Whether you think a referendum on constitutional modernisation should have been held this summer, we now know that’s not going to happen.
Instead, Leader of Government Business Kurt Tibbetts has told us we’ll vote on it during General Elections on 20 May next year.
It doesn’t really matter what caused Government to reverse its decision to hold the referendum after talks with the UK; the fact is, it’s a done deal.
One of the reasons cited for the reversal was that a low turnout at a summer referendum wouldn’t carry much water with negotiators in London.
Plans are now for Government and the Opposition to begin constitutional modernisation negotiations with a plan toward completing those discussions in December or January and coming home with something the voters here can review and digest before voting on the document.
One of the questions being raised in this reversal of Government’s referendum position is whether money has been totally wasted in the exercises leading up to a now extinct summer referendum.
We don’t think so, not totally.
Through district meetings, air time on Cayman television and radio stations, various advertisements and more, many people who live in the Cayman Islands are better educated about the constitutional modernisation process.
But there are still more who need to educate themselves further before making a well-reasoned vote in any constitutional modernisation referendum.
Having the referendum coincide with the General Elections gives all of us time to learn more about the constitutional process.
It is our hope that everyone in the Cayman Islands uses the time between now and May to learn everything they can about constitutional modernisation.
We also urge everyone to pay close attention to the negotiations that go on in London.
It is a given that we are not going to get everything we want from London and voters may not agree with everything that comes out of the talks.
But at the end of the day, if the Cayman Islands wants to keep its constitutional relationship with London, concessions will have to be made.
Whatever comes back from the UK will be the constitutional modernisation document that London wants.
Now that we have a solid date on the constitutional modernisation referendum, we hope that the issue doesn’t become a political football when the campaigning rhetoric really begins to heat up.
We must keep our focus on constitutional change, if that is in fact what the majority of the voting public in the Cayman Islands desires.
Plans are now for Government and the Opposition to travel to London later this year to begin constitutional modernisation negotiations with a plan toward completing those discussions in December or January and coming home with something the voters here can review and digest before voting on the document.