Today’s Editorial February 28: Questions surround referendum, legislation

Government isn’t just looking for strong support of the referendum on the constitution when the vote is held later this year.

It is also calling for a large voter turnout.

The point Government makes is valid. No matter the decision the voters of this country make, the turnout will send a strong signal to the United Kingdom about our collective passion on this subject.

It is better that we go to the UK armed with the wishes of the majority rather than have constitutional changes we might not agree with shoved down our throats.

The only sticking point to this entire process is we don’t know exactly when the referendum will be held.

We’ve been told the referendum will be held in May, but haven’t been given an exact date.

Too, if enough people speak out in the public meetings being held and tell Government that a May referendum is too soon, the date could be pushed back.

Would that mean the Friday night cut off for voter registration will be in vain and the process re-opened for potential eligible voters?

We also don’t know what exactly the language of the referendum will be.

It is assumed members of the Legislative Assembly will adopt verbiage for the referendum soon and that they will put into law permission to hold a referendum.

The Cayman Islands Constitution makes no provision for referendums, so holding one without a specific law would not be binding.

Creating language for a referendum and allowing one to happen are just a couple of issues we’re waiting on for action in the LA.

We’re still waiting for tobacco legislation, which was first proposed by former Minister of Health Gilbert McLean in 2004. Minister Anthony Eden picked up the idea and promised shortly after he took office in May 2005 that forthcoming legislation could restrict the sale and usage of tobacco.

A final bill was to go to Parliament in March 2006, almost two years ago.

We’re still waiting on a tobacco bill.

We’re also still waiting for the amendment on the Traffic Law to be dealt with.

That amendment would introduce a graduated driver’s licence for young drivers.

Under that amendment, teens would have to first get a learner’s permit and then, after a period of supervised driving, move on to a restricted licence.

The law’s there; it just hasn’t been implemented and young people continue to be injured or killed in vehicle accidents.

These are just a few of the issues we would like to see members of LA address before adjourning for a new session.

BREAKOUT

We’ve been told the referendum will be held in May, but haven’t been given an exact date.

Too, if enough people speak out in the public meetings being held and tell Government that a May referendum is too soon, the date could be pushed back.

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