Premier: Referendum Day in doubt

| 26/11/2019 | 66 Comments
Cayman News Service

(CNS): Premier Alden McLaughlin accused the National Trust for the Cayman Islands of creating uncertainty surrounding Referendum Day after the non-profit organisation moved to apply for judicial review and the Cruise Port Referendum group applied for a protective order ahead of their own plans for a potential application for a JR. On Tuesday, before the Finance Committee proceedings currently taking place in the Legislative Assembly, McLaughlin said the action by both the Trust and CPR has put the vote in question. The premier said the action was aimed at delaying the vote, which is set for 19 December.

“The government regards this action as most regrettable. There is now grave uncertainty as to whether or not the referendum will actually proceed and the state of uncertainty and division in the country will only continue and heighten. None of us can now be certain there will be a referendum on the 19 December,” he said, before confirming that no matter what happens, the public holiday will be preserved.

Asked by the opposition leader what government’s response was going to be, the premier said that the government still wants to proceed with the referendum but the CPR and Trust do not. But he said that they have not seen the details of the application, so he did not know if there was any basis for it.

The premier said he was not yet in a position to offer any more details and the prospect of the referendum proceeding on the date set was now uncertain.

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Comments (66)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Stay woke Cayman, vote No!!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    In the absence of a court injunction he could go ahead and hold the referendum as scheduled . Sure, if the judicial review was subsequently successful he would have to re-hold it, but a) it would clarify whether the majority were in favour and b) if the judicial review application failed and he won the referendum he could proceed without further delay.

    However, the downsides for the premier are significant. First, if the referendum produces over 50% of the electorate saying no, he is done – the judicial review becomes irrelevant. Second, the referendum will produce an irrefutable metric on how unpopular this is, and verdant and more importantly for him his MLA colleagues wanting to get re-elected will run for the hills. Alden has learnt from Hong Kong – you can try and pretend that the silent majority support you, but once you have a free election its a bit difficult to maintain that lie.

  3. Nelson Muntz says:

    HA! HA!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Uh oh. I’m gonna lose. Better move the goal posts. 😂😂

  5. anon says:

    With all the information available on this port project what additional critical items are still not available that will help a person make a more informed decision?

    • Anonymous says:

      The revised EIA and business case that take account of the major change in design? So basically the critical information, but of course we could just ignore all that and go with the old ones and Alden’s assurances.

    • Anonymous says:

      We the Caymanian people need a NEW INDEPENDENT EIA; even government says they getting one but not until AFTER the Referendum. What’s so hard to understand??
      #government is not king!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    The National Trust, who are partially here to protect our environment, being admonished by the Premier for challenging said Premier, who chose a referendum date deliberately designed to try and thwart as many people as possible from voting due to Christmas vacations or Studies? How Christian of him. Think he is drinking his own kool aid, and then some.

  7. Anonymous says:

    What is the ethical difference between (a) pretending to tell Civil Service to be neutral, while employing whole full time departments whose sole job is the propagation of misinformation, and (b) hiring/directing external PR departments to conduct the SAME political interference with our money. Do the Unity Cabinet not been watching the election-tampering news headlines in the USA/UK from the last 4 years? We need to actually have an ACC and judiciary that will not only shut this activity down, but also press charges, and disqualify offenders, and I think we all have a pretty good idea who those people are.

  8. Anonymous says:

    With all of the monies giving away in the “budget debate” I personally think that we could build the dock ourselves and kick out the middle/top man….two hundred million is not much compared to our new budget…if we take the two million from the proposed turtle farm in the Brac…we will only need $198 million. All just so schemeyyyy…. Determine who holds the 60% Caymanian partnership…and we will get the answer.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Anyone else wonder why the government is heading up the vote yes campaign and no one in the public is? That is why there needs to be no port until we know more.Voters wake up government has already excepted money and they have decided what your future is without your consent.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Nice try to blame the Trust and the CPR group Alden. But they did warn you and give you and Moses and Joey a chance to postpone the vote, but you were too hardened.

    Well, like Mama always said, if you cant hear you will feel.

    The blame is on you Alden, nobody else.

    • Anonymous says:

      Now while the momentum is running high can we protest McKeeva’s appointment as Speaker and set him aside for running up his nasty mouth? A NEW DAY for The ROCK.

    • Anonymous says:

      Come referendum and election day feel you shall Alden.

      Feel you shall.

    • Anonymous says:

      When we have all the information on the project we can then vote intelligently. I have many questions that I still can get no answers for. However, having said that, I am still open to vote either way once I have all the information.

  11. Anonymous says:

    At what point does Alden wake up and realize that nobody voted for him to be our Premier?!?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Alden does not want a referendum because it is looking increasingly likely the result will be an overwhelming indictment of him and his government for being out of touch with the people they are supposed to serve. The dock is only one example. He is a lawyer. He knows not to ask questions he does not already know the answer to.

  13. Anonymous says:

    nooooo do cancel it i have planned for an excellent day off work.

    • Anonymous says:

      ‘”None of us can now be certain there will be a referendum on the 19 December,” he said, before confirming that no matter what happens, the public holiday will be preserved.’

      Reading comprehension?

    • Anonymous says:

      Nobody cares what you have planned.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Premier completing his full 4 year term is in doubt.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Why the rush – get out all of the relevant information about the proposed project – and then let the people vote.
    When Government rushes things thru it gives the appearance that something suspicious is happening.

    • Anonymous says:

      …because it is several steps beyond suspicious. The Constitutionally-required Standards in Public Life Law would criminalize accepted back-scratching practices of this regime, donors, and benefactors which is why it is deliberately NOT enacted.

      • Anonymous says:

        These things are already illegal. The fact that no action is taken may be more a reflection on the police and prosecutors, than on the law.

        • Anonymous says:

          The Standards in Public Life Law would fix that though if it was implemented. If we could see the hidden dealings the authorities would have no choice but to prosecute due to the uproar. We can’t put any pressure on them without the information.

          • Anonymous says:

            How about they just do their jobs and enforce the damn law, whether or not there is pressure on them? Frankly, I do want to live in a country where enforcement of the law depends on political pressure.

            • Anonymous says:

              Because the law isn’t enforceable until its enacted!

            • Anonymous says:

              I don’t want to live in a country like that either. But it seems to be up to the general public to raise standards around here, as the politicians like the status quo. Once standards have been raised, they can be maintained. The point is that not even the RCIPS or Anti-Corruption Commission know what to investigate without transparency, and that transparency will not come until the law is implemented.

  16. Two Cents says:

    As I posted 2 days ago, if you watch the short 20sec segment between 1:07:20 and 1:07:40 from the meeting on Saturday evening in Savannah, you will hear the Premier LAUGHINGLY acknowledge that even if the project gets the go ahead with the 19 December referendum, ‘NOTHING’ is going to be done over the next 28 days.
    So why not hold the referendum on 16 January 2020 when everyone who traveled for Christmas is back, when the Christmas activities are over and and we can close the bars as at every other election and referendum?
    He’s running from them 300+ citizens who exercised their right to register and did so because they want to vote ‘NO’.
    I bet if this goes to JR, the government’s imported QC won’t be acknowledging that nothing will happen between 19 Dec and 16 Jan but will have a whole new story about why the 19 December is the appropriate date.
    “Oh! What a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive”.

  17. Logic of the PPM says:

    Alden and the Port Supporters: “Don’t mind me breaking every norm and electoral tradition in this country”

    Alden and the Port Supporters: “Well now that I am good and ready, lets have this election CPR, don’t worry about the fact that we have been dodging and delaying this vote for as long as possible”

    Alden and the Port Supporters: “what do you mean you want this election delayed? I just spent all this time rewriting the rules and setting this up perfectly so that I can have the highest possible chance of winning. What are you scared? Clearly you are just trying to divide the country by not taking part in this vote that I have orchestrated after refusing to hold the vote last year when I had the chance.

  18. Just the facts says:

    Division in the country?

    There is no divide I am seeing, what I can see is the pro port campaigners are backing a process that prevents 200 voters from participating
    and all that after spending a year advertising against a petition, with lies like a referendum would mean the bidders would pull out, and the project would be canceled

    -The government were the ones who had the option to prove they had a mandate in August of 2018 when they voted down the opposition motion to hold the referendum
    If the government cared about division they could have called this vote a year ago and this would have already been settled, before there even was a CPR group

    -The government were the ones who said there was no rush to the vote and initiated a costly and months long door to door verification in an attempt to avoid this referendum

    -The government is currently withholding key information until after the vote, in an attempt to prop up the ugly bits of the deal because they have no interest in letting people make an informed vote

    -The government is currently blocking members of the DOE from speaking publicly about their concerns about this project

    -The government is refusing to put into place proper campaign finance limits for both sides to ensure that the public is not browbeaten by those with financial interests and cash to burn

    -The government is refusing to treat this vote as they would every other vote, and refusing to allow the count by constituency, along with other norms like closing alcohol distributors until the polls close.

    -The government is running around with foreigners who as of yet have no business here telling us what we need to do for them so they can “help” us

    -The government is trying to sign us up for 25 years of debt that we don’t want, and that we have no interest in

    And all that goes without mentioning Alden has a long track record of starting horrible projects and then shirking responsibility,
    The schools, the airport, the road expansions etc
    The man destroys anything he touches, while pretending he is some political grand strategist because he can con a couple of people in George town to keep electing him and his cronies

    The country isn’t divided on the port issue
    The country is unified in its opposition to this god forsaken project, which will be displayed when the vote is held whether it is in December or if the vote is forced to be put off by the courts

    The only people trying to rush this vote, are you, you all have done everything you can over the past year and a half to try to stop the vote and have only now accepted this vote while stacking the odds in your own favour and claiming that it is the other side that is scared

    How dumb do you think people are?

    People can see what you all are doing, in your desperation to win the vote. The rest of us have no qualms letting all Caymanians interested vote, waiting for all the available information and holding the referendum at a time when Caymanians are not celebrating the holidays or overseas with family during vacation periods

  19. Anonymous says:

    Smart tactical legal moves by CPR and the National Trust.

    Thank you for challenging the madness of this runaway government and a Premier losing the plot daily. Unfortunately they seem to be representing the cruise lines more than the Caymanian people they are elected to represent.

  20. BeaumontZodecloun says:

    “Mr. Premier, is there now an existing uncertainty?”
    “Yes, there is.”
    “What kind of uncertainty, Sir?”
    “A grave uncertainty.”

    You bet there is. 200+ disenfranchised voters who would be counted in your “yes” column say there is. What is the rush, Honourable Premier? Why not slow things down and allow ALL the electors to decide?

    I don’t think you are a bad man. I think you want the best for your country. I just think you are wrong. Please, Sir, let ALL the voters decide, and don’t tilt the field. The majority of those who actually vote should rule the day. How else to truly measure the will of the people?

  21. Anonymous says:

    its the end of days for alden.
    his nonsensical response to the question asked tells you everything.

  22. Anonymous says:

    So the independent enquiry into the Cruise Port is about to be publicly announced?
    Game over boys. You nearly got away with it.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Get rid of the holiday if its delayed. Its Christmas this will be bad for business!

    • Anonymous says:

      You refunding our Christmas shopping trip expenses?

      • Anonymous says:

        You can’t go on a shopping trip if you lose one day off work? Would your family have gone without gifts? We have plenty of shops in Cayman now. Guess you don’t support them, so, couldn’t care less about your trip.

    • Anonymous says:

      Absolutely right. Small businesses rely on December sales to turn a profit for the whole year. Adding to their costs is indefensible.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Alden wants to postpone the vote so he doesn’t loose. Next will be a reassessment of the project, followed by abandonment based on some made up excuse. All to save face.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Vote yes. Vote no. The point is we WANT and DESERVE and opportunity to vote on this. National trust and CPR have NO RiGHT to try to stop us voting. They are messing with our democratic rights. Back off and let us vote.

    • Anonymous says:

      Do you really know what you are voting against or for?

    • JTB says:

      The Trust wants you to know what you’re voting for

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry. I think both groups are preserving your democratic rights. Is it really democratic to deliberately choose a date that will limit voter turnout? Is it really democratic that 220 newly registered voters will not get to vote in the referendum if it stays on 19 December? Is it really democratic to ask the public to choose a side with NO new information? There is no updated business case nor an EIA. How are we effectively supposed to choose?

    • Anonymous says:

      You may want to read a few of the articles that have been written on this subject.

      Clearly you have no idea what you’re talking about.

    • Anonymous says:

      Let us vote with all the information. We have a democratic right to full information when a project costs over $200 million.

    • Anonymous says:

      They are not trying to stop the Referendum. The referendum will happen as it was triggered under the Constitution after an amazing job by CPR and their volunteers. What the Trust and CPR is to delay the referendum so we can have all the facts when we vote. So please get the facts straight. The Referendum will happen but preferably when we have full info, not lies as well at a time those 220 disenfranchised voters can actually participate.

      • Anonymous says:

        Unless the “220 Disenfranchised” all got status or turn 18 since CPR started their campaign, (which there is no empirical data to support this) they disenfranchised themselves for failing to register the moment they were eligible to do so.

        • Anon says:

          Actually our system is archaic -taking 3 months for someone to be put on a voter register. Look at the UK now. They have a general election in a few weeks and people can register to vote up to midnight 12 days before the polling day. In fact, when the election date was posted, more than 100,000 people registered to vote within 48 hours

        • You're wrong. says:

          My wife got her status approved right around the time the petition was presented to the elections office. My 4th generation born Caymanian son turned 18 earlier this year. Both rushed to register to vote so that their voices would be counted in the referendum. Both have been denied the right to participate because they will not appear on the electoral roll until January 2020. My Caymanian family members DID register the moment they were eligible!

          This rush to hold the referendum before Christmas is specifically designed to exclude ALL of those 200+ CAYMANIANS that recently registered to vote. That is 200+ of YOUR fellow citizens that have been locked out of the most important matter this country has ever faced, and you think that is ok??

      • Anonymous says:

        12:14 for you no port people there will never be ALL INFORMATION !

  26. Anonymous says:

    Let’s just go out and vote.

  27. Kurt Christian says:

    Vote No

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