Near 94% of petition verified

| 26/08/2019 | 46 Comments
Cayman News Service
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(CNS): Elections officials have verified 4,960 signatures calling for a referendum on the question of government’s proposed cruise berthing project in the George Town Harbour. By 4pm on Saturday, the office had just 332 names left to check in order to reach the required 25% of the electorate to trigger the national vote. The campaigners have also submitted another 78 signatures, bringing the total of submitted signatures to 5,741.

CNS understands that the petitioners have collected a further 100 signatures, which they are still in the process of verifying to submit to the Elections Office, in order to ensure that the referendum will not be derailed by possible pressure from government and the pro-port lobby on signators to withdraw their names from the petition, even if they have already verified their signatures.

The submitted petition has a buffer of more than 450 names to counter those who have withdrawn their signatures and those who have, for whatever reason, refused to verify their names. However, with almost 5,000 people confirmed by Saturday evening, the last 332 names should be verified over the next week, well within the 1 October timeline that the government had agreed to allow for the verification process.

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Campaigners hope the process to confirm the 5,292 names needed to trigger the referendum will be completed by the end of this month, paving the way for government to bring the necessary legislation to the Legislative Assembly and, critically, set the question to allow the referendum campaign to begin.

The opposition confirmed last week that they will be campaigning against the project, as will most of those who have spearhead the push for the vote itself. It has already been a year-long struggle for the volunteers, who ran a grassroots campaign on a shoestring budget to collect and then have the signatures confirmed. However, the real battle is about to begin.

The question will prove to be very important and voter turnout will be crucial, but the volunteers hope that the anonymity of the ballot box will encourage those afraid to sign to come and vote. They also hope that anyone intimidated into removing their signature in support of the referendum will still take the time on polling day to cast a vote and take part in the democratic process.

In order for those opposing the project to carry the day, they will need to secure 50% of the entire electorate plus one vote, rather than a simple majority of the actual turnout, setting a high bar for the those opposed to the project.

All those eligible to vote but who are not yet registered are urged to register as soon as possible to ensure that they do not miss the chance to vote in the referendum.

Cruise Port Referendum Signature Verification Countdown

* 5,438 submitted June 12th + 199 submitted July 11th + 26 submitted August 5th + 78 Submitted Aug 15th
** Constitutionally required 25% of the 21,116 registered electors = 5,292
# of Elector Signatures submitted for Verification*# of verification forms received# of signatures remaining to be verified # of verification forms remaining to reach 5,292** % of the required 5,292** signatures received Date & Time of Last Update
5,741 4,960 781 332 93.7% Aug 24, 4PM

See how to confirm your name or register here

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Category: development, Local News, Politics

Comments (46)

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  1. Rick says:

    Anyone interested in sustainable tourism over mass tourism should check out this story at https://barbadostoday.bb/2019/08/30/go-local/

    The dock is not really the problem. The real problem is cruise tourism and corruption.

  2. Constitutional Questioner says:

    I imagine this whole project will come down to the question eventually voted on and voter turnout. Section 70 of the Constitution says that the Cabinet shall settle the wording of the question and that a referendum shall be be binding on the government if assented to by more than 50% of the electorate.

    So all it takes for the anti-port campaign to fail is for less than 50% of the electorate to not vote at all. It won’t matter what the actual results of the vote are in that case. Getting more than 50% of the full electorate to not only vote, but also vote against the project is a huge barrier.

    Do people actually realize this?

    • Lone Wolf says:

      That’s why it’s called fake democracy and many people realise they’re not being given a choice but an ultimatum pertaining to voting. What does any of this matter since the majority feel as if they’re being given the opportunity to choose. Simple sheep.

      • Constitutional Questioner says:

        I wouldn’t call it a fake democracy. I mean the people in power were elected and can be held accountable in the next election. That is the choice people are given. At many levels however, the people need to let legislators do their job.

        If you’re saying every referendum issue should be decided by a simple majority of those voting, imagine the chaos. Brexit is a prime example.

    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman regularly has over 70% voter turnout
      We don’t have the issue the US has where only half of the country votes

      I am certain turnout will be similar to what we have had every election year if not more

      Many people are lukewarm on politicians, but protecting the environment is a concern in Cayman almost across the board

      The CIG picked the wrong hill to die on

  3. Anonymous says:

    You know that the current government will do everything in its power to tank this referendum. My guess is picking a question that will manipulate the results.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    This process is going to be more of a referendum about the leadership of this unity government than it will be about anything else.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    CNS, can you please publish the information on how we on Cayman Brac/Little Cayman can sign the petition. Thank you.

    CNS: Call the CPR volunteers at 327-5411 or email cprcayman@gmail.com

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Well if there was any doubt as to whether or not CPR petition leaders were anti port lobbyists CNS cleared that up with the statement in this article that “The opposition confirmed last week that they will be campaigning against the project, as will most of those who have spearhead the push for the vote itself.”

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  7. Anonymous says:

    I am becoming more and more against the dock as the days go by. While this referendum may fail in terms of stopping the port project, I think we should caution the elected government to realize that over 25% of the electorate has signed this petition, they will remember this come 2021 and that portion of voters will be enough to unseat this unholy unity government.

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  8. Forest Gump says:

    Building a mental asylum instead of a dock is substantial with the added bonus of catering to the needs of the few who whole heartedly believe the cruise berthing facility is a fantastic idea.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    What a waste of time. Build the dock already!

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  10. Anonymous says:

    The Governor is impotent.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    It is not legally possible to unverify. Either you signed or you did not. The interesting question (and the only relevant one) is how many of the signatures are alleged/found to be fraudulent. All of those should of course be referred to the RCIP. I look forward to learning of the investigation of all those fraudulent signatures we have had to spend millions to find…

    Governor, you starting to feel in the slightest bit embarrassed yet? A sample would have given all the confirmation reasonably required. Good governance, or a waste of public funds?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Roper is in the pockets of the big business and corrupt government of the day. Bring back Choudhury!

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      • BeaumontZodecloun says:

        You don’t know that any more than I do.

        What we DO know is that Governor Roper met with Mr. Howell and others and approved of the process — the same process that is now working and will undoubtedly soon reach and exceed the 100% mark necessary to trigger the Referendum.

        The system, the Constitution, is working, and we shall all soon have the ability to decide upon the Cruise piers as a voting people. All this other fluff and unsubstantiated accusations are not only bad form, but an unnecessary distraction to the process.

        The PIR is what matters now.

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        • Anonymous says:

          They (Howell and Roper) were wrong to approve this process. A statistically relevant sampling was the appropriate way to go. All they have done is waste money and create delay – all as part of a government sponsored effort to discredit voters in a supposed democracy.

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          • BeaumontZodecloun says:

            I agree to an extent, however given our historic track record of creating and implementing speedy legislation/policies, I believe this was the best and fastest method of vetting the signatures. This is particularly true, given that it’s the very first PIR. Learning curve/growing pains, yeah?

            Where we really fell down was in the original language in the Constitution; it should have spelled out the process in detail rather than kicking than imminent can down the road.

            Hopefully after the PIR has been triggered, we (the people) can cause a legislative framework to be introduced and passed, because this isn’t going to be the last PIR. Once we all recognise the power we wield, there will be many more issues that require resolution.

            cheers

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    • Anonymous says:

      Could someone who thumbed down the above comment please let us know the basis on which someone can unverify their signature. Sure, you can change your mind, but that is not the same.

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      • Anonymous says:

        The burden is on you to prove that I signed it.

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        • BeaumontZodecloun says:

          Disagree. If you signed it, and your I.D. was recorded, the onus would appear to be on you to prove a fraudulent signature.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Did you, yes or no?

          Not yes, but I changed my mind.

          Yes, or no!

          If no, then someone forged your signature. The police should investigate.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    Is the real objection the belief that Cayman does not need a purpose built Cruise Port in GT or anywhere; OR is the objection based on a belief that the current proposal was not formed in a fair and equitable manner? if the former, that’s nonsense. If the latter, what proof, and frankly, where have you been the last 50 years across all industry here?!?!

    Cayman most definitely needs a purpose built cruise facility. Building one immediately increases passenger spends, they get to stay here longer, the tours get to spread further into the Island, etc, etc, all thank to additional time enabled by the purpose built docking.

    will the ships stop coming if a port isn’t built? No. But what will continue to arrive is what we see now, the less wealthy clientele that cannot really afford to spend here. Those with significant disposable income are on the ships that will never tender here by choice, and those are the future of Cayman tourism.

    The finance sector is probably one generation away from leaving as global pressures on ‘tax efficiency’ slowly eat away at it. we do not have the climate to create any real exports in agriculture or livestock; we don’t have the land nor population to create new industries that can become financial pillars of the future for us.

    All we really will have is tourism. And the right tourism is to stay/aim to be high end. To do so, we need to welcome the high end ships. We can’t do that right now. we need to build a port to compete with regional and global options for the ships we want.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Your reasons for this ridiculous port idea are full of it my friend.

      1. We don’t need a cruise berthing facility. We only need an upgrade to the cargo dock. There is no evidence the berthing facility will increase spending on the island by passengers. Most are too lazy and fat to even get off the ship and even when they do, they barely even spend any money, Stay over tourism is where the real money is for tourism.

      2. All cruise ship passengers are “less wealthy clientele”. Just because they come on a bigger ship doesn’t mean they are wealthier. If anything, they are gonna cut prices for these people to get even more low income folks on cheap Caribbean cruises.

      3. Financial sector will always be a cornerstone in this country. If they all packed up and left, the cruise ship port isn’t saving this island.

      4. Big ships are not the same as high end ships. If anything, the smaller cruise ships are more expensive and have higher net worth people.

      In conclusion, this port will go down as the biggest mistake the Cayman Islands ever made if it gets built.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Your entire post is invalidated when you understand that the point of catering to cruisers is not for their spending money, it’s for the exposure.

        “Hey hun, remember when we stopped off in the Caymens? I loved their beaches! Let’s spend a week there in Winter!”

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        • Anonymous says:

          You’re delusional. Those types of visitors cant afford a meal on land the day their ship is here much less to stay for a week during winter. Get a clue.

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          • Anonymous says:

            If you’ve split your budget between 5 destinations, of course. Stopping in here is a lot less commitment, and actually being here is 100x more convincing that any TV ad.

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          • Anonymous says:

            We first stopped on a cruise in 1992 and have been back every year since. While we were in budget mode then, our lot has improved greatly over the years and with it our “spend” in Cayman.

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        • Anonymous says:

          You could get far better exposure with a fraction of the money on an ad campaign than building this stupid cruise berthing facility. Also, you wouldn’t have to destroy all that marine habitat and risk ruining the crystal clear waters. Vote no on the port!

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        • Anonymous says:

          $300 Million for EXPOSURE for future stay over tourism? Nonsense.

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        • Anonymous says:

          You are correct.

    • Anonymous says:

      you’re right, but the pro-port people have not exactly deployed excellence in sharing the wisdom/benefits of a purpose built facility, and i’m still concerned about the environmental damage although looking Mt Trashmore, i think we have bigger environmental concerns than relocated dive sites and beach erosion (dart will probably build beaches elsewhere anyhow…joke…maybe?!).

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  13. J|} says:

    Still don’t understand why these people that signed the petition so hyped and confident that this will derail the port project.

    75% of us didn’t sign the petition but you got a (bigger) surprise coming if you think we’re going to vote no too.

    Anyway, may democracy prevail and majority rule. Happy for the holiday.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    Who is going to verify the verifiers? We’re background checks done?

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    • Anonymous says:

      And will the verifiers be asked if they want to unverify, disqualifying all the signatures they verified? I wouldn’t put it past this crooked government!

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We have created a new system to help us address questions we receive from the public for the press briefings. We are getting hundreds every day and it’s impossible to read and deal with them while the PB is in process as there are a lot of moving parts to being able to do the Zoom meeting, take notes and respond to their info in real time.

So we are asking people to send their questions each day BEFORE NOON to: covid-questions@caymannewsservice.com

This will give us a chance to read, sort and consolidate the questions so that we get to the issues that people are most concerned about.

Thanks for your help. In the meantime the ones you have sent will be sorted and collated.