For many years the cry has been for the Cayman Islands to have a more modern constitution, as we are perceived as being behind the times with our 1972 version, compared to our neighbours and those with similar political status.
The wish is for greater autonomy to control our own affairs (as much as the UK will allow), while remaining an overseas territory for the foreseeable future.
This it appears is the majority view, one that says that these islands should embark on this course, in order that if the day comes for independence or some other variation thereof from the UK, we will have had considerable time in maturing to where this is no longer a giant step, but rather an easy transition.
The last attempt to advance the constitution was de-railed by the ruling UDP party at the time. We, the ruling PPM party, were duly elected in May 2005 with a mandate for a change; one such change being the modernisation of our constitution.
We have gone to great lengths in our customary fashion to think this through and devoted considerable time and expertise to produce a discussion document for the public to have a starting point.
The process is well on its way with public meetings ongoing as I write.
Now alas, the nay-sayers are at it again!
Comments such as ‘who says we need a new constitution? this one has served us well’ or ‘this is a power play by the PPM that will take us straight to independence’ or ‘this is only taking place because they have differences with the governor’. T
The best one however is ‘that we are not mature enough politically’. Can someone tell me how you mature, if it’s not by being given time and an opportunity to do so?
Good people of Cayman, I can assure you that these scare tactics are all untruths and are another attempt to de-rail the process yet again!
The truth is that there are many areas in which advancement is needed if we are to progress as an island nation. We have outlined a number of them in our document and it is by you having interest and taking part and understanding as we move this process along, that you will come to understand why we are so busy working on your behalf.
This is not driven by any quest for power – leave that to the other party and their autocratic leadership style!
Whether our leader is called ‘leader’, ‘chief minister’, ‘premier’ will depend on you – what we do know is that the position deserves proper recognition and authority under the constitution.
We cannot govern and take the blame over things that we have no control – we insist on being consulted and involved for proper accountability.
The rights that are enshrined will be at the wishes of the Caymanian people and not what the PPM wants.
Who will vote and stand for election will be decided on what you want. We have given suggestions for change – albeit well thought out ones – but not final. It is up to you the people!
Get involved – do not sit and simply listen to rhetoric and mischievous politicians inside and outside of Parliament.
We feel that the country wants and deserves an advanced constitution – if you do, then help us get the best one possible for you!
You deserve a fair, reasonable and well thought out umbrella document, under which these islands can be governed properly.
Do not be intimidated! Stand up and give your views and let us move forward as a progressive island nation.
Osbourne Bodden, MLA 3rd elected member for Bodden Town