Opposition plans People’s Alliance

| 31/12/2018 | 68 Comments
Cayman News Service

Opposition members (L-R) Arden McLean, Ezzard Miller, Alva Suckoo and Chris Saunders

(CNS): The opposition leader has signaled the creation of a political alliance next year, which he hopes will increase participatory democracy. In his New Year’s message to the people, Ezzard Miller said the movement’s aim was to promote Cayman’s success and to encourage greater engagement and involvement on the issues of the day by everyone who lives here. 

“If we are to move forward productively and meaningfully in 2019 — if we are to take all concerns and needs into consideration — we must lend all our voices to the debates and conversations,” he said, adding that the active involvement of all residents was required to achieve the best for Cayman.

Reflecting on the opposition’s work in 2018, Miller said he had “enormous pride” in what it was able to achieve, given the role it has in local democracy and the road blocks it encountered, as he pointed to the efforts to give voice to those who feel inhibited.

“This is the role of the opposition and my colleagues and I make no apology for it,” he said, promising to continue speaking for all the people and to challenge the government where necessary, as he said there were benefits to keeping up the pressure.

“In 2018 we championed the concern about the lack of a mandate for a cruise port, and pushed for a referendum,” he said, adding that while the outcome was not yet known, the opposition had at least compelled the government to debate the issues for the first time, even if only to a limited degree.

“The opposition also raised the issue of the failure of government to implement and conform to its own good governance laws. Much of this is still outstanding, but we did succeed in prompting government to appoint its nominees to the very critical Procurement Committee. That is a start. In the meantime, we will maintain our vigilance in promoting good governance and preventing and exposing corruption,” he said.

But as government approaches its halfway term for this administration, Miller next year he intended to expand the opposition’s influence with the creation of the Cayman Islands People’s Alliance.

“The movement’s aim is to sustain and promote the traditions for the harmony on which the success and prosperity of the Cayman Islands have been built, while seeking to address the needs of all sectors and increasing participatory democracy. In particular, we are committed to facilitating opportunities for those who are being increasingly left behind or neglected,” he said. “To enable wider access to opportunities and to stem the increasing tide of economic disparity, we will continue to call for greater focus on our families.”

With the country set to celebrate  the 60th anniversary of the very first constitution of the Cayman Islands, Miller said he hoped the people would join “hands and hearts to make life better for all”, and spoke of the need to celebrate the diversity of talent, skills and abilities in Cayman society.

See Miller’s full message on CNS Local Life

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Category: Politics

Comments (68)

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  1. Anony says:

    I read all the comments on this topic and I am glad most people seem to prefer anybody besides Ezzard as Premier. Can you imagine waking up and finding out North Side is now the Capital of Cayman and if you want to come up there you have to pay Jerris $10 for a special 5 day pass? Of course that would not even be the most horrible act of that administration.

  2. Anonymous says:

    For a few years Ezzard has been timidly challenging the status quo with quiet memos and press soundbites, but he’s not exactly pressing hard on the bullhorn in respect to the long-differed enactment of the Standards in Public Life Law. That’s supposed to be the cornerstone of CIG Transparency and good governance. He’s supposed to be the guy that is checking this regime. Without that enactment, there is no power to scrutinize conflicts, accounts, payments and back-room deal making. All of the underhanded enrichment and back-room-dealing remains fair game. I can only guess it is so thoroughly rewarding that none of these guys really want it enacted.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    they spend x mas on riviera/monocco…om govt and leave us in boring cayman paying bills…stressed!?

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  4. Anonymous says:

    get rid of them all…start with clean plate…they all in…l…..d…..e? and yes i am a native

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  5. Anonymous says:

    the ‘opposition’… proof that cayman must allow expats to be elected.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Chances are that most if not all this group will not be re elected. Their modus operandi of ” attack and tear down” has backfired. Plus i hear that they keep meeting with Bernie….all a recipe for losing the next election.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Independents were the winners in last election, not either of the party systems.

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      • Anonymous says:

        “Opposition tactics have backfired” –
        What exactly do you expect the opposition to do blindly support every motion the government proposes?

        “Plus i hear that they keep meeting with Bernie” –
        I think that is more of an indictment on the state of our “unity government” than the opposition benches being underhanded, but throw out whatever it is you wish and hope that anything sticks I guess

        “Their modus operandi of ” attack and tear down” has backfired” –

        In what way? The Opposition members unseated 2 sitting government ministers in 2017 – Again any rational person would view that as an indictment on the former PPM administration, and an endorsement of the independent representatives

        When will people like you realize:

        – The government does not need the approval or support of the opposition to do anything
        – The Opposition is meant to scrutinize the government in service to the people
        – A parliamentary body functions best with a strong, vocal opposition that is capable of holding the government benches to account when necessary and supporting them when applicable
        – The opposition is meant to provide an alternative perspective in the house, and is meant to represent those not given a voice on the government side

        I don’t always agree with members of the opposition in fact I find some MLAs on the Opposition benches quite distasteful
        But I understand their role in the current system
        You clearly do not

        This idea that people have that the opposition is just meant to smile and nod at whatever the 12 stooges on the other side get told to do by their donors is laughable

    • Eligible BOTC Citizen says:

      ‘Expats’ can get elected, Sir Vassel Johnson is a case in point. All one has to do is be resident for the requisite number of years as an eligible person. Not difficult, it just takes time.

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      • Anonymous says:

        The current restrictions are incompatible with ECHR requirements.

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      • Anonymous says:

        From the elections law:

        Note of qualifications to be elected as a member of the Legislative Assembly

        (As set out in sections 61 and 62 of Schedule 2 to the Cayman Islands (Constitution) Order, 2009).

        61 (1) Subject to section 62, a person shall be qualified to be elected as a member of the Legislative Assembly if, and shall not be qualified to be so elected unless –
        (a) he or she is a Caymanian; and
        (b) he or she has attained the age of 21 years; and
        (c) he or she is, at the date of his or her nomination for election,
        domiciled and resident in the Cayman Islands;
        (d) he or she is a qualified citizen; and either
        (e) he or she was born in the Cayman Islands, or was born outside the
        Cayman Islands in the circumstances mentioned in subsection (2)(b), has resided in the Cayman Islands for a period of not less than seven years immediately preceding the date of his or her nomination for election and, subject to subsection (3), the number of days on which he or she was absent from the Cayman Islands in that period does not exceed 400; or
        (f) if he or she was born outside the Cayman Islands, has resided in the Cayman Islands for a period or periods amounting to not less than fifteen years out of the twenty years immediately preceding the date of his or her nomination for election, and, subject to subsection (3), in the seven years immediately preceding the date of his or her nomination for election the number of days on which he or she was absent from the Cayman Islands does not exceed 400.

        (2) For the purposes of subsection (1)(d), a qualified citizen is a British overseas territories citizen by virtue of a connection with the Cayman Islands, who either –
        (a) at the date of his or her nomination for election possesses no other citizenship and is pursuing no claim to any other citizenship for which he or she may be eligible; or
        (b) was born outside the Cayman Islands, has or had at least one parent or grandparent who was born in the Cayman Islands and is a Caymanian (or if deceased would if alive have been a Caymanian at the date of nomination for election), and who at the date of his or her nomination for election possesses no other citizenship save for any right he or she may have to some other
        citizenship by virtue of his or her birth outside the Cayman Islands;
        and in this subsection the words “other citizenship” do not include British citizenship acquired by virtue of the British Overseas Territories Act 2002(3).

        (3) In ascertaining whether a person has been absent from the Cayman Islands for the purposes of subsection (1)(e) or (f), any period of absence by reason of the following shall be disregarded –
        (a) the performance of duty on behalf of the Government;
        (b) attendance as a student at any educational establishment;
        (c) attendance as a patient at any hospital, clinic or other medical
        institution;
        (d) employment as a seaman aboard an ocean-going vessel; or
        (e) employment as a crew member on any aircraft.

      • Anonymous says:

        Eligible BOTC Citizen : I am sure Eźard and his team will correct that if given a chance.They might just extend the required time to 100 yrs

  6. Anonymous says:

    Translation: Buzzard Miller wants to be premier.

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  7. Smithy says:

    A political party by any other name is still a political party. Is this what Alva Suckoo was talking about a few months back? It seems as if the penny has finally dropped. A successful government cannot be comprised of independents.

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  8. Bertie : B says:

    Cayman needs all new blood in politics , bring on the younger generation .Caymanians who have been educated overseas and have worldly views . Hopefully a woman .These guys have been around way to long . What would be nice is an educated lady that has never been in politics , she can build her party with like minded people .This would be a breath of fresh air , and from what we have been seeing for years now it does not need a genius to run the government !

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    • Anonymous says:

      Can women join the Lodge?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Identity Politics: You argument would justify that we should elect a one-eye one-horned flying-purple-people-eater because there are none in office.

      Why don’t we let anybody seek office based upon their ideas, and not a superficial border-line racists criteria. Or cant some groups compete with ideas???

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    • Anonymous says:

      Bertie B. Feminist. Wants us to elect a bunch of radicals who are ‘worldly’ and
      don’t believe in God . Oh and will push the gay marriage agenda.Good to know that not all who were educated overseas fall into this category. Hope to God we don’t elect a majority of that worldly type.

  9. Anonymous says:

    If that lot took power would the last person to leave switch the lights off.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Is mediocrity required for membership or just strongly encouraged?

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  11. Anony says:

    Ezzard is way past his expiry date. Go home Ezzard and make slingshots and kill them Green Iguanas. Because you not able to bring any meaning full change to Cayman.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    A party by any other name is still a party! Who do they think they are fooling

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    • Anonymous says:

      No. You can have an ‘alliance’ different from a party. For example the ‘alliance’, I mean Government of National Unity, currently governing Cayman.

      The problem the UDP, PPM, etc. have is that they have no political identity. They are all merely personality alliances with the same generic ‘we love Cayman’ platforms. Which is why anyone with sense has no respect for them as political parties.

      You also don’t need to have political parties, proper or other, to govern. It is entirely possible to elect a group of ‘independents’ based on whatever criteria each voter chooses for their vote and then have the elected representatives sort themselves out post-election into the governing ‘alliance’ and the opposition ‘alliance’. Whether you like that system or prefer to choose between nominal parties is your business. But not liking post-election alliances of independents doesn’t mean that political parties are a requirement. Just your preference.

      As to whether this opposition ‘alliance’ is simply an opposition of the day or an attempt to start another party of personalities either (a) remains to be seen or (b) depends on your point of view.

      And regardless of whether you voted in independents or party apparatchiks a well-functioning democracy expects that the public will remain involved in the national decision-making in some way. Not that whoever is in Government can say ‘well I campaigned on W-X-Y-Z therefore a majority must agree with Z regardless of why they voted for me therefore the country will now do Z despite what new information may have subsequently come to light’.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    Watcha say?

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  14. Anonymous says:

    If you really want community involvement in CI politics, you need to make voting compulsory. In Australia, one of the real democracies, apathy or laziness are rewarded with a substantial fine. Participation in community affairs is an obligation, rather than a privilege.

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    • Donnie says:

      I agree totally.

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    • Anonymous says:

      While I understand the purpose of mandatory participation I feel like it is unnecessary here in Cayman
      We hover between 75-80% of eligible voters participating in the average general election

      What we need to focus on is teaching our youth the importance of willingly participating in the democratic process
      That starts with civics in the classrooms, and actually incorporating them into the system rather than telling them to blindly follow their elders and their superiors

      An interest in the administration of our Islands should not begin at 35
      The quality of representatives will only go up when we have the mature conversations necessary about grooming a new generation for leadership

      I’ll let you in on a secret, Baby Boomers wont be in charge for much longer and most of their kids are fast approaching their 50s by now

      Who have we prepared to take up the mantle?

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    • Anonymous says:

      How in the hell can you have a “real democracy” where you are punished for exercising your free right to abstain?

      Come again, but this time try to make some “real” sense!??????

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      • Anonymous says:

        Going to the ballot station is mandatory but actually choosing or voting is not. You can leave your paper empty and this in itself is a great show by the public that rather than being assumed complacent or indifferent, they DONT feel that ANYONE deserves their vote which is a HUGE expression to the politicians/govt running!!

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        • Anonymous says:

          The only thing mandatory in life should be to tell the truth.

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        • Anonymous says:

          So it is mandatory that I waste my time is what you’re saying. I can send the exact same message, with the exact same effect, by not going to vote. Sounds like a pretty dumb system and one with no clear moral value. Lets leave it as a failed experiment peculiar to Australia.

    • Anonymous says:

      On the other hand, morons should not vote.

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    • Anony says:

      Compulsory voting is not democratic. I bet a lot of the Aussie are really drunk and pissed when they are forced to vote.

  15. Anonymous says:

    the opposition with their small minded, small town, backward mentality are incapable of running the country.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    if you thought the ppm/mac alliance was bad…..the opposition scares the hell out of me

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    • Anonymous says:

      If you are LOCAL, you must be one of the Cayman Lannister Families. That’s the only reason you would say such things about this team. If you’re not, then you are just afraid of Caymanians being put first in Cayman.

      Have no fear, this group knows how Cayman’s bread is buttered. They won’t be running away expats.

      They will just make sure that Caymanians are qualified to take positions they can do!!

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    • Anonymous says:

      As it should. Not a single one of them understand basic economics.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    Oh my word….????

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  18. Anonymous says:

    Yes!!!!! PPM, UDP & Join Any Party Group, take note…..your days in the House are NUMBERED!!!!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Make way for the expat party. It is just a matter of time.It seems that no Caymanian is thought to be good enough for the majority of posters on this site. Makes one believe that they are expats seeking expat power.

  19. Anonymous says:

    So a party of “independents” then. No thanks. Go back to sleep.

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  20. Anonymous says:

    Count me in.

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  21. Anonymous says:

    Dear Ezzard (and/or whoever else is listening):

    We need to raise the standard and deepen the eligibility pool of Caymanians that can serve as MLAs, so that there are more than two choices for each district. You should have some connection to the district to run there.

    We need to enact the Standards in Public Life law, retro active to the creation of the oversight committee in 2009.

    National archives documents destruction policy, destroying all CIG records after 5 years, and phone records after one, should be digitized and kept for 50 years.

    Double dipping on salary and pension, while receiving housing, travel, security allowances and other perks, is immoral and should be clawed back for the sake of the many CIG social programs that are neglected (mental health for one).

    The whole game is rigged.

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    • Anony says:

      Anonymous says 31/12/18 8.28. I think you are mislead and uninformed.

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    • Anonymous says:

      And invest it into education like the new President of UCCI has so clearly stated in last Thursday’s Compass.

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    • Anonymous says:

      8.28am FYI there was only one electoral district that that had only two choices during the 2017 elections and that was George Town Central.Try to keep up bro.

  22. land crab says:

    Just another effort at a power grab. Politicians never change their spots.

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  23. Anonymous says:

    So basically, Ezzard will create a *party* of “independents”. That’s funny.

    Why you ask? The _real reason_ is because he realizes that’s the only way he can possibly become Premier.

    All of the other justifications he offers is complete horse shit.

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    • The Constitutional Critic says:

      By definition in order to be Premier you have to have at least 9 other seated MLAs supporting you

      So “Why you ask? The _real reason_ is because he realizes that’s the only way he can possibly become Premier.”

      Same reason the PPM was founded, same reason the CDP was founded its almost as if parties function the way they do on purpose

      The fact that you think you have discovered something here is astounding

      Let me break this down for you

      1- Ezzard wants to be Premier (obvious)

      2 -Ezzard understands that in order to be Premier he needs 9 other MLAs supporting him

      3 – Ezzard has taken note of the dissatisfaction with the current 2 party system in Cayman (CDP unable to win anywhere but WB and the PPM net losing 2 seats in 2017

      4 -Ezzard has found a group of people he thinks he can work with (the official opposition)

      5 -Ezzard realizes the best way to get to the magic number of 9 other MLAs is to be in an organized group with them outside of this Legislative term and to look to get others to run in 2021

      6 -Ezzard plans to form an organized group in order to advance their legislative agenda, in the hopes of either becoming a coalition partner in 2021 or Premier himself, just as any rational candidate aspiring for the office has to do

      What you have discovered and seem outraged about seems like run of the mill party politics to me

      I’m failing to see what is controversial about this, or why Ezzard and Ezzard alone needs justification to work with others to advance their common agenda

      Where is the PPMs justification, or the CDPs?

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  24. M says:

    The only way the opposition will succceed is if Ezzard steps away. Come on E your time is up. I really don’t want a Ppm gov but also cannot vote for opposition if u are leader. Rock n a hard place. Opposition grow some balls and make some effective decisions about your leadership. And not Arden either.

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