CPR petition fully verified

| 11/09/2019 | 93 Comments
Cayman News Service
Cruise port facility, artist’s rendition

(CNS): The Elections Office confirmed Wednesday evening that the petition calling for a referendum on the proposed cruise berthing project has been completely verified. Officials said they had received signature verification forms from 5,305 registered voters, exceeding the 5,292 names needed to satisfy section 70 of the Cayman Islands Constitution. After heroic effort by campaigners, despite the numerous obstacles along the way, and the hard work of the Elections Office, the ball will soon be in Cabinet’s court.

The Elections Office said that in the coming days it will complete the final checks on the remaining signature forms and prepare a formal report for Cabinet. Government must then draw up the question based on the petition, set a potential date for the vote and draft the necessary legislation. That will then be made public before it goes to the Legislative Assembly for debate and passage into law.

Meanwhile, the activists behind the campaign for the referendum on the controversial project have written to Premier Alden McLaughlin for the fourth time in the last few months, calling, once again, for the disclosure of critical information on the project. With the petition now verified and no lawful impediment to the vote, campaigners said that the electorate needs up-to-date information well before polling day in order to make an informed decision.

Even though the government has already selected a bidder for the project — which could now be stopped — campaigners said key information has not been revealed. They are asking the premier to make the details of the revised design, the updated environmental impact assessment of that new design, the final business case report and the details of the proposed financing arrangements all public as soon as possible ahead of the start of the campaign for the national ballot.

“It is imperative that the Caymanian people have the opportunity to make a fully informed decision at the polls on the government’s proposed cruise berthing facility,” the activists stated in their letter to the premier, as they asked for his assurances that the information would be released.

As the first people-initiated referendum in the Cayman Islands, the poll will be historic, and the activists said it “would be a miscarriage of justice, failure of due diligence and set a dangerous precedent for participatory democracy in the Cayman Islands” if there were not full disclosure of all pertinent information.

It is understood that government has already been holding meetings with stakeholder groups, and CNS has been told that it is giving the impression that there will be no need for an updated environmental impact assessment, despite the significant changes to the design and scope of the project since an EIA was conducted in 2015.

However, CNS understands that the National Conservation Council will require a new assessment, given the changes that have now been made. The EIA provides for mandatory public input on the process and is an important tool for the public to understand the pros and cons of what would be the largest and most expensive capital project in Cayman’s history.

The information will paint the only independent picture of the damage this project will cause to the environment both during and after construction, what, if anything, can be done to mitigate that damage, and whether or not the destruction of marine habitat is outweighed by much wider benefits from the berthing facility, something those opposing the project believe government has failed to establish.

But now that it is certain that the people will decide on the project, information will be critical to the campaign, as will a voter drive to get as many people as possible to the polls to ensure that, whatever the result, the decision is made by voters and not special interest groups.

While the Elections Office will be turning its attention to registering voters and preparing for the national ballot, officials confirmed that the office will no longer be open on Saturdays. From Monday, 16 September, it will return to its regular office hours of 8:30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Elections Supervisor Wesley Howell and the senior team thanked the public and the team of support staff for their efforts in completing the verification exercise with professionalism and dedication.

Cruise Port Referendum Signature Verification Countdown

* 5,438 submitted June 12th + 199 Jul 11th + 26 Aug 5th + 78 Aug 15th + 54 Aug 28th + 33 Sept 6th + 21 Sept 7th + 13 Sept 8th
** 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
5,862 5,305 557 (10) 100.25% Sept 11,4PM

See the CPR letter, which was sent to the premier before the Election Office confirmed the verification, in the CNS Library.


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Category: development, Local News, Politics

Comments (93)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Well done and thanks for all your hard work. Hope the Govt. does what they need to do now and in a timely manner. Hope they realize that the rest of the world is watching. This time it cannot be swept under the carpet.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t think anyone else is watching…

      The rest of the world, lol

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      • Anonymous says:

        You’ve got to love the passionate hyperbole of some people, even if it is delusional.

      • Anonymous says:

        There was an article about Jamaican officials hoping the port goes through to boost their own cruise tourism just last week, might not be the rest of the world but their are definitely plenty of interest parties outside of Cayman.

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    • Anonymous says:

      You need to get off island more often 4:23. Can assure you the rest of the world is not watching.

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    • Ron Ebanks says:

      Congratulations to CPR committee members for completing the petition to the
      100% mark , but we must not forget the job is not done yet and it is all up you the VOTERS to finish the job . So make sure you go to vote against something that I believe Cayman Islands don’t need .

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  2. Bigger Picture Bob says:

    It’s funny really. For months and months, people said that CPR would never get the numbers for a referendum. Then when they did, people said it would never get past the verification. Now when it has, they are saying they won’t get 50%+1 of the electorate. Those naysayers have been wrong in 2 of 2 so far. It would be a big gamble to bet they are right now… Suggest it is more of a forelorn hope than a prediction.

    Then, any Government that ignores a sizable majority against its plans has to realise it may not even get to another election. If it does so after failing to implement Standards in Public Life, their legacy will be to wholly destroy a democracy. There is far more at stake than coral or cruise ships.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    CPR Campaigners,

    Thank you for your hard work.

    The road has not been easy and the relief that most of the island feels with this accomplishment cannot be understated.

    That said, the war is not won and it is now time to meet them on the front lines! Please set up a GoFundMe page so you can compete with the propaganda drivel that is being spewed by Government on a daily basis. The misinformation must be contained and both sides of the story shown!

    I will gladly contribute funds to your cause and show McLaughlin and his PPM that we can and will take the country back!

    – Maximus

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  4. Anonymous says:

    No frauds, no double counting, no dishonesty.

    The whole verification process has proved to be a total waste of public funds. It was done well, but was not necessary, and could so easily have been checked by random sampling.

    This is bad governance, Roper. Learn from it. Perhaps you now realize the natives have more credibility than their government. Please remember that.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    One question is what the 75% of the registered voters who did not sign the petition will do. If the turnout at the election is 70% of all registered voters, and all the petition signers show up and vote no (25% of all registered voters), that means that the remainder of the voters (70%-25%=45% of all registered voters) did not sign the petition. You need 55.5%+1 of these voting nonsigners to vote no (25%/45%=55.5%) to get you to 50%+1 of the total of all registered voters. Seems doable assuming most all signers are no votes. If there’s only 60% turnout, you need 78% of nonsigners to vote no to win. At 80% turnout, only 45% of nonsigners are needed. Signers who vote yes also raise the bar proportionally.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The point here is that if you have a normal turnout, you only need a reasonable number (55%) of nonsigners of the petition to actually win the referendum.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Kirkbots haven’t struck yet today. They aren’t allowed to use their phones on the shop floor. Lunch time soon come

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  7. Slacker says:

    While I signed the petition, I think it is totally impossible to get 50% + 1 of the electorate. Even the Brexit referendum only got about 70% of the electorate to vote. The only way to get to the 50+1 mark would be to make voting mandatory (as it is in some countries).

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  8. Anonymous says:

    This would be a GREAT opportunity to try electronic voting.
    Each constituency could simply have a self contained system (no external connections) pre-loaded by the elections office with only the voters from that constituency.
    A report at the start of the voting period to show no existing votes in the system.
    Then touch screens to vote and the voter is automatically set as having voted.
    Report at the end of the voting period to indicated the number of votes matches the number of voters who visited. Counting by constituency would be five minutes.
    Then each constituency simply report the results to head office and the final overall result is announced.
    We are the size of a small town. Why do we use such a wasteful paper voting system?

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    • Anonymous says:

      “Why do we use such a wasteful paper voting system?” I will tell you why. It is extremely easy and economical…. and it is more difficult to cheat with humans watching the count! You cannot trust electronics that the opposition has access to. Would our leaders cheat? Well…….. Is a pork chop greasy???

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, that has worked really well in Afghanistan and Florida.

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    • Anonymous says:

      People are distrustful of electronic voting for a reason, there is potential for machines going out of order and delaying elections at any point, screens can have issues and often break down in the middle of important votes. Cayman’s trust in public institutions is already low due to rampant corruption, double dealing and cronyism and most of it is true this would only cause an increase in suspicions and skepticism . In any case most of those voting machines end up keeping paper records of the votes anyway for recounts and validation meaning you still end up having to store the votes.

      Why over-complicate it buying expensive voting machines that will only see usage once every couple years anyway, I trust a piece of paper far more than I trust the goons in the Government who will do anything to stay in power

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    • Anonymous says:

      This is not the time!!

      For a supposed first world country, the technology in use is, at best, from the 1990s.

      Do not try reinventing the wheel now. It will take them decades to form that system technically in Cayman.

  9. Anonymous says:

    PPM, Lodge and direct beneficiaries of the port (i.e. potential contractors and hand-out cronies) will now work overtime to flip as many voters as they can, so that the actual referendum vote will fall short of a majority. Don’t drink their kool-aid!

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    • Anonymous says:

      But the referendum people kept saying that this is not an anti-piers document we are being asked to sign, it is for a referendum to let us decide wether or not we want the piers.
      It now seems that the promoters are now hailing this as a victory for the anti-piers lobby.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Does that mean new appliances and turkeys will be handed out earlier than before the election? I have a rental that could use a new stove.

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    • The CIG needs to be held to account for their campaign of lies says:

      They have tried and failed for a year to do so already

      I hope at some point we will get to the bottom of which Minister authorised the misleading government campaigns earlier this year citing that the petition organizers were bullying and harassing people, and barging into offices demanding signatures and interrupting businesses along with the claims that people had come forward saying the petitioners had misled them.
      Seeing as none of those claims turned out to be true, I hope the PAC and the Auditor General will dive into the expenses on the Government’s propaganda campaign to get to the bottom of it so that the minister(s) can be held to account

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  10. Anonymous says:

    The voters can also petition the governor to dissolve the LA and call elections at any time. That might be better than pretending the port pier is the only problem. We need Standards in Public Life enacted, investigations triggered, and a wholesale cleanup of all the corrupt semi-autonomous Boards and Ministries. We also need to allow Caymanians with second passports, an opportunity to serve the territory. Can’t be any worse than the corrupt status quo.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    it members only tonight! lol….ppm….lodge need rethink strategy….har har har…people have spoken…

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  12. Anonymous says:

    Now 7,000 government employees will no longer be afraid to cast their votes.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    Can we please just get this Referendum over and done with?

    According to this article, the campaigners are now demanding information (yet again) that any sensible person who has read what has been written about this project, would have realized all along:
    DO NOT expect the government to reveal final design details it DOES NOT have and will not have until the contract is signed, because part of the contract is to produce the design!
    What is it about “a DESIGN-Finance-Build-Maintain contract” you still don’t understand – is your vocabulary really that deficient? Or are you trying to keep on misleading the public and generating false fears so that you can keep spinning your yarns and spouting your vitriol against the duly elected government?

    Please campaigners, quit pretending that the government is hiding the final design, when the government and the chosen bidder Verdant Isle Partners haven’t even yet signed the deal under which that design will be produced. And you were the ones bawling that the government shouldn’t sign the deal until the Referendum has been competed.

    The more these anti-cruise-berthing campaigners keep tossing around their foolishness, the more foolish they paint themselves.

    Or is it that the campaigners now want to stretch this next part out as long as possible, between now and the Referendum, so that they will still be invited on the media talk shows so that they can continue spouting their diatribe through the various media?

    The sooner this Referendum is done, the better for all concerned (except, maybe, for the loudmouths who would enjoy a perpetuation of their self-delusional myth that a majority of registered voters are on their side!).

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    • Jah Dread says:

      Brother/sister ya right ya right sooooright. Bless Up

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    • Anonymous says:

      “What is it about “a DESIGN-Finance-Build-Maintain contract” you still don’t understand – is your vocabulary really that deficient?”

      This berthing project has been in the works for well over a decade which is 10 years for your vocabulary challenged comment. And you believe the public needing an actual design to evaluate and an actual cost of the project which has also gone missing is foolish.

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      • Anonymous says:

        RFP’s, by definition, require submission of a detailed proposal, and blueprint. If the Unity Team are admitting they awarded a winning bidder by some other means or criteria, then wtf….ACC and criminal investigation time. We need SIPL enacted so that we can compel testimony from complicit civil servants and clean this house.

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      • Anonymous says:

        8:48, While I understand the project the only part I do not fully understand is the financing structure. Transparency would be useful on the financing. I want to know if / if the CIG has any financial liability? The answer to this question will determine how I vote.

    • Anonymous says:

      geez I guess people just wanted the design and environmental destruction mitigation plans to be prioritized.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Here’s a question: how does a “transparent bidding process” determine and declare an RFP winner without a design-enviro-finance-build-maintain proposal?

    • Anonymous says:

      So 7:35, can you tell me for certain that First Caribbean (CIBC) is giving a loan for 60% of the financing with ZERO guarantees? I would like to know the answer to this question but nobody seems to have an answer. Do you? Why not be totally open about the financing of this project as we are talking about the biggest capital project in the history of the Cayman Islands? $200 million plus is a lot of money by any standard.

      The Caymanian people have a right to know the details of the financing structure as if he project goes haywire, or is hit by a major hurricane, strongly suspect that the CIG will be left holding the financial can.

  14. Anonymous says:

    This is what can happen when u have a igronant government. Alden and Moses let McKeeva lead them to this point because they refused to tell us what was going on.

    The PPM including MLA Wight were doomed from time they shook hands with McKeeva in May 2017

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  15. Anonymous says:

    The vote will be overwhelmingly against the dock expansion. But it won’t reach the required number of 50% of the electorate+1. Govt will then say they have a mandate and proceed anyway. Because they don’t believe in democracy once they’re elected.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Really don’t are about piersfor the cruisers, but failure to expand the Cargo facility will be a damaging loss to everyone who depends on this essential lifeline for food and materials imports to sustain our overall economy.

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      • Anonymous says:

        A myth. The port, one of the least accountable of the Ministries, plagued with high levels of redaction and nepotism, is projected to be operating under-capacity for years to come, and that was before the industrial park crane upgrades. The second myth is that any of the shipping companies or supermarkets would pass savings along to consumers if they were sharing a new trade route with South America. From a narco-transshipment perspective, sharing that route would put us into a new DEA risk category, with other knock-on social and gang warfare impacts that we are completely unprepared to deal with.

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      • Annonymous says:

        Yes but put the Cargo side at the end if N Sound Rd not in centre of town. How can we on one hand revitalize GT and on the other hand have hordes of non-spending cruisers wandering about and large trucks thundering through.

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      • Anonymous says:

        When’s the last time you read “shops low on essential items”? Or “shipping delays reduce choice for consumers”. Or “expanded cargo dock will drop grocery prices”.

        That’s what I thought…

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      • Anonymous says:

        Wrong. Failure to protect our environment will be our downfall.

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      • Anonymous says:

        7:27am – But that is not what this is about. They are making this about the cruise ship berth. Nary much has been said about the cargo facility. To the point of stating that we will lose all cruise ships if we don’t build the port.

        At the end of the day, the cargo facility actually prevents Georgetown from expanding and having a night life. Which is why Camana Bay is so popular. Our city center should be more of a focal point. I mean come on!! It’s OCEAN FRONT, ocean view!!!! Of which we are slowly losing!!!! What more could you want on a small island…. The view that we are famous for as it is slowly being taken away.

        The cargo facility should have been moved well before now.

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    • Anonymous says:

      So 3:31 you’re saying the government shouldn’t follow the Constitution? Is suspending the Constitution the next card you want to play? Really?

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      • Anonymous says:

        The Constitution does not require the Govt to proceed with the Cruise Docks after the vote. It merely sets out how many votes are needed to carry a motion in a referendum. As you well know but prefer to ignore in order to support your ridiculous argument.

        A powerful NO vote should make the Govt sit up and take notice, and not proceed. But they won’t they’ll just say some crap like “the people have spoken” and plow ahead.

    • Anonymous says:

      I would suggest the government not ignore the results of the referendum. The referendum won’t pass, but it will signal enough votes to swing the next election

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  16. ppm Distress Signal says:

    Alden Moses and McKeeva need to understand this referendum sets the stage for higher expectations of those in power. People want respect and accountability. This Premier and his govt are officially lame ducks.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    What will the heros and sky screamers say once the vote is taken, the silent majority speaks and the port project passes?

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    • Anonymous says:

      then I say go for it. If after the information is decimated in an honest and open fashion and we re all allowed to exercise our democratic right the port passes then it is clearly the will of the countries citizen’s and should be acted on as such.

      See that’s the great thing about democracy, it allows you to vote as you see fit, I have to wonder why so many pro port people are so afraid of it

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  18. I ❤️ Kirkbots says:

    Kirkbots and ppm bloggers working extra hard tonight to win the 👍🏻👎🏻 battle on CNS.
    The referendum proves the government have lost the support of people because of their arrogance and lies told to the public.

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    • Zeus says:

      The referendum does not prove what you are very simplistically eschewing, but it does show that despite all the negatives being largely promulgated by the wanna be politician Activists, we still live in a democracy. Nothing more nothing less. In the words of Andy Martin the Cayman Cowboy “ Take That”

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    • J|) says:

      Get over yourself. It doesn’t cost us money or a minute to mess with your heads when you believe every anonymous comment and vote is credible.

      We couldn’t care less about the outcome honestly. Just happy for a holiday and to see democracy alive and well.

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  19. Anonymous says:

    Build the pier !! cpr are the greatest though !!!! – what’s it going to be now bots, up or down…

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  20. Anonymous says:

    What is the 50%+1 majority that is needed? Is it 50% of the electorate or 50% of those who vote ?I f its 50% of electorate I think it will fail. If it is 50% of those who vote then I think it can be stopped.

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    • pete says:

      it should be of the population but I have heard some of those for the petition say they want it the other way. I have also heard that a lot of people who voted for the petition did not really know what they voted for.

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    • Anonymous says:

      50%+1 of total electorate, with around 70% voter turnout, on a negative response affirmation question this Cabinet gets to author.

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s rigged, indeed, and we may not even get 70% turnout. In addition, you’ll have ministers and backbenchers canvassing Scranton, the Swamp and Windsor Park, promising all sorts of things to people who will believe them if they vote for the port. However, if there’s a large majority (3:1 at least) of those who go to the polls voting against the port, the government would be mad to ignore the results, if they want to get reelected.

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    • Anonymous says:

      It is never going to be blocked 50% of registered voters need to say no.

      (3) Subject to this Constitution, a referendum under this section shall be binding on the
      Government and the Legislature if assented to by more than 50 per cent of persons registered as
      electors in accordance with section 90

      Qualifications of electors
      90.—(1) Subject to section 91, a person shall be entitled to be registered as an elector in one
      electoral district only, but he or she shall not be entitled to be registered as an elector for elections
      to the Legislative Assembly unless—
      (a) he or she was, on the day immediately preceding the date of commencement of this
      Constitution, entitled to be registered as an elector; or
      (b) he or she—
      (i) is a Caymanian; and
      (ii) has attained the age of eighteen years; and
      (iii) is resident in the Cayman Islands at the date of registration; and
      (iv) has been resident in the Cayman Islands for a period or periods amounting to not less
      than two years out of the four years immediately preceding the date of registration;
      or
      (c) on the day of the issue of a writ ordering an election, he or she is otherwise qualified
      under paragraph (b) but has not attained the age of eighteen years, but he or she will
      attain that age on or before the polling day at the election.
      (2) Any period of absence for any of the purposes specified in section 61(3) shall be disregarded
      in determining whether a person is or has been resident in the Cayman Islands for the purposes of
      this section.

  21. Anonymous says:

    and that is that. port development is now delayed until after next general election at least. the do-nothing ppm have only themselves to blame.
    thier snails pace movement on all issues has finally come back to haunt them

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    • Anonymous says:

      And fixing the DUMP is delayed forever?

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    • pete says:

      anon 0916 I personally thought that the referendum should have been part of the last election but I think the Government wants to move ahead with the project and if they have discussions or agreements in place they will want to get the referendum completed quickly.

  22. Anonymous says:

    anywhere lese in the world alden would be preparing his letter of resignation…..

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  23. Anon says:

    The movers behind this referendum who have worked tirelessly to achieve their objective deserve more than three cheers – might I suggest 5,305?.

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  24. Anonymous says:

    Well I had my doubts about the elections office and I do not have much good to say about government in general, but I believe Mr. Howell is a shining example of an efficient government employee. Thank you for this excellent service in the interest of the public and matter of national importance. The premier should take note that the public voice needs to be heard and stop this fondness for secrecy.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I think you forget who Mr. Howell work for!

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    • Anonymous says:

      I hope Mr Howells independence is respected by the Premier and there is no blowback in his day job as a result. Civil servants doing their duty without bias or regard to their political masters preference do seem to end up on required leave, transferred or out of a job.

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  25. Anonymous says:

    Well done!

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  26. Anonymous says:

    This is real people power. Now Caymanians need to finish strong in the second half leading up to the Referendum vote.

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  27. A Caymanian says:

    Thank you CPR!

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  28. Anonymous says:

    YES!!!!! I got up and jumped around my house screaming when this was announced..

    Finally, the government can see there is actually power in the people’s voice other than at election time.

    My only hope now is that the government doesn’t fix a question to undermine the process.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Good job. So proud of CPR, so proud of Cayman. Finally Cayman is growing up! This is just the beginning though; we need to really get involved with what goes on on this Rock and let the government know that we are aware and that we intend to speak up and show up. Please let us get ready for round two and get out and vote- whatever your viewpoint is., but I hope you will vote against the plot to destroy George Town Harbour .We only have one opportunity to get this right. Let’s do it.

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    • Anonymous says:

      You should consider getting a life.

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  29. Anonymous says:

    Guaranteed Alden is sitting at home with his feet up fuming that the peasants have dared to interfere with his grand plans

    That man and his cohorts need to be voted out of office
    The sooner the better

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  30. Anonymous says:

    lodge lost again!!! lol😃😄

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    • Anonymous says:

      It is going to be very difficult to get 50% +1 of all registered voters to vote against the government. It would effectively mean that there has been a massive shift in support for the government and would be a clear indication that the current government no longer has a mandate to govern. It would not be out of the realm of possibility that a loss would strongly suggest that the government should resign and call early elections.

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      • pete says:

        on the other hand after we have a referendum if the vote swings heavy for the port you would have strengthen the governments position and support going into the next election. Then everyone would realize that those for the petition and against the port is in the minority. Be careful of what you ask for.

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      • Anonymous says:

        There has definitely been a shift in support for the government, not just because of the port but others matters.

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  31. Sucks to suck for authoritarians and their friends says:

    Alden and Co. are far from royalty, but I can tell you one thing without a doubt tonight he is royally pissed

    Sucks to suck for the Unicorn government

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