Premier accuses petitioners of presumptive call

| 27/05/2019 | 73 Comments
Cayman News Service

Cruise ship and tender in George Town Harbour

(CNS): Premier Alden McLaughlin has refused to comment on the announcement by the Cruise Port Referendum campaigners that their petition seeking a people-initiated vote on whether or not the people support government’s plans for a cruise berthing facility in George Town, as he accused activists of being “presumptuous and premature” because the “signatures have not been independently verified”. McLaughlin issued a very brief statement to Cayman 27 stating that this must be done by the Elections Office before the petition can be presented to the Cabinet. “Until that occurs, government will not comment further,” he said.

Nevertheless, speculation is mounting that government is considering November for the poll and is already seeking to manipulate the question by posing a much broader proposition about whether or not people support the government’s policy or investment in cruise tourism rather than a specific ‘yes or ‘no’ to the port, which is what campaigners are seeking.

The petitioners have been thorough in their collection of names and have ensured that every signature has been verified, their right to vote confirmed and crossed checked with the electoral roll. While there is a possibility that there may be some anomalies, the campaigners are now very confident that they have more than enough names needed.

While it is unlikely that once the Elections Office has verified the signatures that the government would refuse to hold a ballot, there remains significant concern that not only will it seek to manipulate the question but will be able to use public cash to out-spend the grassroots campaign, which will depend on dozens of volunteers, donations and social media to get out the vote.

The government gets to set the question and the date. In addition, under the Constitution for any people-initiated referendum to succeed it must get 50% plus one of registered voters and not just a simple majority of the turnout.

But if it does succeed,  it is a binding result. Campaigners are therefore hoping for a turnout that surpasses the usual election level of around 80% to make sure they stand a chance of stopping the project.

It is understood that the political arm of government is pressing on with its closed-door talks with the remaining two bidders in the tendering process for this project, as it remains confident that, despite the success so far of the activists, it will prevail in a national ballot.

Regardless of the coming challenges, the grassroots campaigners remain optimistic that the referendum could still stop the project, given how unpopular the project is in the wider community. The activists will be hosting a public meeting in George Town on Thursday night where they will be discussing the next step in the campaign.

Johann Moxam, one of the organisers of the campaign, said CPR had made history by exceeding the 5,289 votes and that a really diverse group of Caymanians, new and old, as well as young and not so young, all came together to reach that goal.

Moxam told CNS that no matter what people feel about this issue, just the fact that it is “the largest, most complex and most expensive project in the country’s history” should mean the question goes to the people.

He said that whoever secures the contract will be doing it to make a profit for their organisations and are not in this to help local people or the environment. He said that despite claims to the contrary, taxpayers will ultimately pick up the tab for the proposed development, which many people believe will not advance but be a detriment to the overall tourism industry in the Cayman Islands.

Moxam said that government must let Caymanians and Cabinet decide this issue, but he remains concerned, saying that government has been disingenuous from the very beginning of this proposal and has done all it can to either mislead the public or hide things from them, and he expects that to continue.

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Category: development, Local News, Politics

Comments (73)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Alden Mclaughlin calling anyone presumptive is hilarious

    The man who in no uncertain terms lost the last election (3 ministers were voted out) still had the audacity to turn around and claim the people of the Cayman Islands wanted a PPM government

    The man who has authorized a public and GOVERNMENT FUNDED campaign against a petition prior to the threshold for a referendum was ever met and also simultaneously claiming that he has a mandate from the people to deliver this project

    I can’t wait for this clown to step down

  2. Anonymous says:

    I still don’t believe that the referendum signatures will hold above the threshold.
    I think the CPR people knew if they didn’t hand it in now the deal would be signed in a matter of weeks to a month. Their sole goal was to delay. They know they will never get the 50% +1 in an actual vote.

  3. Anonymous says:

    What are the politicians soo afraid? If they have any balls the referendum will be one question only – do you want the port to be built in Georgetown.

  4. Anonymous says:

    It is hypocritical when politicians say, “The public is very wise and must be respected.” Truly most politicians view the public as sheep with their hands out and do not respect their opinions. Case in point, cruise ship referendum.

    • Tell it like it is says:

      For the avoidance of doubt no where in the alleged Premiers stage,ent was there any mention of denying the petition. What was reported was that thre needs to be a verification of the signatures by the Elections office prior to presenting the petition to Cabinet.

      I don’t know why the bunch of you are getting your knickers knacketed when there is no need to. I think most of you need to dedicate yourself and your energies to some other tak, ostnof you can’t even string a sentence together. Get a life y’all

    • Anonymous says:

      If Govt. had not stuck to their plan we would still not even have the stretched to max, one finger pier that serves our import needs. All the sea captain and public experts of the day were up in arms against it.

  5. Anonymous says:

    How immature and greedy do you have to be to want to support something like this hot mess of a port?

  6. anonymous says:

    Mr. Premier what are you afraid of? Let the people vote. Either you get a mandate or you don’t. If we truly live in a democracy, shouldn’t the people decide whether or not we need a project of this magnitude?

  7. Anonymous says:

    after summarizing all the comments, what I see is a bunch of petrified, panic-stricken people.
    on their knees praying for a ( no ) referendum.

  8. Anonymous says:

    This group has been saying they got the numbers to trigger a referendum since last year. Until it is official it just sounds like diversion tactics.

    • Anonymous says:

      No they haven’t. They’ve been expressing confidence that they *would get* the numbers. Only now have they announced having them.

  9. Ron Ebanks says:

    3:16pm , I believe that the Government will try everything to discredit the petition , but are you and everyone going to sit down and let them do it ????

  10. Ron Ebanks says:

    I have not seen the Kirkbots work so damn hard in my life .

  11. Anonymous says:

    All fun and games but the petition leaders are a bit too late. No referendum can be triggered until the elections office says they are real voters. Was a nice effort but there’s no way 100% of these actually stand, if they even have the initial number to proceed.

    • Anonymous says:

      Do you think the Elections office is going to sit down and call 5,000 people, theyd be there for months

      They are simply going to look at the list of electors, look at the petition and cross reference signatures on official government documents, will be verified in a week or less

      The elections office is like 5-6 people in the period between elections, the only time that office ever has anything going on is during an election

  12. Anonymous says:

    whatever the Lodge says……..but that membership cant get them through the pearly gates😃 now i wait for them to insult after reading my comment.😃😄

  13. Anonymous says:

    The CPR petitioners have been bluffing and saying they either have or almost have the numbers for at least 8 months. Why would Already or anyone for that matter trust what they say.

  14. Anonymous says:

    couldn’t have thought up a better name for him myself……….Aldart! cute and funny. Always looking for more no matter the consequence.
    think about the country, not your pocket.

  15. Anonymous says:

    It took over a year to get the first 25% of signatures for the proposal. Why does anyone think you could get the next 25% + 1 in an election? You are dreaming if you think turnout will be greater than 80% (an impressive result in the last election). That means you need a 62.5% majority to win, and that just won’t happen. If there was that much support the 25% would have been reached long ago. A waste of time and money.

  16. ppm Distress Signal says:

    How typical…Pot-calling-kettle-black much?

    The uncanny thing about politicians like the current Premier and his cronies is that they always judge others actions by their own standards.

    That’s why thieves are always suspicious and bullies are very sensitive to resistance. This Unity Government led by Alden Moses and McKeeva are seeking to intimidate anyone asking any questions about the project and believe in a transparent democratic process.

  17. I ❤️ Kirkbots says:

    Kirkbots must win the CNS 👍🏻👎🏻 polls to get a bonus. Or maybe it’s Chinese or Russia hackers on the payroll

  18. Anonymous says:

    So Alden, just suppose the organizers only can prove they represent 23.7% of the electorate, and not the 25% they claim (and my money is on them) – you think it is OK for a democratic leader to show such disdain?

    Right back at you buddy! You really are an arrogant ^>#%!

  19. Anonymous says:

    CIG can BS octogenarians and intimidate civil servants, but not Cayman youth! Move over grandpas, you lost all credibility leading us toward environmental cliff.

  20. Anonymous says:

    It is without a shadow of a doubt that the government will do their utmost to discredit and dismiss the petition. It would be a huge embarrassment for them to have to go back to those parties to whom they have promised contracts etc. The cash has been banked and the wheels greased.

    Watch this space and see how the democratic right of the people will be ripped up because promises have been made and pockets lined.

    • SSM345 says:

      “Watch this space and see how the democratic right of the people will be ripped up because promises have been made and pockets lined.”

      Nah today Bobo; dem days long-gone and will not be tolerated anymore.

      The Youth and younger generations are tired of the f**kry.

      If they think WE will stand idle and let them carry-on then they have another thing coming.

  21. Ron Ebanks says:

    He will learn not to be so greedy and arrogant in a short time .

  22. Anonymous says:

    Boy there is nothing I hate more than a sellout. Alden, Austin Harris you listening? Money and power corrupts. Zero respect for these two.

    • Anonymous says:

      Austin Harris is a one term wonder. He is jobless after the 2021 elections I will never waste my vote on him again completely useless!

      • Chet Oswald Ebanks says:

        Yes Austin Harris is a sell out. 1 term wonder. You should see the email Austin sent me after agreeing to meet with me in person. That meeting never happened. Sellout, sellout.

    • Anonymous says:

      yes but money will always have has power!

  23. Anonymous says:

    I do hope that the CPR folks and the Govt are able to get together and decide the question for the referendum.

    I also hope that the results come what may is accepted by all.

  24. Anonymous says:

    The questions are likely to be something like this;

    A. Do you support the future of Cayman with a modern port?

    Or

    B. Do you support a decline in tourism and poverty?

  25. Anonymous says:

    Why is the government fighting against democracy and Registered voters exercising from their rights to have their say on issues of national importance like the CBF?

    Democracy is supposed to work for everyone or does the government not agree with rights given to citizens in the Constitution?

    • Anonymous says:

      Because they have forgotten what representative democracy is and seem to think they have become dictators. Theyve also forgotten that we, the people, pay their salaries!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Are these 60 people against democracy??

    • Joe B says:

      The government of the day understands that the voting group is not educated (thanks to Government of the past and present) and believes themselves to be a lot smarter (look at their paychecks) and so more capable of determining what the people really want. I think they are right. The only problem is they also are not smart enough to get it done without lots of problems.

  26. Anonymous says:

    democracy my arshhhh!

  27. Anonymous says:

    Thank you CPR Mr. Moxam for your bravery and efforts. The people must be allowed get to use their voices in a democratic way thru the referendum.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Typical arrogant Alden!
    No one expects anything less from one of Cayman’s biggest sellouts ever.

  29. BeaumontZodecloun says:

    Premier McLaughlin, please don’t be common. You have to accept and recognise the possibility that you are wrong, in spite of your best efforts. This decision is larger than your or Cabinet, Sir. If you want to be for the People, you have to represent them fairly, and if you do not, then you are not fit for office.

    You may believe that we don’t have the ability to read, study, research and decide this issue; you would be wrong, if so. When the current Speaker was Premier, he loused up our chances of having a reasonably priced cruise ship berthing. I understand your frustration and wanting to battle back to that same place to finally deliver what the People supported so long ago.

    It is possible or even probable that the time for that project has come and gone, wasted by Mr. Bush. Too many countries and states are being taken advantage of by the cruise ship companies, and all too often left holding the bag, paying for construction from which they can’t benefit.

    You need our help in deciding this issue, whether or not you realise it. I urge you to step out of the way, to not try to further hinder the People’s referendum. What you must understand is that regardless of the outcome, you are required by the moral tenets of your office to support the free and conclusive expression of the People’s will. This is history being written, Sir. How do you want to be remembered?

    God bless and keep you safe.

    • Anonymous says:

      I almost voted your comment down for calling him sir. He deserves no such respect. He seems the opposite of what the founders of the PPM strived for. Transparency is not what we got, but what the referendum campaigners have achieved without the trappings of office. I now trust them over our elected government, any day, and that Alden has so vehemently and baselessly questioned their integrity only emphasizes the point.

    • Anonymous says:

      Seconded!

  30. Anonymous says:

    Wah! Wah! Wah! *Banging Fist on floor, while kicking and screaming* “That Johann!” Wah! Wah! Wah!

    • Anonymous says:

      PPM diehards Kirkbots and all trolls on red alert 🚨 now. They can’t believe the people do not believe the propaganda!

    • SSM345 says:

      1:12 It’s obviously very difficult for you and a others to actually comprehend anything when you are constantly drunk on Koolaid.

      I believe Johann represents 1, there are 5299 others who actually had a pair to put their name to paper for the betterment of their Country and its future or at the very least to get all the facts before we jump off a cliff and the point of no return.

      Meanwhile, absolute Muppets like you live amongst us and are a key component in why this Country remains backwards in so many facets of a “Democratic” society, its not even funny.

  31. Anonymous says:

    So, the Premier was only concerned with kicking against the call for the Port Referendum – but had NO COMMENT re the constitutional provision / right thereto?

    Yep, if ever Section 70 was a needed tool, it is while this current administration is in power.

    Alden, why are you so shook?

    If the people want this proposed port, which you claim is the bees-knees and then some, the referendum will bring you the result you want.

    Unless of course you have reason to be afraid?

    – Whodatis

    • Anonymous says:

      @Whodatis – I don’t agree with your comments very often, but this one is spot on. Thank you.

      • nauticalone says:

        My thoughts also. And for those civil servants who are afraid, I urge we all consider our future, and our children’s futures. I’m a civil servant and I signed the petition from last year. Not because I’m dead set against port enhancements – not at all! But because we deserve a clear and transparent plan.

    • Mr. Personality says:

      Ignore his royal arrogance Alden with his usual condescending utterances.
      He is forever beholden to KT and Big Mac. They control him and are real power behind the throne of a paper Premier.

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe you need to ask if Alden and Ezzard tried to agree on a constitutional change without consulting the opposition or people?

  32. Anonymous says:

    There is only one ship in this theatre of operation that travels by us every other Thursday during high season (when we already have 4-7 ships in port), and others are not yet in the future construction forecast looking 10 years ahead of now. To get even more particular: the home port infrastructure to accommodate those few planned for the Eastern Caribbean (where we don’t live), haven’t been built.

    This Cabinet continues to defer enactment of SIPL while flogging a false urgency to their squeezing this into their election cycle. We may need to discuss the nuclear option of petitioning the governor to urgently enact the SIPL at the next LA session in June, subsequently dissolve the LA, and call elections for later this year. Hopefully removing all the many existing corrupt actors with the compelled enactment of SIPL.

    The conflicted political standard of “lying for ulterior purpose” is what impedes good governance, responsible resource management, scaled infrastructure maintenance, and planning for a future vision we can all share. We need change to break this status quo.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Alden dancing fast now!

  34. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like Aldart is looking for ways to manipulate the referendum…that guy is a piece of work.

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