New referendum question gazetted

| 07/01/2020 | 113 Comments
Cayman News Service
Campaigners collect petition signatures

(CNS): Government has made an amendment to the referendum question it plans to ask voters when a new date is set for the national poll on the proposed cruise berthing project. The change was gazetted quietly on 18 December, with no statements or explanations about the alteration to the wording. A spokesperson for the Cruise Port Referendum campaign said they were not consulted on the revision to the question, even though it is one of the grounds for the judicial review brought by one of its members.

The newly worded question has been changed from the text passed in the Legislative Assembly at the end of October, which was: “Should the Cayman Islands continue to move forward with building the cruise berthing and enhanced cargo port facility?”

The revised question reads: “Should the Cayman Islands continue to proceed with building the cruise berthing and enlarged and refurbished cargo port facility?” (Changes highlighted by CNS)

The question forms part of the regulations to the official Referendum (People-initiated Referendum Regarding the Port) Law, 2019, which paved the way for this first ever people-initiated vote and not the law itself. As a result, it appears that there will be no need for the government to debate the change in the Legislative Assembly.

The question nevertheless forms part of the judicial review brought by CPR member Shirley Roulstone, which will be heard by the Grand Court on 22 January.

Concerns about the wording of the original referendum question is one of the grounds that will be considered by Justice Tim Owens, as Roulstone has argued that the emotive language in that initial question was biased towards the project.

She has also said that the proposed cargo dock redevelopment was never part of the public petition, which was signed by some 6,000 people, and so should not be part of the referendum, since this is a people-initiated vote, as set out in the Constitution, and not a government poll.

It appears, however, that government may have opted to remove the more emotive language ahead of the legal case in an apparent acknowledgment of the arguments made by Roulstone in her submissions to the court to try and reduce the grounds in dispute. But it has still failed to address the more fundamental problem of including the matter of the cargo dock.

A spokesperson for the CPR group said that in line with government’s approach to the campaign from the very beginning, it has again chosen to simply ignore all of those who worked to successfully secure the signatures that triggered this people’s vote. Therefore, the revised question still falls short of meeting the petition’s request.

“CPR was not consulted about this change and again it still fails to address the spirit of the petition that people signed, which focused only on the cruise project,” a spokesperson for the campaign said.

The JR is set to take around three days, and given the urgency of the issue, the judge is expected to rule expeditiously. But depending on the outcome of the case and his final decision, the question may need to be amended again before the new date is set for the people of Cayman to decide whether they do or do not support the controversial cruise project.

See revised question in the CNS Library

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Category: Politics

Comments (113)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Alden, we the Caymanian people here by place your government on notice- take note

    We are the small “sharp axe” prepared to cut down the huge tree called – Dart

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t know who “we” is – maybe you have multiple personality disorder – but I can think of another three-letter word that starts with “a” that describes the kind of person (or persons? – should we call you Loretta and Stan?) who would bring Dart into a conversation about the referendum.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The reality is that passively enduring an authoritarian coalition Cabinet that defaults to deceit, back-dealing, omissions/redactions, and that coddles criminal associations and the avoidance of Standards, will not be good for the Financial Industry that might hope for a clean CFATF report card in a few months. Unless there are qualitative changes to this regime and some restoration of acceptable procedure, there will be other knock-on consequences well-beyond the port, and they will impact every stakeholder’s pocket book. Voters need to take this threat much more broadly and seriously than they are doing right now.

    • Anonymous says:

      2.45pm You make quite a number of allegations which you do not support with evidence either because you couldn’t or wouldn’t .

  3. Anonymous says:

    Even terrorist know cruise ships aren’t worth the bother.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The real question is.. What would Jesus do?

  5. Anonymous says:

    I’m pretty sure tourists can have the patience to stand up in the sun for 30 minutes or so before they get back on the ship, rather than destroy a whole coral reef that will have catastrophic effects on our environment just so they can have some shade!

    VOTE NO!

    • Anonymous says:

      We could easily and relatively harmlessly rectify the stand up in the sun situation with covered walkways.

      • Anonymous says:

        No we could just have something for them to see or do so they had to drag them off the island instead of them running as fast as they can to get out of here.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am certain a more organized and efficient system of re-embarking cruise passengers can be accomplished. Right now, it appears as though people go through one terminal. Why is that?

    • Anonymous says:

      No, the tourists on these ships have no patience. They’re in a big hurry to get back to the ship and eat some more.

    • Anonymous says:

      If they were serious about improving tourist experiences they should have put in jetways when the airport was done
      This entire port project is for waterfront merchants like the Kirkonnells to personally profit and continue propping up the PPM

      Noithing more nothing less

  6. Anonymous says:

    Dear Brass-Balled Caymanian Voter,

    Can you please start the online petition, addressed to Governor and FCO, to enact the Standards In Public Life Law, with four columns: date, name, voter ID, and email signature. Thanks.

    Everybody too scared to start it, and all their future generations who will build your statue in Heroes Square

  7. Port User says:

    Some people either can’t read or just ignore things that don’t fit their preconceptions. The expansion of the cargo facilities has always been part of the plan: That CPR has chosen to ignore this doesn’t make it any less true.

    Today, as I write, there are cruise passenger being landed on the cargo dock and having to traverse it to get out of the port compound. The port staff have to rig a substantial fence every morning to contain the tourists in as small an area as possible, and then remove it in the evening to enable the night cargo operations to proceed. The massive steel plates upon which the cranes run also have to be picked up and moved out of the way and then put back. All of this takes a considerable amount of manual and mechanised labour which, of course, increases the operating costs of the port.

    None of the activists opposing the port plan have offered an alternative to the present dangerous and expensive method of handling the cruise passengers. It is easy to oppose, what is needed are constructive ideas: If you don’t like the present plan, suggest another.

    • Anonymous says:

      No. when it was first proposed, back at the meeting in Mary Miller Hall, cargo was explicitly not part of the proposal put to the public. That Government has added, and is now concentrating on, an ‘enlarged and refurbished’ cargo port (how does one refurbish a dock? what does this mean?) and that the two are inextricably linked logistically and financially, doesn’t mean that cargo was always part of the plan. That would be like going back to this political government’s earlier ‘red star’ proposal and saying that megayacht berthing has always been a part of THE plan.

    • Anonymous says:

      How about having separate facilities? Move the fuel and cargo facilities to Spotts? Can then use that facility for cruisers when the Norwesters come. Certainly would not be cheap but the benefits might make it less so.

      No need for middle of the night cargo operations.

      Removal of an industrial area from George Town making a revitalization project have a chance of success.

      Removal of heavy industrial (fuel storage) from a high density residential area.

      I’m sure there are other benefits. Might be feasible or might not. Part of the reason there is so much opposition to the current plan is that it doesn’t seem like much ‘big picture’ thinking has gone into the expansion.

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe we just need to get rid of the cruise ships as we don’t need anymore people clogging up traffic. Also, they are floating garbage full of cheap tourists.

      • Anonymous says:

        New Rule of Entry in to Cayman – Own a Rolex.

      • Anonymous says:

        To 1.31pm Please stop and consider the damage you are doing to our tourism product when you are so mean and disrespectful to cruise tourists. These are people who have families, companies etc. What do you think will happen when a CEO of a large company reads comments like yours. Maybe he will just cancel that vacaton package he had planned for his empoyees. He might also pass that info on to other CEOs in his circle. The result: declning stayover tourism all because someone suggested that cruise tourists are trash.

        • Anonymous says:

          Hahahaha you think stay over tourists look at cruise ship comments to decide to stay? You are really trying to spin a web but you’re doing it wrong. Your comment is one of the funniest twists of truth I’ve read in a while. Thanks for the laugh.

          • Anonymous says:

            10.21 You may have read my comment but you didn’t understand .Simply put …treat all tourists as if they are important, because they are. Not all millionaires look like millionaire and that cruise tourist that you disrespect might just be a CEO/millionaire.Thats what I’m talking about.

        • Anonymous says:

          You have to admit, many cruise tourists are generally different that our stay over guests. I highly doubt Mr. CEO will be booking a cattle car vacation on Carnival anytime soon.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, we have the same politicians who spent >$18mln to build Royal Watler just 11 years ago, so that this wouldn’t happen. What excuse are you Kirkbots going to concoct next to explain-away the Port-management disarray? From where we sit, giving the same, inept, heavily-conflicted people, bigger space and budgets, doesn’t improve absent/faulty management, it just enriches those with an undisclosed interest in the disposable Cayman Islands shellco, that has pledged zero binding passenger commitments and/or performance bonds, and doesn’t think the EIA is a big deal. Brought to you by: the same Tourism Minister who negotiated the redacted secret lease for 4 Boeing 737 Max’s with ALC; the Cabinet that refuse to enact SIPL Law; and now rail against their own voters with misinformation campaigning, using hundreds of thousands of dollars of public money. Sit down.

  8. Anonymous says:

    The question should be written so that those who support the petition vote yes and those who do not support the petition vote no.

  9. Anonymous says:

    How about “Can you believe you elected us?”

  10. Anonymous says:

    Sleazy bastards! Why now include cargo accommodation issues with cruise berthing? Cargo discussions have not featured in this issue until now – so late!

    Another tactic to force this ill-advised consideration through!

  11. Anonymous says:

    SIPL, dissolution of current government, new elections and term limits or civil unrest. Enough is enough, the people are going to have to solve this and if you can’t vote them out, throw them out. This is turning into a fight for our freedom as the Caymanian people who are being oppressed by a corrupt oligarchy (Oligarchy is a form of power structure in which power rests with a small number of people. These people may be distinguished by nobility, wealth, education or corporate, religious, political, or military control. Such states are often controlled by families who typically pass their influence from one generation to the next, but inheritance is not a necessary condition for the application of this term. Does this sound familiar?)

    • Anonymous says:

      @ 8.39am. “dissolution of current government, new elections and term limits or civil unrest.” ” if you can’t vote them out, throw them out.” This is getting dangerous Caymanians.Look for trouble if these people don’t get their way. Like I have said careful of who you let lead you; be careful of what group or groups you associate with. Some of these individuals want power and their own way at all costs. Ask yourself if you agree with all they are doing or saying. If not then ask yourself if maybe you should take another look and question anything you are uneasy with. Above all .. please don’t engage in actions likely to lead to unrest. Dont try to overthrow any politician by force just because you don’t like the result of an election. I believe that a lot of the negativity towards the Government is being promoted by persons who are unhappy with the last election and want to change the Government at any cost. Maybe this commenter at 8.39 is one such person.If you signed the petition because you oppose the CBF that’s ok, but dont let anyone change the purpose of you signing and now try to convince you to jpin for some other reason such as suggested by 8.39.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Cruise ships are easy targets. Just one terrorist attack anywhere in the world would bring the industry to a halt.

  13. Kurt Christian says:

    Vote No

  14. Anonymous says:

    Let’s have a referendum on the referendum question.

  15. Anonymous says:

    The problem with bias is it leaves no room for reason. Whatever wording is used, we all know the issue at hand.

  16. Anonymous says:

    What question would you ask?

    • Anonymous says:

      “Should the Cayman Islands continue to proceed with building the cruise berthing facility?”

    • Anonymous says:

      The problem isn’t just the wording of two questions into one, it’s the unfairness if the entire referendum framework, where non-participants are recorded as passive affirmatives, and Unity Cabinet’s conduct and propaganda in railing against voters at all phases. These are senior civil servants that refuse to register their conflicts!

  17. Anonymous says:

    The question should be ” Do you agree that Government should stop work on the CBF at this time?” If you want it stopped then you vote Yes. If you disagree with stopping : vote No.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Just vote NO!

  19. Anonymous says:

    What a bunch of dishonorable goons. Let’s change the tempo of this charade and just petition for enactment of SIPL, and the Governor to dissolve the LA, and call new elections for Fall 2020. The FCO can forward their orders in council to get everything else back in order. It’s clear that most of the Cabinet are willing to do anything to drive their secret agendas.

    • Anonymous says:

      Add term limits to that as well. Keep the pond from getting stagnate.

      • Anonymous says:

        Oooh. Let’s add permanent residents to expand the pond even further,

        • Anonymous says:

          That is not going to happen. As much as most Caymanians would appreciate higher quality leadership, we don’t have any delusions that expats (yes they are expats forever, they moved from their original homes) would not go mad exacting revenge on Caymanians for indignities at the Immigration and Customs service counters etc. That power will never be given to them. That’s one dinner us turkeys will not be voting for.

          • Anonymous says:

            It’s a mistake to be so sure. Caymanian voters include thousands of lawfully pledged expats added in the last 15 years, that aren’t going anywhere. They have the same voting power, but also the will to organize a mechanism that better represents justice and democracy, and one day, people may decide that includes those with PR. I’d welcome it.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Da gon mash up da coral n ting.

  21. Ambassador of Absurdistan says:

    This government is shockingly embarrassing while it continues to prove it’s Just Another Day in Absurdistan

  22. Prophecy 345 says:

    Alden McLaughlin and Moses Kirkconnell are playing a stupid game, by conveniently conflating the cruise piers with the cargo facility, as if they are somehow inextricably bound together, such that one can’t be done without the other. Their arrogance is limitless.

    This latest attempt shows the desperation and deceit trying to sneak in changes without public consultation. Everyone can and will see through that, and this and the port project will backfire badly on all them. The prophecy is written.

    • ~s3k says:

      It isn’t that it can’t be done separately, it’s the fact that IT IS ALL ONE PROJECT

      Unna getting up in arms because they put it like how it is shows me how dumb your demographic is.

    • Anon says:

      Well we all know that Dart is already set up and ready to buy Kirk Freeport/Bayshore Mall on the proviso that the port project goes ahead! Can we say conflict of interest Moses?

  23. Anonymous says:

    The only thing I want to see changed is that the decision should be made based on those who actually turn up to vote not the re-wording of the question which is basically the same. The fact that registered voters that don’t turn up are counted as a “yes” is insane and utterly mad. Vote “NO” to this madness. We don’t need this port. We need to focus on our stay over tourism, not scare them all away with masses of cheap cruise ship tourists.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed 1000 times over. How can the vote be conducted on the total population vs those who turn out to vote? Breexit was decided on the those who turned out to vote, why should Cayman be any different.

      CIG had/have the opportunity to set the standard for the region being the first people’s lead referendum only to cock it up with shortsightedness SMH.

      • Anonymous says:

        To 9.50am You ask “How can the vote be conducted on the total population vs those who turn out to vote?” Because that is the requirement of Section 70 of the 2009 Constitution. Didn’t CPR explain that to you? A referendum brought by voters requires a majority of the registered voters to pass. By the way everytime a new voter is added the number required to pass goes up also.

    • Anonymous says:

      Then we the majority will come out and vote yes to our needed facilities.

      • Anonymous says:

        Let’s pretend that were true, why not ask a neutral question, take the poll, and rely on the actual voter turnout for a democratic outcome?

        We already know the answer to that: the UnityCabinet has to backward load the question, and spend hundreds of thousands on paid misinformation for continuance of their agenda (and conflicts). It’s the only way it continues.

        Dishonest people can’t afford to risk taking an honest vote!

      • Anonymous says:

        9:53 am…..Bullcrap!

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah, really glad we’re going to get all you can eat/drink/glutton fools at Margaritaville.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your first point is absolutely correct. Even those who are voting yes to the port know this manouver by government to be unfair.

    • Anonymous says:

      Constitution requires >50% of electorate, I believe. Just see how far you will get asking the Prime Minister and Parliament of MPs to agree that changing that to majority of who turns up to vote is non controversial. Arden, Chris, we will remember.

    • Anonymous says:

      To 8.48pm Obviously you dont understand Section 70 of the Constitution. Also obvious CPR has done poor job of informing voters what it says even though it is the Section they used to petition for a referendum. Since this referendum was initiated by voter petition,
      under section 70 it becomes a People Initiated Referendum. A People Iniated Referendum requires a majority of the electorate to pass.

  24. Anonymous says:

    This just goes to show how low they will go to push their agenda.

    Cayman, this is dirty politics at its best!

    Alden and Moses have stolen McKeeva’s playbook and “enlarged and refurbished” it!

    • Anonymous says:

      They haven’t stolen Macs playbook, they are still using it. You can see the wires hanging from their hands, feet, mouth and eyes. And who is the puppetmaster? Look no further than West Bay my dear friends.

      Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Now we have to watch them that they don’t sneak in another change again before the referendum is called..My God, these people are beyond corrupt! How do they sleep at night? SMH.

  26. Anonymous says:

    This is disgusting, plain and simple

    “No respect for the people who voted them in to office”

  27. Anonymous says:

    There is not a sane judge anywhere that will not see through the underhandedness of the Government. This smacks of desperation on the government’s part. How low will these people sink to get this done…Alden, Moses and the like, I really expected better..You all make McKeeva look like an angel compared to your tactics..

  28. Anonymous says:

    Don’t forget they were claiming the wording was fair in the first place

    Then why did they sneakily change it without announcing it to the public?

  29. Anonymous says:

    Some lawyer thinks this will enhance his case as it moves forward.

  30. #VoteNo2020 says:

    Underhanded politricks! How many amendments can they actually pass for goodness sake. Perhaps three will be the charm for CPR. Vote for fairness and transparency. Vote for a better Caymankind than this nonsense.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Vote no to this Government in 2021! That should do the job

    • Anonymous says:

      Because it’s the first and only government to want to build a port?

      • Anonymous says:

        they are the fist to push for it this hard and be this corrupt.

        • Anonymous says:

          Quite wrong. Previously the push was delayed because the corruption couldn’t be finalized.

        • Anonymous says:

          8.05 No proof of corruption re the port. Only allegations by persons who wish to discredit the present administration.

          • Anonymous says:

            This entire regime colludes in corruption, over-riding of due process, and redactions of public documents and agreements. The Unity govt wasn’t elected, it was formed by secret truce after both parties were voted out, terms of which were never disclosed; and by virtue of its adamant refusal to enact (the much-revised) Standards in the Public Life Law, required by our Constitution (S119), which criminalizes non-disclosures of conflicts, and bribe payments, we can only infer what those terms are. The Committee tasked with reviewing those conflicts was formed in 2009 and sits more or less idle, it’s members hand-picked by this members of this administration.

      • Anonymous says:

        lol you obviously are either new to the island or haven’t followed anything related to politics here before.

  32. Anonymous says:


    1. Begin or continue a course of action.

    1.1 Move forward, especially after reaching a certain point.


    Intensify, increase, or further improve the quality, value, or extent of.

    Remove “move forward”, replace with a word that means “move forward”. Remove “enhanced”, replace with words that amount to “enhanced”.

    More dirty tricks and propaganda! VOTE NO!

    • Anonymous says:

      Both questions read literally the same and the second question is factual – the project *includes* enlarging and refurbishment of the existing pier. Like asking if you want walls for your house and forgetting the roof.

      Unna the propaganda machine to think say they purposely want to run Cayman into the ground

      • Anonymous says:

        If they read the same, why change them? Could it be because there was a subtle manipulation in the previous wording, and another subtle manipulation is now being deployed to correct it?

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