Gov’t could dodge no confidence vote

| 01/02/2021 | 45 Comments
Cayman News Service
Speaker McKeeva Bush and Premier Alden McLaughlin

(CNS): There is no guarantee that government will hold a meeting between now and the dissolution of parliament in March, ahead of the 2021 election, to discuss the ‘Bush question’. Even if there is a sitting, the coalition could still dodge dealing with the no confidence vote in Speaker McKeeva Bush filed by Opposition Leader Arden McLean.

As pressure mounts for Bush to resign or be removed, Premier Alden McLaughlin continues to sidestep the issue, putting his hold on government above condemning Bush’s violent behaviour. Many are expecting a day of reckoning in Parliament, with the motion forcing all MPs to break their silence, but the people could very well be disappointed.

CNS contacted the premier on Friday to ask if he has a meeting planned when the motion can be debated, and we are still awaiting a response. We also contacted every sitting MP to ask if they would support a special meeting of the Parliament to deal with it, and with the exception of the Ezzard Miller MP, who is supporting the opposition leader’s motion, no one has responded.

We also asked how they would be voting if a debate was held, but no one has answered that issue either.

Miller, who from the moment Bush was arrested has called for the speaker to be removed from the chair, told CNS that he will be fighting hard for a meeting and for the motion to be placed on the agenda. But he accepted that there would be no official consequences if government fails to do either, leaving only the ballot box as the ultimate sanction.

“I believe government is obligated to hold a meeting as section 83 of the Constitution requires at least one meeting of every government in the calendar year,” he said.

He also noted that the speaker is also required to convene a meeting if seven members request one. This means that if all members of the opposition benches, including Kenneth Bryan, who thwarted attempts following Bush’s arrest last time, request the meeting, Bush will be forced to convene a sitting in which his position will be on the agenda.

It appears, however, that government had planned a session of Parliament before the end of this administration since at least one draft bill has been circulated to members.

“If these bills are not dealt with before Parliament is prorogued, they will fall away,” Miller told CNS. “As a result, I believe government was planning a meeting. But as government business takes priority every day of the week except Thursdays, the premier could still dodge dealing with this motion by holding a meeting avoiding that day. I will, however, do everything I can from a procedural position to demand this motion reaches the floor.”

But McLaughlin continues to make excuses regarding Bush’s refusal to resign as speaker and his own failure to act. Throughout the scandal, which began with Bush’s arrest in February last year and ended with his conviction for assault and sentencing just before Christmas, the premier has largely failed to condemn Bush’s behaviour or impose any consequences, and he has shirked any responsibility for allowing him to remain in the prestigious position.

Attendees at the annual general meeting of the Chamber of Commerce on Friday, where McLaughlin was a guest speaker, told CNS that the premier once again pointed to the need to hold his government together, despite the “very regrettable” situation regarding Bush.

Several people at the meeting said that McLaughlin described the job of a leader has having to exercise judgement, and given the situation regarding the pandemic, he had made the decision that it was not the right time to bring down the government.

But Bush was arrested before lockdown and had go to the UK to discuss the issue with McLaughlin. He had then taken a leave of absence, which was never fully explained. Soon afterwards, however, it became apparent that while he was not sitting in the speaker’s chair, he was still pulling the parliamentary strings behind the scenes.

When he reappeared officially in the summer, the government did nothing as the premier referred to the issue as sub judice, even though the case was a Summary and a not Grand Court matter.

Then, when Bush admitted his guilt and shortly afterwards was convicted and sentenced to a suspended prison term, the premier told CNS that it was still not in the public interest to deal with it because it could bring the government down. However, Miller pointed out then and continues to state that this was misleading and there was never a real threat that government would fall as a result of asking Bush to resign.

At the Chamber AGM, McLaughlin claimed that it would be to his advantage to hold early elections because other people are not as prepared, but that it would be the wrong thing to do.

However, the question over how prepared the PPM is raises numerous questions as it has not held a general congress, in which its party machinery is supposed to confirm its platform for the election. So either the line-up has already been decided outside of the party’s stated constitution or it is not yet fully prepared.

McLaughlin has described McLean and Miller’s motion as a “publicity stunt”, despite the wide public support for it, and told the Chamber audience that the country will have its say in May. While the premier accepted that he and his government would continue “to take heat” over its failure to do anything, voters are going to have the opportunity to make their views known, not just about Bush but the government’s performance overall.

After gaining more than 70% of the vote at the last election and holding a solid safe seat, it is very unlikely that Bush will lose his WBW seat, even in a head to head race. But McLaughlin and his PPM team face tougher battles in their constituencies and their silence may prove their undoing rather than Bush’s.

Nevertheless, McLaughlin appeared confident, according to Chamber members, who told CNS that the audience was stunned by his position.

Having held his nerve on the strict early lockdown and the tight quarantine regime that followed, the premier appears to be confident that the success the coalition has had in keeping COVID-19 out of the community will pay dividends.

If the vaccine programme continues on pace and government is able to open the borders just as the official election campaign begins, the return of tourism will likely overshadow the Bush question and return the PPM to government with Roy McTaggart, the current heir apparent, at the helm.


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Comments (45)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Our constitution clearly sets out the rules Parliamentarians must adhere to and The Speaker violated those rules. Why hasn’t the Governor stepped in to uphold our Constitution.

    • Anonymous says:

      He shouldn’t have to, but I get where you are coming from. These men were appointed because they lead by example right? They should be ashamed of themselves.

    • Anonymous says:

      Shut up you haters and leave Honorable Bush & Honorable Alden alone. They are doing a tremendous job leading this country. If you do not like it leave!

      • What a joke says:

        To 11:51am You are the hater. “Honorable Bush”? Whatever you are smoking, stop. What a clown.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Myanmar style it is then.

  3. Anonymous says:

    25% of voters can petition the Governor to dissolve the Parliament and cut payroll. Especially if these fat-cats are conspiring non-performance. We might as well furlough all of them until May if that’s their contempt level for the public they are sworn to serve.

  4. Anonymous says:

    typical from no-plan-alden and do-nothing-ppm.
    scary thing is….there is only one thing worse than the current government and that is the opposition.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Alden is afraid Mac will bring down his government.
    Hard to imagine given the history of their political relationship. Alden moved the motion to remove Mac as Premier in 2012 leaving only five elected persons in Government, now he fears he cannot survive with ten, What an expression of confidence in his other members. He removed Mac as deputy chairman of the Public Accounts Committee ( a post Mac created for himself ultra vires of the Legislative assembly Standing Orders) without fear of him bringing down the Government.
    Anyone heard anything since the last election about Alden’s lawsuit against Mac or Mac case against the Governor and Cabinet Were these settled without public knowledge????

  6. Anonymous says:

    I don’t like to reference US politics as a measure for what goes on here but this is a demonstration of the simple correlation of cross border political doltishness.

    Right after the US Capitol Riot a renowned US journalist invited every single GOP senator to join him on his nationwide Sun am show, every single one of them either didn’t respond or declined. This was part of the slideshow exhibiting the extent Trumps loyalists will go to (despite being physically threatened by the violence) in order to not disavow ‘their ruler.’

    A couple of things here, first our local charlatans must recognise McBeater as ‘their ruler’ (including Alden) through the medium of their servile silence in not responding to CNS over such a grave issue and secondly despite the hindsight given by the repugnant senators these idiots here fall right into line foregoing all decency and integrity themselves unashamedly. It’s really disturbing and tragic on a massively broad scale especially when considering these clowns are excessively vocal and up in arms because two people of the same sex choose to commit to each other but physical assault? sure, by all means carry on, – appalling and absolutely disgraceful 🤬

  7. Anonymous says:

    Make sure there are candidates running against EVERY incumbent that hasn’t tried to remove Mac. Without competition, there is no way to vote out the current violence-condoning MPs.

    Reach out to educated, experienced persons that would make good representatives and convince them to run!

  8. Anonymous says:

    We do have a poor memory, but let’s try to remember this everyone. We have our own confidence vote in 113 days…Wednesday, May 26, 2021 starting at 07:00 AM. Try to recall periods of critical inaction like this, and let your conscience be your guide.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed 4.52, but the problem is that the Imbeciles who keep voting for Mac don’t think he’s done anything wrong.
      That also applies to the yardies who vote for Jon Jon, Kenneth Bryan and the lazy West Bay lapdogs.

  9. Anonymous says:

    All the women who have had their faces smashed in by thugs in drunken stupours should vote against Alden.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think all women should vote against this unity government, to send a message that domestic violence is not ok.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yea hope Arden and Ezzard are reading that comment!

      • Anonymous says:

        This lot have accelerated rampant greed and sold off the island piece by piece. They are sell outs and they condone violence against women.

        Disgusting.

    • BeaumontZodecloun says:

      Not just women, but all people against this kind of antisocial behaviour. We have a right to expect the best from our MPs.

      It is bad enough that there isn’t a sense of representation. It is bad enough that most of them are completely inaccessible to their constituents.
      It is bad enough that they make a giant salary for very little work.

      It is bad enough.

      • The Shadow says:

        Yes, Beau, they are despicable. By the way, you left out that there are some on the take and some just outright thieves!

    • JTB says:

      All decent human beings should vote against any currently serving member of our ‘parliament’ – with the exception of Ezzard Miller who, for all his many faults, appears to understand the difference between right and wrong.

      • Anonymous says:

        5.42 Unfortunately Ezzard will probably lose his seat to someone right up Mac’s alley.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ezzard may be able to read, but that unique skill set does not confer any moral high ground. He was put in the chair of the Public Accounts Committee years ago as the gatekeeper for volumes of CIG generated spending, and supporting misinformation, which was later ratified by his office. Everyone loves him there. Nobody fired. No charges. Politely and efficiently buries it all. The closest was a CAL officer being threatened with sanction by the PAC Committee for disrespect. How many tens/hundreds of millions in incorrect CIG spending has been critically overlooked and enabled over the years by PAC? What sanctions have been issued? Sorry to disagree with what would, at first glance, seem to be a compelling alternative.

      • Anonymous says:

        I have strong reason to suspect that one of the persons running against Miller is in cahoots with Mac (and such an unpleasant individual!) North Siders, beware.

  10. Anonymous says:

    What an ignorant fellow..Alden McLaughlin…watch the Chamber AGM. Never seen such a dunce that is suppose to be a lawyer. Don’t he have any shame?

  11. Anonymous says:

    I hope the voters check out all of the candidates records and those that are running this May. XXXXX was seen hitting a woman in a bar in North Side. Many witnessed this and were horrified by it. Ezzard is a voice of reason but he can’t get anything done. Time for new blood. Justin Ebanks hope you are putting yourself forward. Those that put a thumbs down is ok cause it proves that opposition is worried lol.

    • SSM345 says:

      What makes you think any new blood will shake things up with the same core crew who have been there for 30yrs? All of them need to go.

      They will be silenced or lacking any “testicular fortitude” to go against the grain of their Masters.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Alden is a disgrace and needs to retire or be voted out

  13. Anonymous says:

    Their silence says everything about them as leaders. Their silence and excuses is tantamount to consent. Voters must hold them all accountable. This lot have to go in 2021!

  14. Anonymous says:

    How on earth has this not been picked up by outside media?? How can one man be so protected??
    Yet a young girl from the US gets blasted and plastered all over the place!
    And we still haven’t heard what’s been done with the young man that broke Q twice and had tested positive!!

    This place is a joke.

  15. ED says:

    “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor” – Rev Desmond Tutu

  16. Anonymous says:

    Good riddance to all of the MPs who are standing behind Mckeeva, come next election.

  17. Anonymous says:

    They will do whatever they want. Who can stop them? Large and still in charge and will be until they get tired of it. Caymanian voters don’t have the education or balls to go up against them they know.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Premier you have embarrassed yourself and the country with spin and all the BS reasons for failing to do the right thing. Now you and McKeeva must go!

    • Anonymous says:

      All members of ppm/cdp plus tara Jon Jon and Austin that make up the unity coalition need to go next election. They are not working for us they are all about their own survival. They are all disgraceful as leaders

      • Anonymous says:

        And didn’t they all just vote for a raise for themselves?? Honestly you can’t make this sh**!! up. …….and we put up with it.

  19. Anonymous says:

    head in the sand time for spinelesss alden….
    forget the clowns in the la…time to turn up the heat on the governor!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Isn’t it amazing that politicians want to be rewarded and praised for doing their jobs. While many leaders in so-called first world countries did not respond to the pandemic in a competent manner; that does not mean that those leaders that did deserve some special award.

    Let’s not forget that many individuals and businesses have been destroyed in the process of doing what needed to be done so this is not the time for politicians to be praising themselves.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Political expediency over morality, shame on all those who have remained silent, you are all enablers of abusers! All of you should lose your seats, hopefully to people with strong moral compasses and the guts to do right by their voters! Shame on all of you, especially you, Alden!

  22. Anonymous says:

    Good job honorable premier. Best you suspend elections anyway and just stay on as our esteemed leader due to Covid and all these radical’s calling for no confidence nonsense. Long live honorable Alden and Honorable Bush!

    • Bertie : B says:

      Thanks Mum .

    • Anonymous says:

      What are you high on?

    • Fair and Balanced says:

      You must have the IQ of a whelk to say Cayman should not have Elections because Honourable (what a sick joke!!) Alden and Bush are doing a good job.

      You must live on planet Pluto or, you got food poisoning from your free turkey at Christmas that you’re still eating now.
      For your sake, I do hope you know better than the comments you’ve made.

    • SSM345 says:

      Those amongst us with your mindset should have their voting rights revoked and be made to take a test proving you are fit to cast one.

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