chose to not re elect him.

    The sad part is that we have so much talent locally and this country could be run so much better and thrive. But so long as we elect those who buy our votes or convince us with rhetoric we will never know our true potential.

    In order to thrive, we need candidates that unite all of us who work and live here. Currently there is too much division. We need no more division of our people:

    Dart vs Gov,
    PPM vs CDP
    Expat vs Caymanian and further division: Paper Caymanian vs non paper Caymanian, 1st generation vs 10th, Jamaican vs Caymanian
    atheist vs Christian vs Adventist,
    gay vs straight,
    BT vs GT,
    Gov vs private sector
    Expat schools vs local schools etc etc etc

    Why are we dividing ourselves from ourselves? When we realize we are one people who work, live and love these islands that will be the time we will move forward. Division is not helping us and the current lot of elected leaders thrive on dividing us for their own gain.

    • fred says:

      “we chose to not re elect him” -ummm, no. A small number of people in GT chose not to re-elect him, but replace him with a man with no commercial experience other than dealing drugs. Had it been an island wide vote, outcome may have been different. That’s what happens when you have tiny constituencies and politicians promising the earth, moon and stars to THEIR constituents, instead of being statesmanlike and honest about what is achievable and best for the country as a whole.

      We are a small country. No issue with OMOV, but why on earth are we not electing on an island wide basis. The idea that the issues in GT Central are so different as to merit separate representation from GT South, or Northside and East End, make the electorate look like self centred idiots, and then we whine when the politicians play to that audience.

    • Anonymous says:

      “So much talent locally”. Really? Where has it been hiding all these years we’ve been electing bus drivers, barely literate but stalwarts of some church or other, embarrassingly out of tune singers, former meat cutters at Hurleys now the poster boy of the anti gay movement, and of course the many who never were able to keep a job in either Government or the private sector but can get elected and earn big money and pensions just by saying, all too often, unpleasant things about foreigners and how they are ruining the culture and heritage of these blessed isles. Want me to name them?

  2. Jerk-ed around says:

    I trust this promise won’t be broken

  3. Anonymous says:

    Nothing more than a toothless 5 o’clock shadow. That is all.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Well done, Opposition Leader Miller and Deputy Opposition Leader Suckoo.

    You have demonstrated to the Caymanian public that a bunch of independents can become organized, in this case, to keep the Government ministers and councilors accountable to the people of these beloved Islands. It’s sad no one noticed that the PPM and CDP when they were holding the opposition leadership positions could not get organized like this. Thanks for the breath of fresh air that you’re bringing to our house of legislative assembly.

    Meetings once per week is another brilliant idea.

    Keep the good news coming.

  5. Anonymous says:

    About time our Opposition acted effectively and in keeping with the expectations of good governance! Good move Ezzard. He will be an effective Leader of the Opposition, as we would have been as Premier had he chosen to form a Government a few weeks ago.

    The Opposition is a crucial aspect of the Westminster model, unlike how it seemed to fade into oblivion over the past four years.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I really believe the opposition shadow cabinet is an excellent idea and one that follows the West minister form of government. It also necessary for greater accountability for the people. Let us support this move.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Good. Now they can look into the situation of a prominent long serving civil servant who was recently pushed out of their job by a head of department here on a contract.

  8. Anonymous says:

    LOL, they think they are somehow relevant. How very entertaining.

    • Anonymous says:

      actually they really are! If this “dream team” of a Government is allowed to run un-checked what do you think will happen? Think back to the Legal Practitioners Bill!!! and the Port!!!

      • Just Sayin' says:

        The Legal Practitioners Bill was hijacked by a handful of sour grapes former attorneys pushing their entitlement agenda. The port has always been a pie in the sky non-starter.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Woo hoo, we are saved!

  10. Anonymous says:

    I hopre these “shadows” don’t follow their incumbents around, we had this problem before.

  11. Anonymous says:

    The only thing the opposition is worried about is getting back into government in 4 years so they can collect a fat paycheck and sit on the opposition bench and do nothing again. Don’t let them fool you, smoke and mirrors to act like they’ve done something to get votes.

    • Anonymous says:

      if you think that paycheck is fat I shudder to think what you earn. Chile please we earn way more in private sector. You really tried !

  12. Sharkey says:

    If I understand this correctly, this new watch dog group should have been formed long time ago. I think that Mr Miller feels that the group is necessary to keep the Minister straight and transparent and honest.

    I think that a private Citizens group should also be formed to keep them all honest and transparent.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sharkey that private citizens group already exists;it is called ‘The Voting Public’.

      • Sharkey says:

        Anonymous 7:08pm, are you saying that the whole off the voting public, is the private Citizens group ? If so I’ll have to think that it’s too many people to have involved to get anything done.

  13. Anonymous says:

    “Anthony Eden, however, will not have an official role…”

    GREAT JOB SAVANNAH!! Electing someone who justs wants a paycheck and not do anything for it.

    He is your MLA, but the whole country pays his salary. Now we are paying him for nothing.

    I think from now on the people in the constituency should pay for their MLA’s salary. Dont burden everyone else in the country just because “he is a nice guy”.

    • Anonymous says:

      He will keep those gays & lesbians in line though!

    • Anonymous says:

      We know what Mr. Eden stands for. If others had stood for what is right, they would have remained in the house. You are just jealous that you did not have the honor of voting for this fine gentleman. A man that stands for principles and for right when it seems like doing the right thing is no longer popular. We do not need others to tell us how to vote. We are proud of Mr. Eden.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I agree on more frequent meetings and mandatory attendance.

  15. Dire Straights says:

    Anthony Eden is earning money for nothing as usual. No shame and no purpose after 24 years of earning big bucks to pretend to be a nice guy. Look at his track record of accomplishments and list them if you can

    • Anonymous says:

      I trust the people of Savannah are proud of their non performing MLA.

    • JTB says:

      Bigotry and hatred crosses all ministries….

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe he will be shadowing the coming rainbow invasion to keep Savannah safe?

      • Anonymous says:

        You may have a point, noticeably many more gay visitors recently, not that I care…each to their own..but Lord Eden of Savannah and Short Pants should be aware he is surrounded.

      • George Towner says:

        Actually, Anthony Eden honors the Rainbow – sign God gave to the world in the days of Noah for a holy covenant with the world. And … to declare His laws against sexual immorality.

        The LGBT mock the symbol of the Rainbow, and has used its colors for their purposes. Anthony honors it.

        See the difference? ☺

        • Anonymous says:

          George Towner, at least one person thinks you are clever…you.

          • Anonymous says:

            But just for the record, you are not clever, George Towner. Just a sad bastard supporting another very troubled and conflicted sad bastard.

  16. Harden says:

    Arden should be more worried about Customs and law enforcement right now.

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