Last week we reflected on the basic structure and goal of government, and touched on the need for us to voice our views.
This week, I’d like to cover two points; the power and effect of our choice and how answer ‘D’ on the sample referendum ballet in the revised proposals should read.
Far too often I hear people say they don’t care about this constitutional modernisation exercise.
It’s almost as if some people don’t understand how awful life could be without the order that results from a system of governance. It is that order that says our neighbour can’t just steal our land, vehicle or our kids’ toys and get away with it.
Like your home, which must be build on a strong foundation, so too must the laws and the constitution is the legal foundation.
The phrase law and order is not just the name of a TV series, but refers to fundamental elements of good government.
Laws can be viewed as agreements between ourselves and our neighbours.
For example, we will not smash into their car on the way to work without paying to have it repaired, etc.
Have you considered what life would be like if there were no laws requiring your neighbour from simply driving off after they just smashed into your new car? Can you imagine calling the police and hearing them tell you sorry, but that’s not a crime? What if you ran to your MLA about the accident and he or she just didn’t seem to care?
Well, some will say that’s already the case!
Have you asked yourself what you would do if it gets much worse? It could get worse if we as voters don’t understand the issues and use our vote wisely.
So laws help create the order of your neighbour stopping to give you his name and agreement to pay for the damage he did by smashing into your car before driving off.
That and other examples of order is what allow us to be collectively called a civilised society. It is this law and order that we are seeking to maintain and improve when we talk about constitutional modernization.
Last week I also indicated that there should be another answer labelled ‘D’.
Since we are spending the money to conduct a referendum, we must give an opportunity to those who disagree with moving forward with the current proposals to say which of the individual proposals they support if that is the case. That information would be helpful going forward.
The possible answers to the sample referendum question as currently worded are:
A. I agree with the Revised Proposals
B. I agree with the Revised Proposals except as noted in part 2…
C. I disagree with the Revised Proposals
However, to be more objective and comprehensive an answer should be added to the referendum ballot that reads, ‘I disagree with the proposals except as noted in part 2…’ If the current constitution was worded to allow more than one question to be asked in a referendum, the ballot paper could have been so much simpler.
Please feel free to contact the Constitutional Review Secretariat with your own proposals to be added to part two of the revised proposals document before the referendum date is announced.
If you have not read the revised proposals yet, please get a copy by calling 244-3603 or by visiting www.constitution.gov.ky and downloading or printing your own copy.
Some people feel that if they don’t get involved, this whole constitutional thing will just go away.
Friends, it will not go away, in fact in will only become more problematic.
There comes a time in the life of a people when they must act. I’m not trying to tell you how to vote, but I am saying that whether we vote in the upcoming referendum or not, we are at a crossroad that will have a major impact on every Caymanians daily life, until the end of time.
The real political power is in the hands of us the voters; I urge you to acquaint yourself with the issues being discussed and use your vote wisely.
Until next week, question, read, listen to everything carefully and let your voice be heard. Your future depends on it!