McLean: Referendum date choice manipulative

| 09/10/2019 | 46 Comments
Cayman News Service
Opposition Leader Arden McLean

(CNS): Government has picked a date close to Christmas for the referendum on the controversial cruise project to manipulate the vote, the opposition leader has stated. Arden McLean said it was the “worst possible time” and designed to discourage people from taking part in the democratic process. Deputy Opposition Leader Alva Suckoo said the premier’s comments about how a the ‘no’ campaign needed a miracle to win were in extremely poor taste because he was the one making it such a tough battle.

The opposition has made it clear it will be campaigning against the proposed project and urging voters to go to the polls to vote ‘no’. But the leader of the opposition group said he was very disappointed by the 19 December date chosen for the already hard fought referendum.

He pointed out that many voters will be travelling for the holidays and others caught up in Christmas activities. He said the premier had shown a lack of respect for the people, and the rest of the government were complicit.

He said it “really puzzles me that supposedly sensible representatives who were elected to represent and advocate for their people can suddenly turn a blind eye to the abuse their government is dishing out against their constituents”. He also raised concerns about the short time voters have to apply for postal ballots.

McLean said it was unfair to mobilize civil servants who have worked hard throughout the year and subject them to more time away from their families during the holiday season.

“This was no coincidence, neither was it a question of efficiency or practicality,” he said. “The government is deliberately attempting to pervert the referendum and manipulate the outcome. We are extremely concerned with what is clearly an attempt to deny the people a free, open and fair referendum. It is an indictment of how the government views its constituents,” he added.

Suckoo condemned the premier for making things even tougher for the campaigners behind the petition that successfully secured the right to a referendum under the constitution, not just while they were gathering the signatures but also now with the date.

“Based on the public’s reaction to his snide comment, it may be the premier who will be praying for a miracle,” Suckoo added. 


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Category: development, Local News, Politics

Comments (46)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The people entrusted the government (democracy) to manage their country….and they in-turn, conducted a “verification of signatures”…government did not trust their people….Caymanians are some of the smartest people in the world….they just have to collectively decide what is best for their country….a visitor that spent time amongst some of the best people in the world…good luck Caymanians… with your government

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    • Anonymous says:

      The Premier actions has decided my vote. Something must be wrong when the leader of a country will deprive businesses of a normal day of business at the busiest time of the year, for no reason other than to decrease the voter turn out. Furthermore businesses and Government will have to pay double time for work done on that day. Then he is depriving new voters, many of them young people, the chance to have their say. Surely even a fool can see how he is manipulating the vote.

      I will vote no. I cannot support anything that is being manipulated. If he wasn’t afraid of losing, the date would be next year. Power corrupts! Vote no.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Caymanians are some of the smartest people in the world and yet they can not even handle a garbage service. I think their problem is they are too smart. Good luck Caymanians with trying to do anything yourselves including building/not building the piers. You will handle both with your usual success.

  2. Anonymous says:

    What I find fascinating is the Kirkbots are all over this article with their thumbs up and down manipulation yet the article about the dump is untouched.

    Things that make you go hmmmmmmmmmmmm……

    I wonder if the new Chicago agency working on tourism spin is helping? Also, as the public we should definitely be hearing how much that contract is worth. Oh I forgot, the government has no accountability………….

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  3. Anonymous says:

    This the result when business interests are able to frame their position as an political, religious or environmental concerns. Too many pawns on both sides.

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  4. Please explain. says:

    Sorry to sound ignorant, but I hope someone can explain to me the following: If the referendum bill states :

    4. The outcome of the referendum shall be binding on the Government and the Legislature if more than fifty per cent of persons registered as electors pursuant to the Elections Law (2017 Revision), vote in the referendum in favour of, or against, the question specified in subsection (2).

    And

    Clause 4 specifies the matter of national importance that does not contravene any part of the Bill of Rights or any other part of the Constitution and sets out the referendum question. This clause also confirms that the outcome of the referendum shall be binding on the Government and the Legislature if more than fifty per cent of eligible persons vote in favour of the question specified in the referendum.

    How will staying away or not voting be deemed a yes vote? And, doesn’t this say that the yes’s need 50% +1 to go ahead with the port, or am I missing something?

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    • Constitutional Questioner says:

      Because anything less than 50% + 1 vote is not binding, by constitution. In other words, if you have less than the 50% of all registered voters, the whole vote is not legally binding. Since the government’s position is that the port project is moving forward, it does not need a majority YES vote to move forward.

      The wording of Section 4(4) actually gives more clarity and availability of the campaigners (voting NO) to have a voice. It does not take away from Section 70(3) of the Constitution.

      Section 70(3) simply says the results are not binding unless >50% of the electorate votes YES. The same thing comes from 4(4), but adds clarity that if NO votes are greater than 50% of the electorate, that is also binding. This wording is something the campaigners should be thankful for.

  5. Anonymous says:

    CPR needs to campaign that people be available to 19 December to cast their vote (i.e. not travel and plan to lodge their vote). If you fail to do so, the Premier can gloat about his easy victory. It’s up to the people.

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  6. VOTE NO! says:

    Alden is fool hardy and have the same arrogant attitude now as he did with the schools and look how they turned out.
    He deliberately chose a date before the election register would be updated in Janaury to undermine those who had specifically signed up recently so they could vote on this issue. They will not be able to vote in December.

    I pray that a miracle does happen and thousands turn out and vote NO.

    Come on Cayman, this is our future…..Alden and Moses want to destroy our environment to appease less than 1% of the population and a few wealthy families.

    Ask Moses and Alden what they are getting out of the deal going through.

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    • Anonymous says:

      This is even worse than his decisions with the school buildings. The fall out resulted in extra man hours, extra funding, Faulty facade which can and could be fixed. Destroying the Harbour, reefs, reef life and all that is going on under the water will never be restored. Once it is done it’s done!! This cannot be fixed by money or anything else. Scientists andother knowledgeable people have spoken out onwhat will happen but the only sound The Premier and his minions understand is jingle jingle. Anyone who choose to believe different go and do their own research on what happened in other places. It is still time to learn from their bad experiences.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Suckoo you got a lot of nerve accusing the Premier’s words of being in poor taste. What about Ju Ju and John John words regarding Chantelle and Vicki and their fight for marriage equality. You had nothing to say about that so go sit down somewhere and be quiet you are irrelevant.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Excuse me!, MLA Suckoo has his rights too,if you think he and the rest of us who believes that marriage should be between a man and a woman will ” go and sit down, you are wrong. Free speech is for everyone.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Excuse you is right. Suckoo can take that third world mentality straight back to Guyana when he goes.

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    • Anonymous says:

      huh?

  8. come on now bobo says:

    Mr. McLean, sir, we get it, its not an ideal date, with Christmas and all, but instead of wasting your energy griping about it, you should be encouraging people to come out and cast their vote, share with them how they can ensure their vote be made, through mail ballot whatever. Lets move on from something we can’t change and we all know, are not going to change, and focus on what really matters, VOTING!

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    • Anonymous says:

      He na going do that. Up to now he na say what his position is on the port. He only oposing anything the govt doing even if it good. He already tell his sidekicks that they need to opose anything.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    private businesses using govt docks and property for their own use? sound familiar arden?

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  10. Anonymous says:

    The REAL manipulation is that the vote will be decided by those that stay home.

    Let’s prove to the world that our likkle sand spit is as undemocratic as those countries that revolt against it.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Arden hasn’t done anything for his own constituents in decades much less the island as a whole other than make noise and be a distraction. He’s happy to sit in opposition seats and just complain until it’s time to collect his pension.

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  12. Despair says:

    It has been evident for some time that the Premier is going ahead with the pier project. Even if every single resident was against it, even if it will destroy our stayover tourism appeal, even if it destroys West Bay Beach and acres of coral,even if it causes traffic nightmares, he will plough ahead regardless. This is symptomatic not of a democracy, but rather a dictatorship, catering solely to vested interests.This is a betrayal of our country and it’s future.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    Its so obvious when the Ezzardites start posting

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  14. Anonymous says:

    This guy is almost as much use as Joey.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    Here we go again. Cayman needs world class piers. Is the Opposition and CPR trying to keep Cayman in the dark ages? So many Caymanians have jobs because of cruise passengers. I thought the Opposition wanted more jobs for Caymanians.

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    • Anonymous says:

      9:15 pm– Seriously? YOU are in the dark ages if you think dredging and destroying the marine life is going to be better for business! I suggest you read some facts about the cruise passenger numbers consistently going DOWN and stay over tourism going UP UP UP. Build this port and there won’t be anything for the tourists to enjoy.
      And what jobs is it going to create? Gov’t can’t even dish out some lies about it b/c they don’t even know! Get a clue!!

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  16. Anonymous says:

    Hell! I say since we will be voting we should go ahead and have an early election…. no need to wait until May 2021!

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  17. Anonymous says:

    Singapore built a bridge recently and destroyed the under water ecosystem.

    Look it up

    What’s gonna happen when the economy has a down turn. The port will sit like the phase 2 of John gray?

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    • Only a greedy fool could vote for the CBF says:

      Their own outline business case highlights the issues the project could cause or face: (paraphrasing for brevity the document is 77 pages, CNS has the document in their Library: https://cnslibrary.com/wp-content/uploads/Public-Engagement-OBC-October-2013.pdf )

      -An drastic increase in congestion of the George Town area during construction and for the entire lifetime of the project when tourists all pour out of ships at once which does not currently happen

      – the huge risk of damage by hurricanes and season inclement weather which we are all too familiar with( they cite Hurricane Dean in 2007 as the prime example, some berthing facilities in Mexico were inoperable for almost a year)

      – the unreliable nature of building a huge project explicitly for tourists if numbers decline which could be caused by a myriad of events ( recessions, hurricanes, conflicts or outbreaks of diseases in the region etc)

      – Environmental damage that cannot be mitigated including during construction and the entire operational lifetime of the facility, plumes of moving sediment suffocating marine life that could travel up and down from the facility,

      The fact of the matter is the only people who want this project are people who think they will directly benefit from its operation
      While there is a time and place for stakeholders and parties with vested interests to have their opinions heard, the fact that the government is really trying to push this project forward to help a tiny fraction of people

      Pushing this project forward with the CIG’s track record of going miles over-budget, with an equally long record of delays hindering completion and a lack of foresight its a wonder how anyone will with a clear consciousness vote for this project

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  18. Elvis says:

    complain complain complain

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  19. Anonymous says:

    It is time to vote the Lodge out and replace them with….Lodge.

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  20. Anonymous says:

    Poor old Arden. He should have left Ezzard alone. Now he’s Leader of the Opposition and one week after Alden announced the date of the referendum , this is the best he can do? Really! Pathetic. He does not have near the intellect to be Leader of the Opposition. At least Ezzard has some smarts about him.

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  21. Anonymous says:

    Right back at Premier with his own words:
    Mr.McLauglin, your comments deem to be a reckless…treasonous attack on the Cayman Islands and on all the people of Cayman.

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  22. Anonymous says:

    Miami last minute Christmas shopping

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  23. Anonymous says:

    The government does not respect the people they claim to represent and care about. This is their vote of no confidence let’s all show up vote no and show this government that we the people are their bosses and no longer buy into their grandiose schemes that are only for their individual legacies that only benefit them and their cronies.

    It’s time for Alden to resign and call for early elections this government has been one of the worst governments we have ever seen. For some unknown reason they are only worried about re-election failing to realize they will be lucky to win a single seat.

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  24. Anonymous says:

    Who needs cruise passengers to buy watches when we can get them with our government credit cards anyway?

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