Keep checks and balances

It is very important that the Caymanian people know what some of the present checks and balances in the present constitution are.

The politicians, in a move to grab more and more power, will seek to remove these under the guise of advancing the constitution.

The constitution of the USA is over 200 years old and has been amended but never replaced and the United Kingdom has no written constitution at all.

At present, one important check and balance is the official members, the chief secretary, the attorney general and the financial secretary.

They hold very important positions.

The Cabinet is made up of these three official members and five ministers elected by the Legislative Assembly members.

The three officials do not run for election, cannot be removed from the LA by politicians, are career civil servants, have high qualifications and experience relevant to their jobs and are Caymanians.

The three non political official members as a minority provide a balance to the five politicians and have on occasions been the voice to advise against matters that could have damaged Caymanians if the purely political will had been followed.

The portfolios the officials are responsible for or assist with include among others internal and external affairs, security, police, the judiciary and courts, the civil service, criminal prosecutions and finance. These important portfolios will deteriorate if held by politicians.

These are the major pillars of stability in the Cayman Islands. Once there is political control or interference in the court system, or the police, local and foreign investors may lose confidence and the offshore industry will be shaken as will the peoples’ security.

Political governments come and go but the three official ministers and civil servants do not change after each general election. This gives stability and continuity and confidence to investors and security to the Caymanian people.

The chief secretary, attorney general and financial secretary have to be highly qualified and experienced before being appointed to their jobs. A politician, with no relevant qualifications or experience can hold these jobs under an advanced constitution and this has to be wrong and damaging to Cayman.

We jointly have been in executive council for 28 years and we have worked with the official ministers and we know the important role they play.

The three official members do not owe any allegiance to a political party. They are independent (and although subject to collective responsibility) they can do what they feel is right for the Cayman Islands without fear of political removal or reprisal.

A cabinet decision of five party ministers and three independent experienced and qualified civil servants has to be better than a decision of eight ministers of one political party with no independent ministers who need not have any experience or qualifications.

Look at the destruction and problems in neighbouring Caribbean countries run only by politicians of one party under advanced constitutions.

Do not let politicians’ lust for power to get an advanced constitution remove one of the most important checks and balances in our constitution, the independent, highly qualified and experienced non-political chief secretary, attorney general and financial secretary and replace them with party politicians who will probably be incompetent and without experience and qualifications for these three positions. Caymanians will suffer if this happens.

Just look at our neighbouring countries with advanced constitutions but ruined economies, high crime rate and suffering people.

Truman Bodden

John McLean

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